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(BBC)   Teachers threaten to boycott standardized tests for five year olds   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 71
    More: Interesting, Torquay, standardized test, Department for Education, eggs, Year One  
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4777 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2012 at 2:01 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-08 09:50:45 AM  
Really, nothing about NUTs or John Homes?
 
2012-04-08 10:31:40 AM  
As much as I enjoy seeing the lights flicker off in 20-something corporate drones, it's best in the long run to crush peoples' dreams early. Preferably, before they have them. So five or six may be a little late to call someone a failure.
 
2012-04-08 12:57:06 PM  
shiat like this is why I teach my kids how to game standardized tests.
 
2012-04-08 02:05:08 PM  
images.wikia.com

5 year olds should not have standardized tests. They should be assessed individually on their motor, language and social skills.
 
2012-04-08 02:06:16 PM  
They need to have a standardized test which is designed to find 100% of the takers autistic. Parents in America will be knocking down the doors to get at that one.
 
2012-04-08 02:12:33 PM  
Good.
 
2012-04-08 02:13:25 PM  
damn 5 year olds getting a pass again.

Tired of them milking the system.
 
2012-04-08 02:13:27 PM  
Could they even do a written test? Like srsly.
 
2012-04-08 02:17:27 PM  
No one is born knowing calculus. Knowledge is not innate, it is taught. Not one "genius" ever did anything without first being taught, from a teacher or from a book.

That's why we have schools. You know, to teach people things

The idea that you need to sift through the great mass of humanity to find the few gems who actually know how to think is a misanthropic delusion, and that's the sick fallacy these tests reinforce.

When you teach the great mass of humanity and bring them up to a greater level, you improve society as a whole.
 
2012-04-08 02:19:11 PM  
Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.
 
2012-04-08 02:23:55 PM  
A standardized test for a 5 year old? Are you FARKING KIDDING ME?
 
2012-04-08 02:24:50 PM  
It's utterly ridiculous. When I was in high school, I had one math class a year. Now the standard is two, one math and one "math support". Students taking just the regular math class are considered Advanced.

The Georgia school system.

You're doing it wrong.
 
2012-04-08 02:25:11 PM  
On one hand, it really is sad to make a five year old feel like a failure. On the other hand, if a five year old is too stupid to pass a dumbed-down, state-mandated phonics test, s/he really should start accepting that feeling sooner rather than later.
 
2012-04-08 02:29:23 PM  

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.


notsureifserious.jpg
 
2012-04-08 02:38:55 PM  
At 5 years old, I'm just happy they are potty trained. Now if we can only teach them to keep their fingers out of their noses....
 
2012-04-08 02:39:37 PM  

MoronLessOff: letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

notsureifserious.jpg


You can be sure.
 
2012-04-08 02:45:02 PM  

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.


Hahaha no.
 
2012-04-08 02:46:37 PM  
There are quite a few things that can be measured as far as a five year old's knowledge goes. Counting numbers, simple addition and subtraction of single and two digit numbers. Letter to word sounds and the ability to read Dolch words. The local school district measures all of those things along with some more subjective items.

A five year old who can read 200 Dolch words belongs in a different classroom than one who doesn't know the alphabet. If you don't measure and look for that, you end up underserving at both ends of the spectrum.
 
2012-04-08 02:52:33 PM  
This sounds like a great idea. And any 5 year old that can't sit still or pay attention long enough will have to be medicated. They're clearly mentally ill.
 
2012-04-08 02:54:31 PM  

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.


Nice one.
 
2012-04-08 02:54:51 PM  
How did Western Civilization survive all these centuries without standardized tests?

/Thanks GOODNESS someone is thinking of the children....
//The mind wobbles...
 
2012-04-08 02:58:33 PM  
Some bad teachers don't like standardized testing - they don't want to be evaluated at all.

Some bad teachers like standardized testing - it tells them what to do (teach to the test).

Most good teachers don't like standardized testing - they are smart enough to realize they have to play the game (teach to the test) to defend their professional standing, but also recognize that this process prevents them from teaching to the best of their abilities because good teaching isn't just knowledge transfer. There's a whole range of difficult-to-quantify skills and sensibilities that can't be evaluated by a standardized test.

Everyone thinks teaching is easy - anyone can do it. If that's the case, then why are we so obsessed with evaluating teachers?

Evaluation should happen in teacher education programs - don't let the stupid people become teachers. The field is competitive enough now (in Canada anyway) that if we failed the stupid people out of teacher college we could scrap the standardized testing and let the professionals do their job.
 
2012-04-08 03:00:19 PM  

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.


Spoken like someone who has never taught before. Good teachers hate standardized tests as much as those "bad" boogiemen teachers do. Standardized tests are a horrible metric for determining any child's success, they severely restrict what can be taught, and it encourages rote memorization over creative thinking/engineering skills. The list goes on and on.
 
2012-04-08 03:03:04 PM  
Gonad the Ballbarian: How did Western Civilization survive all these centuries without standardized tests?

How did Western Civilization survive all these centuries without antibiotics?

Perhaps they need to cover logical fallacies in one of them.
 
2012-04-08 03:05:13 PM  

SuperKate: Some bad teachers don't like standardized testing - they don't want to be evaluated at all.

Some bad teachers like standardized testing - it tells them what to do (teach to the test).

Most good teachers don't like standardized testing - they are smart enough to realize they have to play the game (teach to the test) to defend their professional standing, but also recognize that this process prevents them from teaching to the best of their abilities because good teaching isn't just knowledge transfer. There's a whole range of difficult-to-quantify skills and sensibilities that can't be evaluated by a standardized test.

Everyone thinks teaching is easy - anyone can do it. If that's the case, then why are we so obsessed with evaluating teachers?

Evaluation should happen in teacher education programs - don't let the stupid people become teachers. The field is competitive enough now (in Canada anyway) that if we failed the stupid people out of teacher college we could scrap the standardized testing and let the professionals do their job.


It (at least here in the States), goes even deeper than that. Here the teachers are nothing more than glorified babysitters. They cannot discipline the unruly kids without their parents threatening a lawsuit.

So they (the school boards) pretty much tie their hands behind their backs and let the inmates run the asylum.

The school I went to was notorious for being an infestering hell-hole and that was 20 years ago. I can only imagine how deep it has sunk, since them
 
2012-04-08 03:23:37 PM  
whizbangthedirtfarmer: Standardized tests are a horrible metric for determining any child's success, they severely restrict what can be taught, and it encourages rote memorization over creative thinking/engineering skills.

It might be practical to give teachers the leeway to set lesson plans, if the teachers actually *were* Lucas Tanner, Gabe Kotter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mr Chips.

But they're not like that at all, are they? Some of them are in a career of last resort, wouldn't you agree? The teacher's unions have been more than a bit resistant in weeding out the dregs, haven't they?

Every time that some teacher whips out a fife, and another pulls up a snare drum, and then they play a vaguely patriotic tune softly in the background whilst a third teacher drones on about the arte and magick of teaching, it makes me wanna puke.
 
2012-04-08 03:48:25 PM  

letrole: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Standardized tests are a horrible metric for determining any child's success, they severely restrict what can be taught, and it encourages rote memorization over creative thinking/engineering skills.

It might be practical to give teachers the leeway to set lesson plans, if the teachers actually *were* Lucas Tanner, Gabe Kotter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mr Chips.

But they're not like that at all, are they? Some of them are in a career of last resort, wouldn't you agree? The teacher's unions have been more than a bit resistant in weeding out the dregs, haven't they?

Every time that some teacher whips out a fife, and another pulls up a snare drum, and then they play a vaguely patriotic tune softly in the background whilst a third teacher drones on about the arte and magick of teaching, it makes me wanna puke.


images.sodahead.com
 
2012-04-08 03:48:55 PM  

letrole: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Standardized tests are a horrible metric for determining any child's success, they severely restrict what can be taught, and it encourages rote memorization over creative thinking/engineering skills.

It might be practical to give teachers the leeway to set lesson plans, if the teachers actually *were* Lucas Tanner, Gabe Kotter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mr Chips.

But they're not like that at all, are they? Some of them are in a career of last resort, wouldn't you agree? The teacher's unions have been more than a bit resistant in weeding out the dregs, haven't they?


Okay, so once you've dissolved the teacher's unions and fired all the bad teachers, then what are you gonna do? Just shove all the students into 50+ student classes so they can all get the superior education they deserve even tho classes that size guarantee *nobody* gets an education worth a damn?

biatching about teacher's unions covering for shiatty teachers and saying they should go doesn't actually *solve* anything, man.
 
2012-04-08 03:50:10 PM  
What a bunch of NUTs.

/testicles
 
2012-04-08 04:00:58 PM  

SuperKate: Most good teachers don't like standardized testing - they are smart enough to realize they have to play the game (teach to the test) to defend their professional standing, but also recognize that this process prevents them from teaching to the best of their abilities because good teaching isn't just knowledge transfer.


Good teaching isn't just knowledge transfer.... if that was the case you could just give the kid a textbook and be done with it. However, the transfer of knowledge from teach to student is the point of teaching and if a student isn't learning some of the blame has to go to the teacher.
 
2012-04-08 04:01:22 PM  

MoronLessOff: 5 year olds should not have standardized tests. They should be assessed individually on their motor, language and social skills.


This is by far the dumbest thing on this thread so far. It's even dumber than anything letrolle could come up with, and he's trying.

Standardized testing is how you assess children individually. If you don't want to assess them, fine. But if you want to assess them you have to have standards to compare them against.
 
2012-04-08 04:04:04 PM  
AdrienVeidt: biatching about teacher's unions covering for shiatty teachers and saying they should go doesn't actually *solve* anything, man.

Biatching does nothing indeed. The shiatty teachers are on the job and are going to stay there. Since good teachers and teacher's unions can't or won't self-regulate and eliminate the shiatty teachers, then other methods will be used -- like ensuring they at least teach to a test.

Just like farking doctors and lawyers get taught to a test.
 
2012-04-08 04:10:37 PM  

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.


Wow, not sure if this is a troll or not. Usually my sarcasm meter starts twitching after reading something like that.

Also, FTA:

Results from Sats taken by 11 year olds are used by media organisations to draw up primary school league tables, which many within teaching unions, loathe.

Any Brits around here? What are League Tables and how do the media use them? Is this where schools and teachers are ranked?
 
2012-04-08 04:10:43 PM  

Krieghund: MoronLessOff: 5 year olds should not have standardized tests. They should be assessed individually on their motor, language and social skills.

This is by far the dumbest thing on this thread so far. It's even dumber than anything letrolle could come up with, and he's trying.

Standardized testing is how you assess children individually. If you don't want to assess them, fine. But if you want to assess them you have to have standards to compare them against.


No, standardised *assessment* is how you assess children individually, and in UK schools the 5 year olds are continuously assessed by observation and work sample to an extent that somebody who hasn't seen the record keeping involved wouldn;t believe.

Standardised tests will *only* tell you how good a child is at passing standardised tests.

These standardised phonics tests will not tell any Foundation Stage teacher anything about the child they do not already know due to having interacted with them daily for the previous year.
 
2012-04-08 04:27:06 PM  

AdrienVeidt: letrole: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Standardized tests are a horrible metric for determining any child's success, they severely restrict what can be taught, and it encourages rote memorization over creative thinking/engineering skills.

It might be practical to give teachers the leeway to set lesson plans, if the teachers actually *were* Lucas Tanner, Gabe Kotter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mr Chips.

But they're not like that at all, are they? Some of them are in a career of last resort, wouldn't you agree? The teacher's unions have been more than a bit resistant in weeding out the dregs, haven't they?

Okay, so once you've dissolved the teacher's unions and fired all the bad teachers, then what are you gonna do? Just shove all the students into 50+ student classes so they can all get the superior education they deserve even tho classes that size guarantee *nobody* gets an education worth a damn?

biatching about teacher's unions covering for shiatty teachers and saying they should go doesn't actually *solve* anything, man.


But your hard hitting Fark comment is lighting fires under peoples assess and change is a coming. Or your comment, like your posting career and your life, is a pathetic display of retardation cursed on those of us with braincells.
 
2012-04-08 04:31:12 PM  

powhound:
Any Brits around here? What are League Tables and how do the media use them? Is this where schools and teachers are ranked?


Basically, yes.

For example, the results from my county are here:

Link (new window)

A school is scored by percentage of children achieving the required level in Maths and English, and thus given a score. There is also a "value added" column that is supposed to compare the ability of children starting the school with the ability of those leaving - ie, a school might not look very good if its SATS scores are low, but if it has a high "value added" it implies that whilst the results are poor, they are good considering what the pupils were like when they arrive.

Its not an entirely fair system, especially in schools that have no control over the initial baseline assesment (such as a junior school that takes over from a seperate infant school at age 8). In such a case the baseline school can easily inflate their results to make themselves look good, but giving the junior school an impossible task to show good "value added" since they are not getting children as good as the results say they are...
 
2012-04-08 04:32:01 PM  
Mayhem_2006: Standardised tests will *only* tell you how good a child is at passing standardised tests.

And what's a standardised test? How is it mechanically different from the test that Mrs. Crabapple handcrafted from years of practising her arte and magick?

Is Mrs. Crabapple just teaching all sorts of random things and not following some sort of curriculum? Is she not able to conjure up lessons from a plan that she didn't write herself? Is she just bullshiating her way through the year and then doing her own quality control procedure at the end?

Would the fact that children can pass a standardised test actually mean they can simply pass a test that isn't skewed to accomodate a lack of material covered by a lazy and incompetent teacher?
 
2012-04-08 04:38:49 PM  

letrole: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Standardized tests are a horrible metric for determining any child's success, they severely restrict what can be taught, and it encourages rote memorization over creative thinking/engineering skills.

It might be practical to give teachers the leeway to set lesson plans, if the teachers actually *were* Lucas Tanner, Gabe Kotter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mr Chips.

But they're not like that at all, are they? Some of them are in a career of last resort, wouldn't you agree? The teacher's unions have been more than a bit resistant in weeding out the dregs, haven't they?

Every time that some teacher whips out a fife, and another pulls up a snare drum, and then they play a vaguely patriotic tune softly in the background whilst a third teacher drones on about the arte and magick of teaching, it makes me wanna puke.


Oh, I have no doubt that most of the people who are going into teaching at this time are doing it because they have few options. I graduated in a class of 26 people in my education department. Only four (including me) actually went into teaching. Of those four, only one continues to do so. Were we bad teachers? Nope. We realized that we no longer wanted to participate in a reality in which our bosses can abuse us with impunity, we are constantly blamed for parenting failures, and consistently derided and disrespected by everyone we work for. Oh, and there's absolutely no hope for advancement. Our governor has kept teacher salaries frozen for almost seven years now, with no adjustments for inflation. Meanwhile, insurance premiums and retirement costs take consistently large chunks out of our paychecks. Screw that. I took a $7k pay cut per year to get out of that environment. This is a direct result not of the unions, but of people like yourself who can criticize teaching and teachers while never being in a classroom as an educator.

As far as unions go, you should realize that many of the teacher's unions are absolutely flaccid. Those who do manage to keep teachers in the "rubber rooms" have noted that only 20% of those teachers have the allegations proven against them. The other 80%? They have been falsely accused by administrators or parents or students who have some sort of vendetta. Due process and all that, remember?

Of course, we could just fire teachers at will, which will surely increase the amount of people who want to go into the profession. Perhaps the only thing that remains attractive about teaching is the opportunity for tenure. I can't think of very many other reasons people do it anymore.
 
2012-04-08 04:48:45 PM  

Mayhem_2006: These standardised phonics tests will not tell any Foundation Stage teacher anything about the child they do not already know due to having interacted with them daily for the previous year.


They will tell the government where the largest number of children with reading problems live and just what proportion are falling behind the standards that they ought to be reaching.

It has already been stated that these tests will not be used to rank the schools performance.

These are not written exams, they're reading tests based on an internationally successful phonics system, looking at the example questions my 4-year-old would have no problem with them and my 7-year-old would have breezed through them when he was 5. Any child struggling with these tests certainly needs reading help.
 
2012-04-08 04:52:26 PM  
whizbangthedirtfarmer: Of course, we could just fire teachers at will, which will surely increase the amount of people who want to go into the profession. Perhaps the only thing that remains attractive about teaching is the opportunity for tenure. I can't think of very many other reasons people do it anymore.

The simple answer, which will never be put in place, is to:

1. double the pay for teaching
2. implement a genuine quality control standard
3. sack all those who fail
4. be spoilt for choice with the massive influx of exceedingly qualified candidates who are frankly in it for the money and not just some dream of tenured mediocrity.
 
2012-04-08 05:04:31 PM  
http://smg.photobucket.com/upload/albums/Mock26/

Not amused.
 
2012-04-08 05:05:22 PM  

Mock26: img.photobucket.com

Not amused.


Fixed that for myself.
 
2012-04-08 05:10:47 PM  

Mayhem_2006: Its not an entirely fair system, especially in schools that have no control over the initial baseline assesment (such as a junior school that takes over from a seperate infant school at age 8). In such a case the baseline school can easily inflate their results to make themselves look good, but giving the junior school an impossible task to show good "value added" since they are not getting children as good as the results say they are.


On the other hand, while there are undoubtedly parents who obsess over getting their children into the highest ranked school, most parents don't care where on the league table the school is, if their personal experience is that the school is right for their children.
 
2012-04-08 05:39:54 PM  
At 5 kids are still learning different things at very different speeds and at this age it is no indication that the kid will always struggle with the same skill. A kid that cannot pick up phonics right away could become a very good and interested reader given the time to do so. If you track a kid as a failure that young they may never climb out of the hole.

Here's an idea - if a kid is struggling to learn his alphabet and sounds, put him in a group with like kids The second that kid masters the skill, get him out of that group. I remember reading groups like this in Kindergarten. All the kids were allowed to stay in the same class and just rotated groups as they improved skills. The teachers decided when someone had improved, not a school board and not a nationalized test.

Don't put him in a special ed class where he's going to have to stay the whole year no matter how much he improves and don't classify him as slow and keep him there the rest of his schooling. And for god's sake, don't medicate a 5 year old that can't concentrate or display perfect classroom behavior for 5 or 8 hrs in a row.
 
2012-04-08 06:10:06 PM  

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers like standardised tests. This is because their teaching efforts can quantified and evaluated.


Ah, you've moved from knowing nothing about homosexuals to knowing nothing about teachers.

Is your surname still the same?
 
2012-04-08 06:34:30 PM  

gadian: If you track a kid as a failure that young they may never climb out of the hole.


There is no indication that a child will be labelled a failure if they don't meet standards on this test.

gadian: Here's an idea - if a kid is struggling to learn his alphabet and sounds, put him in a group with like kids


OK, since the stated idea behind this test is that those falling behind should receive extra help that doesn't seem very far off from what would probably happen.

gadian: The second that kid masters the skill, get him out of that group.


You don't think that would label those remaining in that group as failures?

gadian: Don't put him in a special ed class where he's going to have to stay the whole year no matter how much he improves and don't classify him as slow and keep him there the rest of his schooling. And for god's sake, don't medicate a 5 year old that can't concentrate or display perfect classroom behavior for 5 or 8 hrs in a row.


My eldest child is autistic and receives extra help. He's not in a special ed class, he's not classified as slow and he's not medicated. I'm not sure where you're getting your idea of what "extra help" constitutes.
 
2012-04-08 06:41:00 PM  
The problem with education is the teachers are education majors. That's a half-step past journalism majors and climatologists and a quarter-step past amoeba.
 
2012-04-08 06:48:14 PM  

letrole: whizbangthedirtfarmer: Of course, we could just fire teachers at will, which will surely increase the amount of people who want to go into the profession. Perhaps the only thing that remains attractive about teaching is the opportunity for tenure. I can't think of very many other reasons people do it anymore.

The simple answer, which will never be put in place, is to:

1. double the pay for teaching
2. implement a genuine quality control standard
3. sack all those who fail
4. be spoilt for choice with the massive influx of exceedingly qualified candidates who are frankly in it for the money and not just some dream of tenured mediocrity.


You live in a fantasy world.

1) even at double the pay, you would be hard pressed to lure someone from a private corporation into teaching. Rhee tried the altruism path in DC schools and it failed miserably. Who in the hell wants to teach for 80k a year when they make 84k a year in a private setting. At least in the private setting, they are not ripe for abuse and being demeaned on a regular basis by everyone with whom you come into contact...seriously, spend three weeks as a teacher and see how quickly parents sense fresh blood in the water

2) and who will keep this standard? Administrators? Laughable...most admins are education washouts. I don't think I've encountered by two or three admins who were worth anything and were professional in all they did. Most admins don't have a clue as to how to teach; they don't want to give up their years in the system, so they get a bullshiat degree and become a admin. And all of the things that bugged them as teachers--their lack of intelligence and general incompetence--will exacerbate things. A bad admin affects the entire school. There is no way to achieve a "genuine control standard" unless school systems want to give power to the educators to do so. This will never happen. Most superintendents view teachers as replaceable cogs in the wheel, without voices

3) and replace them with who? It is not exactly a profession that people are beating down doors to go into

4) the "tenured mediocrity" is just what works in the U.S., especially in rural areas. As I said, a good number of grads today go into teaching because they can't do anything else, or they have these strange notions of what being a teacher really is. Between being a teacher and, say, working in a factory, a good number will go with the teaching almost strictly because of tenure. Stripping away tenure, even if you increase pay, will only make the desire to teach continue to drop...people get into the position primarily for long-term stability
 
2012-04-08 06:52:22 PM  

SevenizGud: The problem with education is the teachers are education majors. That's a half-step past journalism majors and climatologists and a quarter-step past amoeba.


Indeed. I received an MAT and within three months of teaching, I realized I didn't learn a damned thing worthwhile in the program, save for two reading classes. The rest of it was fluffy bullshiat about changing the world and doing stupid-ass activities.

/good thing I was suffering through post-concussive syndrome that whole time
//else I might not have survived the idiocy
 
2012-04-08 06:58:49 PM  
I still don't understand the animosity toward standardized testing in general. Sure, it's probably not the best system for exit exams, but they're actually quite good for lower-grade evaluations of teacher and school performance, which is the only thing a pre-school version is going to be used for.

They're basically literacy tests, not skill tests (if you have encountered the methods in the test, you can do the problems, if you haven't, you can't). That's exactly what you want to test kids on in this context, you want to know whether they've learned to count, recognize Latin characters, etc. You don't really want to test their intelligence or facility with that knowledge, because you're testing the efficacy of the class, you don't actually care about the student's ability.
 
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