David Harris, my children attend The Project School in Indianapolis, and you recommended closing the school [April 7 Forefront] for poor test scores. I have some other worthwhile suggestions.
Get to know the children at the school. Know them in their quest for education. You will find children that meet goals, at an individual pace. Children simply do not fit into tidy little data boxes. Children are wild and inquisitive and beyond awesomesauce—that is what The Mind Trust program in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Education fail to recognize.
Now, if we could only have your salary of $184,000 plus the $700,000 spent on The Mind Trust evaluation, The Project School in Indianapolis could have exceeded your expectations. We could have built a library, hired extra teachers and paid for field trips that connect learning in the world. Stunning. Wouldn’t you have liked to see that approximately $848,000 spent to truly educate children, in a public school system that services everyone? I would. I am certain the taxpayers that subsidized your salary and assessment would agree with me … if they knew.
Instead, you and your overlords rely on outdated methods of assessing children, educators and schools. How are you helping children learn? How is standardized testing enabling children to inquire? How is standardized testing enabling critical thought? The answers, in order: You’re not; the test isn’t; the test cannot.
Education is an active process. The process does not occur solely based on test scores. Let us not put more children in jeopardy by closing schools. Let us put money into schools with tools to help children succeed. Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Count on educators to inspire learning to teach, not to a test, and there you will find real results.
I cordially invite you to volunteer with me at The Project School in Indianapolis. I generally donate five to six hours each week. I’d like to show you how real education works, through human connection.