There is nothing – and I mean nothing – more mind-boggling on this earth than educational data. Do not believe me ? Answer this question:
Your country hums, as usual, when a global pandemic knocks on your door. Thinking that it might be a good idea to make sure your children are safe, you close schools for a while but continue to teach students. Some students are now learning online, and others are learning through distance courses that they take and drop, but one thing is for sure – they’ve never, ever learned like this before.
Here is the question. Are they learning as much from this new path as they are from the path they have known all their lives?
Take your time.
To the right. It’s kind of like asking, would you score that many points if you played with your other hand? And yet, now that the data is available with average scores and test scores (yes, they’re lower), the wailing and gnashing of teeth in some corners of the world would lead you to believe that this problem is the pandemic, not one of its products. What, the critics shouted, were we thinking?
Fortunately, since we are talking about education here, there are two answers. First of all, we thought we didn’t want to kill our students. Even though the tests and grades are good, and America’s future doesn’t have as tight a grip on the Pythagorean Theorem as we would like, we can still see their smiling faces at dinner and put them in their eyes. bed at night. So there is that.
The second answer is a little less obvious – we didn’t think so. In what couldn’t be a better example of how not to do something, our educational complex was so busy converting everything to distance education, no one stopped and asked if the students knew how to use this material?
If you think it doesn’t matter, consider what would happen if all bakeries in the United States were to start using the metric system. In one day.
Are you going to buy bread there for a while or wait for them to settle?
It doesn’t matter that most teachers have never taught at a distance (this is a huge factor) and we ask them to start doing it and be excellent in a week. At what point did we sit the students down and say, “Some of this will look the same, but most of it is different. Here’s how to handle it. When did we say the same to parents? Nannies? Elderly neighbors watching over the kids while parents cling to their work?
But wait, there is more. Not only did we not think about it last spring; it didn’t occur to us all summer either. Knowing that most schools will still be using some form of distance learning this fall, have we organized best practice panels for distance education and offered webinars to all teachers for free? Have we got support from movie stars who have plenty of free time and produce social media products on TikTok and YouTube showing students the importance of knowing how to learn, not just what to learn? Did we produce any 30-minute seminars that offered gift cards for students to try out these skills before they actually needed them?
And we are concerned that children do not know the Pythagorean Theorem.
The difficult part? Experts already exist in these fields. We’re a few phone calls away from hosting a dozen online conferences that can produce a significant change in distance learning and education in hours. Handel wrote the Messiah in three weeks. The late funk grandmaster Rick James is said to have written an album that sold a million dollars overnight. We’re about 20 hours away from turning the tide of education for the better, and what do we really think? Who will be the next education secretary.
Don’t be offended, but if you’re looking for educational leadership, start by looking in the mirror and picking up the phone.