What is wrong with encouraging students to put "how well they're doing" ahead of "what they're doing." An impressive and growing body of research suggests that this emphasis (1) undermines students' interest in learning, (2) makes failure seem overwhelming, (3) leads students to avoid challenging themselves, (4) reduces the quality of learning, and (5) invites students to think about how smart they are instead of how hard they tried.
The late W. Edwards Deming, guru of Quality management, once declared, 'The most important things we need to manage can't be measured.' If that’s true of what we need to manage, it should be even more obvious that it’s true of what we need to teach.
The legendary statistical consultant W. Edwards Deming, . . . has called the system by which merit is appraised and rewarded 'the most powerful inhibitor to quality and productivity in the Western world' . . . it is simply unfair to the extent that employees are held responsible for what are, in reality, systemic factors that are beyond their control.
In short, with each of the thousand-and-one problems that present themselves in family life, our choice is between controlling and teaching, between creating an atmosphere of distrust and one of trust, between setting an example of power and helping children to learn responsibility, between quick-fix parenting and the kind that's focused on long-term goals.
The difference between a good educator and a great educator is that the former figures out how to work within the constraints of traditional policies and accepted assumptions, whereas the latter figures out how to change whatever gets in the way of doing right by kids. 'But we've always...', 'But the parents will never...', 'But we can't be the only school in the area to...' - all such protestations are unpersuasive to great educators. If research and common sense argue for doing things differently, then the question isn't whether to change course but how to make it happen.
Don't let anyone tell you that standardized tests are not accurate measures. The truth of the matter is they offer a remarkably precise method for gauging the size of the houses near the school where the test was administered.