Measuring What Matters

The Law School at UC Berkeley is looking beyond the LSAT that predicts only first year law school success, to include measures that predict success as a lawyer in admissions decisions.

And we should not be surprised to learn that on the alternative measures, gender, racial, and ethnic gaps are minimized.

In K-12 schools, no one really believes that the qualities that will eventually make young people successful (or not) as adults can be measured only in  the week-long testing marathons to which they are now subjected.

But we have no coherent conversation about what — beyond reading and math  –they’ll need to thrive in this complicated world or how we ensure that we’re teaching and assessing  those things, also.

It’s an important move to begin asking at the point of law school admission about  the qualities that predict success beyond the classroom.

It’s a different but more pressing  question to ask how we value and nurture some of those same qualities in children who otherwise may never dream of  going to college,  because their public identities now are shaped by very narrow measures that identify them as failures.

How do we even begin the conversation about educating for — and measuring — what matters in K-12 schools?

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2 thoughts on “Measuring What Matters

  1. raywatkins November 13, 2008 / 8:16 am

    I don’t mean to minimize the question, because it is a very hard question, but it seems to me that we have to begin with a discussion of what we value in our society. The question, in other words, isn’t just “who would make a good lawyer,” or “what would a good lawyer need to know” (or teacher, or scientist), but “what kinds of lawyers do we need”?

    Ray Watkins

  2. janevangalen November 13, 2008 / 2:54 pm

    Excellent and important distinction, Ray!

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