Ever since I attended the graduation ceremony at Indiana University in Bloomington in 1999, a few words have dominated my thinking about how we measure schools, spoken by the dean of students as he presented the class: “Schools ought to be measured not by those they accept, but by those they graduate,” he said.
Today we measure (public) high schools mainly by standardized test scores, and without detracting from the information these assessments can provide in the ideal case, I find other measuring sticks more informative.
Therefore, I would like to invite you and your student graduation speakers to an online forum, where I am trying to highlight a few of those other school measuring sticks, which paint a new and unique picture of the great job our schools are doing. The forum is free, nonprofit, and noncommercial.
The topics I hope you will talk about include (1) preparation for college, (2) critical thinking, (3) appreciation for the arts and literature, (4) preparation for skilled work, (5) social skills and work ethic, (6) citizenship and community responsibility, (7) physical health, and (8) emotional health.
How do you think schools should meet these challenges, and how have you met some or all of them this past year?
Even if you choose not to comment yourself (and I certainly understand), please give your students an opportunity to put their graduation speeches online. They can present to the online community a “snapshot” of life at your school through their own eyes. And even though they will speak these words very soon, the online community is a whole new audience for their thoughts.
I thank you for your time, and I truly hope that free contributions to a project like this will allow you and other school leaders to see how individual creativity can drive our schools to grow. If you would like to participate and/or give your students this opportunity to speak for themselves (and I hope you do), please point your browser at the link below:
All my best,
Executive Editor, Chicago Voxitatis
Cellphone: (630) 863-5871; Voice mail: (410) 767-7510