The “Lake Wobegon” phenomenon: all the children are above average.
It will not be surprising if standardized-test cheating is extremely widespread. The Federal regime requires the schools to show improving results, and yet they are unable to actually produce improved student performance. “What choice do they have” but to cheat?
A substantial proportion of the students simply can’t read and do arithmetic, and once they get past about 4th grade, it’s never fixed. Why can’t they read and do arithmetic? One can offer a lot of sociological theses, but a major reason is that they are simply not taught. But don’t “bash” the teachers: they’re heroes for spending all day with the children the parents would rather die than be around.
Yes. There are certainly bad teachers out there, but I put most of the blame on the students and their families. The Buffalo teachers' union [I'm no fan] is fighting the state now to exclude chronically truant students from teacher evaluations. It only seems right, but the state won't have any of it.
The teachers are being made to take the fall for the bureaucracy's unwillingness to confront the social issues of race and chaotic families.
Please read my post #15.
It could be that government schools teach very little. It could be that 99% of what a child can and will learn is due to the **afterschooling** done by the parents. Sadly, this "afterschooling" has never been measured. It could be that we are spending up to a quarter of million dollars for a child to go to 13 or more years of government schooling and the **real** learning is due to the work done by the parents and child **in the home***!!!
But dont bash the teachers: theyre heroes for spending all day with the children the parents would rather die than be around.
In medicine would it be appropriate to bash well-meaning and hard working quacks? Yes, I think it would.
Teachers are supposed to be "professionals" yet no even one of them can prove that what they do in the classroom is effective. The reason for this is that **afterschooling** and its major contribution to a child's learning has **never** been measured! Yes, these teacher may be working very hard and may be very well-meaning and sincere, but their "treatment" might be completely ineffective and utterly bogus.
Unless afterschoooling and the hard work done by parents and the child **in the home** is measured and taken into account it is impossible to know if any government school is effective at teaching anything at all.
So true . . . and yet I checked the page where you could type in a school district to see if it had unusual results, and 'Lake Wobegon' isn't among those districts that showed unusual results (smirk).
It will not be surprising if standardized-test cheating is extremely widespread. The Federal regime requires the schools to show improving results, and yet they are unable to actually produce improved student performance.
Both of us have posted earlier on this topic. Today's report suggests that the amount of cheating on the standardized tests used for determining Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a national shame. To me, there are two separate topics and arguing one doesn't affect the other.
There is no justification for the cheating. I understand that school districts could have faced federal remedial steps (if the failure to meet AYP had occurred two or more years in a row), that administrators put pressure on their sycophants, those sycophants put pressure on principals, and principals put pressure on teachers. It doesn't justify changing answers on test forms, telling students the correct answers, or the other forms of cheating. I'm simply not a believe in situational ethics at that level.
On the other hand, conservatives didn't like John Boehner's/George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind back in 2001. It's possible for a conservative now to say parts of that bill were bad law then and still are bad law without excusing the probably criminal acts of these teachers and administrators.
Take the fifth-grade AYP under No Child Left Behind, for example. Each year, a school's fifth graders must do better than the previous year's group of fifth graders on the standardized test, or else the school faces the possibility of remedial steps. Let me repeat: each year they must score better than the previous year.
If you're on a diet, it's like saying "great, you lost four pounds this month; that mean you must lose at least five pounds next month or else you'll face federal government sanctions." If you lose five pounds next month, then you have to lose at least six the following month, or else you failed and may face federal sanctions.
At some point, isn't the performance good enough that you shouldn't have to beat it the next year?