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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
    More: Fail, Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta, standards, racketeering charges, U.S. Department of Education, racketeering, assistant principal, superintendent  
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5905 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Mar 2013 at 1:00 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-30 10:02:08 AM  

CalvinMorallis: 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.


And now for the flip side:  I live far enough away from Atlanta that my neighbors believe it's a distance based problem.  Meanwhile, I'm following one kid in and out of classes, in constant contact with sympathetic teachers, and battling the administration who cannot accept the rise of the gangs on campus.  And the gangs have made the drug culture more visible as well, but no, this can't be happening here, we're not Atlanta!  Said kid is failing, the teachers and I both know the kid is not ready for the next grade, but failure reflects poorly on the school, so it's going to take a battle royale to hold the kid back.

Another one of my kids has an IEP, but is pretty much mainstream.  Makes high C's and low B's when allowed to do all work on computer.  But there is a hand written test, REQUIRED by the state, that can be used to keep my kid from obtaining a friggin' diploma.  This stupid state cannot understand that some kids have mobility issues that impede the ability to manipulate pencils in a timed environment.  This kid is so discouraged, we are considered establishing residency in another state long enough for him to transfer and get out of high school.

The whole system is broken.
 
2013-03-30 10:08:15 AM  

liam76: 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.


I was bored and decided to look at your profile, it says you live in WV.  About 5 minutes of googling and I got to the WESTEST practice questions.

http://wvde.state.wv.us/teach21/westest.html
 
2013-03-30 10:13:32 AM  

99.998er: Silly Jesus: MurphyMurphy: Peepeye: 45 years seemed excessive ...

So which is it?

Unless obamadidcoke is one of the teachers or something, I'm gonna go with the newspaper articles and the official indictment and say that they got bonuses.

They did get bonuses and they also got to keep their jobs. If you are unfortunate enough to hear any of these "educators" do an interview on TV, you will be absolutely mortified by their speech. Kim Jung un has a better grasp of the English language.


thatsracist.jpg
 
2013-03-30 10:17:45 AM  

liam76: liam76: 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.

I was bored and decided to look at your profile, it says you live in WV.  About 5 minutes of googling and I got to the WESTEST practice questions.

http://wvde.state.wv.us/teach21/westest.html


Wow the wording on that site is scary. Felt like I was watching a late night infomercial - anyone who has to mention "21st century" that often is not really altruistically looking out for you, but rather pushing an agenda that brings $ to them (from you.)
 
2013-03-30 10:30:42 AM  
Atlanta spends over $15,000/year/student. The money just doesn't get to the classrooms and a lot of the students are lost causes.
 
2013-03-30 10:37:53 AM  

MurphyMurphy: 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.

obamadidcoke: 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.

No, Georgia has no merit pay provisions. Teachers do not benefit financially from higher test scores.

So which is it?


The APS had a federally funded bonus grant program that was written to skirt State BOE pay rules.

The more money involved, the less likely anybody is honest.
 
2013-03-30 11:03:42 AM  

Z1P2: One more argument in support of eliminating the federal dept. of education.


But to get the best results, we HAVE to funnel tax dollars from households through a maze of federal, state and local bureaucracies, with every stop along the way taking a piece of that money to make sure it's nice and clean. This ever-expanding system is utterly essential, and if you disagree with a school's need for an assistant superintendent for diversity maybe you'd like the way Somalia does things.

doglover: 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."


In Norway there are traditions of honesty, competence, and prudence with tax dollars. Does that sound anything like what happens here in the States?

There's also this in Norway, and a couple of phrases really jump out:

"...Education and training shall be based on fundamental values in Christian and humanist heritage and traditions..."

Whoa. God stuff in the schools? Buncha right wing wackos they got up there in Norway.

"...the majority of refugees and immigrants who get a residence permit in Norway have a right and an obligation to attend an introductory course of at least 300 hours of Norwegian and social science..."

Whoa again. I smell a bit of nationalism. Patriotism, even. Never mind, though. That kind of stuff is only evil when Americans have it.

Overall there's a greater degree of government control in Norway than there is in the US - but simply transplanting the Norwegian system to the US wouldn't work because our civic institutions are hugely dysfunctional and corrupt, especially compared to Norway's. That part has to be fixed first before you're going to get buy-in over here from anybody outside the true believers and statists.

And then there's the matter of the parents...I'm thinking more testing for them, less testing for their kids.
 
2013-03-30 11:31:56 AM  

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


BULLS HIT.

Atlanta schools fund at $13000+ per student, my local "white bread" school in the burbs' funds at $8000 per student.

Guess which school has a higher graduation rate? Which one has better test scores, even with the worst school system cheating?

People need to stop perpetuating the lie that schools are underfunded.

There are other problems going on here, mostly cultural. Unfortunately, people are afraid to confront these issues because "cultural" is often confused with "racial" (which is basically a racist mindset, as no race is magically required to follow a particular culture) - when in reality, these are two different things. Until we are willing to confront reality and deal with it, none of these problems will be solved.
 
2013-03-30 11:55:11 AM  

liam76: 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.


Actually, some value-added measures take this into account already (starting scores versus ending scores to show yearly progress), but simply doing this will not isolate the influence of a particular teacher.  Incoming scores versus ending scores show a high correlation, with the highest-scoring students scoring the highest in the end and the lowest-scoring students scoring the lowest in the end, even allowing prediction of rank and growth to some degree; when changes to those predictions occur, the instrument is more likely to be unreliable than the teacher caused this change.

Trends in scores which reflect changes in environmental and service factors which influence classroom progress are better measures but still carry numerous problems. Students who trend towards greater increases will continue to trend towards greater increases, and students who trend towards smaller increases or decreases will continue to trend this way. This interaction of trends across students better allows us to isolate the influence of a teacher on students several years after by showing improvement in the trend. We need to further compare trends within similar circumstance of peer and administrative support because a teacher in a higher achieving school will show further positive influence on the trend of student scores than the same teacher in a lower achieving school. District and state requirements and services need to also be corrected for.

However, we know financial incentives do not work except on repetitive tasks where increases in effort directly increase output of product. Now, financial incentives may work on those teachers who give no effort to the students, but I would rather have them fired (which should be through qualitative measures within the school) than motivate them enough to avoid being removed while possibly getting additional money. For the majority of teachers who do spend great sums of effort with the class and in planning and collaboration, trend increases plateau with effort because of teacher training for the situations faced with. Challenges in education are not overcome with great effort but with specialized training; problem is education has a plethora of training opportunities far too vast for any teacher to cover even with high specialization, and utilization of any training in education must be long-term with implementation and feedback phases.

We simply do not have a system which allows the type of training which would allow true professional development. Successful nations have such systems to allow for collaboration, introduction periods under master teachers, autonomy, incentives for advanced education, and so forth. I have several additional endorsements which I paid for but which offer me nothing from the school, district, or state. The incentive for my master's is a paltry increase in salary to help me pay back student loans accrued from graduate courses in about ten years, but not financial assistance or time off for coursework. I also attend numerous conferences and teacher training seminars and workshops far and above the requirements by my district (150 hours every five years, I have ~500 this year alone and will have over 1000 hours by December easily). What this offers me is fortunate recognition by my administration to allow me high autonomy in developing my gifted program, but this is a rare circumstance.
 
2013-03-30 12:16:48 PM  

Vangor: iam76: 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.

Actually, some value-added measures take this into account already (starting scores versus ending scores to show yearly progress), but simply doing this will not isolate the influence of a particular teacher. Incoming scores versus ending scores show a high correlation, with the highest-scoring students scoring the highest in the end and the lowest-scoring students scoring the lowest in the end, even allowing prediction of rank and growth to some degree; when changes to those predictions occur, the instrument is more likely to be unreliable than the teacher caused this change.


You are only looking at part of what I am suggesting.

Your critique is correct if we just look at score improvement. If we rate the teachers against other teachers with similar incoming scores you will isolate the effect of that teacher. All the external factors that impact standardized test scores (parents, income, administration, etc) are taken into account because their effect is already included in that incoming score.

Vangor: We need to further compare trends within similar circumstance of peer and administrative support because a teacher in a higher achieving school will show further positive influence on the trend of student scores than the same teacher in a lower achieving school. District and state requirements and services need to also be corrected for


All corrected for by rating them against teachers with similar incoming scores.

Vangor: However, we know financial incentives do not work except on repetitive tasks where increases in effort directly increase output of product. Now, financial incentives may work on those teachers who give no effort to the students, but I would rather have them fired (which should be through qualitative measures within the school) than motivate them enough to avoid being removed while possibly getting additional money.


You have anything to back that up?

I had a career in the oil field and I now work in aviation. I worked a lot harder on rigs where I was going to get big bonuses because I knew I had to bust my ass or I wouldn't go back to those rigs. In my current job I do push a little harder to get higher ratings than my peers so I do get paid more. Neither of those jobs was "repetitive".

Now maybe you were just speaking to the "effort" part. And I will agree that effort alone isn't going to make a better teacher nor would it improve performance on the jobs I spoke of), but it does play a role. They also need the skills and ability. And if they don't have those three, they don't deserve to get paid more.


Vangor: We simply do not have a system which allows the type of training which would allow true professional development. Successful nations have such systems to allow for collaboration, introduction periods under master teachers, autonomy, incentives for advanced education, and so forth. I have several additional endorsements which I paid for but which offer me nothing from the school, district, or state. The incentive for my master's is a paltry increase in salary to help me pay back student loans accrued from graduate courses in about ten years, but not financial assistance or time off for coursework. I also attend numerous conferences and teacher training seminars and workshops far and above the requirements by my district (150 hours every five years, I have ~500 this year alone and will have over 1000 hours by December easily). What this offers me is fortunate recognition by my administration to allow me high autonomy in developing my gifted program, but this is a rare circumstance


Not sure what the gripe here is.

You are getting money for your masters, but you don't think it is enough?

There is a requirement for additional learning, but not enough?

I seem to recall teachers on Fark biatching about all the extra classes they have to take.

Either way I am not knowledgeable enough to know what the ideal or even better system would be for encouraging/requiring more/less course work but I have seen mixed messages here. I am fine with reimbursing teachers, but only if whatever system they are learning about has a proven record.
 
2013-03-30 12:17:54 PM  
The teachers and principals will suffer for this. The superintendent, if she's a paid up member of the School Superintendent  Mafia, will be relocated to a different city and given a significant pay raise.
 
2013-03-30 12:27:13 PM  

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.


And cheating thousands of people out of a decent education?  This crap will effect their entire lives, and not for the better...
 
2013-03-30 12:31:41 PM  

Maul555: 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.

And cheating thousands of people out of a decent education?  This crap will effect their entire lives, and not for the better...


I don't see how this in any way cheated anybody out of an education or affected their lives for the worse.

It was a bullshiat standardized test that exists as a means that legislators can use to punish teachers and schools, not anything to do with teaching kids.
 
2013-03-30 12:52:57 PM  

Silly Jesus: Some kids need to be left behind.  Everyone isn't college material.  Part of the reason that we compare so poorly to other countries on test scores is because they start to weed out the trash collectors, fine arts majors and nursing home workers early on.  There's nothing wrong with those career paths, but those folks don't need to be taking the SAT.


And the reason why we don't want to leave behind people who are generally not college material is, well, who wants to live their life being treated like worthless crap for the entertainment of upper society, just because of your type of job?
 
2013-03-30 01:03:56 PM  
Just remember, kids: Two wrongs make a right!
 
2013-03-30 01:19:32 PM  

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


This!


Voucher programs have the potential to create schools that outperform the best in the world...   When you give educators the ability to try every kind of new and different thing, even things that nobody has ever thought of, then we can soar to the top.  The beautiful thing about voucher programs is that in addition to all of that, it rewards good schools, drives bad schools out of business, and gives every parent the ability to make sure their kids never get stuck in a bad school.
 
2013-03-30 01:27:24 PM  

liam76: You are only looking at part of what I am suggesting.


No, I responded to what you suggested specifically. Incoming scores show a high degree of correlation with outgoing scores, and changes to this data reflect unreliable instruments rather than teacher ability. This means we cannot assume teachers of comparable incoming scores but different outgoing scores were better or worse than each other based on those scores but rather this is a fault of the degree of reliability possible in such an instrument. Now, should we get consistent incoming scores with a teacher to compare to teachers of similar experience with similar, consistent incoming scores over several years, we are able to say something after a while. A quality teacher in one circumstance is not a quality teacher in all circumstances, and an ineffective teacher in one circumstance is not an ineffective teacher in all circumstances, and value-added measures with this idea of comparable scores as a single snapshot forgets the purpose of those tests was to measure teacher quality rather than measure teacher ability to raise scores.

liam76: All corrected for by rating them against teachers with similar incoming scores.


Not at all. This assumes students have followed similar trends to get to this score in this year and those trends are the result of this school. What of changing schools for teacher or student? What of changing grade levels or subject area for teachers? And what of trends which show a change in environment which may increase or decrease performance which is compounding?

The vast majority of students will change schools twice at least due to progressing from elementary to middle to high school. Not all students will attend all of the same schools. Two students leave one school with similar scores and attend two different schools in the following year. One student makes greater gains than the other; is this a result of teacher quality alone? No as the school expectations, interactions with other teachers, administrative pressures, etc., all influence those outcomes. We need a wealth of data to compare trends to get something truly meaningful.

liam76: Neither of those jobs was "repetitive".


I suppose "repetitive" is not the best word but thought this would be explanative about the types of tasks I am referring to without being insulting by saying "noncognitive", "noncreative", etc., or nonexplanative by saying "analytical" or similar. There are tasks where the decisions being made are well-defined, and often few decisions need to be made but rather analysis has to be made. Repairing a vehicle, for instance, is not a repetitive task in terms of doing the same activities hour to hour and day to day but rather you are able to repeat diagnostic procedures to assess the problem and make appropriate repairs. Those tasks are not easier or simpler than education, merely the goal is well-defined and procedures are established. Education is not a well-defined goal, and procedures are basically nonexistent.

I tried to explain what I meant by "repetitive" further in cause I do not know a fantastic term for this.

liam76: You have anything to back that up?


http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html Let me supply this link. He covers the information and provides several sources to support. I have some others which I use for references but am not at my work computer and frankly too lazy to look up again. This is what got me interested in motivational theory, though.

liam76: Not sure what the gripe here is.

You are getting money for your masters, but you don't think it is enough?

There is a requirement for additional learning, but not enough?


I am getting a slight bump in salary for my master's which speaks to the lack of concern the district has for my continued education. Fortunately, the salary bonus is not the incentive for me, but there is no incentive outside of my own personal dedication to the profession provided by my district despite an expressed want for additional teachers with advanced training. Additional training is not provided (quality training, some is provided, but nowhere near enough, long enough, or with appropriate practices) or otherwise incentivized by the district despite an expressed commitment to this. What I am talking about, however, is the entire system is not built to allow me to become a higher quality teacher without excessive effort and costs to myself. The school system expects improvement in student outcomes but does nothing to provide for this. I cannot simply work harder in my day to improve student outcomes; I have to have the opportunity develop myself professionally in a meaningful way.

liam76: seem to recall teachers on Fark biatching about all the extra classes they have to take.

Because this is often out of pocket, additional time, and worthless. The training provided by my district is pitiful, tending to revolve around handling the new systems and procedures which do nothing for my practice. What additional training I seek out is expensive and time-consuming.
 
2013-03-30 01:30:50 PM  
Nutsac_Jim
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.


That works in theory. In reality, shiat like TFA happens. Which is exactly what people said would happen when "No Child Left Behind" was introduced.


mialynneb
I would have left teaching years ago

I hate this mentality so much. "The system is rigged, so I'm going to quit." No. What you need to do is revolt. Like those teachers in Washington who are simply refusing to give any more bullshiat tests. That's a good start.
 
2013-03-30 01:31:47 PM  

Maul555: YixilTesiphon: Big school districts seem to always be corrupt disasters. We need to go to vouchers for every kid with a public option.

This!


Voucher programs have the potential to create schools that outperform the best in the world...   When you give educators the ability to try every kind of new and different thing, even things that nobody has ever thought of, then we can soar to the top.  The beautiful thing about voucher programs is that in addition to all of that, it rewards good schools, drives bad schools out of business, and gives every parent the ability to make sure their kids never get stuck in a bad school.


BS.

All vouchers will do is take money from the public schools who will be stuck with all the tards, thugs, people whose parents can't be assed out to get them in a good schools, and people who can't cover the spread between the voucher and the cost of private schools.

Most people can't go shopping for schools.  If you have two working parents or a single working parents you often need to send your kid to the closest school.

I don't like the idea in Finland, but I think outlawing private schools is  a lot better than bleeding them dry to help the rich and people who want tax dollars to help pay for their kids religious indoctrination.
 
2013-03-30 01:36:37 PM  

Silverstaff: 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.


I am tired of people trotting this this out and using it to block massive progress...   This is an extremly overblown threat that can be squashied with some simple standards that dont strangle the education system or the ability for educators to inivate.    One of my best friends is an Athiest and he was sent to a private christian school because it was doing a much better job than the public schools in the area.  They didn't try to convert him and he got a great education...  Can you believe they even taught about evolution there?  crazy!    Its not that hard to set some minimum standards in a voucher system man...
 
2013-03-30 01:39:58 PM  

liam76: Maul555: YixilTesiphon: Big school districts seem to always be corrupt disasters. We need to go to vouchers for every kid with a public option.

This!


Voucher programs have the potential to create schools that outperform the best in the world...   When you give educators the ability to try every kind of new and different thing, even things that nobody has ever thought of, then we can soar to the top.  The beautiful thing about voucher programs is that in addition to all of that, it rewards good schools, drives bad schools out of business, and gives every parent the ability to make sure their kids never get stuck in a bad school.

BS.

All vouchers will do is take money from the public schools who will be stuck with all the tards, thugs, people whose parents can't be assed out to get them in a good schools, and people who can't cover the spread between the voucher and the cost of private schools.

Most people can't go shopping for schools.  If you have two working parents or a single working parents you often need to send your kid to the closest school.

I don't like the idea in Finland, but I think outlawing private schools is  a lot better than bleeding them dry to help the rich and people who want tax dollars to help pay for their kids religious indoctrination.


Maybe you can tell me then why voucher systems have been a huge success where they have been tried.
 
2013-03-30 01:41:00 PM  
i.imgur.com

What? I should not have done that?  I was just thinking of the children$. THE CHILDREN$!
 
2013-03-30 01:42:28 PM  

Maul555: The beautiful thing about voucher programs is that in addition to all of that, it rewards good schools, drives bad schools out of business


Schools are not a business. What this does is punish lower schools by removing resources and thus closing or further reducing schools in the poorest districts where parents are less informed about the vouchers, vouchers may not cover the whole of tuition, or transportation may not be readily available. You know what would work? To provide appropriate funding and resources, incentivize high performing teachers to assist in those schools, and to plan school-wide interventions for academics and behavior. Removing funds and shutting this school will only hurt the most vulnerable populations.

Again, schools are not a business. No other business has involuntary and highly-diversified consumers of an ill-defined product.
 
2013-03-30 01:51:30 PM  
And why do you automatically assume that the public schools would be run down hell holes filled with the worst of the worst in a voucher program?   Why do you think that there would be no educators with a passion to teach those who need it the most?  Why do you think a voucher system wouldn't also create innovative new schools that specialize in educating the disabled and the disorderly?  In addition to that, the problems with existing public schools will be much easier to fix when you can look at real examples of schools "doing it right" all over your city that are essentially providing everyone with the exact blueprint on how to go about fixing the bad schools.    But no... I am sure that's all fantasy, and instead we need to come up with a much more intricate "one size fits all" mandated education scheme or copy other countries blindly...     Forgive me for thinking that America can do better than the best the world currently has to offer...  We can do better than simply being as good as Norway.
 
2013-03-30 01:56:03 PM  

Vangor: liam76: You are only looking at part of what I am suggesting.

No, I responded to what you suggested specifically. Incoming scores show a high degree of correlation with outgoing scores, and changes to this data reflect unreliable instruments rather than teacher ability.


If the teachers ability doesn't effect the score, which you seem to be arguing, then why pay them more?

Vangor: Now, should we get consistent incoming scores with a teacher to compare to teachers of similar experience with similar, consistent incoming scores over several years, we are able to say something after a while. A quality teacher in one circumstance is not a quality teacher in all circumstances, and an ineffective teacher in one circumstance is not an ineffective teacher in all circumstances, and value-added measures with this idea of comparable scores as a single snapshot forgets the purpose of those tests was to measure teacher quality rather than measure teacher ability to raise scores


If you are not a quality teacher in that circumstance you shouldn't be rewarded like one.

What other objective measure do we have of teacher quality than the ability to change scores?  Or more importantly what measure could be used that a union wouldn't decry as unfair and keep teachers from being not rewarded based off of it?

The "snapshot" shoudln't be used to fire or huge reward one take.  You rate in the bottom fifth that year cost of living adjustment, and required training or supervision, you do it for a few years, look at firing the teacher.  You are in the top fifth, bonus, and a pay raise, you do it for a few years, you advise the struggling teachers (and more money).  Second to top fifth, smaller bonus, smaller pay raise.  Etc.

Vangor: Not at all. This assumes students have followed similar trends to get to this score in this year and those trends are the result of this school. What of changing schools for teacher or student? What of changing grade levels or subject area for teachers? And what of trends which show a change in environment which may increase or decrease performance which is compounding?


These would be good points if you were basing them off of 1 student.  No teacher is going to get a class of all new students.

Not sure why a teacher changing schools or subject should get a "pass".  In my current profession I have changed "jobs" when I start out I am not as good as I was after a few years.  Did I deserve the same bonuses as people who did it better just because I was new?


Vangor: I suppose "repetitive" is not the best word but thought this would be explanative about the types of tasks I am referring to without being insulting by saying "noncognitive", "noncreative", etc., or nonexplanative by saying "analytical" or similar. There are tasks where the decisions being made are well-defined, and often few decisions need to be made but rather analysis has to be made. Repairing a vehicle, for instance, is not a repetitive task in terms of doing the same activities hour to hour and day to day but rather you are able to repeat diagnostic procedures to assess the problem and make appropriate repairs. Those tasks are not easier or simpler than education, merely the goal is well-defined and procedures are established. Education is not a well-defined goal, and procedures are basically nonexistent.


One of the main reasons I am for standardized tests.

Thanks for the link, I will have to check it out when I have time.  However I think the money is important here, not just for short term rewards for performance (what I assume his video is about) but long term making teacher in general more sought after by high performers.

Vangor: I am getting a slight bump in salary for my master's which speaks to the lack of concern the district has for my continued education. Fortunately, the salary bonus is not the incentive for me, but there is no incentive outside of my own personal dedication to the profession provided by my district despite an expressed want for additional teachers with advanced training. Additional training is not provided (quality training, some is provided, but nowhere near enough, long enough, or with appropriate practices) or otherwise incentivized by the district despite an expressed commitment to this. What I am talking about, however, is the entire system is not built to allow me to become a higher quality teacher without excessive effort and costs to myself. The school system expects improvement in student outcomes but does nothing to provide for this. I cannot simply work harder in my day to improve student outcomes; I have to have the opportunity develop myself professionally in a meaningful way.


I find it very tough to swallow that the only or even best way fro a teacher to improve is through outside training.

As I said before I don't know enough about to comment on how rewards for education and training should play out, but in places where it is pushed it is either too much (or as your other comment talked about and my friends biatch about) the wrong kind.  I don't know how you would get a system with the "right kind" and the "right" motivation.

It is a whole other topic but there are a lot of problems with paying peopel for better degrees with our for profit industry in the US.
 
2013-03-30 01:57:13 PM  

Vangor: Maul555: The beautiful thing about voucher programs is that in addition to all of that, it rewards good schools, drives bad schools out of business

Schools are not a business. What this does is punish lower schools by removing resources and thus closing or further reducing schools in the poorest districts where parents are less informed about the vouchers, vouchers may not cover the whole of tuition, or transportation may not be readily available. You know what would work? To provide appropriate funding and resources, incentivize high performing teachers to assist in those schools, and to plan school-wide interventions for academics and behavior. Removing funds and shutting this school will only hurt the most vulnerable populations.

Again, schools are not a business. No other business has involuntary and highly-diversified consumers of an ill-defined product.


Actually, schools are essentially a business...  They are a government funded educated people factory...  I am just talking about bringing market forces into what is now a government monopoly so we can increase quality and lower costs...
 
2013-03-30 01:57:50 PM  

LesserEvil: People need to stop perpetuating the lie that schools are underfunded.


Thinking about Chicago here but when you see a school with it's library closed with no computer lab or air conditioning you think it must be underfunded. When you see a school with no nurse or psychiatrist and not enough special education teachers for the students you think it must be underfunded. When you see a school where the paint is peeling, the ceiling tiles are falling down and only half the kids in a room of 30 have textbooks you think it must be underfunded.

And you know what? It is underfunded! The school system might be getting stacks of cash but trust me, the schools themselves are underfunded.
 
2013-03-30 01:57:55 PM  

ontariolightning: 45 years in prison but banksters go scott free?


You sound hip and infromed
 
2013-03-30 02:00:23 PM  

Maul555: Maybe you can tell me then why voucher systems have been a huge success where they have been tried


Voucher schools are self selecting.  They only get "good kids" where the parents are involved.  They also generally get the better off kids who can split the difference between the voucher and the actual cost.

There are some exceptions to this, but they are very far from the norm.

And when you do this (take the good kids who have parents that care from schools, along with the money from them) the public schools int he area go to shiat.  They have a smaller amount of money per kid and the kids are much worse.
 
2013-03-30 02:06:51 PM  

Maul555: Actually, schools are essentially a business... They are a government funded educated people factory... I am just talking about bringing market forces into what is now a government monopoly so we can increase quality and lower costs.


You won't "increase quality".  You won't "lower cost".

You will drain money, resources and the kids with good parents (who are mostly the good kids) from public schools and allow private schools to profit since they don;t have to worry about the tard, thugs, and kids with shiatty parents.

Then we get right wing retard morons who are too farking thick to see that the main reason charter school are a "success" is because they don't have to deal with 90% of the problems that public schools do claiming the "free market worked" not realizing it is another case of "privatizing profits and socializing losses".  If it is any service or good that you "need" then 99% of the time privatizing it is a farking terrible idea.
 
2013-03-30 02:25:20 PM  

Maul555: Why do you think a voucher system wouldn't also create innovative new schools that specialize in educating the disabled and the disorderly?


haha, ok buddy.

You really think a for profit school is going to take the huge financial hit of taking care of the disabled and disorderly for the price of a regular school voucher?
 
2013-03-30 02:31:52 PM  

liam76: If the teachers ability doesn't effect the score, which you seem to be arguing, then why pay them more?


Didn't say teacher ability does not affect scores, merely unreliable instrumentation would be the common assumption of changes due to the high degree of correlation. Plus, I am not much for merit pay, I would just prefer a higher salary because who wouldn't? Were merit pay implemented well enough with the ability to increase my pay above current scales, I would not work any harder because I expect my current work ethic and ability to be among the highest tiers.

liam76: If you are not a quality teacher in that circumstance you shouldn't be rewarded like one.


But we want to identify quality teachers, not penalize them for the year to year changes in circumstance such as class composition, new position, new district and state requirements, new tests and standards, etc.. I am not speaking of merit pay itself as much as how to identify those quality teachers which allows us to remove ineffective teachers, restructure as needed, find quality strategies, and target interventions for schools and teachers. This should be a tool to use to increase performance of our education system, not simply pay some teachers based on test scores.

liam76: What other objective measure do we have of teacher quality than the ability to change scores?  Or more importantly what measure could be used that a union wouldn't decry as unfair and keep teachers from being not rewarded based off of it?


Ability to change scores is fine, but not in a snapshot. As said, measure the change in trend relative to teachers of those incoming scores over numerous years. If you find a teacher is able to reverse downward trends and accelerate upward trends in progress more consistently or more thoroughly compared to peers in similar circumstance, this is a teacher of higher quality. We want to know teacher quality. If we want to keep or remove and reward or penalize based on teacher quality, we need to find teacher quality.

liam76: These would be good points if you were basing them off of 1 student.  No teacher is going to get a class of all new students.


Except I identified a circumstance where the vast majority of students will change schools twice; elementary to middle to high school. The vast majority of students will also be new to each grade level which has different levels of expectations and peer support. Those things change the progress of students.

liam76: Not sure why a teacher changing schools or subject should get a "pass".  In my current profession I have changed "jobs" when I start out I am not as good as I was after a few years.  Did I deserve the same bonuses as people who did it better just because I was new?


Because you are arguing from merit pay alone rather than what merit pay is meant to represent; teacher quality. Whether or not a place implements merit pay is secondary to the ability to locate quality teachers. Your current profession likely has a much better defined product than education, which is the crux of this problem. High test scores are not our product.

liam76: However I think the money is important here, not just for short term rewards for performance (what I assume his video is about) but long term making teacher in general more sought after by high performers.


I agree, but I do not feel money needs be given to the teachers in terms of higher salary as much as quality facilities, quality training, support for further training, appropriate support staff, access to resources, etc.. Not having to spend money on my own classroom and training would give be a decent pay raise, and not having to wait on necessary resources or have facilities down and too little access to support staff would make my position far easier to accomplish.

liam76: I find it very tough to swallow that the only or even best way fro a teacher to improve is through outside training.


After the first couple of years, all teaching experience will do is reinforce your practices and make them easier. A teacher needs access to research, new methods, new materials, new diagnostic tools, new intervention strategies, new collaborative practices, etc., which are not found within their own classroom. Did you know in Japan an introductory teacher is given a master teacher who does not have a classroom themselves but rather assists with the classroom of the introductory teacher for the first full year? All teachers are provided time to collaborate with one another to develop lessons, and teachers are provided additional time to observe peers implement lessons and provide feedback. Plus, schools provide more time for overall training. This is what I am talking about in a system.
 
2013-03-30 02:35:53 PM  

Maul555: Actually, schools are essentially a business...  They are a government funded educated people factory...  I am just talking about bringing market forces into what is now a government monopoly so we can increase quality and lower costs...


What is an educated person? What information should the educated person know and what skills should the educated person possess? How do you measure those? Those are complicated enough, but let us make the idea of a well-defined product absurd and start talking about developmental differences and differences of background. Schools are not a business. We are there to set the foundation for persons to make a multitude of decisions which are not the same as anyone else.
 
2013-03-30 02:38:22 PM  
Why do people have this idea that you can take a public service, privatize it, and somehow it will magically work better for everyone?

What twisted logic makes people think that by putting profits first instead of public service, it will somehow make the end product better?

Look at the goddamn train wreck that privatized prisons has brought us.

Profitable anything doesn't mean better quality, it means better marketing and cornering the market.  Windows is a shiatty OS, but it's got the virtual monopoly on PC OS's.  McDonalds burgers are atrocious. . .but they serve billions of them thanks to marketing and distribution.  Profitable product is not the same thing as a high quality product, and with education we (as a society) want high quality, not high profit.

What privatization (such as voucher schools) brings is a profit motive, not a motivation to improve the quality of the education.

Maul555: This is an extremly overblown threat that can be squashied with some simple standards that dont strangle the education system or the ability for educators to inivate. One of my best friends is an Athiest and he was sent to a private christian school because it was doing a much better job than the public schools in the area. They didn't try to convert him and he got a great education... Can you believe they even taught about evolution there? crazy! Its not that hard to set some minimum standards in a voucher system man...


It's extremely hard to get reasonable minimum standards set even in existing public schools.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13te xas.html?_r=1&;">New York Times reports on the new standards in Texas schools, which officially declare that the curriculum in Texas schools should teach that Senator McCarthy was justified and correct in his witch-hunt, that the economic boom of the 1980's was due to primarily due to the efforts of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, and state that the US was founded explicitly on Christian principles and ideals as inspired by Christian thinkers of the Protestant Reformation.

It took a Federal case, literally, in 2004 to get "Intelligent Design" thrown out of public schools. (Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, )),

With as politically charged as a public school curriculum are and as hard as it is to remove backwards blatantly wrong things like creationism from public schools, you think there's any chance in hell of being able to remove them from private schools under a voucher system?

Yeah, some private Christians schools aren't bad.  Some.  However, I've got a real problem with using taxpayer money to underwrite the ones that are engaging in religious indoctrination and turning out blatantly uneducated graduates.  It's hard enough to stamp out unscientific bullshiat like creationism when it's just public schools.
 
2013-03-30 02:41:23 PM  
If teachers or principals at privately-owned (and politically influential) charter schools pencil-whip the test results, do they go to jail?  Oh right, they are free-marketeers waving their copies of Atlas Shrugged, so 'no'.
 
2013-03-30 02:45:03 PM  

derpy: Part of the reason that we compare so poorly to other countries on test scores is because they start to weed out the trash collectors, fine arts majors and nursing home workerstrain kids in science, math and engineering early on, instead of importing foreign visa workers/scabs to save a few bucks.


FTFY.
 
2013-03-30 02:48:44 PM  

Silverstaff: Maul555: 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.

And cheating thousands of people out of a decent education?  This crap will effect their entire lives, and not for the better...

I don't see how this in any way cheated anybody out of an education or affected their lives for the worse.

It was a bullshiat standardized test that exists as a means that legislators can use to punish teachers and schools, not anything to do with teaching kids.


PMT. If anything the fudged numbers gave the schools more money to better educate the students.
 
2013-03-30 02:50:57 PM  

WhippingBoy: 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"


And the Fark Engineering Brigadetm rides into town over the hill bringing their promises of high salaries and no Liberal Arts education, as anything but Engineering and Science is worthless.

Cue booming symphonic soundtrack.
 
2013-03-30 02:54:55 PM  

liam76: 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.


Should not incompetent teachers be fired? How did we come about with the cunning plan of whittling their paycheck down to gas station attendant equivalent in the hopes that they'll magically get better or go away?

Foreign medical school grads have to take a practical exam with simulated patients to get US licensure. Maybe we should randomly select classroom lessons performances, record them and have them graded by standardized education experts.
 
2013-03-30 02:55:37 PM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: If teachers or principals at privately-owned (and politically influential) charter schools pencil-whip the test results, do they go to jail?  Oh right, they are free-marketeers waving their copies of Atlas Shrugged, so 'no'.


Fun fact about that, something like 2/3rds of Ohio's Charter schools are in pretty serious trouble, both financially and academically. Hell, the school that Kasich sent his kids to actually closed.

My sister works at a Charter School. She loves her kids, works her ass off, all for less money, an administration that is concerned solely, it seems, with the bottom line. They treat her like shiat, but remember, FREE MARKET.
 
2013-03-30 03:06:15 PM  
 
2013-03-30 03:37:18 PM  
You want to know what's funny? There's a simple, easy, and darn near guaranteed way to substantially improve teaching in all of our schools.

Put two teachers into every classroom.
Class size can go up to 36.


There. Of course, you'll still need administration to supervise (as they already should be), and regular professional development (as they already should be)... but we know FOR SURE this will improve teaching (provided they hire halfway decent teachers, as they already should be).

It doesn't even cost that much. But for some reason people don't go for this. They say "that's too expensive!" but are happy to fund tons of non teaching positions at each school that make more money than teachers but hardly do anything. The result is that teachers who are smart and skilled are discouraged from staying as "just teachers" because they work very hard, make little, and get to watch these "coaches" "experts" "coordinators" and "administrators" walk around in designer clothing that never gets dirty.
 
2013-03-30 03:51:42 PM  

LiberalEastCoastElitist: liam76: 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.

Should not incompetent teachers be fired? How did we come about with the cunning plan of whittling their paycheck down to gas station attendant equivalent in the hopes that they'll magically get better or go away?

Foreign medical school grads have to take a practical exam with simulated patients to get US licensure. Maybe we should randomly select classroom lessons performances, record them and have them graded by standardized education experts.


This has been tried and found to work really well. Not only does it help identify "bad" teachers it gives the teachers and administrators feedback that actually allows the teachers who want to improve to improve. Of course, it's expensive and requires a trained corps of educational experts so most districts just stick with multiple choice tests.
 
2013-03-30 03:56:15 PM  
www.highdesertdigital.net
Based solely on the picture I assume its because cute girls with sassy haircuts are bad at math.
 
2013-03-30 06:49:19 PM  

gadian: 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.


That's what the test evangelists don't get, along with a great many other things, like tying shoes and not pissing on their hands.

Teaching is not like factory work, where the quality of the incoming raw material can be monitored, altered or rejected to get the best results in the finished product. Humans are infinitely variable, and teachers can't do a damn thing about that variability, so they do the best they can with the materials they get... which change every year.

Imagine if you made wooden sculptures. One shipment of wood has nice grain, is dry and has no knots or staples or nails... and the quality of what you could make from it would be near perfect. The next shipment is wet, has bug holes, knots, and staples by the pound. Yet you have to work with it anyway. Will the quality of your sculptures be the same?

One kid can screw the average for a class.  A class full of those "one kids" can screw up an entire school. What is a teacher supposed to do?
 
2013-03-30 07:17:29 PM  
OgreMagi:
I'm not outraged that they make that much.  I'm just sick of hearing them cry poverty.  And take into account my dad was a public school teacher, but that was before teacher salaries were decent.

$68k isn't "poverty", but when the median price for a house in, say San Diego county ($372,000, was $510,000 in 2006) or LA county ($380,000, was $575,000 in 2007) or San Francisco ($749,000, was $835,000 in 2007)... well, $68k is closer to poverty than not. Toss in tens of thousands in student loan debt and "decent" takes on a whole new and relative meaning.
 
2013-03-30 07:45:23 PM  

doglover: 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.


My sympathies about the Pittsburgh bit.  I understand why you moved to another continent.
 
2013-03-30 09:30:19 PM  

theBigBigEye: Silly Jesus: Some kids need to be left behind.  Everyone isn't college material.  Part of the reason that we compare so poorly to other countries on test scores is because they start to weed out the trash collectors, fine arts majors and nursing home workers early on.  There's nothing wrong with those career paths, but those folks don't need to be taking the SAT.

And the reason why we don't want to leave behind people who are generally not college material is, well, who wants to live their life being treated like worthless crap for the entertainment of upper society, just because of your type of job?


So go to college and flunk out?  Not sure what you're getting at.
 
2013-03-30 10:30:07 PM  

Silverstaff: Why do people have this idea that you can take a public service, privatize it, and somehow it will magically work better for everyone?

What twisted logic makes people think that by putting profits first instead of public service, it will somehow make the end product better?

Look at the goddamn train wreck that privatized prisons has brought us.

Profitable anything doesn't mean better quality, it means better marketing and cornering the market.  Windows is a shiatty OS, but it's got the virtual monopoly on PC OS's.  McDonalds burgers are atrocious. . .but they serve billions of them thanks to marketing and distribution.  Profitable product is not the same thing as a high quality product, and with education we (as a society) want high quality, not high profit.

What privatization (such as voucher schools) brings is a profit motive, not a motivation to improve the quality of the education.

Maul555: This is an extremly overblown threat that can be squashied with some simple standards that dont strangle the education system or the ability for educators to inivate. One of my best friends is an Athiest and he was sent to a private christian school because it was doing a much better job than the public schools in the area. They didn't try to convert him and he got a great education... Can you believe they even taught about evolution there? crazy! Its not that hard to set some minimum standards in a voucher system man...

It's extremely hard to get reasonable minimum standards set even in existing public schools.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13te xas.html?_r=1&;">New York Times reports on the new standards in Texas schools, which officially declare that the curriculum in Texas schools should teach that Senator McCarthy was justified and correct in his witch-hunt, that the economic boom of the 1980's was due to primarily due to the efforts of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, and state that the US was founded explicitly on Christian principles and ideals ...


Me and my friends went through the same Texas public and private schools that you describe, and  yet I have not yet seen one iota of the biased bullshiat that you describe...  Chances are your textbooks are the exact same as ours.   Texas, as you probably know, has an extremely large influence on the United States educational textbook market.   Yet, having grown up in Texas, I cannot recall a single instance of creationism being taught except to let us know what it is and that some people out there believe it it to be fact... But the core of the learning has always been evolution as far back as I can remember.
 
2013-03-30 10:40:54 PM  
I don't have all the answers, but the only thing that I can guarantee you is this;  If you allow people to innovate and try new things, then they will, and the world can be a better place because of it.
 
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