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(WSBTV)   Thirty-five Atlanta Public Schools educators, including principals, superintendents and teachers, indicted on racketeering charges for changing answers on state exams of students in order to meet standards. They face 45 years in prison   (wsbtv.com) divider line 201
    More: Fail, Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta, standards, racketeering charges, U.S. Department of Education, racketeering, assistant principal, superintendent  
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5868 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Mar 2013 at 1:00 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-30 06:19:29 AM
What kind of stupid reporter puts up a backwards time line and mispells words....hmm someone who went to that school and passed by cheating....
 
2013-03-30 06:43:42 AM
We need smart people. Smart people do smart things.
img3.joyreactor.cc
 
2013-03-30 07:09:27 AM
Welcome to Atlanta, the Detroit of the South

"A key leader in the black community and a driving force in support of the lawsuit, who wishes to remain anonymous, bemoaned the "disturbing tendency of black electorates to not elect the smartest and brightest, or even the cleverest."

A corrupt school board becomes a civil rights issue

"Instead of being treated as a story about rampant, inexcusable corruption, the school board fiasco has morphed into a civil rights issue. Atlanta's NBC affiliate reports that the Georgia NAACP "accused Republican Governor Nathan Deal of being part of an alleged conspiracy to get rid of black office holders and deprive black voters of their rights."
 
2013-03-30 07:15:08 AM
Big school districts seem to always be corrupt disasters. We need to go to vouchers for every kid with a public option.
 
2013-03-30 07:18:26 AM
OgreMagi: ...
Step Four: Adopt teaching systems from other countries that have proven to work.

Except of course the parts where they pay their teachers better, they have single-payer universal health care so kids get needed medical attention, parents get more time off to spend with their kids,  and have better support systems for parents, etc.
 
2013-03-30 07:20:18 AM

hasty ambush: Welcome to Atlanta, the Detroit of the South


It takes a moron to compare Atlanta to Detroit, good job.

When 90% of Atlanta is crumbling to the ground and in abject poverty as it's economic base disintegrates, then you can make that comparison.

My last visit to Atlanta didn't give me any Detroit-like vibes about the place. It's in much better shape than Detroit.
 
2013-03-30 07:24:14 AM
Too lazy to count, how many morons are pretending this means standardized tests are bad?
 
2013-03-30 07:25:14 AM
If anything is the Detroit of the South, it's Birmingham, AL. The city still can't get over the steel industry abandoning them after the city put all of its eggs in that basket.

Sounds a lot more like Detroit than Atlanta ever did.
 
2013-03-30 07:28:35 AM

gadian: Nutsac_Jim: Peepeye: 45 years seemed excessive until I read this: "Investigators believe the test scores were tied to monetary bonuses for at least 35 former teachers and administrators". Makes more sense now. Bonuses should be given after the fact, as a surprise incentive for a job well done. Tests are way too easy to cheat on, and tying them to bonuses is asking for trouble.

I have always thought it should be merit pay based on the kids scores.  Not the raw score, but how well a teacher brings the kids up to higher level.  It should not be based on the class scores, or else teachers with the smart kids get the bonus.

base it on all your incoming kids, and how much better than average you bring the end of year scores.
End of year test can be given by the next years teacher.  They certainly will not want to see any shenanigans with falsly padding the score, because it would make it tougher for the next teacher the next year.

I pity the poor shiat who gets the class of fark ups that year then.  Or the poor shiat who gets mostly great kids who have really no big percentage to improve.  Or the poor shiat that has the one loud, fark up kid that drags the rest of the class down and they can't get rid of or the poor shiat that....

Any of the poor shiats who would be subjected to such a method of pay.


If you look at student improvement on scores against teachers with similiar incoming scores you will isolate the teachers effect on the student.
 
2013-03-30 07:35:24 AM

Frederf: Forty-five years is a loooooooooooong sentence for a white-collar crime. Like, kill a man and be out in half of that long. I would have expected 10-15.


You forget the vein-popping hatred we hold for teachers in this country. Being a teacher is already a felony deserving 35 years. Cause they all make $250,000 a year, work maybe two months a year, and have sex with kids. In contrast to hardworking Real Murcians, who make $1.13 an hour scrubbing toilets and are happy to do it.
 
2013-03-30 07:51:29 AM

liam76: Too lazy to count, how many morons are pretending this means standardized tests are bad?


Standardized tests are bad, so I'm at least one moron you can count.

My wife's a teacher.  A certain percentage of students in her county have to score well on the yearly tests, in order to keep the county out of state control and assure they receive adequate funding levels.  They're expected to prepare their students all year for the tests, yet they, the teachers, aren't allowed to even look at the tests, or even know the damn subjects they'll cover, ahead of time.  That might not be so bad, over the long run, if the tests were consistent--if she could say, "okay, last year I focused a lot on essay writing, but the test had a heavy concentration of reading comprehension passages, so I'll change my teaching style next year," but every other year, it seems, they "tweak" the test, and completely change the content concentration.

It's impossible--literally impossible--for teachers or students to prepare for, and yet so much rides on the tests' results.  It's ridiculous.
 
2013-03-30 07:53:24 AM

doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Step Two: Let morons who couldn't teach a foal to walk (most ungulates are walking mere minutes after birth, btw) decide how to measure scholastic success.

Step Three: Tie fedral aid not to need or number of students, but to success on these silly tests.

Step Four: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.


The best quote on the issue I've heard was from a teacher in Norway who, when asked why Norway's schools were so good compared to the US said "In Norway we pay our teachers like they were teachers."


When Wall Street cheats and sinks the economy: 700 billion bailout

When PNC helps launder money for terrorists: meh, fine them a meaningless amount

When teachers cheat a little on stupid standardized tests so they can get paid a meaningful wage (folks, even with these "bonuses" teachers get paid crap): OMG Racketeering! 45 years in Jail!
 
2013-03-30 07:56:41 AM
while it's nice to have an ability to focus on a single subject,  My "Wheel of Anger" points me to the question-

Why aren't bankers facing 45 years?

Wheel of Anger is build similar to a combination of Magic 8 Ball and Ouija Board"
 
2013-03-30 08:02:35 AM

CalvinMorallis: liam76: Too lazy to count, how many morons are pretending this means standardized tests are bad?

Standardized tests are bad, so I'm at least one moron you can count.

My wife's a teacher.  A certain percentage of students in her county have to score well on the yearly tests, in order to keep the county out of state control and assure they receive adequate funding levels.


I agree that linking funding to standardized test results is a problem. If a school is struggling or failing they shouldn't cut funding, they should change who is in charge and take local control away.


They're expected to prepare their students all year for the tests, yet they, the teachers, aren't allowed to even look at the tests,

Why would they be abel to look at the tests? That would make cheating insanely easy.


or even know the damn subjects they'll cover, ahead of time.  That might not be so bad, over the long run, if the tests were consistent--if she could say, "okay, last year I focused a lot on essay writing, but the test had a heavy concentration of reading comprehension passages, so I'll change my teaching style next year," but every other year, it seems, they "tweak" the test, and completely change the content concentration.

If this is true, and I have a hard time believing that they have no idea what the subject of the test is and that if it is changed they have absolutely no notice, but if that is the case that doesnt mean "standardized tests are bad" it means the tests they use, the method they choose them, and how they let the teachers prepare is stupid.

Out of curiosity, what county is that?

It's impossible--literally impossible--for teachers or students to prepare for, and yet so much rides on the tests' results.  It's ridiculous.

That is not the norm for standardized tests.
 
2013-03-30 08:03:04 AM

doglover: DrPainMD: Under funded? We spend more per pupil on schools than many other countries that do a better job.

How much of that actually goes to full time teaching positions with health benefits, 12 full paychecks per year, and a fully equipped modern office with plenty of risograph paper and ink for worksheet? Now how much of that money goes to worthless administrators and new athletic facilities?


Reducing things to statistics doesn't actually help you understand the world per se. You have to choose what statistics to use and why. You also have to be very careful about other people's choices, because it's very easy to twist numbers into technically correct lies.


Yes, schools squander money... by the truck load. That's reason #1 why we shouldn't give them more money. What our school system needs is more heads impaled on pikes.
 
2013-03-30 08:04:20 AM
Bankers are suppose to steal, after all they are bankers. Educators, on the other hand...???
 
2013-03-30 08:04:52 AM

doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Step Two: Let morons who couldn't teach a foal to walk (most ungulates are walking mere minutes after birth, btw) decide how to measure scholastic success.

Step Three: Tie fedral aid not to need or number of students, but to success on these silly tests.

Step Four: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.



You should probably tell the New York Times.

The best quote on the issue I've heard was from a teacher in Norway who, when asked why Norway's schools were so good compared to the US said "In Norway we pay our teachers like they were teachers."

 
2013-03-30 08:05:48 AM

Marcintosh: while it's nice to have an ability to focus on a single subject,  My "Wheel of Anger" points me to the question-

Why aren't bankers facing 45 years?

Wheel of Anger is build similar to a combination of Magic 8 Ball and Ouija Board"


This.  I often biatch about teachers unions and refusal to link pay to performance, etc.  But the problems they cause and the problems caused by these cheating asshats are miniscule compared to the shiat Goldman Sachs, PNC and the like pulled.
 
2013-03-30 08:07:45 AM

JustGetItRight: doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Step Two: Let morons who couldn't teach a foal to walk (most ungulates are walking mere minutes after birth, btw) decide how to measure scholastic success.

Step Three: Tie fedral aid not to need or number of students, but to success on these silly tests.

Step Four: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.


You should probably tell the New York Times.

The best quote on the issue I've heard was from a teacher in Norway who, when asked why Norway's schools were so good compared to the US said "In Norway we pay our teachers like they were teachers."


How about I try again.  You should probably tell the NYT about this salary thing.  Seems that they did a 2009 survey that shows US teachers comparable to slightly more than teachers in Norway.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/teacher-pay-around-the- wo rld/
 
2013-03-30 08:12:46 AM

JustGetItRight: JustGetItRight: doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Step Two: Let morons who couldn't teach a foal to walk (most ungulates are walking mere minutes after birth, btw) decide how to measure scholastic success.

Step Three: Tie fedral aid not to need or number of students, but to success on these silly tests.

Step Four: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.


You should probably tell the New York Times.

The best quote on the issue I've heard was from a teacher in Norway who, when asked why Norway's schools were so good compared to the US said "In Norway we pay our teachers like they were teachers."

How about I try again.  You should probably tell the NYT about this salary thing.  Seems that they did a 2009 survey that shows US teachers comparable to slightly more than teachers in Norway.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/teacher-pay-around-the- wo rld/


It's interesting that our teachers work the longest and get paid more. Makes one question whether the urge to extend the school year is having any impact on how much a student retains.

The question we really should be asking is how come Norway is able to get a lot more done in less time?


graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2013-03-30 08:20:22 AM

liam76: I agree that linking funding to standardized test results is a problem. If a school is struggling or failing they shouldn't cut funding, they should change who is in charge and take local control away.


Slightly different subject, but still--the really effed up things is that, after you meet the minimum standard to keep state control out of your school, the "better" your county, overall, the LESS extra money you get.  My wife's county is the top rated in the state, and she gets absolutely zero extra supplies.  My mother, on the opposite end of the state, teaches in a struggling county, and last year every teacher in her grade got ipads, and the school itself got a super updated internet connection.  The thinking, I guess, is that if you're struggling (yet still meeting the minimum standard) you need more extra stuff to lift yourself up.  But if you're doing well, then obviously you're doing okay and don't need jack squat to teach your kids.

liam76: Why would they be abel to look at the tests? That would make cheating insanely easy.


I meant only insofar as they could get a clue as to what subjects the test would cover.  As it is, they fly blind.  Think of it this way: I don't know what your job is, but I'm going to assume you're in IT, because everyone on Fark is.  So say you go to work on Monday, and your boss says, "Liam, in 6 weeks we have a huge project that'll make or break us for the next year.  I need you to get ready!"  And when you say, "Um, boss, what kind of project?", he just laughs, slaps you on the shoulder and says, "Good one!"

liam76: If this is true, and I have a hard time believing that they have no idea what the subject of the test is and that if it is changed they have absolutely no notice, but if that is the case that doesnt mean "standardized tests are bad" it means the tests they use, the method they choose them, and how they let the teachers prepare is stupid.

Out of curiosity, what county is that?


It is true, and the particular county doesn't matter, because this is how it is, in literally every public school district in the nation.  Any teacher will tell you the exact same thing.  They are not allowed to see the tests ahead of time.  They are not allowed to know the subjects--beyond the fact that the Math section will have Math, and so on.  And they can't even use last year's test as an indicator of next year's, because standards' committees are constantly changing the tests themselves.

And I guess my argument is that we can't even get to the discussion of whether or not the tests themselves are stupid, because the method of their administration, across the board, is just about the most negative aspect OF public education.  (I still, outside of that, feel the tests are horrible indicators of achievement, but, like I said, I think it's a different discussion, really).

That is not the norm for standardized tests.

Yes it is.  I promise you.  And it's likely one of the biggest reasons our school systems are struggling overall.
 
2013-03-30 08:24:31 AM

Mrtraveler01: The question we really should be asking is how come Norway is able to get a lot more done in less time?


My money is on parents.
 
2013-03-30 08:29:10 AM

Silly Jesus: Nutsac_Jim: Peepeye: 45 years seemed excessive until I read this: "Investigators believe the test scores were tied to monetary bonuses for at least 35 former teachers and administrators". Makes more sense now. Bonuses should be given after the fact, as a surprise incentive for a job well done. Tests are way too easy to cheat on, and tying them to bonuses is asking for trouble.

I have always thought it should be merit pay based on the kids scores.  Not the raw score, but how well a teacher brings the kids up to higher level.  It should not be based on the class scores, or else teachers with the smart kids get the bonus.

base it on all your incoming kids, and how much better than average you bring the end of year scores.
End of year test can be given by the next years teacher.  They certainly will not want to see any shenanigans with falsly padding the score, because it would make it tougher for the next teacher the next year.

It's the fault of the parents, not the teachers.  Start punishing parents for failing children.  My children were ahead of the rest of their class when they first saw a teacher in pre-K.  They remained ahead of the other children throughout school.  I started teaching them colors and shapes and the alphabet as early as possible and they went in to the classroom way ahead.  There is only so much that a teacher can do to pull up a kid whose parents have dropped the ball.


An awesome teacher isn't going to have much impact on little Tyrell, who came to class seeing his 5th grade reading level mom getting in a shoving match with her boyfriend and stayed up till 11:00pm watching crappy TV, then shows up to school with no homework and no breakfast (rinse and repeat daily).
 
2013-03-30 08:33:42 AM
Public school in the US isn't much more than government subsidized daycare.  Students with the support of their parents are going to excel, and students without it are going to fail.  Give a crappy teacher a classroom full of honor students and that crappy teacher will appear successful.  Give a great teacher a classroom full of rejects and that teacher will appear unsuccessful.

Remove programs, increase class size, graduate kids that can't read - nobody cares.  Shut down schools for a day and angry parents come with pitchforks.  They don't care too much about what happens, but they sure need someone to take their kids off their hands.
 
2013-03-30 08:34:55 AM

LiberalEastCoastElitist: An awesome teacher isn't going to have much impact on little Tyrell, who came to class seeing his 5th grade reading level mom getting in a shoving match with her boyfriend and stayed up till 11:00pm watching crappy TV, then shows up to school with no homework and no breakfast (rinse and repeat daily).


True story: my wife's first job was in one of this shiattiest schools in one of the shiattiest county systems in the state, teaching 5th grade.  She had a kid who was obviously smart, but just seemed to not care a bit about his work, and was a terrible behavior problem in class.  They finally got ahold of his dad, to come in for a conference with my wife, the principal and a guidance counselor (after school hours, of course).  And dad comes in to the meeting wearing a teeshirt that says, "I don't even give a fark".  Parents, unfortunately, are 9 times out of 10 a much bigger reason a snowflake fails than the teacher is.
 
2013-03-30 08:38:17 AM

70Ford: We need smart people. Smart people do smart things.
[img3.joyreactor.cc image 600x1500]


I have no idea what that says, but I think the hamster-powered machine gun is hilarious.
 
2013-03-30 08:40:04 AM
A potential 45 year prison sentence is bad, but they are more scared of this going on their ... dun, dun, DUN ... PERMANENT RECORD!
 
2013-03-30 08:50:33 AM

Great Odins Raven: part time jobs.


Great DrPainMD: doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Under funded? We spend more per pupil on schools than many other countries that do a better job. Our kids can barely beat Chad and Uganda on math tests, and it's not due to money.


+ many many others


It is nice to see the "I have never taught, nor have I ever even trained how to teach, but I know more about teaching than any professional ever will" brigade is out in force.

Of course, the people who know how to teach, and are very successful at it, are completely ignored becuz SOSHULIZZM!

More here...and here

But you non educators are free to ignore reality, it's so cute..
 
2013-03-30 08:51:09 AM

CalvinMorallis: It is true, and the particular county doesn't matter, because this is how it is, in literally every public school district in the nation.


That simply isn't true.

If people didn't know what was on the test nobody would be complaining about "teaching tot he test".

Once again your story doesn't sound true, and your refusal to say where it is going on adds to my suspicion.

CalvinMorallis: Any teacher will tell you the exact same thing. They are not allowed to see the tests ahead of time. They are not allowed to know the subjects--beyond the fact that the Math section will have Math, and so on. And they can't even use last year's test as an indicator of next year's, because standards' committees are constantly changing the tests themselves


Fixed that for everything I have heard from every teacher I know.  Although tests do sometimes changed they are told of the changes.

CalvinMorallis: Yes it is. I promise you. And it's likely one of the biggest reasons our school systems are struggling overall


So all the news stories on this and outcry over NCLB missed this gem of teachers having no idea what was on the test, and furthermore made up claims of teaching to the test since no teachers knew what was on the test?

Did PBS make up the sample questions they reported on?
 
2013-03-30 08:55:02 AM

doglover: Silly Jesus: doglover: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.

Might have had something to do with the bonuses that the teachers got paid as well.

That's also possible.


But your dramatic scenario is much better reading (if one likes fiction).
 
2013-03-30 09:00:22 AM

liam76: So all the news stories on this and outcry over NCLB missed this gem of teachers having no idea what was on the test, and furthermore made up claims of teaching to the test since no teachers knew what was on the test?


Yes, they did "miss it", because everyone's bought into the same idea of teachers-as-the-problem, and we've decided that's the end of it.  If you know a teacher who knows what's going to be on his or her standardized test, that teacher has broken the law.  So either you know a whole hell of a lot of outlaw teachers, or you're not telling the truth, and substituting the phrase "every teacher I know" for the more-accurate, "what i figure to be true in my head"

And no, PBS didn't make up the sample questions.  But A) the story they did (if we're thinking about the same one) was from 2005, and B) the questions were from past tests, which have absolutely nothing to do with current and future tests...which is sort of my whole point.
 
2013-03-30 09:02:16 AM

maddogdelta: Of course, the people who know how to teach, and are very successful at it, are completely ignored becuz SOSHULIZZM!


Those were "Facts" not advice.

That system works because the parents are involved.

maddogdelta: More here...and here

But you non educators are free to ignore reality, it's so cute


From your links.

most parents teach their children to read pre-school

Children grow up watching TV with subtitles, they are reading while they watch TV
 
2013-03-30 09:04:50 AM

CalvinMorallis: If you know a teacher who knows what's going to be on his or her standardized test, that teacher has broken the law. So either you know a whole hell of a lot of outlaw teachers,


According to the article, we may know 35 of them.
 
2013-03-30 09:06:58 AM

CalvinMorallis: liam76: So all the news stories on this and outcry over NCLB missed this gem of teachers having no idea what was on the test, and furthermore made up claims of teaching to the test since no teachers knew what was on the test?

Yes, they did "miss it", because everyone's bought into the same idea of teachers-as-the-problem, and we've decided that's the end of it.  If you know a teacher who knows what's going to be on his or her standardized test, that teacher has broken the law.  So either you know a whole hell of a lot of outlaw teachers, or you're not telling the truth, and substituting the phrase "every teacher I know" for the more-accurate, "what i figure to be true in my head"

And no, PBS didn't make up the sample questions.  But A) the story they did (if we're thinking about the same one) was from 2005, and B) the questions were from past tests, which have absolutely nothing to do with current and future tests...which is sort of my whole point.


So those right wing bastions of teacher bashing, huffington post, NPR, PBS etc all missed it?

My mother in law was a teacher (retired a few years ago).  Four of my drinking buddies are married (or engaged to teachers).  They all knwo what was going to be on the test.  Not the exact questions but the subject matter and the question formats.  They had previous test sample questions and they knew about any big change.

So I am forced to believe A-you don't know what you are talking about, or B-they all lied and are cheating, and every major (and tons of minor) news outlets completely missed this aspect of NCLB?  I am going with A.
 
2013-03-30 09:12:14 AM

YixilTesiphon: Big school districts seem to always be corrupt disasters. We need to go to vouchers for every kid with a public option.


The problem with vouchers is we end up sanctioning religious schools that teach that Jesus rode dinosaurs, the Civil Rights Movement was a communist plot to undermine America, and gays are Evil Satanic Muslims.  If we try to tell them they can't teach that bullshiat in their schools, it creates a shiatstorm of saying its oppressing their religion.
 
2013-03-30 09:14:03 AM

doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Step Two: Let morons who couldn't teach a foal to walk (most ungulates are walking mere minutes after birth, btw) decide how to measure scholastic success.

Step Three: Tie fedral aid not to need or number of students, but to success on these silly tests.

Step Four: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.


The best quote on the issue I've heard was from a teacher in Norway who, when asked why Norway's schools were so good compared to the US said "In Norway we pay our teachers like they were teachers."


One more argument in support of eliminating the federal dept. of education.
 
2013-03-30 09:15:43 AM

NutWrench: 70Ford: We need smart people. Smart people do smart things.
[img3.joyreactor.cc image 600x1500]

I have no idea what that says, but I think the hamster-powered machine gun is hilarious.


It's a translation of a comic, the original, unedited version is in English here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/pets_war
 
2013-03-30 09:21:11 AM

CalvinMorallis: liam76: So all the news stories on this and outcry over NCLB missed this gem of teachers having no idea what was on the test, and furthermore made up claims of teaching to the test since no teachers knew what was on the test?

Yes, they did "miss it", because everyone's bought into the same idea of teachers-as-the-problem, and we've decided that's the end of it.  If you know a teacher who knows what's going to be on his or her standardized test, that teacher has broken the law.  So either you know a whole hell of a lot of outlaw teachers, or you're not telling the truth, and substituting the phrase "every teacher I know" for the more-accurate, "what i figure to be true in my head"

And no, PBS didn't make up the sample questions.  But A) the story they did (if we're thinking about the same one) was from 2005, and B) the questions were from past tests, which have absolutely nothing to do with current and future tests...which is sort of my whole point.


You're full of it or live in Louisiana or some other basket case state. I finished public high school in 2006 in Texas and we always knew what subject matter the TAKS would cover, had sample questions that lined up very well etc.
 
2013-03-30 09:27:15 AM
They face 45 years in prison

Would have been better off raping the students.
 
2013-03-30 09:28:16 AM
As an elementary teacher, let me just say how much I hate standardized testing.  Here in Indiana, the kids take Acuity three times a year.  The 4th and 5th grade take ELA/Math and/or Social Studies/Science.  So that's 9 tests right there.  Then they have 2 parts of the ISTEP.  Then my 3rd graders have IREAD.  I administer all the tests and I lost count of how many students just sat at their computers crying because of the damn pressure.  These are bright kids, too.  Our passing rate is 98%.  I'm just farking over it.  I would have left teaching years ago, but if you're in teaching for the right reasons, you know leaving the kids is a very difficult decision.  Love those crazy bastards.

When we saw that they were going to tie merit pay to scores, my first thought was, well, get ready for cheating.  I don't think all those people are necessarily bad, but tying pay to scores is ridiculous.  If you've worked or volunteered at a school, you know that each child has their own learning set.  There's too many variables for each child.  It's just a crazy notion.  Too much testing, not enough actual teaching.
 
2013-03-30 09:34:39 AM
1. Take some BS "liberal arts" courses in college
2. Proclaim to all who will listen that you don't have classes Mondays *or* Fridays
3. Receive the nickname "Drinking Machine" due to the frequency at which you binge drink
4. Treat the first three years of college like one non-stop party
5. As you enter your graduating year, begin to realize that companies aren't exactly offering six figure salaries for "C" level English Lit majors
6. Look for the path of least resistance with respect to making yourself employable
7. Decide on a one-year teaching credit without actually considering what it's like to be a teacher ("summers off! full benefits!")
8. Discover (to your chagrin) that teaching is actually a demanding job
9. Adopt a "they're not paying me enough" attitude (even though they're paying you what you agreed to)
10. Find some other way to "maximize your compensation" (e.g. BS Masters degree, cheating)
11. Proclaim to all who will listen that you "did it for the children"
 
2013-03-30 09:39:58 AM

Silly Jesus: Nutsac_Jim: Peepeye: 45 years seemed excessive until I read this: "Investigators believe the test scores were tied to monetary bonuses for at least 35 former teachers and administrators". Makes more sense now. Bonuses should be given after the fact, as a surprise incentive for a job well done. Tests are way too easy to cheat on, and tying them to bonuses is asking for trouble.

I have always thought it should be merit pay based on the kids scores.  Not the raw score, but how well a teacher brings the kids up to higher level.  It should not be based on the class scores, or else teachers with the smart kids get the bonus.

base it on all your incoming kids, and how much better than average you bring the end of year scores.
End of year test can be given by the next years teacher.  They certainly will not want to see any shenanigans with falsly padding the score, because it would make it tougher for the next teacher the next year.

It's the fault of the parents, not the teachers.  Start punishing parents for failing children.  My children were ahead of the rest of their class when they first saw a teacher in pre-K.  They remained ahead of the other children throughout school.  I started teaching them colors and shapes and the alphabet as early as possible and they went in to the classroom way ahead.  There is only so much that a teacher can do to pull up a kid whose parents have dropped the ball.


Yeap.

It pretty much comes down to how involved the parent(s) are in the child's learning (note 'learning' and not education ... because the later just results in helicopter parents.)
 
2013-03-30 09:40:50 AM
Whoa whoa whoa. 45 years? Rapists and murderers don't get that lengthy of a sentence. WTF?
 
2013-03-30 09:40:55 AM
api.ning.com
 
2013-03-30 09:50:33 AM
If all the would be great teachers aren't teaching because of lower pay then aren't they the bastards for choosing money over the future of our country? And why should we pay the seemingly mediocre ones we have now a dime more?
 
2013-03-30 09:51:47 AM

doglover: Step One: Chronically underfund your educational system by making the budgets local. Thus, the poor areas get the worst budgets.

Step Two: Let morons who couldn't teach a foal to walk (most ungulates are walking mere minutes after birth, btw) decide how to measure scholastic success.

Step Three: Tie fedral aid not to need or number of students, but to success on these silly tests.

Step Four: Act shocked when people who actually care about kids resort to criminal enterprise to get enough money for their schools.


The best quote on the issue I've heard was from a teacher in Norway who, when asked why Norway's schools were so good compared to the US said "In Norway we pay our teachers like they were teachers."


if I only had one THIS, it would be for you.
 
2013-03-30 09:51:52 AM

ElizaDoolittle: It's y'all, not ya'll.


Y'inz shut yer word hole. I'm from Pittsburgh. You're lucky I can type a sentence that you can understand at all.
 
2013-03-30 09:51:55 AM
My wife is a teacher and we are currently hosting an exchange student from Norway, so I'm getting a kick, etc.

The largest difference I see is the level of parental and societal in involvement with the schools. Students there realize, in general, the value of education, including proficiency in foreign languages. There seems to be less emphasis on mastery of trig or cursive writing and more focus on skills the students will need as adults. As a result, the students and parents look at school as an investment in the person, not as a 13 year long babysitter.

I think it's naïve to think one change can fix the U.S. education system when there are so many issues that need addressing. Bloated administration, ineffective teachers protected by unions, parents and communities that don't give a fark, crumbling infrastructure, the concept of all students being equal in ability, and outdated instruction methods all hinder our ability to make progress.

Until society as a whole decides the problem is serious enough, no real action will be taken. If we treated our education system today the same as the space race of the 1960's, we could see amazing results with minimal changes in spending. But it would take a monumental effort to set aside egos and politics to start down that path. And, unfortunately we are not ready as a country to make those changes yet.
 
2013-03-30 09:53:10 AM

Omahawg: what next? criminal charges 'cause I cheated my way through algebra II?


Did you? Or did the teacher cheat for you?
 
2013-03-30 09:57:28 AM

mialynneb: When we saw that they were going to tie merit pay to scores, my first thought was, well, get ready for cheating. I don't think all those people are necessarily bad, but tying pay to scores is ridiculous. If you've worked or volunteered at a school, you know that each child has their own learning set. There's too many variables for each child.


True.  But you aren't (or shouldn't be) evaluating teachers on one child.

You should be evaluating them on class improvement and rating them against teachers with similar incoming scores.  You do that and you are going to isolate the effect of the teacher.
 
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