Royal Fireworks Press News & Blog

Evaluation

Posted on: 08/17/2015

I’ve always had a certain mistrust of evaluation. Haven’t you, too?

by Michael Clay Thompson, author of the Royal Fireworks Language Arts Curriculum

The warning signs are plentiful. Do you remember that wonderful paper you wrote, that the professor misunderstood, or criticized not because it was bad but because it jangled his preferences? Do you remember the papers you tried to grade (think about that word)…tried to grade, and part of you knew that the grading process was in very large degree a subjective approximation? Do you remember the student you tried to explain her B to, and something in the conversation made you realize you had gotten it wrong? Do you remember the program you tried to evaluate, but you half-realized that the “instrument” (metaphor alert, metaphor alert) you were using was only a set of preferences asserted by a representative committee, and that somehow a really extraordinary program wound up with low marks?

It is SO difficult.

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