Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Dr. Phil on Profile of Planning 

"Fundamentally flawed� with �vague, full of jargon, untestable . . . content standards,� embracing the notion that �process [is] more important than content� and that there should be �no objective tests.�

Katherine Kersten uses these words today in a scathing indictment of Minnesota�s K-12 �Profile of Learning� program. Even Oprah�s replacement, Dr. Phil, echoes these sentiments daily when he says, �Waaal, yooou know that unless yooou set goals for your children that yooou can measure, yooou won�t get anywhere.�

Are not all these same obvious observations just as applicable to MnSCU�s strategic plan, that has no measurable objectives, and to SCSU�s new process of redefining �Priority Strategic Goals?� King earlier noted that they �have no endpoint [and] are no more than lip-sync for action.� Instead we�re supposed to be working hard at SCSU toward the �goal� of developing (maybe this decade?) some amorphous �KPIs� (Key Performance Indicators). [???]

Should anyone be surprised that during Minnesota�s current budget crisis, our Governor and most legislators want to cut funding for those who refuse to establish any quantifiable measures or standards that can be used to assess performance? No, duh! It's called accountability.