Show Me What You Measure in Your School, and I’ll Tell You What You Value | INTELIGENCIA GLOBAL |
We measure more than ever in our schools. We have careful records of student coursework, cumulative grade point average, a myriad of test scores, retention rates, and all sorts of other things. People can give you their best arguments for the importance of what they measure. GPA is a strong predictor of future success, they argue. Test scores help us measure the effectiveness of our academic programs. As we do such things, the measurements themselves become the center of attention. We make entry into to National Honor Societies primarily a celebration of a certain GPA, as if that is the most important sign of “outstanding” students (part of the NHS mission statement). We we find ourselves building programs around raising numbers instead of achieving real goals, amplifying values, or more effectively living out our missions in learning communities.

Yet, measurement is useful. We tend to measure (even if informally and qualitatively) what is important to us. We pay attention to and track our progress when something is a high priority. This is even true in our most important relationships. As such, I’ve come to believe that there are two quick ways for me to get a sense of what is most important to a learning organization. Just let me see the line items in their budget and a list of what they measure on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. Those two sources of data give a good, albeit not complete, sense of priorities.

Via Miloš Bajčetić