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HEY, KID! LISTEN UP!

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Race To The Top:
Hey, Kid!
Listen Up!
Marion Brady
This you can
know for sure:
The future won’t
be the same as
the present or the
past.
?
2
And this you can also know
for sure:
The future will be more
complicated, unpredictable,
and dangerous than the
present or the past.
3
So the answers
and solutions
you’re learning in
school won’t do
the job. You’ll
have to come up
with your own.
4
That means you’ll have to think—
INFER
RELATE
HYPOTHESIZE
MAKE VALUE
JUDGMENTS
ANALYZE
GENERALIZE
—and so on, because these thought
processes are the CREATORS of new
knowledge.
5
Fortunately, complex, “higher
order” thought processes can be
taught, learned, and improved.
6
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…
7
…standardized tests that force
educators to emphasize just one
thought process:
Remembering
8
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.
9
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.
10
Neither (a) nor (b)
is yet possible.
Period.
11
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.
12
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.
13
Einstein summarized the problem
simply and clearly:
“Not everything that
can be counted
counts, and not
everything that
counts can be
counted.”
14
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.
15
(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.)
16
What you’ll most need in the years
ahead, what America will need most, is
creativity, intuition, ingenuity, insight,
imagination, perceptiveness,
discernment, judgment, vision.
17
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.
18
This wrong idea:
“Education is just
learning facts”
is THE problem
messing up your
education.
19
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.
20
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.
21
So, for yourself and future
generations, resist
standardized testing. Start
a conversation…
22
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.
www.marionbrady.com/Powerpoint/HeyKid.ppt
23
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.
www.marionbrady.com/Powerpoint/HeyKid.ppt
Home page: www.marionbrady.com
Copyright В© 2009 by Marion Brady.
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