Some who read this blog might assume that I am totally opposed, in any/all circumstances to using data in schools to guide decision-making. Despite my frequent public cynicism I assure you that I believe that much of the statistical information we collect on and in schools and school systems can provide useful signals regarding what’s working and what’s not, and may provide more ambiguous signals warranting further exploration – through both qualitative information gathering (observation, etc.) and additional quantitative information gathering.
My personal gripe is that thus far – especially in public policy – we’ve gone about it all wrong. Pundits and politicians seem to have this intense desire to impose certainty where there is little or none and impose rigid frameworks with precise goals which are destined to fail (or make someone other than the politician look as if they’ve failed).
Pundits and politicians also feel the intense desire…
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