“In education, data has traditionally been used for punitive purposes, not for improvement...”Reading Bornstein's article over breakfast this morning, I had a revelation.
March 7, 2011, 10:05 pm
Coming Together to Give Schools a Boost
By DAVID BORNSTEIN
For years now, a number of us have pressed our school district to assess student learning and adjust instruction accordingly -- i.e., to use formative assessment. We've gotten nowhere, and I've tended to see the district as 'allergic' to measurement in general.
But in fact, my district owns cutting-edge software that tracks disciplinary actions. When a student is sent to the office, the principal can instantly pull up his entire computerized disciplinary record and read out loud all of the bad things the student has done going back for years. I don't know whether the current principal of the middle school actually does this, but his predecessor did. He would fire up his computer and take the student on a little trip down memory lane: all the bad memories, none of the good.
Of course, I doubt the district has used its computerized disciplinary records as a means to monitor improvements in student behavior. The district essentially never sets measurable goals of any kind.
We have cutting-edge software to track misbehavior and disciplinary actions.
We don't have cutting-edge software to track student learning.