Student success not just a measure of hard and soft skills

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By Emily Mann | Aspire Wire: Ideas, Conversation, Action | December 4, 2012

In the United States, educational accountability has become almost synonymous with the use of standardized metrics to assess student knowledge. Pushed by both state and federal education policies, this testing-based conception of accountability has elevated math and reading within the school day. The assumption of the testing culture is that a foundation of math and reading should propel students successfully into college and beyond. However, these core academic skills are not the only ones that colleges consider when compiling their freshman classes. Most colleges tell prospective students and parents that they want a student body that is “well rounded,” and active socially, politically, physically and academically. Yet, what we see in most primary and secondary schools, as a function of the test culture (and against the better judgment of passionate and dedicated teachers), is a push for perpetually higher test scores on a few major subjects. This is sending a mixed message to students as they transition from high school to college, and it is a disservice to all students. Read More

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