It’s the focus on broken metrics, silly

Gadi Amit, American Design Schools Are a Mess, and Produce Weak Graduates:

Employers like me and my peers need evidence that a new hire has what it takes to hit the ground running. And, given the lack of consistency in design school training, we’re forced to put more weight on portfolio reviews or evidence of skills learned through internships than academic credentials.

Robert Cringely, Ich Hasse Hausaufgaben (I Hate Homework):

American education, perhaps because of the No Child Left Behind Act, has become a testing nightmare. Metrics are everything and much of the curriculum is now intended not to educate but rather to pass the damned tests. It is precisely analogous to what I discovered thirty years ago investigating the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, where reactor operators were trained to pass the operator test, not to actually operate the reactor. When things went wrong — when they went beyond the scripted scenarios — the operators had no idea what was happening inside that containment. Channing’s curriculum, too, tends to be 100 miles wide and an inch deep.

What’s wrong is the focus on broken metrics. Change the incentives and you can change the system.

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