Monday, September 12, 2011

Respecting Goodhart's Law

This Forbes article recommends ELLI, a lifelong learning assessment tool, as a kind of replacement for rigid grading and standardized testing. It argues against the latter by evoking Goodhart's Law, which was new to me:
Respecting Goodhart’s law: The current focus on testing has tended to make test results the goal of the system, rather than a measure. The change in goal means recognizing that a test is only measure. Using tests as the goal infringes Goodhart’s Law: when measure becomes the goal, it ceases to be an effective measure.
The alternative to this kind of testing is a curriculum that inspires lifelong learning:
The goal needs to shift from one of making a system that teaches children a curriculum more efficiently to one of making the system more effective by inspiring lifelong learning in students, so that they are able to have full and productive lives in a rapidly shifting economy.

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