Saturday, November 7, 2009

More thoughts from Edreformer

In personal news, I managed to get a Long-Term Occasional job teaching Computer Technology and Math at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute. It means I have less time to read and blog but I will see what I can do.

I was just reading Tom Vander Ark and Edreformer and he has a post that resonated with some of my thoughts.

Vander Ark says:
Today I spent an hour with a defense contractor that probably runs the biggest simulation and training business in the world. I found the conversation about creating ‘rapid pathways to mastery’ at a whole different level than most K-12 conversations. They get paid on outcomes (like certification to fly expensive jets) and use the most efficient mixture of classroom, simulation, and flight experience possible to get to mastery.

To me, the key idea is that the contractor gets paid on outcomes of the students actually learning what they need to learn. I think that possibly THE biggest challenge for the public education system will be to determine relevant, useful, measurable outcomes that can be used to gauge the efficiency of our school system. If we can nail down these outcomes and measure them, then school boards, administrators, and teachers can all start to make choices that make best use of resources to support those outcomes. Until we have something like that, everything is a political mess that is not going to get better in a hurry.

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