The NFL Draft Has Lots To Teach Administrators [Edutopia]

Jose VilsonResources2 Comments

Tyrann Mathieu at the NFL Scouting Combine

Tyrann Mathieu at the NFL Scouting Combine

Here’s my recent article comparing the way the NFL recruits players in their scouting combine to what public education currently does.

Stats and Equations vs. the Team as an Ecosystem

Trying to develop equations for player effectiveness doesn’t always work well. ESPN tried to develop its own quarterback equation, but found it wasn’t that simple. Each throw a quarterback made or run he scored on needed additional eyes to assure that the numbers accurately reflected his performance. While people may base salaries on individual statistics, the ones that matter most to executives and fans alike are whether the entire team wins.

Looking at teacher evaluation is a difficult prospect, especially since we’re often trying to measure the intangibles. Yet we have elements of the profession that we can include in a fair system for all. Characteristics like temperament, persistence and resilience matter more than test scores, especially in schools, because it’s here that collaboration, not competitiveness, reigns supreme. Developing schools that see themselves as an ecosystem from teacher all the way through superintendent or chancellor gives us as chance to replicate real success.

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Comments 2

  1. Can’t resist going another step with the sports and team metaphor. I’ve been watching a lot of basketball this year (Warriors fans finally having some fun!), and I’m often struck by the plays that don’t show up in stats. Take a guy like Warriors reserve Draymond Green. Plays the tough defense so his man has to stop the dribble. Steph Curry swoops in for the steal and gets the stat, but Green played the D. Next possession, Green seals his man off the boards but the rebound goes to Carl Landry – stat for Landry, made possible by Green. Later on, Green makes a heads-up outlet pass to Curry who hits Harrison Barnes for the dunk. Assist to Curry, points for Barnes, but Green had to start it off.
    Okay, I’m just having fun remembering the Warriors game last night, but back at school, there are plenty of unsung heroes and invisible assists. Sometimes its teachers who have an outsized effect on their peers. Sometimes it’s a librarian who knows the kids and teachers well enough to provide the right kind of support (academic or otherwise) at the right time. Sometimes it’s the school secretary who speaks more Spanish than almost any of the teachers or administrators and continually makes the school more accessible and welcoming because it’s her nature to do so even if it’s not in her job description. Ecosystem indeed!

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