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Hey, Kid! Listen Up! Marion Brady Race To The Top:

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1 Hey, Kid! Listen Up! Marion Brady Race To The Top:

2 2 This you can know for sure: The future won’t be the same as the present or the past. ?

3 3 And this you can also know for sure: The future will be more complicated, unpredictable, and dangerous than the present or the past.

4 4 So the answers and solutions you’re learning in school won’t do the job. You’ll have to come up with your own.

5 5 That means you’ll have to think— INFER ANALYZE HYPOTHESIZE RELATE GENERALIZE MAKE VALUE JUDGMENTS —and so on, because these thought processes are the CREATORS of new knowledge.

6 6 Fortunately, complex, “higher order” thought processes can be taught, learned, and improved.

7 7 Unfortunately, higher-order thought processes aren’t going to be taught, learned, or improved as long as politicians set education policy and demand standardized tests…

8 8 …standardized tests that force educators to emphasize just one thought process: Remembering

9 9 Why do standardized tests mostly measure short-term memory instead of higher-order thought processes? Because nobody has yet figured out how to test higher-order thought processes.

10 10 To do that, a test would have to: (a)trigger a higher-order thought in your brain, then (b)a computer or stranger would have to be able to judge the quality of that thought and assign it a meaningful number.

11 11 Neither (a) nor (b) is yet possible. Period.

12 12 Test-taker differences in background, interests, ability, language, attitude, ethnicity, experience, situation, and so on, make it impossible to write a test item that will cause every test-taker to think predictably.

13 13 Even if test-item writers knew how to make you think predictably,… …your thought would be far too complex and abstract for a computer or stranger to judge its quality and assign it a number that meant something.

14 14 Einstein summarized the problem simply and clearly: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

15 15 Evaluating higher-order thought processes requires higher-order thought. Teachers do it all the time, but it’s a subjective process that requires a lot of dialog between teacher and learner.

16 16 (Note: A standardized test item may SEEM to be testing your higher-order thought processes, when it’s just: Asking you to remember someone else’s thought you read or heard, or Asking you to guess what the test-item writer was thinking.) ?

17 17 What you’ll most need in the years ahead, what America will need most, is creativity, intuition, ingenuity, insight, imagination, perceptiveness, discernment, judgment, vision.

18 18 These are products of higher-order thought processes, and their quality can’t be measured by tests of how much textbook-type information you can remember.

19 19 This wrong idea: “Education is just learning facts” is THE problem messing up your education.

20 20 There’s no middle ground on this issue. If Einstein was wrong, then education is mostly just learning lots of facts. And standardized tests to find out what you remember are all that’s needed to show how well you’re educated.

21 21 But if Einstein is right, American education is headed in the wrong direction. You, your children, and your children’s children will suffer the consequences. Personally, I’m with Einstein. I believe the standardized testing fad is a misguided, simplistic, abusive, de-humanizing, expensive, horrendous mistake.

22 22 So, for yourself and future generations, resist standardized testing. Start a conversation…

23 23 E-mail and Twitter the URL for this PowerPoint to your friends, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, representatives, senators, state governor, newspaper editors, reporters—everybody.

24 24 I’m Marion Brady—father, grandfather, great-grandfather, retired middle school teacher, high school teacher, college professor, school system administrator, author of textbooks and professional books, curriculum specialist, publisher consultant, advisor to states, institutions, and educational foundations, long-time educational columnist for Knight-Ridder/Tribune newspapers, visitor to schools around the world, and mourner for learner potential being wasted by policies set by policymakers who may know a lot about business or politics, but obviously know little about educating. Home page: Copyright © 2009 by Marion Brady.

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