The Tyranny of Metrics

The Tyranny of Metrics

Jerry Z. Muller

Accountability metrics are less likely to be effective when they are imposed from above, using standardized formulas developed by those far from active engagement with the activity being measured. Measurements are more likely to be meaningful when they are developed from the bottom up, with input from teachers, nurses, and the cop on the beat. That means asking those with the tacit knowledge that comes from direct experience to provide suggestions about how to develop appropriate performance standards. 2 Try to involve a representative group of those who will have a stake in the outcomes. 3 In the best of cases, they should continue to be part of the process of evaluating the measured data.

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