A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. ~ Plato
No offense intended toward mathematicians, statisticians, or accountants, but I am a bit disturbed by the educational obsession with numbers. For both administrators and teachers, numbers are ever present and persistently demanding. Grade point averages, class rankings, grade percentages, benchmarks, daily grades, state assessments, test scores, budget concerns, class sizes, and data driven decision making. The fact that educators work with numbers in a variety of contexts is not the issue–in fact, it is to be expected. The issue is that in some ways we are transforming a profession that is about people into one that is about the bottom line. As long as our efforts at educational reform lead us in the direction of the “students = numbers” equation, we will never arrive at a solution.
Here are four excellent articles for reference on the issue of our data driven school culture:
Why schools should try things not “research-based” by Valerie Strauss