Sunday, June 5, 2011

Creativity: No Basis for Judgment

I read one of the saddest, yet most infuriating, comments last week and I feel compelled to share it here. As my Director of Admissions and I were reviewing a stack of admissions applications, she came across a most telling comment by a teacher on a teacher recommendation form for one of our candidates. She nearly dropped the file. "Oh! My! Gosh! You must read this!"

Like most teacher recommendation forms used by admissions offices across the country, our teacher recs include a table on which a recommending teacher evaluates a candidate based on a variety of categories and scores him/her as "exceptional," "above average," "average," and so on. One of the categories on the teacher rec is "Creativity." Sadly, this particular teacher's recommendation form did not score this particular candidate for "Creativity" at all. Instead, this teacher wrote off to the side of the "Creativity" row "No basis for judgment."

Let that sink in for a moment. A high school teacher from an above-average high school in Houston, Texas, in the year 2011, actually wrote, actually admitted, that she had "no basis for judgment" of a student's creativity. What subject did she teach (and, at this point, I use the term "teach" loosely)? Drum roll please... English. Seriously?

What a tragedy.

1 comment:

bless b said...

Wow, i'm astonished! An English teacher at an above average high school doesn't have a basis to judge creativity. I don't know if i'm more ashamed of the teacher or the school district. Are we taking the fun and creativity out of learning so that schools can say their students met state criteria? I've talked to various teachers and the main consensus is they are unable to teach and use creativity due to all the state test requirements and mandates of NCLB. As i read this article my heart went out to the student who was counting on the teacher's recommendation. I wonder if the student was accepted to this college? Well, if the teacher had no basis to judge creativity in an important subject like English; what other subject would be left to really judge creativity:(