High-stakes testing season is upon us and budget cuts are in the news daily. Teachers are carrying the burden. I can honestly say that in 36 years in education, I have really only met a few teachers that weren’t very good. Teachers are some of the hardest working, most ingenious, creative people I know and really need our encouragement now. Although I realize that most of you who read “tuesdays” are teachers, would you please go out of your way today and thank a teacher for all they do. Find a colleague who is discouraged and do a random act of kindness or something that will brighten their day. Teaching is truly the profession that begins all professions and we need to find ways to ensure that our profession is regarded with the respect and dignity it deserves. This week’s “tuesdays” is a look at the implications of education on all of us. Very interesting.
A creative website
The American Human Development Project has designed an open website, The Common Good Forecaster, that shows how education benefits us all. This highly interactive study shows how more education leads to better jobs and higher incomes. In turn, when America is more educated there are benefits in all areas of living: health, life expectancy, voter turnout and more. (Sounds like a thank a teacher moment!) The designers of the study define Human Development as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. It’s about the freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live. They have also created a “Well-O-Meter” to see how you personally measure up on the American Human Development Index. Take the challenge. It only takes a few minutes. There are hundreds of downloadable reports and data sets to support the findings. The most fun is clicking around through all the states to compare the state of education and the wellness of our nation.
An image to share
I create an image of the results of my “Well-O-Meter” survey and was pleased to rate a 10!
“Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.” Mark Twain
Try to take some time to play on The Common Good Forecaster. It’s very revealing. I didn’t get a chance to click on all the states, but Connecticut and Colorado seemed to be doing the best. It’s amazing how reading correlates to our overall well-being. Please share this site with your middle and high school students. It will be interesting to hear back with their reaction and interpretations. Math and science teachers will have data sets for graphing using these real world examples. It even allows you to adjust the findings with sliders that allow for imagined “what if” scenarios. If you can read this website, thank a teacher!
How do you do that?
The Common Good Forecaster is customizable with all the “what ifs” you can image, but I think it is important first to click on your state and see how its doing. Begin with education and check the kids’ achievement in reading to see the percentage of 8th graders on grade level. It’s not so healthy. The Health tab gives life expectancy that amazingly correlates to the reading levels. Clicking around in the financial stability tab yield average income, poverty level and unemployment percentages. The final tab is an anomaly as it presents voting percent and incarceration rates together which show a direct relationship with education. We need our teachers more than ever. Thank you to teachers everywhere and especially those who know it is their high calling.
As always, I am