THE WINDOW FROM WHICH WE LOOK
A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
"That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."
Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:
"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."
The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look!
This can be found on myriad web sites, but always attributable to “unknown.”
What does this have to do with assessment? Think about that for a moment. The wife saw a problem which she attributed to her neighbor. Her husband assessed the situation and based on that assessment correctly identified the problem, easily solving it by merely cleaning the windows.
Assessment or program evaluation is one of the great, often unappreciated heroes of top performance. In many cases it may be a blessing in disguise. As we embrace assessment, we learn things about ourselves or our programs that we previously looked at through dirty windows. We gain new insight into our processes, our people, and our reality. We find ways to support requests for additional resources, or ways to use the resources we already have more wisely and efficiently. The key is to embrace assessment and commit to quality. Assessment also helps us to tell our story in an interesting way. We want people to know our story. We want them to see our commitment to quality and excellence. We want them to talk about us. We want the world to know who we are and what we do. We want them to know that we lead our peer institutions is best assessment practices. We want our windows to be clear so that the world will truly be impressed by our glow. Assessment will help us glow!
― Dr. Angela Koponen