In Schools, Are We Measuring What Matters?
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests what we measure in schools is not always effective in creating positive student outcomes. The problem with relying on standardized tests and other measures that focus on academic achievement is that they may not reflect what students really need to thrive.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “Only a small proportion (0.3 percent) of the variance in student achievement can be explained by differences in student test scores.” In other words, nearly all of the variation in student achievement is due to differences in students’ backgrounds and experiences.
Some educators have started to focus on what they call “multiple intelligences.” This theory suggests that there are several types of intelligence, including naturalist, analytical, creative, and interpersonal intelligence. Some educators believe that students need to be able to display all of these types of intelligence in order to be successful.
Instead of relying on standardized tests for measuring student achievement, some schools are beginning to measure students’ progress in terms of their “learning goals.” These goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
The downside of relying on learning goals is that they can be difficult to set. They also require teachers to be more creative in their classroom strategies.
Ultimately, the most effective way to measure student achievement is to look at a variety of measures. This way, educators can gauge the effectiveness of their teaching strategies and make changes as necessary.