Goal of 80% Does Not Work in Music Education

By John Gardner

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 3.49.14 PMThe opinion editor of the school newspaper writes about the new S.L.O (Student Learning Objectives) teacher evaluation process.

S.L.O. is part of the State Department of Education’s RISE Evaluation Model for schools and teachers. If you want to get a feel for the complexity of this model and evaluation process, visit the IDOE site on RISE and watch the video on Student Learning Objectives.

In that model, teachers are to strive for an 80% ‘mastery’ on the final. Would you accept 80% accuracy (mastery) from:

  • the other drivers obeying 80% of the traffic rules and signals?
  • your surgeon, doctor, or orthodontist?
  • the police, fire or ambulance finding your house when you call 911?
  • the architect and construction crew who designed your house, school or office building….?
  • the engineers who coordinate the traffic signals?
  • the railroad crossing lights and gates?
  • the fire alarm at school — or the smoke detector in your home?
  • your pilot?
  • your alarm clock?
  • your instrumental or vocal ensemble?

We can’t accept 80% accuracy in music education.

In the video presentation below, entitled, “When an ‘A’ is not good enough“, you will hear the musical evidence that even 100% is not good enough, but rather, the expectation of excellence should be 100% accuracy PLUS ARTISTRY!
[embedplusvideo height=”548″ width=”695″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/KpyzGO2aQzE?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=KpyzGO2aQzE&width=695&height=548&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep3111″ /]

17 yrs experience as a high school band director. 14 yrs as college adjunct faculty. 30+ yrs in the fundraising industry and 24 yrs as a small business owner. (Don't add all those up.). Experience in both the fundraising sales and education worlds give me a unique combination of perspectives in both. I love working with the youthful enthusiasm of today's teenage achievers and with those who work with them. Also 4yrs as proprietor of VirtualMusicOffice.com, which offers a wide variety of virtual services including web/blog design/hosting/managing, social media management (scheduling posts/tweets for maximum impact and brand enhancement) and small business consulting - specializing in school product fundraising.

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