There is a big difference between those who measure what they value and those who value what they measure.
When we pay attention to only what we can count, we miss a lot of what is truly important.
So how do we measure what is truly important?
Alan Stange, a teacher from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, left this comment on my blog:
Teachers always miss a lot. Students miss a lot. Everyone misses a lot. We don't have to catch everything. We simply have to create conditions in which learning can take place. If we build it, they will come.I think Alan is saying that we need more trust. We need to trust teachers and students.
If we want to measure anything, we should place more emphasis on counting the inputs - the opportunities that kids have to engage in all kinds of learning - and if we can count the inputs, we don't need to be so obsessively empirical with the measuring of the outputs.
I use this quote a lot for a reason but all this can be summarized nicely by Albert Einstein:
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
Thanks to Will Richardson for this post which is where I first saw this Calvin & Hobbes comic.