Through the Education Lens

Deborah Kenny on Morning Joe: "these types of things cannot be measured by a standardized test."

CJ Westerberg, August 25, 2012 9:19 AM


"You have to empower teachers
and the only way is to have real authentic accountability."

"First of all,
the most important things cannot be measured  - objectively."
(referring to how a student speaks or writes) ". . . these types of things cannot be measured by a standardized test."

- both quotes by Deborah Kenny, responding to question by Scarborough
on how to evaluate teachers most fairly and effectively

Accountability:  The debate continues . . .

Check out clip below from this morning's MSNBC "Morning Joe" special on education.

Deborah Kenny, CEO of Harlem Village Academies joins Randi Weingarten, head of AFT, 
and have a worthwhile discussion on teacher accountability and autonomy.  Here is the time breakdown by minute marks:

3:00 - Weingarten answers what is needed for true reform 
5:00 - Kenny answers same question agreeing with Weingarten but "with a caveat"
6:40 - Kenny lays out how and why our schools are structured to not allow empowerment of teachers and administrators:
"principals cannot lead"   "they are not empowered to lead"

10:00 - Weingarten talks about class size and Scarborough points out that "as a parent, I want my kid in a class of 20, not 40."   Kenny jumps in with another caveat that not every subject needs to have a small class and the school should make those decisions.  For example, reading classes should be small, but others may not need to be - let the teachers make those decisions for more flexibility.

Also a part of the discussion at the introduction is 4th grade Math teacher, Jose Fuentes, a Columbia graduate, who talked about the challenges of increasing parental involvement
and having enough resources in school.   "It's not the kids fault."

I look forward to more convos between Weingarten and Kenny and look forward to reading
Kenny's book, "Born to Rise."  Her philosophy sounds very similar to Finland schools - granting autonomy to teachers while they also receive regular feedback. 

One final riff:   Kenny makes some great points about measuring progress.  Most engaged parents can sense how well their child is learning from how s/he speaks, writes, how engaged s/he is with what s/he is learning, and the progress "seen" and "heard" about their work.  One standardized test score telling us all this?  And we want children not to be afraid of failure? 
To embrace "learning?"  What if a child is a foreign language whiz - how is that measured? 

-C.J. Westerberg

Originally posted March 2012

Related posts The Daily Riff:
Harlem Village Academies: "Morning Joe" Talks About What's Working - Isn't that Refreshing?

Campbell's Law in Education - Test Scores vs. Accountability:  "A society in which decisions are based solely on numbers instead of sound judgement is one in which no one is truly accountable."

The Finland Phenomenon

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

blog comments powered by Disqus



"A Radical Idea For Changing Math Education"

10.24.2017 | Someone always asks the math teacher, 'Am I going to use calculus in real life?' And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is NO. Watch Now | Comments


No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship

10.20.2017 | Every child deserves a champion - TED talk Watch Now | Comments


Is This The Best High School in America?

10.19.2017 | WATCH: Does your High School look anything like this? Watch Now | Comments


Learning. Outside the box.

10.19.2017 | "When you are taught inside a box, you lose parts of yourself." 2 minute Video Watch Now | Comments

education poster.jpg

NEW -- Big Oil in Education? - Video

10.19.2017 | Why Should We Care? Because it can happen anywhere Watch Now | Comments


Higher Education when it ROARS - - - 3 minute VIDEO

10.14.2017 | The delightful case for Project Based Learning Watch Now | Comments


Parents: Do our kids know what "it takes" to be good at something?

10.12.2017 | Youth Motivation & Mastery: Create the environment conducive to having kids discover what it takes to become good at something on their own, rather than having "us" - the authority figures - telling them how. Watch Now | Comments

Finland. Finnishflag.BobCompton.jpg

The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System

10.12.2017 | New update December 2, 2013 which includes Yong Zhao link and comments PLUS CNN videos Watch Now | Comments

Math Heaven and Hell

10.10.2017 | "My different studies have shown that students who engage actively in their mathematics learning, rather than simply practicing procedures, achieve at higher levels." - Stanford professor Dr. Jo Boaler Watch Now | Comments


James Paul Gee: How Kids Learn Through Video Games

10.07.2017 | So the next time you fret that your child is on a mindless video game (of course, depending which one), take a chill pill. It may not be as bad as you think. Recommended videos. Watch Now | Comments


What do you remember from high school? (Humor)

10.06.2017 | Week-end Funnies - VIDEO - 10 Million Views Viral video parody (nudity alert!) Some Study That I Used to Know is already at 1.5 million views. It's another play on Goyte's hugely viral video Watch Now | Comments


Tom Friedman: Think Like an Immigrant

10.05.2017 | Five Ways to Succeed in Life and Work Watch Now | Comments

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

10.05.2017 | Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose Watch Now | Comments


"The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination"

10.04.2017 | JK Rowling, Harry Potter Author, Captivates Crowd With Harvard Commencement Speech Watch Now | Comments

Conversations that happen in the middle

06.10.2017 | "We (parents and teachers) really don't get into a conversation . . ." Watch Now | Comments


Five-Minute Montessori

02.12.2017 | "Seeing the big picture allows students to take ownership of their learning - a critical element in fostering each child's natural learning desire." Watch Now | Comments


Want your child to have initiative and perseverance?

02.11.2017 | Passion-Based Learning in Action Watch Now | Comments


The Opening Challenge for The New Year

01.11.2017 | "It's hard to find a great dress for this inauguration." - President-elect Donald Trump Watch Now | Comments