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A Consumer’s Union for Schools

What would it be like if we took our children and their teachers as seriously as CU takes the many products it “assesses”, “tests”, “reviews/”

If you haven’t looked at an issue of CU recently, pick one up.  Read the average auto review—and particularly the ones that compare a great many cars.  They do not give you a single score.  They “score” according to dozens of categories—so that the reader/consumer can keep in mind the trade-offs that are critical versus those that are trivial for their uses.  Do they need a lot of storage space, what the price tag? how many people fit into the car and other “objective” factors.   They also rate more subjective ones: how they like the dashboard, how “quiet” the ride is, etc.   The tests they use to create these individual scores are expensive and time-consuming.  And ever so often they even do a more in-depth review of most of the leading or more interesting cars.    They are guides to help us exercise judgment.

But when it comes to kids, their teachers and our schools we have a simpler cheaper and more standardized solution.

We’ve apparently concluded that it’s “easier” to rank order, rate, assess human beings than  cars.  When it comes to schooling, one, maybe two or three categories suffice.   We either care less about accuracy when it comes to students/teachers/schools vs. standardized products, or  misunderstand the peculiarity of treating human beings like they were standardized products.  Which, I wonder?


2 Responses

  1. Have you seen the comprehensive evaluation system that Minnesota New Country and EdVision schools use? If you’re interested, I can send it to you. They focus on project based, and the majority of members of their boards are teachers who work in the school.

  2. No I haven;t/ Thanks, Joe.

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