Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Isn't "certification" a form of "evaluation" ?

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun Oct 30 12:22:00 2005

Some thoughts on the subject:

I agree that politicians that perform their task poorly endanger the public
good and many times the world's good. So what ? They do it unpunished.

Are you really happy that in order to be able to act as a public defender in
Massachusetts, a person is evaluated by means of the bar exam ? Do you
really trust the bar exam ? Or any exam ?

What is the difference between licensing a person and ranking a person ?
Ranking a person, rating people, judging people, evaluating people . . . he
is bad on this or that.

Here in Israel "certification" in order to drive a car has become such a
bureaucratic nuisance. And I don't think the country has less traffic
accidents because of that.

Schools and universities have "evaluation" and "certification". And I don't
think the world has better students and/or better professionals because of
that.

A person who is certified for the wood shop at a Sudbury school isn't
considered an innately better or worse person than a person who isn't. But .
. .

Schools and universities rank people as *people*.

Nobel Prize ranks people as *people*.

Money ranks people as *people*.

Social status ranks people as *people*.

"Evaluations are made all of the time at your school", but, "You don't rate
people" and "The school is not a judge". (from, "Evaluation", Free at Last)

You evaluate staff for their posts, but you officialy don't evaluate
students.

There is an arbitrary aspect to both, "certification" and "evaluation".

Involved is also the concept of rights. The right to privacy ?

I agree with Dan that "there is almost no use to testing in a meaningful
educational setting". (from, "Tests: What they are, How They Work",
Education in America)

But the concept is to important in our society, to just put it aside or to
be complacent about it.

~ David

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott David Gray" <sgray_at_sudval.org>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 3:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Isn't "certification" a form of
"evaluation" ?

> Scott Gray, from the Sudbury Valley School, here.
>
> Evaluations are made all of the time at our school.
>
> When staff elections take place, staff are evaluated for
> their posts.
> When elections for specific School Meeting posts take
> place, candidates are evaluated for those posts.
> When a person is being certified for the microwave in
> school, an evaluation is taking place to determine whether
> or not the person can use the equipment in a way that is
> safe (for the equipment and others).
> When a person is being certified for the computers in
> school, an evaluation is taking place to determine whether
> or not the person can use the equipment in a way that is
> safe (for the equipment and others).
> Etcetera.
>
> There is a difference between licensing a person and
> ranking a person.
>
> I'm happy that in order to be able to act as a public
> defender in Massachusetts, a person is evaluated by means of
> the bar exam.
> I'm happy that in order to drive a car, a person has to be
>

d on her/his ability to drive a car.
> I'm happy that when I employ a person, it is considered
> socially acceptable for me to try and choose between
> candidates, rather than giving the job out on a first-come
> first-serve basis.
> These are all examples of evaluations *for* a specific
> task, that are requested by the person seeking to *do* that
> task; whether that task is a specific job or role, or the
> ability to use particular pieces of equipment that may
> endanger the public good if used poorly.
>
> Grades are a different matter entirely.
> The review is rarely sought.
> In the end, performing well on your match / history /
> French quiz doesn't credential you for anything that
> actually preserves the public good, Instead, such tests are
> used as a means to rank people as *people*.
>
> An evaluation for the *sake* of evaluating or ranking is
> wrong. A person who is certified for the wood shop at a
> Sudbury school isn't considered an innately better or worse
> person than a person who isn't.
> But in a traditional school, the person who aces all of
> her/his tests *is* considered a better person, and the
> evaluations aren't done to protect people or property but
> for the person's "own good."
>
> In the end, these peculiarities show up the limitation of
> language. Each word is used by each person in a different
> way, in each context. And so, yes, 'certification' is a form
> of 'evaluation;' and Sudbury schools argue against arbitrary
> evaluation, sometimes shortening the term 'arbitrary
> evaluation' to the handy one-word term 'evaluation' or
> 'grades.'
> The key isn't the word. It is what is being said. That is
> why listening is an art. Because, in fact, understanding
> what another person is saying *isn't* only a matter of
> knowing what each word means. It also is a matter of knowing
> the range of meanings for each word or phrase or intonation
> used *in*that*context* by the person or people speaking. On
>
> Sun, 30 Oct 2005, David Rovner wrote:
>
> >
> > Isn't "certification" a form of "evaluation" ?
> >
> > ~ David
>
> --
>
> --Scott David Gray
> reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
> http://www.unseelie.org/
> ============================================================
> Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our
> intelligence by means of language.
>
> -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
> ============================================================
Received on Sun Oct 30 2005 - 12:21:53 EST

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