Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It All Adds Up

I'm suffering from a bit of blog-lag after a week in San Antonio for a Music Educators' conference. Writing daily is a crazy act of faith and when I stop, even for a bit, everything seems to turn to cement. But two things appeared in my sights this morning and came together in such lovely synergy that I had to share.

First, this story on the usefulness of the SAT's. It appears that a student's high school grades are a more accurate predictor of college success than his or her scores on this standardized test. (Well, duh.) So we have a whole testing industry and a "prepare for the test" industry which use up a boatload of money and time and are very likely of little use.

Does this remind you of anything? Well, I'm not going to leave this up to the imagination. If this massive testing system which is used to evaluate college preparedness is less valuable than the student's actual high school record, the why on earth would we rely on high stakes testing to evaluate students at any other level? As a parent I am far more interested in my child's progress day-to-day and over the course of the year, as shown in her work and her school evaluations. It would seem from the results from the SAT study that I would be right to place my confidence there, rather than standardized test results.

Second, this page from NAFME. (National Association for Music Education) It asks us to "Look Beyond the Bubbles." I couldn't have seen it at a better time. Take a look at the chart headed, "a complete argument for music education". I am particularly interested in the section which examines the benefits of music education which reach "beyond the bubbles".

They are:

  • decision-making
  • grit
  • multiple ways of knowing
  • higher attendance and graduation rates
  • communication
  • filling gaps for students lagging behind
  • critical thinking
  • emotional awareness
  • reflective learning

Interesting. If we want our students to be "college and career ready" and ready for a life worth living, where do you think we should place our trust? Filling in bubbles? Or beyond the bubbles?


A shout-out to State Senate Majority Leader James N. Robey who responded to my recent email as follows : I support Senate Bill 165, entitled Education – Maryland School Assessment – Request for Waiver, as a cosponsor.

Meeting tonight of the Howard County Parents for School Music at 7:00pm, at Old Cedar Lane School, 5451 BEAVERKILL RD, COLUMBIA, MD 21044. Everyone is welcome!





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