Skip to comments.13 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You(look at THIS BS)!
Posted on 09/08/2010 9:35:24 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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Touche! Nice return volley!! :-)
As a home school mother/teacher, I never taught to the test. I didn’t have access to nor did I know what would be on the standardized tests. I taught a well rounded rigorous curriculum and my child was top of the charts every year.
;^) Take care...
That's probably generally true in the suburban areas. BUT - and it's a big but - I don't think that's generally true in the urban areas. The level of incompetence and disinterest that's exhibited by a great many of our teachers in the big-city districts, is really quite astonishing.
As far as testing goes, it's really the only objective means to dole out federal money. And yes, I understand you don't want to dole out federal money. Neither do I. But, that's the practical reality we're in. School districts, especially in the urban areas are HIGHLY dependent on federal monies to keep them going. If they're going to continue to suckle on the public teat - at they will - I'd much rather have some idea how effective they are, even if that measuring mechanism is less than ideal.
So you don’t see anything wrong with taking the better part of a month to teach kids how to pass a test to the detriment of everything else they could be learning?? The problem is that the standardized tests are NOT ALIGNED with district curriculum. That’s the problem!!!
Teachers literally STOP teaching their regular curriculum, begin teaching the kids what is on the test and how to pass the test. Yes, I have a huge issue with that!
When I taught, it used to be a joke that our students thought American history ended with WWII because that’s as far as we ever got, year after year. Enormous amounts of history and science content, in particular, are lost when 2-3 months of a school year are spent trying to get kids to pass a test.
It’s nice to think that a standardized test given to millions of kids across the nation will be aligned with each district’s curriculum, but that isn’t even logical or reasonable. That’s why they all stop what they’re doing and focus on the test. They KNOW better.
Now, whether or not the test has value depends on the test. In Arizona we have had horrific “standardized” state tests in the past, and I’m sure our state isn’t unique.
I don’t happen to have much faith in standardized tests as an absolute measure of student learning or achievement. If a school district REALLY wanted an accurate measurement of student achievement using a standardized test, they would just announce to the kids on a Monday, “This week we’ll have two hours of tests each morning,” and see what happens.
When money and prestige are tied in with results, you can bet principals and teachers will do everything they can to get the right numbers, no matter what.
Are parochial schools still surviving in this chaos?
Sadly, far too many parochial schools have fallen to the 'voucher' trap. Many inner city and old surburb parochial schools have to rely on 'vouchers' to maintain an adequate student enrollment. Then the vicious cycle commences:-- dependent on vouchers, the schools lower their previous exacting teaching/lesson standards
-- with lower standards, parents that were previously thrilled with parochial standards are now aghast at the lower standards/discipline/progression
-- these parochial schools then experienced a drop in enrollment
-- consequently only low performing 'voucher' students remain and even future 'voucher' students may not apply
-- and the school is then precariously close to closing.
I agree with every thing you've said, and want to underscore this last paragraph. Yes, ideally that is absolutely what we as taxpayers should want for our schools. Unfortunately, the schools that are most deeply in crisis, are precisely the same schools that have the strongest teacher's unions that make it impossible to examine the individual teacher.
This is the danger with the collective bargaining process in any public/government union. The collective protects the individual. Until the unions are reigned in, America's public education system will continue its death spiral, unabated.
“Were sick of standardized testing and having to teach to the test.”
Why on earth would you be? If your lesson plans have any value at all, you should be able to accommodate the test easily. The key is to go beyond the basics.
“2-3 months of a school year are spent trying to get kids to pass a test.”
Ma’am, I teach and with all due respect if they did their job the other 7-8 months they wouldn’t be spending the last 2-3 catching up.
I can see this argument wrt to the sciences, but history?! Wow. I can see devoting a week to the test prep, but beyond that?
Yes, because it's federal money. As a practical matter, it would be impossible for the federal government to evaluate individual teachers. So, they evaluate individual schools and school districts.
If the school boards aren't using the information to take corrective action with the schools and the teachers, then that's their fault. But, it's not the fault of the test. So long as the schools take federal money - and they will continue to take federal money - then there should also be some federal accountability. That accountability manifests itself, at least in part, in the test.
“I taught a well rounded rigorous curriculum and my child was top of the charts every year.”
Yep, bravo! That’s really all it takes.
Don't even think about it, Dave. I will hunt you down!
I’ve been a tutor for years. I offer a guarantee, that I’ll get you an A, which means that if that doesn’t happen I don’t get paid.
Spare me the whining about standardised testing. At least with standardised testing I know what the student is going to face. Most of the time I have to try to divine the professor’s mind.
There should be a more standardised method of evaluating teachers as INDIVIDUALS not as a whole, and not at the school level. The market assesses my effectiveness, because if I’m terrible, I make no money. Teachers are insulated from this by the federal funding for schools.
“And the reason for standardized tests is to INSURE that students know and understand basic information. Why is that so hard to understand?”
Exactly. If the standard for grade-x is “US History to x-level,” or “add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions,” what else are they being taught? If having to bring students up to a uniform standard of knowledge is getting in the way of social engineering and putting condoms on cucumbers then I’m all for it.
I think the only homework in elementary school should be 30 minutes of reading. That’s it. If they can’t read, then they their parents can sit and read with them. It also helps with getting them to sleep.
First graders do not need to be writing after school or doing pages of math homework. They also don’t need to be doing projects.
The “regular curriculum” is, in many cases, largely BS and feel-good and self-esteem. The state tests guarantee that the pupils will learn something of what was a few generations ago called education. The real eye-opener for me was when the local district adopted Saxon Math for Elementary school then dropped it after a couple of years because the teachers felt useless because the slightly more motivated students were able to learn the subject solely from the material. The teachers felt cut out of the loop. They went back to the mystification of math that all the other, more “popular” series promote. I have looked closely at a number of Math Series. I could teach myself algebra from Saxon. I could not make anything out of the others. They multiply words and lead students up weird paths and omit information so that the duller teachers will have something to do. Thank God the politicians instituted standard tests and the teachers have to teach to them. The kids have to learn something that is real that might not contribute to the Unions’ fantasies about Self-Esteem and Environmentalism.
For a few talented, perceptive, and motivated teachers the tests can, indeed, be limiting, but for the great majority it is what allows their students to know a little of real academic subjects before they graduate.
But the real puzzler is, if people cared for their children and their futures, the kids would not be in public school at all.
Predictions of just such developments were made by numerous posters on FR when Vouchers were first being debated and promoted.