Who comes up with these names? Dynamic Learning Maps? Really? When the U.S. Department of Education wants Delaware to implement changes, it is up to the Delaware Department of Education to come up with how they do it. What does Delaware do? They join a consortium with taxpayer dollars. We now have the latest from the DOE, Dynamic Learning Maps. What are they?
The name actually comes from the Dynamic Learning Maps Consortium which is a part of ATLAS. ATLAS stands for the Accessible Teaching Learning & Assessment Systems based at the University of Kansas. I wish I could say I was making this up. I can’t. I’m sorry for that.
Delaware has two state representatives involved with the DLMC (I can’t keep typing out Dynamic Learning Maps without busting out laughing. Here I go again). They are Michelle Jackson who is there for special education and Theresa Bennett who represents assessments. You can read about Delaware’s role in the DLMC here.
These changes are meant to get wide of grade band standards for alternate assessments. Why? They no longer pass peer review. Really folks, I’m just typing all this stuff. I have no idea what this really means. Perhaps the handy-dandy presentation coming up at Thursday’s State Board of Education will fill you in.
2 thoughts on “What The Heck Are Dynamic Learning Maps?”
I am a mostly “concerned parent” than “the one in the know” but I am willing to sit through and learn all of this gobledy-gook.
However, and this is my largest question, how does it make us, parents, better involved? Or is it just one of those internal to “The System” idiosyncratic (I cannot think of any better terms) complex reactions produced by the complex system that in plenty unclear terms claim to “improve how The System works”? (Which inevitably prompts one to reason “If The System wasn’t working that well before, where are the guarantees it will work any better now?”). In short, what’s in it for us, parents and students?
Helplessly witnessing many similar attempts during the previous 10+ years I can only wonder “now what?” because – a – complex systems rarely if ever change in the predictable ways, they usually produce even more complex responses that complicate matters even worse before one way or the other something self-corrects and actually make it all more or less work kind of in the ways needed – b – since we are talking about a system that is complex enough that the first attempt at changing anything will produce the counter-reaction resisting change (aka “the more things change the more they stay the same”), in all likeness nothing much better will come out of it once the initial counter-reaction commences.
My favorite saying I’ve heard whilst working at MBNA went like this “we spin the wheels as fast as we can, but we are not moving anywhere” (actually, a rocking horse experiment will illustrate it even better – the motto for such goes “don’t confuse motion and progress” – and I wholeheartedly nominate the rocking horse for the DoE official mascot).
Now, my personal experience dealing with anything “dynamic” (as in “dynamic career planning”) at the level of the high school is rather negative. Not only my kids were not able to take all the classes they wanted at the times they thought would be worthwhile, they were forced to trade one for the other, and at the end due to the opaque and completely mysterious (to me, the parent) process of “planning by the board and the school” ended up studying only partially (and one of them ended up with empty “study periods” – just what in the world are those? – I completely understand that some students under-performing and should be nudged up to even out the class tally so that the school would not look too bad, but why squander my kids’ time at school while they could be studying what they wanted?). Furthermore, due to mysterious “not enough interest” reasons some of the teachers needed for the subjects were not hired – and I am even to this day puzzled why are we forced to make this sacrifice? Is there some kind of military regime that commands who can be hired and who cannot because of “low interest”? And, furthermore, even if it was some budgetary restrictions, to me this sends the red flag that the school board is asleep at the steering wheel – not?
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Now, I work as a programmer – and 20+ years of such has got to be enough to qualify me at least at the intermediate level (and in all fairness, if you name a programming language quite likely I’ve either run across it or even attempted at studying and/or applying it – in addition to the “main set” that I specialize on). I am really not much of an expert at dynamic programming but this buzzword is not what it means in the programmers’ world – “… is a method for solving a complex problem by breaking it down into a collection of simpler subproblems, solving each of those subproblems just once, and storing their solutions using a memory-based data structure …”. I would love to see THAT implemented exactly the same way with DoE! Because if this would have been the case (imaginary, of course), then we would have the opportunity to actually save what worked best in the past in local “memory segments” where they could be fetched fast without repeating the same mistakes that required the same solutions!