The Inspiration of Operational Definitions

Here’s something I have found inspiring:

Kentucky Department of Education Literacy Standards
What it means to be College and Career Ready … the footnote says “sixth grade,” but only because it’s the general preface to more specific Middle and High School Standards which follow.

This is what it means to be “ready for college,” according to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

I got this from the Kentucky Department of Education website.* [In other words, anyone who wants to can get this.]

Here’s what strikes me as inspirational about it:

It’s eloquent testimony to the hopes, aspirations, and expectations of educators in the state.

It’s a vision of what the teachers who [mostly] send students to my classes are working day after day and year after year to accomplish: to lead young people to be this version of themselves.

It’s a vision I feel called to keep faith with in my own classes: this is who you’ve been led to be, what you’ve been trained to be able to do, so now let’s use that to go farther, both in developing some content expertise, and in exploring questions that matter to people.

Plus, it’s a good reminder: we could all be so ready, really. All the time.

[*] I find this narrative treatment easier to wrap my head around than the rubrics developed by the Indiana Department of Education, which nevertheless seem to reflect similar expectations.


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