‘A 2010 IBM survey of global business leaders confirms this: The number one quality business leaders look for in employees is creativity. They also look for learning ability, problem solving skills, collaboration, communication, resourcefulness, and resilience, often called “grit.” ‘ Accountability Is More than a Test Score,Turnipseed, Stephan; Darling-Hammond, Linda, Education Policy Analysis Archives, v23 n11 Feb 2015
In this article, the author confirms the confusion between the skills that have been identified as those leading to success for employees in today’s competitive world and the focus of US schools on standardized test scores as a means of success. It is this narrow focus on pre-determined answers for multiple choice closed questions that sabotages creativity. Innovation is the product of creativity. How does this play out for our students in the workforce? Product creation accelerates manufacturing and delivery, and ignites job creation which supports a healthy economy. It the responsibility of our educational system to ensure all students the skills for success in today’s world- most of all creativity, because businesses are seeking a creative workforce and innovative leaders in order to support their business’ success in today’s marketplace.
So, what are US educators and school districts doing to support these very essential skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, when our policy makers are still focused on standardized tests? We recognize that a narrow focus on a year-end test undermines 21st Century Skills. Educators are working to transform the system to one that develops students’ talents through rich curriculum, requires high standards for all learners, and assessment in a balanced system. Educators are tirelessly working to change the policy into a policy that reflects today’s research. Educators are learning how to implement project-based learning into their classrooms and how to utilize a balanced assessment program. Students are developing electronic portfolios and completing performance assessments. Educators are learning the power of targeted feedback for students in order to improve their ‘work’ and refine their skills. New opportunities exist for students in innovative settings different from traditional school buildings.
All of this requires educators to be life-long learners constantly improving the way they do things to support students in developing their talents leading them to success in today’s society. My lens encompasses various views of educator, administrator, and parent of high school graduate. My son read the article and my post, and explained his view of all the standardized tests and his experiences in school, “it is like a cashier being trained to push the right button, or being given a script to recite to customers…you don’t have to think about how to solve anything, there is one right button and only one way to greet customers. I was never very good at those test.”