Monday, June 27, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Tom Vander Ark and the End of the Big Test

CURMUDGUCATION: Tom Vander Ark and the End of the Big Test:

Tom Vander Ark and the End of the Big Test


It's good to step away from present arguments from time to time and look at what folks said about particular issues back when they were laying groundwork. And when it comes to competency based education, it is always instructive to set the Wayback Machine and travel back through the writings of Tom Vander Ark.

Vander Ark has been a prolific and active advocate for reformsterism. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines (on a football scholarship) with a BA in Mineral Engineering (1981), then moved on to University of Denver for an MBA in energy finances (1984). Then from 1986 to 1993 he was Vice President of PACE membership warehouse, which was supposed to be K-mart's answer to Sam's Club.  From there, Vander Ark went on to a short stint at Capgemini, a multinational consulting group.

And then, somehow, Tom Vander Ark became the superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools in Washington state. It's entirely possible that somewhere in his prodigious volume of writing, Vander Ark has explained how a with zero education background gets hired as a school district superintendent, but I haven't found it anywhere-- the vast ocean of glowing press always recaps his career as if it began as a school superintendent. And he was hired in 1994, before every little piece of news was dutifully transcribed for the internet. 
CURMUDGUCATION: Tom Vander Ark and the End of the Big Test:

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