Category Archives: Mike Kaechele

#standardizethat live

Here is my ignite talk. If you ever get a chance to do one, go for it. It was both one of the most horrifying, best experiences of my career.

The script and slides are posted here.

#standardizethat

The video of this talk has now been posted and you can watch it here.

Today I gave an Ignite talk at New Tech Annual Conference. It was intense. I will share the video later but I wanted to share my script and slides here:



#standardizethat by Mike Kaechele
This talk is dedicated to all of the politicians and ed reformers who think we can standardize our way into improving the American education system. I would like to share the things that I think that they should focus on standardizing instead.  

You have probably heard the saying that “weighing a pig doesn’t make it fatter” so what then is the real purpose of the “standardization” obsession in this country? It is about comparing. School vs. school, state vs. state. We are now obsessed with comparing children with each other while we race to the top to leave no child behind.

Standardization is also about conformity to someone’s ideal of what an American citizen should be. We need everyone to know the exact same stuff and to be able to demonstrate it in the exact same way: bubble sheets and 5-point essays.

I would measure school differently. My main measurement of effectiveness would be “Do students want to come to your school or class?” Is your school a real community that students want to be at. Community.
#standardizethat

Our students wake up at 5:00am or earlier to catch long bus rides to arrive at school before 7am because they want to be here. Why? Relationships.
#standardizethat

Parents comment that they don’t have to fight with their child to get out of bed to go to school because they want to go to school for the first time ever. Schools that are places that care about students. Love.     
#standardizethat

Students who love life, learning, and people. Students who share happiness with all that they meet. Joy.
#standardizethat

The one word students use to describe our school is “family.” Our students come from 20 districts across our county including urban, suburban, and rural. They represent many ethnicities and previous levels of success in school. Family.
#standardizethat

Students who work with all kinds of people not just their friends and build upon each others’ strengths. Students who work together to solve big problems impossible to achieve alone. Collaboration.
#standardizethat

Mary created a fun memes page on Facebook about our school and later a freshman survival guide video. No, she didn’t have to. No, she wasn’t graded. Creativity.
#standardizethat

In problem based learning students think deeply to solve authentic problems. Students also direct their own learning through voice and choice in what they study and how they present it. Choices.
#standardizethat

We ended the year with a world simulation where students took over and “ran the world.” They made treaties, fought wars, negotiated and called a world conference on their own. They came to me before and after school to tell me their strategies. Problem-solving.
#standardizethat

I watched my students get concerned about injustice in the world such as the Holocaust, genocides, racism, women’s rights in the Arab Spring protests, and the effects of war.
Students who care about democracy, human rights, and justice. Empathy.
#standardizethat

You see I care more about my students being caring human beings than their test scores. Caring.
#standardizethat
 

Students learning how to speak in public about what they are learning and what they care about. Communication.
#standardizethat

In PBL students can demonstrate their learning through creative ways. One pair of girls made a mock up of glamour magazine critiquing society’s worship of women’s bodies. Fighting stereotypes.
#standardizethat

Students are controlled in schools. Don’t touch this. Don’t talk out of turn. Don’t..bla,bla, bla… At our school students can eat and drink in class, and move freely without a pass. Students are the ones who created the norms for how everyone should be treated in class. Respect.
#standardizethat

Students are not some kind of widget that can all be taught the exact same way like a part is fashioned on an assembly line. Students need to have their individual needs met. Personalization.
#standardizethat

My son wants to be a geologist and loves rocks. This year he had no science until 2nd semester because it is not a tested subject. Students should be given freedom in the curriculum to explore their passions. Passions.
#standardizethat

I gave a collaborative, open internet test. You know the way real historians work. Peyton said, “ I wrote a lot. This test was fun. I hope we do this again.” Love of learning.
#standardizethat

Anna on Facebook said, “People count down the days until the end of school, but I count down the days of summer! Look what this school has done!!!! It makes me dread summer!!!” Acceptance and belonging.
#standardizethat

Hey politician and ed reformer, you want to make sure no child gets left behind?
Community, relationships, love, joy, family, collaboration, creativity, choices, problem solving, empathy, caring, communication, fighting stereotypes, respect, personalization, passions, love of learning, acceptance and belonging.
#standardizethese for every child in every classroom and you will not have to worry about the rest of their education.