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(Slate)   If you think standardized testing is bad, wait until you see what happens when a parent opts her kid out of the test   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, University of Denver, parents, standardized test, online school, report cards, school library  
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21857 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Mar 2014 at 1:11 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



295 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2014-03-10 12:48:51 PM  
"Voluntary" has been a synonym with "mandated" for a long time in China

I really don't think we should be using the Chinese as our guides for political advancement.

//Not serious post
 
2014-03-10 12:56:04 PM  
What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.
 
2014-03-10 12:58:32 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


1/10.  RTFA, asshole.
 
2014-03-10 01:13:55 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.


I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.
 
2014-03-10 01:13:55 PM  
People need to know when they are conquered. Now sit down and bubble in the responses because reasons.
 
2014-03-10 01:14:23 PM  
Not sure I agree that skipping tests will help the daughter's test taking anxiety, but whatever.

Outragey Slate article is outraged.  Shocker.
 
2014-03-10 01:16:56 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.


BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.
 
2014-03-10 01:18:24 PM  
That was a lot of effort to avoid her kids taking the tests.  I can see why she wouldn't go out of her way for the kids to take them, but that was a lot of work to avoid them.

Not worth it...
 
2014-03-10 01:18:26 PM  
So the outrageous actions the school took were... asking her nicely, lots of times?

 - Opting out of testing does not seem like a way to reduce test-taking anxiety. And yes, if that is your reason, taking more tests IS likely to help on future standardized tests (like the ACT, as someone from the school mentioned).
 - Opting out of test day does nothing to address most, valid concerns about standardized testing as overarching control of modern schooling. They're still in the same classes, with the same teacher, going over the same material. This seems... pointless?
 
2014-03-10 01:18:37 PM  
More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

On the plus side, I did get to literally fark around during the last two years of primary schooling due to this crap.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:03 PM  
Can anyone name another industry that puts as much effort into self-evaluation (at the expense of its actual purpose) as education?

Schools today are like a restaurant where the cooks are eating 75% of the food made to make sure it's good.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:21 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


Public schools do this type of testing so they can get their piece of the public funding pie. ($$$$$$$)

Private schools do not do similar testing.

Has nothing to do with snowflakes.  This is one article you might consider taking the few minutes to read and how these types of tests don't do anything for the students, but everything for the schools they attend.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:24 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


Pretty much. Her reasons for not having the children take take the test are stupid. Who cares if they are only in the schooldistrict for a year? So what if your child has anxiety? Just have them study and participate. If the children truly are such strong students it shouldn't matter if the test is standardised or not.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:32 PM  
 
2014-03-10 01:19:36 PM  
If the test is truly irrelevant enough to skip why not treat it as practice for dealing with test anxiety? Or use it to teach your kid that sometimes in life you have to jump through bullshiat hoops just because?
 
2014-03-10 01:19:45 PM  
FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:06 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.


And yet, actually reading and understanding the article continues to go right over your head. Amazing.

Let me guess: your livelihood depends on standardized testing. If so, kill yourself.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:13 PM  
I really kind of missed what the point of this whole exercise was. It's also sad that public educators have to grovel to people that are benefiting from an education and refusing to participate in something that, fairly or not, really does affect school funding.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:19 PM  
I got this EXACT same run around when trying to opt my child out of ISAT (illinois equivalent). The ISAT is being phased out, and is in it's final year. My son is in 5th grade and would do 5th grade testing, but he's been doing 7th and 8th grade course work all year with great success. Why the hell would I want to test him at the 5th grade level?

His school threatened everything they could. Unexcused absences, not letting him even roll next year, holding him from extra curriculars. I had to have my lawyer call the school board to stop the harassment.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:40 PM  
Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?
 
2014-03-10 01:21:13 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.


Except, no one provided an adequate explanation of what her kids were getting out of it.  Isn't that the simple threshold?  Have a good reason to do things?
 
2014-03-10 01:21:24 PM  
Well as long as 1 example = proof of a concept.
 
2014-03-10 01:21:49 PM  
FTA:

My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests.

When I answered that I very much appreciated her call but was going to stick by my decision, she offered several reasons why my daughter should take the test.
 First, taking TCAP (, the relatively new set of state standardized tests) would help my daughter on the ACT. Huh. Given that she's only in seventh grade, I wasn't buying that one.

It is pretty well documented that taking tests makes you better at... tests.  And yes, starting earlier will help.  So, while the author pats herself on the back for biting her thumb at the testing industry, her daughter will suffer for it.  Especially for someone who may have previously experienced anxiety.  My money is that pressure came from Mom & Dad to begin with.
 
2014-03-10 01:22:09 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.


Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.
 
2014-03-10 01:23:19 PM  

wxboy: The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.


Going along with it out of fear of the schools not receiving funding doesn't help it either. It only holds people hostage to a broken system.
 
2014-03-10 01:23:36 PM  
You can mandate these stupid exams but not vaccinations?
How farked up is that?
 
2014-03-10 01:23:57 PM  
These kids are already tested in each individual class they take.  This test has nothing to do with their progress and everything to do with funding and ranking the schools.

Bottom line is $$$$ for the school districts.
 
2014-03-10 01:24:03 PM  
A child is being left behind!!
 
2014-03-10 01:24:08 PM  
The author kind of rubs me the wrong way on this, but I'm not a fan of how far standarized testing has grown into being the nearly sole metric of value when it comes to educating our kids so maybe I'm relunctantly on her side?
 
2014-03-10 01:24:13 PM  
So she opted he kids out for no reason other than she felt like it, and what happened was... nothing? A couple of phone calls and emails? Some AWing on Mom's part?

Jeeze, Overreactionmitter, from the headline I was expecting CPS involvement or an educational neglect charge at least.
 
2014-03-10 01:24:21 PM  
"We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year"
"My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back "

I have some news for you lady.  Your constantly moving around for no real reason other than to make your resume look better as some sort of life achievement is doing FAR more harm than any standardized test every will.
 
2014-03-10 01:24:22 PM  
we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?
 
2014-03-10 01:24:32 PM  
Her response should have been, "well, she has these testing anxienty attacks and marks about one third of the answers as "E", and skips all the other questions.  Would like to take a minor hit on the participation percentage or a big hit on the score average?"
 
2014-03-10 01:24:56 PM  

SmellsLikePoo: FTA:

My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests.

When I answered that I very much appreciated her call but was going to stick by my decision, she offered several reasons why my daughter should take the test. First, taking TCAP (, the relatively new set of state standardized tests) would help my daughter on the ACT. Huh. Given that she's only in seventh grade, I wasn't buying that one.

It is pretty well documented that taking tests makes you better at... tests.  And yes, starting earlier will help.  So, while the author pats herself on the back for biting her thumb at the testing industry, her daughter will suffer for it.  Especially for someone who may have previously experienced anxiety.  My money is that pressure came from Mom & Dad to begin with.


According to their missions, standardized testing experience should be helpful for the SAT, but less so for the ACT -- which ironically is more explicitly designed to replicate curriculum success.
 
2014-03-10 01:25:24 PM  

ransack.: Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?


Of course.  You can write an article about whether a school has made a questionable decision.
 
2014-03-10 01:25:28 PM  

CruJones: That was a lot of effort to avoid her kids taking the tests.  I can see why she wouldn't go out of her way for the kids to take them, but that was a lot of work to avoid them.

Not worth it...


Well apparently the principal was tougher to shake than an Amway salesman. The school didn't offer much more than "but that's how we fill out paperwork normally! What will we do if the paperwork isn't filled out?"
 
2014-03-10 01:25:53 PM  
doyner:

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.


While I agree with these points, they are counterbalanced by the fact that opting out was an option on the enrollment paperwork. Why make it an option, and then push so hard when someone takes that option?

The motivation of the principal is suspect. The author indicates that her daughters are strong students. It seems that the principal is intent on including strong scores to help push the curve of the school's scoring results.

Those are the things that bother me more than the points you mentioned.
 
2014-03-10 01:25:53 PM  
Opting out denies the gubmint of the funding of the saggy titty meal system.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:04 PM  
If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:11 PM  

doyner: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.


Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.

To my mind, though, the story is more about the attempt at a zero-tolerance policy toward non-conformity, not the test itself.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:40 PM  
I could not help but compare this woman stricken with the vapors to the parent of a home schooled kid who just can't wait for their kid to take standardized tests to prove that their kid is learning. I'll also wager this woman is adamantly opposed to home schooling yet she certainly wants some of the benefits that home school parents have!

  I'm liberal myself but i can see by articles like this what people mean when they say "Liberals are weird."
 
2014-03-10 01:26:42 PM  
i would just tell my kids to answer every question wrong on purpose.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:55 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


A university professor on sabbatical after getting tenure?
 
2014-03-10 01:27:12 PM  

Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.


It's almost as though people are choosing to ignore the fact that the standardized tests aren't the only way kids are being tested in schools...
 
2014-03-10 01:27:17 PM  

error 303: The author kind of rubs me the wrong way on this, but I'm not a fan of how far standarized testing has grown into being the nearly sole metric of value when it comes to educating our kids so maybe I'm relunctantly on her side?


My previous posts belie that I'm with you on this. It helps that the students arent being raised by some religious ssovereign citizen.
 
2014-03-10 01:27:19 PM  
And who gets text anxiety about a test that doesn't affect your grade?

I am not defending standardized testing, but I don't see how you get stressed about them.
 
2014-03-10 01:27:24 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: wxboy: The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.

Going along with it out of fear of the schools not receiving funding doesn't help it either. It only holds people hostage to a broken system.


There are other ways to do it.  If you can get ALL the parents at a school to opt out, then you send a message that will be heard.  Coordinate that with a media campaign and contacting legislators, and you might accomplish something.  A few parents pulling their kids out quietly doesn't do squat.
 
2014-03-10 01:27:49 PM  
The author is an attention whore
 
2014-03-10 01:28:10 PM  

ransack.: Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?


So here's how publishing works:

If you publish an article that nobody finds interesting, you've wasted resources.
 
2014-03-10 01:28:48 PM  

doyner: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

A university professor on sabbatical after getting tenure?


I don't know the details of her situation but if you know you are only going to be there a year maybe dad and kids stay where you lived so they don't have to be uprooted? As someone else said, this seems far more detrimental to the kids than the damn test.
 
2014-03-10 01:29:06 PM  

enderthexenocide: i would just tell my kids to answer every question wrong on purpose.


I don't know about this state but in mine if a child does poorly on standardized tests, academic intervention services become mandatory. So your kids would end up in remedial reading and math, whether they needed it or not.
 
2014-03-10 01:29:25 PM  

lostcat: While I agree with these points, they are counterbalanced by the fact that opting out was an option on the enrollment paperwork. Why make it an option, and then push so hard when someone takes that option?

The motivation of the principal is suspect. The author indicates that her daughters are strong students. It seems that the principal is intent on including strong scores to help push the curve of the school's scoring results.

Those are the things that bother me more than the points you mentioned.


I can agree with that analysis.  The gist of my critique is how weak of a standard-bearer this woman is.  There are certainly good reasons to buck the system, but she brings weak sauce.
 
2014-03-10 01:30:07 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.


You're Canadian. You have no idea how useless these tests are. They are created to test the teachers and the school, and show nothing whatsoever about the student.

However, because they are so important, schools only teach what might be on the test. Critical thinking? There's not a bubble for that, so let's not bother.

Art, music, philosophy? Nope. That's not on the test.

And when the school does badly on the test, they have to spend a ton of money on outside "educational consultants", which takes MORE money away from the school.

No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.
 
2014-03-10 01:30:24 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


The fake lawyer, blog writing kind...

Standardized tests are bullshiat anyway. I've never needed to know that a train traveling west at 100 mph will meet a train traveling east at 100 mph in 30 minutes; as such calculations have been rendered meaningless by paired rail tracks.
 
2014-03-10 01:31:14 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.

To my mind, though, the story is more about the attempt at a zero-tolerance policy toward non-conformity, not the test itself.


I'm not disagreeing with you.  I just thought the name calling towards swanie was a bit much in defense of a pretty weak argument by the author.
 
2014-03-10 01:31:35 PM  

bighairyguy: Her response should have been, "well, she has these testing anxienty attacks and marks about one third of the answers as "E", and skips all the other questions.  Would like to take a minor hit on the participation percentage or a big hit on the score average?"


When my son was doing the standardized testing, I told him it was all a joke as the school spent hours and hours teaching the test.

How to handle it?  "Hell kid, have fun.  Mark up the test all you want to fark with the results.  The only one who benefits from it is the school, not you."
 
2014-03-10 01:32:29 PM  
I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.
 
2014-03-10 01:32:36 PM  

what_now: swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.

You're Canadian. You have no idea how useless these tests are. They are created to test the teachers and the school, and show nothing whatsoever about the student.

However, because they are so important, schools only teach what might be on the test. Critical thinking? There's not a bubble for that, so let's not bother.

Art, music, philosophy? Nope. That's not on the test.

And when the school does badly on the test, they have to spend a ton of money on outside "educational consultants", which takes MORE money away from the school.

No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.


Have to agree. Last night my GF was preparing bags of fruit snacks for her sons class today because they have a rotation of moms to provide TCAP snacks this week. Why isn't their comfort as important when they are actually learning shiat?
 
2014-03-10 01:33:10 PM  

iheartscotch: Standardized tests are bullshiat anyway. I've never needed to know that a train traveling west at 100 mph will meet a train traveling east at 100 mph in 30 minutes; as such calculations have been rendered meaningless by paired rail tracks.

because "they bought their tickets, I say let 'em crash"
 
2014-03-10 01:33:43 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.
 
2014-03-10 01:34:31 PM  

doyner: 2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.



There is no educational benefit to the student with these sorts of tests. It's merely a metric to evaluate how well the school meets a certain criteria.
 
2014-03-10 01:35:43 PM  
Smeggy Smurf: I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.

Not surprised given your posting history. My beef with them has been mostly covered already and you either didn't read them or just don't get them.

You may not agree with them, but criticisms of standardized tests are easy to find:

http://fairtest.org/whats-Wrong-standardized-tests
 
2014-03-10 01:35:50 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.

It's almost as though people are choosing to ignore the fact that the standardized tests aren't the only way kids are being tested in schools...


That's at least 3 independent thought alarms in this thread. Willie, make all the farkers use gray computers.
 
2014-03-10 01:36:23 PM  
FTA: "The test results, she said, reward teachers by showing them that they are doing a good job. My reaction: And seeing their students' progress doesn't? "


Listen arshole, most teachers love to see their students succeed.  But states like to see test scores that prove kids are learning and then the states supply money to schools.  It's a BS system brought on by No Child Left Behind, but its the system state schools are in.
 
2014-03-10 01:36:36 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-10 01:37:00 PM  
I was expecting a thrilling finish to this exciting read....nothing.


/who the hell cares
 
2014-03-10 01:37:53 PM  

give me doughnuts: doyner: 2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.


There is no educational benefit to the student with these sorts of tests. It's merely a metric to evaluate how well the school meets a certain criteria.


Then make your argument from THAT angle, not from the blind-squirrel-finds-a-nut angle.
 
2014-03-10 01:38:20 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.


Doesn't sound to me like Mommy is sheltering the kids. It seems to me like the parents are self absorbed assholes. I am not a particular fan of standardized testing either, but the way this reads it seems like those parents are in it for themselves. I pity the children.
 
2014-03-10 01:39:10 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.

And yet, actually reading and understanding the article continues to go right over your head. Amazing.

Let me guess: your livelihood depends on standardized testing. If so, kill yourself.


Because "I try to not shelter my kids so they develop some sort of spine" (right or wrong as that approach may be) equals "my livelihood depends on standardized testing".

As doyner notes above,

she gave three reasons for opting her kid out of testing: one was meaningless ("we're just here for one academic year") and one was sheltering her little snowflake from the real world ("My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety"); only the third ("My husband and I see no educational benefit to the tests") has any real substance, and even then she admits that that reasoning was purely anecdotal and based on nothing factual ("we consulted our guts, not research").

She may have chosen the correct end result (or not), but her entire thought process -- her "logic" -- was so flawed as to be laughable. In that, she definitely taught her daughter a poor lesson: do what you feel is right; to hell with the facts. If you have a problem, don't try to conquer it: avoid it.

As Wikipedia puts it, "Standardized tests are useful tools for assessing student achievement, and can be used to focus instruction on desired outcomes, such as reading and math skills.[15] However, critics feel that overuse and misuse of these tests harms teaching and learning by narrowing the curriculum."

In that it is like Comic Sans: it has its place, and it has its use; the danger is in using it for everything and especially where it is inappropriate.

The vitriol in this thread is amazing ("Asshole"? "Go kill yourself"?) and I don't want to seem out of place, so let me end this with "You're kind of an ignorant twat."

:)
 
2014-03-10 01:39:36 PM  

ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.


Shame on her for earning money to pay for food, chothing, and shelter for her children.
What a monster. As is everyone else who has ever moved for a job, and disrupted the lives of their delicate little hothouse flowers.
 
2014-03-10 01:39:38 PM  

KyngNothing: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/201 3 /07/living_with_anxiety_and_panic_attacks_academia_needs_to_accommodat e_mental.html

The author's other slate article...


Well shiat. I don't need to read the article to know where that is going. My dad was a college professor. It got worse in the 90s when lots of kids would tell him "i don't test well." His response was "well, there are a lot of tests in college and life, so I guess you need to cope somehow."
 
2014-03-10 01:39:49 PM  
FARK's Hypocrisy

1) Parents who don't force their kids to do what is mandated by the schools are helicopter parents raising snowflakes.

2) The government is facelss machine that no one would show bow to.

3) People who do what is mandated for them are cookie-cutter people who live in cubicle farms and are miserable.

4) People shouldn't be forced to do things just because, and anyone who stands up to that is a hero.
 
2014-03-10 01:40:06 PM  
wxboy:
The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.

^^^This all day long.

Honestly, if the entire system were swapped it would make more sense.  Oh, this school sucks? Well then, send in some kind of specialist and fund them to correct the problems they have.  As far as I can tell they aren't using the information to solve any kind of problems, they just fling money at the better schools
 
2014-03-10 01:40:28 PM  
Our state has done standardized testing for decades.  As far as I can tell, all it does is teach to the lowest common denominator and waste time.

To add to the matter, the tests were never the same.  Every year or so a problem would be found and tests would be changed, dropped, or new subjects were added.  Originally, it was a joke.  Teachers would make up fake pupils each year and fill out questions randomly for shiats and giggles.  Now their jobs are based on it.  Really?

As an example, I point to the last essay question on the Social Studies test: "What was the impact of this letter? [Nixon's resignation letter follows]".

How would you answer that?  Where would you start or end?  How open ended should you make it?  Would "He resigned and was replaced by Ford" be an acceptable answer?  Would you discuss the change in media's handling of the chief executive?  Would you discuss the paranoia of government at the time?

The tests were bad.  I had a number of people in my class who were national merit scholars, but did not score the highest ranking on the different subject tests.  They were just fatally flawed.  And we're gearing to make them have more influence on the schools.

I applaud her for taking her kids out of them for whatever the reason.  If more parents did this, we'd kick some sense into the politicians' sociopathic brains.
 
2014-03-10 01:40:42 PM  
I can sum up the school's side of that entire episode with one quote from the article:

"Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment, explained to me that, in Colorado, as long as a school has 95 percent participation, a kid's opting out has no effect at all on school funding."

If people wonder what was going through the minds of the school's administration... that was it. Funding.
 
2014-03-10 01:41:12 PM  
Author rubs me the wrong way big time.  Who the fark cares if your little snow flake takes one more test?
 
2014-03-10 01:41:33 PM  
I'm in the "take the damn tests and don't be an attention craving article writing parent" camp. If the kid is freaking out tell them to just go ABCD in the bubbles or write down random stuff.

/stop moving the kids around. you're not in the military.
 
2014-03-10 01:42:02 PM  

give me doughnuts: ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

Shame on her for earning money to pay for food, chothing, and shelter for her children.
What a monster. As is everyone else who has ever moved for a job, and disrupted the lives of their delicate little hothouse flowers.


She is teaching in Denver and living in Boulder for a year. She isn't desperate to take any job she can.
 
2014-03-10 01:42:22 PM  
Get in line good citizen and STFU!  It's the new mantra of the left.
 
2014-03-10 01:44:18 PM  
Teaching the kids to fight the power might be the most valuable lesson they ever learn.
 
2014-03-10 01:44:48 PM  
Fark headline made me believe something interesting happened, instead the parents were just asked a bunch of times nicely to have their kids take it.  I don't like standardized tests either but that was a lot of words about nothing.
 
2014-03-10 01:47:02 PM  
She is only there for a year, who cares?

Probably in a weak school and they were counting on her daughter pulling up the school average.
 
2014-03-10 01:47:07 PM  
She didn't know much about standardized testing, saw it was voluntary and opted out, she saw it as no big deal.  Then she got pressured to change her mind.  At that point, she stopped being a mom and turned on lawyer mode.  To her, changing her decision was equal to losing the argument and the principal getting his way.  This had nothing to do with standardized testing, it was all about her own personality trait of not wanting to give in.
 
2014-03-10 01:47:20 PM  

CokeBear: Teaching the kids to fight the power might be the most valuable lesson they ever learn.


I agree. I try to teach my kids to challenge everything, a little.

CSB

My daughter was 8 and the following conversation happened:

"What did you do in school today?"
"We learned about probability."
"Great! So if I flipped a coin, what is the probability that it will land on heads?"
"50% chance or one in two."
"OK, let's say I flipped the coin 100 times and it came up heads each time. What is the probability that it will come up heads the next time?"
"Pretty good."
"Oh? Why?"
"I know you Daddy, if you flipped a coin 100 times and it came up heads every time it has heads on both sides."
 
2014-03-10 01:48:31 PM  
Do you know how you "stand up to" standardized testing?  You STOP ELECTING THE ASSHOLES THAT INSIST IT IS THE ONLY WAY to blah blah blah...

/As long as the checks from Pearson keep clearing the politicians dont give damn what you think about standardized testing.
 
2014-03-10 01:48:35 PM  

Lumbar Puncture: Fark headline made me believe something interesting happened, instead the parents were just asked a bunch of times nicely to have their kids take it.  I don't like standardized tests either but that was a lot of words about nothing.


Try to imagine the school board as the guys selling timeshares on the skiing episode of southpark
 
2014-03-10 01:49:05 PM  
Standardized testing is a lot like tipping; it sucks and no one wants to do it but it's the world we live in.

\completely serious, really.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:07 PM  

what_now: swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.

You're Canadian. You have no idea how useless these tests are. They are created to test the teachers and the school, and show nothing whatsoever about the student.

However, because they are so important, schools only teach what might be on the test. Critical thinking? There's not a bubble for that, so let's not bother.

Art, music, philosophy? Nope. That's not on the test.

And when the school does badly on the test, they have to spend a ton of money on outside "educational consultants", which takes MORE money away from the school.

No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.


Wut?

Standardized tests were around waaaay before W.

Also, No Child Left Behind was a great idea; on paper. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to make sure that kids aren't left in the educational dust? But, like every social program in the last 50 years, it had the exact opposite effect as desired and lined the pockets of the obscenely wealthy.

I do agree that standardized tests are pointless .
 
2014-03-10 01:52:15 PM  
Things No Child Left Behind did right:
Special Education Students that are behind the curve get the personalized instruction that they need, and forces the regular teachers to actually help ensure that they are learning.
The Special needs students also get to be included in the regular class room more frequently, and are shown by example normal social interactions every day.

Things No Child Left Behind did incorrectly:
Everything else, including creating behavioral disorders as a special needs category.

I like taking tests(especially standardized ones), but I don't like how they're being made mandatory. If you're a parent, you should be able to have a say in what your kid has to do, within reason.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:27 PM  

van1ty: Author rubs me the wrong way big time.  Who the fark cares if your little snow flake takes one more test?


Parents in the same situation.

You are not the demographic for EVERYTHING in this world.  I really wish people would stop assuming they are.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:45 PM  
Mommy is a prof, but she's never heard of practice tests etc. to help her kid cope/learn to do tests?

Mommy the prof is a (politically incorrect term ahead) 'tard.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:50 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.


What would opting them out of the test accomplish?  Are you afraid that they are not up to par and want to stick your head in the sand about it?  It's not like they are going to change their entire curriculum because your snowflake doesn't want to take the test.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:50 PM  
What gets me from all this was the principal running after them as they were about to drive away. Even cult members and sales pitches from MLMs aren't that insistant.
 
2014-03-10 01:53:32 PM  

Gary-L: bighairyguy: Her response should have been, "well, she has these testing anxienty attacks and marks about one third of the answers as "E", and skips all the other questions.  Would like to take a minor hit on the participation percentage or a big hit on the score average?"

When my son was doing the standardized testing, I told him it was all a joke as the school spent hours and hours teaching the test.

How to handle it?  "Hell kid, have fun.  Mark up the test all you want to fark with the results.  The only one who benefits from it is the school, not you."


My high school had standardized test scores determine who gets on campus parking.  And reduced or free prom bids for good scores.  And small prizes and coupons for those who give a "good faith effort"
 
2014-03-10 01:54:03 PM  

iheartscotch: Standardized tests were around waaaay before W.


Yes, but they weren't as directly tied to funding in every state.iheartscotch:

Also, No Child Left Behind was a great idea; on paper. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to make sure that kids aren't left in the educational dust? But, like every social program in the last 50 years, it had the exact opposite effect as desired and lined the pockets of the obscenely wealthy.
 
2014-03-10 01:54:10 PM  

dwrash: Get in line good citizen and STFU!  It's the new mantra of the left.those in power.


FTFY
 
2014-03-10 01:54:16 PM  
Is it just me, or does anyone else here see the irony in someone who teaches Law at the People's Republic of Boulder and writes for Slate whining about government intervention in how she wants to raise her children?
 
2014-03-10 01:55:48 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

On the plus side, I did get to literally fark around during the last two years of primary schooling due to this crap.


They do, but not in this way.  The damage isn't the actual test the damage is that teachers are forced to "teach the test" and spend countless hours preparing the kids for the test.

So yea, she opted her kids out of something they spend a large part of the year preparing for.

Also she is an educator herself and just makes decisions about stufflike this with zero research?  Exactly the person who is part of the problem, not the solution.
 
2014-03-10 01:55:58 PM  

lostcat: ransack.: Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?

So here's how publishing works:

If you publish an article that nobody finds interesting, you've wasted resources.


So here's how internet publishing works. It doesn't matter if people find the article interesting or not if you can sucker people into clicking on the link and creating page views.

I got suckered, read both pages, and was put off when the author changed gears from "I want to opt my kids out of testing that i don't deem valuable" to "My one person crusade doesn't make a difference".

Which one was it? An innocent bid to get your kids out of testing or an organized bid to bring standardized testing in to the lime light and really make a difference? I don't know anyone outside of state/federal levels of education that is pro-standardized testing, and i have a suspicion that those people are pawns for Pearson.
 
2014-03-10 01:56:04 PM  
If your child is a student at School X, then that means she participates in everything the school does. You don't get to introduce some mock equivalency about what you will and won't let her do based on the fact that it's a one-year assignment to this school. She may be a strong student, but you're manipulating her interpretation of what it means to be a student by giving her a bye on things you don't deem important. What else do you think she shouldn't have to do? Take the President's Challenge Physical Fitness test? Go on a field trip to a local museum? Follow the dress code?

"No, honey, you're only here for a year. You're special. If you don't want to do those things, you don't have to. Mommy will call and take care of it."

Lady, you're not doing your kid any favors.
 
2014-03-10 01:59:06 PM  
Standardized tests may be almost entirely useless as an educational tool, but her reasons are pure BS.  Your kid has test anxiety? I hope she never has to take a test that, you know, matters.

Take the damn test and STFU.
 
2014-03-10 02:00:17 PM  
The author needs to explain a little better why she doesn't want her kids taking these tests.
 
2014-03-10 02:01:13 PM  
I can't imagine why there wa$ $uch a fury.

She's lucky she didn't get a Family and Children's Services referral.
 
2014-03-10 02:01:19 PM  

ElLoco: I can sum up the school's side of that entire episode with one quote from the article:

"Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment, explained to me that, in Colorado, as long as a school has 95 percent participation, a kid's opting out has no effect at all on school funding."

If people wonder what was going through the minds of the school's administration... that was it. Funding.


God forbid they want to keep money coming in.  When your boss gets upset about something do you up and leave or do you stay because of the funding?  Money drives all.
 
2014-03-10 02:01:24 PM  
Go ahead, take your child out of the system. The world of tomorrow can always use another barista.
 
2014-03-10 02:02:52 PM  

jst3p: I am not defending standardized testing, but I don't see how you get stressed about them


Test anxiety is  very real and putting the pressure on kids as early as 3rd grade (in Colorado - earlier in other states sometimes) can do harm. TCAP testing started today for my son and last night while a group of basketball parents were having drinks, it was the talk of the table - including earlier bedtimes to rest up and ways to reduce stress for the kids who feel they have to do well on everything they do.

My kid doesn't care at all about TCAP. He'll score just fine. He's actually happy during TCAP time because for two weeks, he is likely to not have any homework in any other class, lest the kids not get enough rest.
 
2014-03-10 02:04:33 PM  

Darth Macho: Go ahead, take your child out of the system. The world of tomorrow can always use another barista.


Given that quite a few people that have helped our society make leaps in technology or science dropped out of something, I find your statement amusing.

When school becomes just 'doing time' to get your degree and you do not leave to pursue your dreams you will just die a little everyday.
 
2014-03-10 02:05:19 PM  

doyner: Benevolent Misanthrope: Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.

To my mind, though, the story is more about the attempt at a zero-tolerance policy toward non-conformity, not the test itself.

I'm not disagreeing with you.  I just thought the name calling towards swanie was a bit much in defense of a pretty weak argument by the author.


Understood.

I apologize, swaniefrmreddeer.  Dick move on my part.
 
2014-03-10 02:06:27 PM  
This is an important article and should in no way, shape, or form be deleted and replaced by some real news.
 
2014-03-10 02:07:46 PM  

jst3p: Smeggy Smurf: I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.

Not surprised given your posting history. My beef with them has been mostly covered already and you either didn't read them or just don't get them.

You may not agree with them, but criticisms of standardized tests are easy to find:

http://fairtest.org/whats-Wrong-standardized-tests


Those reasons given are wishy-washy bullshiat.  Either you know the information or you don't.  Using a standardized test that leaves room for interpretation of the answer is the flaw, not the testing for the knowledge.
 
2014-03-10 02:07:48 PM  

TNel: Benevolent Misanthrope: Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.

What would opting them out of the test accomplish?  Are you afraid that they are not up to par and want to stick your head in the sand about it?  It's not like they are going to change their entire curriculum because your snowflake doesn't want to take the test.


Because standardized tests don't test actual knowledge or ability to learn or think critically.  All they do is provide a stat for a school on how well kids take tests - and those schools are desperate to up those stats to get funding.

It's broken. Fix it.
 
2014-03-10 02:08:06 PM  

what_now: iheartscotch: Standardized tests were around waaaay before W.

Yes, but they weren't as directly tied to funding in every state.iheartscotch:

Also, No Child Left Behind was a great idea; on paper. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to make sure that kids aren't left in the educational dust? But, like every social program in the last 50 years, it had the exact opposite effect as desired and lined the pockets of the obscenely wealthy.


Soooooo.... you agree that the United States is not good at making its own social programs, that they often have the exact opposite effect as desired and line the pockets of the obscenely wealthy?

/ I wonder what other social projects will turn out to be boondoggles...
 
2014-03-10 02:08:25 PM  

jst3p: CokeBear: Teaching the kids to fight the power might be the most valuable lesson they ever learn.

I agree. I try to teach my kids to challenge everything, a little.

CSB

My daughter was 8 and the following conversation happened:

"What did you do in school today?"
"We learned about probability."
"Great! So if I flipped a coin, what is the probability that it will land on heads?"
"50% chance or one in two."
"OK, let's say I flipped the coin 100 times and it came up heads each time. What is the probability that it will come up heads the next time?"
"Pretty good."
"Oh? Why?"
"I know you Daddy, if you flipped a coin 100 times and it came up heads every time it has heads on both sides."


I hope my daughter reads me that well
 
2014-03-10 02:09:35 PM  
Lady, just have your kids take the damn test.
 
2014-03-10 02:09:41 PM  
 
2014-03-10 02:10:24 PM  
They're proud of themselves because they've taken a stand on something they think is important. It's a great feeling.

So this was all the kids' idea huh.  The article doesn't explain the children's reasoning for taking such a stand on this.

OH WAIT.
 
2014-03-10 02:11:22 PM  
I don't really get it. I think part of the protest is the outrage educators have about the growing movement to apply objective measures to their work.

I have a son who very possibly went to the high school she writes about (there are only 3 in town). He was never very motivated for these tests, but I told him that he could make use of them as practice for the ACT/SAT tests. Plus, the results are used to rate job performance of the staff at his school. He's had some outstanding teachers and the principal is awesome. I pointed out a few cases where they'd really worked specifically for him, and a few for the students in general. So he took them seriously and did his best.

The tests are not perfect measures of a school's performance and never will be. There aren't any perfect measures in my job either, but the days of having no objective criteria are gone from public schools with good reason.
 
2014-03-10 02:11:40 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: doyner: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.

Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.

To my mind, though, the story is more about the attempt at a zero-tolerance policy toward non-conformity, not the test itself.


Agreed.
 
2014-03-10 02:13:27 PM  
My 2c...

It sounds like she didn't care much until she ran up against resistance, and then she turned a choice made mainly for convenience turned into one she stuck to because of principles.

It sounds like the school cared too much, particularly when they told this woman the testing was optional.

I am impressed with the school's dedication to the educational experience of the children. I am sure they are similarly motivated in all cases where a student may not receive the fullest educational benefit possible.

The district needs new enrollment forms. If a form gives an option to 'refuse testing' when that option doesn't exist the form isn't 'confusing' - people can understand it just fine, it's 'wrong'.
 
2014-03-10 02:14:23 PM  
How about a compromise.   Her children agree to take the test on the condition that they bubble C for every answer.  Everyone wins!
 
2014-03-10 02:14:47 PM  

nanim: Mommy is a prof, but she's never heard of practice tests etc. to help her kid cope/learn to do tests?


She's a law professor. I wonder if she is going to try to fight to have her kids "opted out" of the bar exam in 10 years!
 
2014-03-10 02:15:26 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


It is shocking to me that a parent that makes impulsive, acerbic, knee jerk, "precious snowflake" comments like that to other people in public might have a child with anxiety issues.
 
2014-03-10 02:15:39 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


The same kind that bouces their kid in and out of school about 7 times a year-alternating between home schooling and traditional schooling while they gallivant around the country on archaeological digs. I witnessed it.  But then again it was Texas, where anything goes.  Christ all mighty, either take them out and home school or leave them in. Not frigging both when you don't feel like home schooling this week.
 
2014-03-10 02:18:03 PM  

what_now: No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.


The very definition of irony: It was written by Ted Kennedy.
 
2014-03-10 02:18:16 PM  

Dafatone: Can anyone name another industry that puts as much effort into self-evaluation (at the expense of its actual purpose) as education?

Schools today are like a restaurant where the cooks are eating 75% of the food made to make sure it's good.


Wowwwwwwww.....

So first schools get the reputational crap kicked out of them because OVREPIAD TEECHUURS DO WHATEVUR THEY WANT and the party of "small government" demands massive state and federal testing programs to provide oversight (by non-educators), proof of results in the classroom, and control over the material being taught.

Then, once it's all in place, we get TEH SKOOLS SPEDN MOOR TIEM TESTIGN TEHN TEECHING!

I'm sorry Dafatone, I don't know your politics or if that was your intention with this post.  I'm sorry if I misunderstood or skewed your meaning.  Frankly, I didn't even intend to post ITT, it's too ripe for derpitude with no hope of insights.  But I have too many friends in the classroom and admin of K-12, and I'm tired of them being beaten up from the right and the left for things that they have little to no influence over.  Most of the educational folks I know are against standardized testing for empirical reasons... no wonder they aren't listened to, facts have no place in education policy decisions!
 
2014-03-10 02:18:54 PM  

triplenickel03: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

The same kind that bouces their kid in and out of school about 7 times a year-alternating between home schooling and traditional schooling while they gallivant around the country on archaeological digs. I witnessed it.  But then again it was Texas, where anything goes.  Christ all mighty, either take them out and home school or leave them in. Not frigging both when you don't feel like home schooling this week.


Was your dog's name Indian?
 
2014-03-10 02:19:15 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


As an Army brat, I never went to the same school two years in a row until 11th grade (10th and 11th in same building).  I actually freaked out a bit, I had spent my whole life being the new kid, I had no skills of how to handle familiarity.

So I guess the answer is, lots of kids go through this.
 
2014-03-10 02:20:01 PM  

iheartscotch: triplenickel03: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

The same kind that bouces their kid in and out of school about 7 times a year-alternating between home schooling and traditional schooling while they gallivant around the country on archaeological digs. I witnessed it.  But then again it was Texas, where anything goes.  Christ all mighty, either take them out and home school or leave them in. Not frigging both when you don't feel like home schooling this week.

Was your dog's name Indian?


Dammmmmmm auto-correct!

Was your dog's name Indiana!
 
2014-03-10 02:20:50 PM  

Okieboy: I was expecting a thrilling finish to this exciting read....nothing.


/who the hell cares


FTFA:

The last phone call I received was from the Dean of Students at Harvard University. The middle school's vice-principal's daughter had once dated the nephew of the cousin of the daughter of the Dean, and so the vp had contacted the Dean for assistance.

The Dean was very clear in her insistence that my daughter take the test, and her reasoning grew more antagonistic. My daughter would end up a meth addict, she said. Pregnant at 15, destined to live under the George Washington Bridge and selling her body to keep her fix on. She'd have piercings in her face done by a transient with a dirty syringe, and they'd become infected and start weeping vile-smelling pus into her filthy dreadlocks. She'd get ingrown toenails and lick ketchup out of the discarded packets on the ground by the Sabretts carts. Her vocabulary would disintegrate into street slang consisting of, "A'ight?" and "Y'knowwhatI'msayin'" and "Ya hear me, dog?"

And that became too much for me to bear. I'm a strong, educated woman with great posture and a killer smile. I eat school administrators for lunch and laugh at their threats against my family. But the thought of my daughter uttering the word "A'ight" when asked if she wanted another crumpet with her tea was too much to bear. I went home that very day, pried the phone out of my girl's perfectly polished nails, and marched her right back to school...but not before getting a copy of the test into her hot little hands. There's no way I'm going to let my girl be a FAILURE.
 
2014-03-10 02:22:27 PM  

ransack.: Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?


only if you don't have a note from the principal, and are parked in the RED zone on an alternate tuesday

ikanreed: ArcadianRefugee: FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.

Except, no one provided an adequate explanation of what her kids were getting out of it.  Isn't that the simple threshold?  Have a good reason to do things?


well, what they're now getting out of it is that the internet knows that prof helicopter and her husband van wilder don't give a crap about the school system their kids are in, or about any chances of their kids having a social life wherever they go for the next few years...

"class i'd like you to meet our new student..."
"can we send her back? "
"yeah, it hasn't even been thirty days, we can just defect her..."

ElLoco: I can sum up the school's side of that entire episode with one quote from the article:

"Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment, explained to me that, in Colorado, as long as a school has 95 percent participation, a kid's opting out has no effect at all on school funding."

If people wonder what was going through the minds of the school's administration... that was it. Funding.


so, keep going with that logic...  what's going through the mind of the "OPT YOUR KIDS OUT!" cheerleader besides hot air and a desire to be proven right...

i thought NIMBY was bad, but NotInYoursEither is worse.
 
2014-03-10 02:22:30 PM  

PanicMan: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

As an Army brat, I never went to the same school two years in a row until 11th grade (10th and 11th in same building).  I actually freaked out a bit, I had spent my whole life being the new kid, I had no skills of how to handle familiarity.

So I guess the answer is, lots of kids go through this.


Lots of kids are eight year old prostitutes
 
2014-03-10 02:25:24 PM  
GORDON:

It is shocking to me that a parent that makes impulsive, acerbic, knee jerk, "precious snowflake" comments like that to other people in public might have a child with anxiety issues.

It's not a knee jerk reaction, isolation is not going to help the kid at all. The other students are going to notice that her child wasn't present during the test, and kids pick up on the slightest sign of weakness. I do realize now that standardized testing in the States is very different than it is here. Here it is used to identify weakness in the student and make all resources offered available to the student.
 
2014-03-10 02:25:26 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: It's almost as though people are choosing to ignore the fact that the standardized tests aren't the only way kids are being tested in schools...


It's not the kids being tested by the tests referred to in TFA.

SSB:  A 10 year old girl who plays basketball for me, friend of my daughter. etc., was recently telling me how "dumb" she was because she scores poorly on these "achievement" tests.  This is a girl who had two weeks earlier played the lead role as a newscaster in a school play, and delivered probably 2,000 words with poise and grace and as professionally as any real-life anchor you would ever see, except unlike a professional, she was not allowed to read any of the part from copy and had to do it from memory.  She used inflection to breathe life into the part, hit her dramatic notes and comedic ones, so that performance was not simply a matter of rote memorization.  It was truly impressive.

Yet this girl thinks she is dumb because she didn't score well on tests.  The class and school are both well above state averages, so even just considering the metrics of the test, the tests are not going to help her one bit.  All it did was to fill a very capable girl with self-doubt, and that's to say nothing of the hours and days spent preparing for testing rather than attention and instruction enabling her to use her strengths to master the material.  </SSB>

We're preparing a generation of robotic little test takers and in so doing, minimizing and dismissing traits that enable broader success later in life.  We're taking time away from curriculum to cover and re-cover materials that have already been mastered by the vast majority of students because the jobs of teachers and administrators are dependent on all of the kids delivering results for them. It's unavoidable that the stakes of the testing translate into pressure on the kids to perform on them, regardless of the lack of despite the lack of educational benefit. It's all thoroughly counterproductive to what the goals of education should be.
 
2014-03-10 02:29:58 PM  
At the last parent/teacher conference, my son's teacher gave me the form to sign for my son to have testing accommodations. Because he has 504 accommodations for school, the testing automatically gets accommodations at 1 1/2 testing time and testing in an isolated room to reduce distractions. He'll do much better with the accommodations, but since the teacher was trying to convince me a bit that he might not need it, I think his scores are somehow excluded from the overall group when determining school growth. Since they probably want his scores included, they want him to test without accommodations. I was a bit torn in that regard. I want his scores to count for the benefit of the school, but having him test in a distracted classroom will probably lower his performance, so maybe we don't want distracted test scores counted for the school. Hmm? Too late for this year, but something to ponder for next year.
 
2014-03-10 02:29:59 PM  
This article should be renamed, "The adventures of the woman who doesn't know how to gracefully end a phone call with a pushy person."

Because, if you get down to it, the whole article is predicated on the fact that the woman in question could not tell the principal, "I appreciate your input but we've already made up our minds, have a nice day," and thus interpreted the school as being maniacal about it.
 
2014-03-10 02:30:18 PM  

jst3p: Smeggy Smurf: I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.

Not surprised given your posting history. My beef with them has been mostly covered already and you either didn't read them or just don't get them.

You may not agree with them, but criticisms of standardized tests are easy to find:

http://fairtest.org/whats-Wrong-standardized-tests


You do realise that most of those points apply to non-standardised tests, with only open questions, as well?

Bias, lack of reliability, wording errors etc. influence every single test form ever devised.
 
2014-03-10 02:30:31 PM  

KyngNothing: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/201 3 /07/living_with_anxiety_and_panic_attacks_academia_needs_to_accommodat e_mental.html

The author's other slate article...


Good grief that woman is a mess.  I feel sorry for her husband and kids.

Her backup plan was to get herself eaten by lions if she didn't get tenure.  MOTY material.

This is Mommy Projection 101.  When SHE used to take tests, she had to do it alone in a special room because she has all kinds of issues.  I hope she gets the help that she needs.
 
2014-03-10 02:31:10 PM  
Don't you love it when people in school are like, "I'm a bad test taker"? You mean, you're stupid. Oh, you struggle with that part where we find out what you know? Oh. No, no, I can totally relate. See, because I'm a brilliant painter, minus my God-awful brushstrokes. Oh, how the masterpiece is crystal up here[points to head], but once paint hits canvas, I develop Parkinson's. I apologize if there's a Parkinson's painter in the audience. I assume you do your best work in the morning. Probably gets abstract by noon.

/Daniel Tosh
 
2014-03-10 02:31:47 PM  

tlars699: Things No Child Left Behind did right:
Special Education Students that are behind the curve get the personalized instruction that they need, and forces the regular teachers to actually help ensure that they are learning.
The Special needs students also get to be included in the regular class room more frequently, and are shown by example normal social interactions every day.

Things No Child Left Behind did incorrectly:
Everything else, including creating behavioral disorders as a special needs category.

I like taking tests(especially standardized ones), but I don't like how they're being made mandatory. If you're a parent, you should be able to have a say in what your kid has to do, within reason.


**special alert to all mobile devices**
TAKE THIS QUICK SURVEY ABOUT STUFF!! YOU COULD* WIN A DATE WITH SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT!!

*-a snowball theoretically DOES have a chance in hell if it can get enough people to pray for it (and donate to its cause)
 
2014-03-10 02:32:48 PM  

TrixieDelite: Okieboy: I was expecting a thrilling finish to this exciting read....nothing.


/who the hell cares

FTFA:

The last phone call I received was from the Dean of Students at Harvard University. The middle school's vice-principal's daughter had once dated the nephew of the cousin of the daughter of the Dean, and so the vp had contacted the Dean for assistance.

The Dean was very clear in her insistence that my daughter take the test, and her reasoning grew more antagonistic. My daughter would end up a meth addict, she said. Pregnant at 15, destined to live under the George Washington Bridge and selling her body to keep her fix on. She'd have piercings in her face done by a transient with a dirty syringe, and they'd become infected and start weeping vile-smelling pus into her filthy dreadlocks. She'd get ingrown toenails and lick ketchup out of the discarded packets on the ground by the Sabretts carts. Her vocabulary would disintegrate into street slang consisting of, "A'ight?" and "Y'knowwhatI'msayin'" and "Ya hear me, dog?"

And that became too much for me to bear. I'm a strong, educated woman with great posture and a killer smile. I eat school administrators for lunch and laugh at their threats against my family. But the thought of my daughter uttering the word "A'ight" when asked if she wanted another crumpet with her tea was too much to bear. I went home that very day, pried the phone out of my girl's perfectly polished nails, and marched her right back to school...but not before getting a copy of the test into her hot little hands. There's no way I'm going to let my girl be a FAILURE.


LOL
 
2014-03-10 02:34:46 PM  

swaniefrmreddeer: I do realize now that standardized testing in the States is very different than it is here. Here it is used to identify weakness in the herd student and make all resources offered available to the student.


FTFY
 
2014-03-10 02:37:43 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: wxboy: The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.

Going along with it out of fear of the schools not receiving funding doesn't help it either. It only holds people hostage to a broken system.


Well have a kid and go fix it. If all we're doing is sitting on our pork butts and not doing anything but talking about it online isn't helping.
 
2014-03-10 02:37:46 PM  
I wonder how many people in this thread screaming "suck it up snowflake" have children and fully understand the rampant and spreading plague of standardized testing and how different school is for kids these days.  My daughter is SEVEN and in FIRST GRADE she's already taking standardized tests three or four times a year, complete with reports sent home letting us know exactly where she falls in relation to her classmates, the school and the district.  Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.

School is no longer an exploration of subjects, it's "let's prepare to take a test...here's the test, lets talk about the test...here are the test results".

And the more we sit around and say "well it's school, they must know what they're doing, and I went to school and I was fine, so everything must be exactly the same!"  the worse it's going to get.

For a long time, there were Chicago Public Schools where six year old kids sat at their desks for all but twenty minutes in a seven hour day.  No recess.  Minimum PE, lunch at their desks.  BECAUSE WE HAD TO TEACH TO THE TEST.  It's crap.

While you may not agree with this particular mom, I agree that if more parents don't stand up to this bullshiat, school is going to continue to become nothing but corporately owned vocational programs, training drones to do nothing but the specific jobs the corporations want ::cough:: charter school ::cough::.
 
2014-03-10 02:39:43 PM  

Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.


So you admit that it's stupid and meaningless but you still think it's perfectly fine to demand our kids take them multiple times a year (depending on the test)?  Good plan.
 
2014-03-10 02:41:04 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


I went to 10 different schools from K-12. You definitely learn to make friends more quickly and you get to see a lot more variety of people and classes. It's not really that bad.
 
2014-03-10 02:41:58 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Because standardized tests don't test actual knowledge or ability to learn or think critically. All they do is provide a stat for a school on how well kids take tests - and those schools are desperate to up those stats to get funding.

It's broken. Fix it.


It shows what the kids know at that given time.  No it doesn't show ability to learn or think critically those would be achievement tests.  What's wrong with the testing how well kids are currently doing and getting paid?
 
2014-03-10 02:41:59 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.


img.fark.net
 
2014-03-10 02:42:27 PM  

doyner: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.


Actually, absence of the stimulus can help reduce fear\anxiety if it's done calmly. Confronting it  isn't always the best solution. So unless you can provide some other reason the children (both children, not just one) should take the test--because it's a big waste of time and, as the mom points out, measures something she already knows--there isn't a valid reason for this test to be taken.
 
2014-03-10 02:42:55 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: jst3p: Smeggy Smurf: I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.

Not surprised given your posting history. My beef with them has been mostly covered already and you either didn't read them or just don't get them.

You may not agree with them, but criticisms of standardized tests are easy to find:

http://fairtest.org/whats-Wrong-standardized-tests

Those reasons given are wishy-washy bullshiat.  Either you know the information or you don't.  Using a standardized test that leaves room for interpretation of the answer is the flaw, not the testing for the knowledge.


Not surprisingly, even when given the information you still don't understand. Never change Smeggy!
 
2014-03-10 02:43:37 PM  

Albinoman: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

I went to 10 different schools from K-12. You definitely learn to make friends more quickly and you get to see a lot more variety of people and classes. It's not really that bad.


I never went to the same school two years in a row until High School. I disagree, it sucked.
 
2014-03-10 02:44:19 PM  

HAMMERTOE: It was written by Ted Kennedy.


The very definition of disingenuous: And John Boehner (R) and Judd Gregg (R) and George Miller (D). And proposed by GWB.
 
2014-03-10 02:45:46 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: I wonder how many people in this thread screaming "suck it up snowflake" have children and fully understand the rampant and spreading plague of standardized testing and how different school is for kids these days.  My daughter is SEVEN and in FIRST GRADE she's already taking standardized tests three or four times a year, complete with reports sent home letting us know exactly where she falls in relation to her classmates, the school and the district.  Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.

School is no longer an exploration of subjects, it's "let's prepare to take a test...here's the test, lets talk about the test...here are the test results".

And the more we sit around and say "well it's school, they must know what they're doing, and I went to school and I was fine, so everything must be exactly the same!"  the worse it's going to get.

For a long time, there were Chicago Public Schools where six year old kids sat at their desks for all but twenty minutes in a seven hour day.  No recess.  Minimum PE, lunch at their desks.  BECAUSE WE HAD TO TEACH TO THE TEST.  It's crap.

While you may not agree with this particular mom, I agree that if more parents don't stand up to this bullshiat, school is going to continue to become nothing but corporately owned vocational programs, training drones to do nothing but the specific jobs the corporations want ::cough:: charter school ::cough::.


I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers than the test.
 
2014-03-10 02:46:08 PM  

BunkyBrewman: This is one article you might consider taking the few minutes to read and how these types of tests don't do anything for the students, but everything for the schools they attend.


Since the article says exactly the opposite of that, perhaps you opted out of basic reading classes yourself?
 
2014-03-10 02:46:34 PM  

cynicalminion: teenytinycornteeth: Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.

[img.fark.net image 500x546]


I'm not sure what the fark your point is...but good work.
 
2014-03-10 02:47:27 PM  

PanicMan: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

As an Army brat, I never went to the same school two years in a row until 11th grade (10th and 11th in same building).  I actually freaked out a bit, I had spent my whole life being the new kid, I had no skills of how to handle familiarity.

So I guess the answer is, lots of kids go through this.


and if your dad(mom?) had a choice.. would they have uprooted the family every couple years?

my guess is no.,
 
2014-03-10 02:52:45 PM  
TNel:

I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...


Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year?  how did it do on judging your creative development?  Your intuitive skills?  How about approaching problems from different angles?  How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature?  Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning.  SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it.  Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.

I guess it really comes down to what you want your kid learning in school.  If you want  your kid to learn exclusively how to follow directions and go with the mainstream, to know how multiple choice works and to master nothing but factual, rote answers like science and math provide, all this stuff is like manna from heaven. If you want a kid to be more well rounded, to be able to think about things from both sides, to solve problems creatively, to value social and psychological development as well as hard and fast data and don't forget those "stupid, useless" topics like art, music, literature, drama...then maybe not so much.
 
2014-03-10 02:53:24 PM  

kvinesknows: PanicMan: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

As an Army brat, I never went to the same school two years in a row until 11th grade (10th and 11th in same building).  I actually freaked out a bit, I had spent my whole life being the new kid, I had no skills of how to handle familiarity.

So I guess the answer is, lots of kids go through this.

and if your dad(mom?) had a choice.. would they have uprooted the family every couple years?

my guess is no.,


I was a Navy brat--moved every 3 years myself.  The fact that we were transient had no bearing on whether or not I took a damned test.  The "we're only here for a year" argument is the weakest of her reasons.

So what if they move a lot?  It's completely irrelevant.
 
2014-03-10 02:53:30 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.

So you admit that it's stupid and meaningless but you still think it's perfectly fine to demand our kids take them multiple times a year (depending on the test)?  Good plan.


it's about being there.  the kids don't have to get anything right, they can spend half an hour trying to figure out the perfect combination to kill the scan-tron machine. they participated.  and anyone who has comparatory results from a classroom probably has grounds for a lawsuit given that their personal performance was being "graded"... and so does the rest of that class...
 
2014-03-10 02:54:12 PM  
Almost 160 posts and no one has asked is our kids learning.

W was right.
 
2014-03-10 02:55:05 PM  
TrixieDelite: Okieboy: I was expecting a thrilling finish to this exciting read....nothing.


/who the hell cares

FTFA:

The last phone call I received was from the Dean of Students at Harvard University. The middle school's vice-principal's daughter had once dated the nephew of the cousin of the daughter of the Dean, and so the vp had contacted the Dean for assistance.

The Dean was very clear in her insistence that my daughter take the test, and her reasoning grew more antagonistic. My daughter would end up a meth addict, she said. Pregnant at 15, destined to live under the George Washington Bridge and selling her body to keep her fix on. She'd have piercings in her face done by a transient with a dirty syringe, and they'd become infected and start weeping vile-smelling pus into her filthy dreadlocks. She'd get ingrown toenails and lick ketchup out of the discarded packets on the ground by the Sabretts carts. Her vocabulary would disintegrate into street slang consisting of, "A'ight?" and "Y'knowwhatI'msayin'" and "Ya hear me, dog?"

And that became too much for me to bear. I'm a strong, educated woman with great posture and a killer smile. I eat school administrators for lunch and laugh at their threats against my family. But the thought of my daughter uttering the word "A'ight" when asked if she wanted another crumpet with her tea was too much to bear. I went home that very day, pried the phone out of my girl's perfectly polished nails, and marched her right back to school...but not before getting a copy of the test into her hot little hands. There's no way I'm going to let my girl be a FAILURE.


Your newsletter, I would like to subscribe.....
 
2014-03-10 02:56:16 PM  

PsiChick: doyner: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.

Actually, absence of the stimulus can help reduce fear\anxiety if it's done calmly. Confronting it  isn't always the best solution. So unless you can provide some other reason the children (both children, not just one) should take the test--because it's a big waste of time and, as the mom points out, measures something she already knows--there isn't a valid reason for this test to be taken.


wrong...  the week of standardized testing was almost as much fun as walking into a room and seeing a film cart.  :)
 
2014-03-10 02:56:54 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: TNel:

I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...

Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year?  how did it do on judging your creative development?  Your intuitive skills?  How about approaching problems from different angles?  How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature?  Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning.  SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it.  Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.



Tying funding to standardized tests also creates a toxic environment that encourages behavior like this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/memo-could-revive-alle ga tions-of-cheating-in-dc-public-schools/2013/04/12/9ddb2bb6-a35e-11e2-9 c03-6952ff305f35_story.html

Teachers in 18 District classrooms cheated on high-stakes standardized tests last year,
 
2014-03-10 02:57:49 PM  
The Assistant Principal

www.soundonsight.org
 
2014-03-10 02:58:08 PM  
When I was in school the standardized tests had no effect on your grade. We just guessed and sped through it as fast as possible to get a longer lunch break. I doubt I ever got better than 25% on those tests.  Instead of opting out, just encourage your litter to spoil their tests and mess up the statistics.
 
2014-03-10 02:59:24 PM  

TNel: ElLoco: I can sum up the school's side of that entire episode with one quote from the article:

"Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment, explained to me that, in Colorado, as long as a school has 95 percent participation, a kid's opting out has no effect at all on school funding."

If people wonder what was going through the minds of the school's administration... that was it. Funding.

God forbid they want to keep money coming in.  When your boss gets upset about something do you up and leave or do you stay because of the funding?  Money drives all.


I'm neither condoning nor condemning the school's actions. People are making up a myriad of ridiculous reasons on why they tried to prevent the opt-out. I simply boiled it down to the lowest common denominator. Money. Kid's don't participate... school can lose funding.
 
2014-03-10 02:59:28 PM  

cynicalminion: teenytinycornteeth: Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.

So you admit that it's stupid and meaningless but you still think it's perfectly fine to demand our kids take them multiple times a year (depending on the test)?  Good plan.

it's about being there.  the kids don't have to get anything right, they can spend half an hour trying to figure out the perfect combination to kill the scan-tron machine. they participated.  and anyone who has comparatory results from a classroom probably has grounds for a lawsuit given that their personal performance was being "graded"... and so does the rest of that class...


So what we're teaching our kids through this experience is "don't bother to question why we're doing it, just show up and be quiet and if possible, try and screw the results because the activity is JUST THAT MEANINGLESS".
 
2014-03-10 03:00:20 PM  

jfbnr24: jst3p: I am not defending standardized testing, but I don't see how you get stressed about them

Test anxiety is  very real


I know,  I just don't know how anyone gets anxious after being told that it wont affect their grade.
 
2014-03-10 03:00:31 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year? how did it do on judging your creative development? Your intuitive skills? How about approaching problems from different angles? How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature? Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning. SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it. Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.

I guess it really comes down to what you want your kid learning in school. If you want your kid to learn exclusively how to follow directions and go with the mainstream, to know how multiple choice works and to master nothing but factual, rote answers like science and math provide, all this stuff is like manna from heaven. If you want a kid to be more well rounded, to be able to think about things from both sides, to solve problems creatively, to value social and psychological development as well as hard and fast data and don't forget those "stupid, useless" topics like art, music, literature, drama...then maybe not so much.


How long do you want these tests to be?  I'm sorry that Math, Science, and English are being pushed ahead of Art and Music but 99% of people will use those items way more often than the others.

So you have a problem with testing what kids know?
 
2014-03-10 03:02:45 PM  

jst3p: teenytinycornteeth: TNel:

I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...

Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year?  how did it do on judging your creative development?  Your intuitive skills?  How about approaching problems from different angles?  How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature?  Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning.  SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it.  Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.


Tying funding to standardized tests also creates a toxic environment that encourages behavior like this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/memo-could-revive-alle ga tions-of-cheating-in-dc-public-schools/2013/04/12/9ddb2bb6-a35e-11e2-9 c03-6952ff305f35_story.html

Teachers in 18 District classrooms cheated on high-stakes standardized tests last year,


OK.  So I'm not sure how your link shuts me down in any way. I am against over testing students.
 
2014-03-10 03:04:20 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: jst3p: teenytinycornteeth: TNel:

I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...

Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year?  how did it do on judging your creative development?  Your intuitive skills?  How about approaching problems from different angles?  How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature?  Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning.  SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it.  Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.


Tying funding to standardized tests also creates a toxic environment that encourages behavior like this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/memo-could-revive-alle ga tions-of-cheating-in-dc-public-schools/2013/04/12/9ddb2bb6-a35e-11e2-9 c03-6952ff305f35_story.html

Teachers in 18 District classrooms cheated on high-stakes standardized tests last year,

OK.  So I'm not sure how your link shuts me down in any way. I am against over testing students.


I had originally written "This! And furthermore:" but it got lost in editing.

I agree with you.
 
2014-03-10 03:06:32 PM  

TNel: teenytinycornteeth: Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year? how did it do on judging your creative development? Your intuitive skills? How about approaching problems from different angles? How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature? Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning. SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it. Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.

I guess it really comes down to what you want your kid learning in school. If you want your kid to learn exclusively how to follow directions and go with the mainstream, to know how multiple choice works and to master nothing but factual, rote answers like science and math provide, all this stuff is like manna from heaven. If you want a kid to be more well rounded, to be able to think about things from both sides, to solve problems creatively, to value social and psychological development as well as hard and fast data and don't forget those "stupid, useless" topics like art, music, literature, drama...then maybe not so much.

How long do you want these tests to be?  I'm sorry that Math, Science, and English are being pushed ahead of Art and Music but 99% of people will use those items way more often than the others.

So you have a problem with testing what kids know?


You should have worked harder on reading comprehension. I'll say it again.  KIDS TAKE INDIVIDUAL TESTS IN THEIR CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS BEING GRADED ON WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS. This is how we know how they are doing.  Or do you now ONLY believe in standardized results?  I should also mention that I am not against ALL standardized testing. Like I said, as long as colleges require SAT or PSAT scores, they'll have to exist, but when a seven year old is subjected to computerized standardized tests more than three or four times a year, it takes away from other valuable things she could be learning and it does nothing to benefit the student.
 
2014-03-10 03:06:35 PM  

ikanreed: ArcadianRefugee: FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.

Except, no one provided an adequate explanation of what her kids were getting out of it.  Isn't that the simple threshold?  Have a good reason to do things?



Frequently these tests have everything to do with school funding and/or career advancement for higher-level administrators (way above the principal level), and litte to do with student learning.
 
2014-03-10 03:06:56 PM  

BunkyBrewman: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

Public schools do this type of testing so they can get their piece of the public funding pie. ($$$$$$$)

Private schools do not do similar testing.

Has nothing to do with snowflakes.  This is one article you might consider taking the few minutes to read and how these types of tests don't do anything for the students, but everything for the schools they attend.


True, at least in Florida about a decade ago. I was enrolled in the IB program, which has its own end-of-year tests to determine if you had enough knowledge to receive an IB diploma. In the middle of studying for and taking the IB tests, the school wanted us to also take the AP tests with the reasoning of 'just in case you don't receive your IB diploma, you'll still receive some college credit (from the AP test scores) for your efforts'. I had no interest in taking two different sets of tests that tested knowledge in different ways (thus requiring different studying methods) and opted out. For weeks, I was harassed by the administration and several teachers because of my decision. It finally came out that the school received money for each AP test taken, regardless of whether the student passed it or not, and that the AP test scores factored into a teacher's annual evaluation.

/Earned my IB diploma, TYVM.
 
2014-03-10 03:07:08 PM  

jst3p: teenytinycornteeth: jst3p: teenytinycornteeth: TNel:

I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...

Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year?  how did it do on judging your creative development?  Your intuitive skills?  How about approaching problems from different angles?  How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature?  Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning.  SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it.  Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.


Tying funding to standardized tests also creates a toxic environment that encourages behavior like this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/memo-could-revive-alle ga tions-of-cheating-in-dc-public-schools/2013/04/12/9ddb2bb6-a35e-11e2-9 c03-6952ff305f35_story.html

Teachers in 18 District classrooms cheated on high-stakes standardized tests last year,

OK.  So I'm not sure how your link shuts me down in any way. I am against over testing students.

I had originally written "This! And furthermore:" but it got lost in editing.

I agree with you.


Ah crap.  Sorry. :)
 
2014-03-10 03:07:25 PM  
In 10th grade, the first half of the year, English class gave me the most classwork and study and homework... then the state said no standardized testing this year for that class for some reason... second half of the year was the easiest class I've *ever* had... teacher just stopped teaching us at that point and basically every day we wrote in "journals" that she never even collected or read.  All she cared about was teaching us the test, and with no test, she didn't even teach us at all...
 
2014-03-10 03:08:06 PM  

doyner: kvinesknows: PanicMan: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

As an Army brat, I never went to the same school two years in a row until 11th grade (10th and 11th in same building).  I actually freaked out a bit, I had spent my whole life being the new kid, I had no skills of how to handle familiarity.

So I guess the answer is, lots of kids go through this.

and if your dad(mom?) had a choice.. would they have uprooted the family every couple years?

my guess is no.,

I was a Navy brat--moved every 3 years myself.  The fact that we were transient had no bearing on whether or not I took a damned test.  The "we're only here for a year" argument is the weakest of her reasons.

So what if they move a lot?  It's completely irrelevant.


no its not.

She is sooooo concerned about the impacts of some tests on the kids.. and their anxiety levels.  Her moving just "for fun on her own damn part" causes more anxiety.
 
2014-03-10 03:08:24 PM  

ElLoco: TNel: ElLoco: I can sum up the school's side of that entire episode with one quote from the article:

"Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment, explained to me that, in Colorado, as long as a school has 95 percent participation, a kid's opting out has no effect at all on school funding."

If people wonder what was going through the minds of the school's administration... that was it. Funding.

God forbid they want to keep money coming in.  When your boss gets upset about something do you up and leave or do you stay because of the funding?  Money drives all.

I'm neither condoning nor condemning the school's actions. People are making up a myriad of ridiculous reasons on why they tried to prevent the opt-out. I simply boiled it down to the lowest common denominator. Money. Kid's don't participate... school can lose funding.


Yeah, that's how I feel too. My feeling is that a few parents do this every year. If the school didn't convince them (harass them) to take the test than enough would opt out to fall below the 95% rate discussed in the article. What's not made clear (and it's a little strange, that the author didn't research that) is what that would mean. How much funding would the school lose? Is the school in danger of losing all if its funding? If so, the reaction by the principals make sense (Though, seems like honesty would be best there, if they said, "Well, if less than 95% of students take the test then the school would lose funding, That'd be a pretty damn compelling argument to allow a kid to take a test that doesn't really harm her in any way). There was a story in the Wall Street Journal that said that a " ... school has missed out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of state aid and teacher bonuses pegged to improvement. ", because more than 8% of students didn't take the test,

Personally, I'm not clear why it such of big deal that the daughter not take the test, but I suppose once a parent says, "it's not necessary" and the school just gives a bunch of garbage reasons without any real justification, then why would the parent be any more willing to let the child take the test. Again, if the WSJ article is accurate, than I'm sure the school is fearful of a snowball effect where one kid not taking the test leads to more down the road. Which is a totally reasonable concern, but why not just tell the parents that?
 
2014-03-10 03:11:02 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: You should have worked harder on reading comprehension. I'll say it again. KIDS TAKE INDIVIDUAL TESTS IN THEIR CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS BEING GRADED ON WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS. This is how we know how they are doing. Or do you now ONLY believe in standardized results? I should also mention that I am not against ALL standardized testing. Like I said, as long as colleges require SAT or PSAT scores, they'll have to exist, but when a seven year old is subjected to computerized standardized tests more than three or four times a year, it takes away from other valuable things she could be learning and it does nothing to benefit the student.


I look at the tests as Finals.  You get a printout grade of what they know up to that point along with the weekly tests they normally take.  I don't see any issue.  State testing starts at 3rd grade here, which would make the students atleast 9.  So the hour and half long test 4 times a year so 6 hours of testing out of 1000 hours of being in school is too much?
 
2014-03-10 03:11:16 PM  
Maybe she should delve into the reasons why her daughter has test anxiety. We did and found that our daughter had trouble with reading comprehension when under test pressure. To prep for the ACT we sent her to the local university for a summer class on speed reading. She had to learn to basically plow through the questions and begin formulating answers, referring back to the question only as needed. Of course that didn't totally cure her anxiety, but it helps her cope. That, meditation, exercise, proper nutrition and hydration, and a low dose anxiety med. Anxiety is real. But avoidance is rarely achievable in real life.
 
2014-03-10 03:11:42 PM  

JohnHall: Personally, I'm not clear why it such of big deal that the daughter not take the test,


My opinion:

It wasn't that big of a deal but once the administration pushed back a little super mom lawyer decided that compromise was weak and didn't want to back down.
 
2014-03-10 03:14:18 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: cynicalminion: teenytinycornteeth: Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.

So you admit that it's stupid and meaningless but you still think it's perfectly fine to demand our kids take them multiple times a year (depending on the test)?  Good plan.

it's about being there.  the kids don't have to get anything right, they can spend half an hour trying to figure out the perfect combination to kill the scan-tron machine. they participated.  and anyone who has comparatory results from a classroom probably has grounds for a lawsuit given that their personal performance was being "graded"... and so does the rest of that class...

So what we're teaching our kids through this experience is "don't bother to question why we're doing it, just show up and be quiet and if possible, try and screw the results because the activity is JUST THAT MEANINGLESS".


no,  "hey, this one isn't going to change your gpa.  if farking around seems like a better use of your time, go for it, but if you're confident enough to know the right answer, and also figure out why the wrong answers are wrong, answer them wrong and show your work...  "
 
2014-03-10 03:15:22 PM  
Good teachers like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.

Bad teachers don't like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.
 
2014-03-10 03:17:37 PM  

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

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


You almost got me to bite. Impressive effort, you are going to get some responses from some pissed off teachers.
 
2014-03-10 03:18:04 PM  

TNel: teenytinycornteeth: You should have worked harder on reading comprehension. I'll say it again. KIDS TAKE INDIVIDUAL TESTS IN THEIR CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS BEING GRADED ON WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS. This is how we know how they are doing. Or do you now ONLY believe in standardized results? I should also mention that I am not against ALL standardized testing. Like I said, as long as colleges require SAT or PSAT scores, they'll have to exist, but when a seven year old is subjected to computerized standardized tests more than three or four times a year, it takes away from other valuable things she could be learning and it does nothing to benefit the student.

I look at the tests as Finals.  You get a printout grade of what they know up to that point along with the weekly tests they normally take.  I don't see any issue.  State testing starts at 3rd grade here, which would make the students atleast 9.  So the hour and half long test 4 times a year so 6 hours of testing out of 1000 hours of being in school is too much?


Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing.  Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer.  You really think it's just an hour and half?  And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.
 
2014-03-10 03:20:31 PM  
"we currently live in Boulder, one of the most liberal, individualistic towns in America"

She is very confused.
 
2014-03-10 03:21:18 PM  
Alternative theory:  Her kid is average, and it's mommies disappointment at the solid C's that causes the anxiety, not the test taking itself.
 
2014-03-10 03:21:27 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing. Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer. You really think it's just an hour and half? And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.


So tack on a day if you want per test it's still 2% of the time in school.

I think that the people that don't want the tests are afraid that their kid won't do as well as they think they should.
 
2014-03-10 03:22:36 PM  

TNel: teenytinycornteeth: Did you ever go to school? Take a standardized test? Did it really summarize everything you learned in a year? how did it do on judging your creative development? Your intuitive skills? How about approaching problems from different angles? How many questions did it have about debate or critical thinking? Art? Music? Literature? Kids take individual tests in their classrooms, that's how we know what they're learning. SAT, PSAT? Go ahead..I'm all for it. Four or more standardized tests a year with nothing but multiple choice answers? No thanks.

I guess it really comes down to what you want your kid learning in school. If you want your kid to learn exclusively how to follow directions and go with the mainstream, to know how multiple choice works and to master nothing but factual, rote answers like science and math provide, all this stuff is like manna from heaven. If you want a kid to be more well rounded, to be able to think about things from both sides, to solve problems creatively, to value social and psychological development as well as hard and fast data and don't forget those "stupid, useless" topics like art, music, literature, drama...then maybe not so much.

How long do you want these tests to be?  I'm sorry that Math, Science, and English are being pushed ahead of Art and Music but 99% of people will use those items way more often than the others.

So you have a problem with testing what kids know?


as soon as someone "standardizes" art and music, i will add them to my personal hit list.  until then, if two perfect *cough* young *cough, cough* STRONG *coughtooold.jpgcough* students can't sit there and look pretty for a week, explain.
 
2014-03-10 03:23:50 PM  
Look, standardized testing sucks. Not just because it's a test, but because if you were ever allowed to peek behind the curtain at the questions themselves, you would be standing there like students staring blankly at a bubble sheet, scratching your head.

I was lucky enough through an acquaintance of mine to look at one of these standardized tests. They're ridiculous.

The wording of the questions is generally so atrocious, even on the factual questions, that you wonder if half of the difficulty of the question is the language obscuring what the question is actually asking. A lot of times, the wording of the question relies on a presupposed curriculum that is completely ignorant of what the technical correctness of the question and answer.

I should say that teachers are largely forbidden to ever share this information, and besides the integrity question, I half wonder if that is because people would be outraged of the crap that masquerades as legitimate tests of student knowledge.

If I had the opportunity, and children, I'd probably opt them out too. Outside of HR, written drivers tests, primary school, and secondary school, real life rarely tests you in the same manner standardized tests.

Seriously, if you had to go back and take one of these wastes of paper and money, how many of you could say you've retained enough through your school career to be able to excel?
 
2014-03-10 03:24:39 PM  

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

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


dammit, now drew's gonna make everybody sit and fill in bubbles for a week...
 
2014-03-10 03:25:38 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: TNel: teenytinycornteeth: You should have worked harder on reading comprehension. I'll say it again. KIDS TAKE INDIVIDUAL TESTS IN THEIR CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS BEING GRADED ON WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS. This is how we know how they are doing. Or do you now ONLY believe in standardized results? I should also mention that I am not against ALL standardized testing. Like I said, as long as colleges require SAT or PSAT scores, they'll have to exist, but when a seven year old is subjected to computerized standardized tests more than three or four times a year, it takes away from other valuable things she could be learning and it does nothing to benefit the student.

I look at the tests as Finals.  You get a printout grade of what they know up to that point along with the weekly tests they normally take.  I don't see any issue.  State testing starts at 3rd grade here, which would make the students atleast 9.  So the hour and half long test 4 times a year so 6 hours of testing out of 1000 hours of being in school is too much?

Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing.  Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer.  You really think it's just an hour and half?  And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.



Testing in Kindgergarten - Chicago Reader

Another good read with the following interesting facts:

"When all is said and done, kindergarteners will have spent up to 60 days of class time-or a third of the school year-taking various standardized tests"

"This year CPS has added a new test to the array already faced by grammar school students: the REACH. It comes on top of the TRC, the MAP, the EXPLORE, the ISAT, and DIBELS. Two of these are teacher accountability tests. Two are diagnostic. And the others are a combination of both. One way or another, they all cover the same ground. It's good to be a standardized-test salesman."

How much knowledge do we really need to test kindergarteners on that it requires up to ten tests a year and a third of their school time?
 
2014-03-10 03:25:58 PM  
total bullshiat article
 
2014-03-10 03:27:27 PM  

TNel: teenytinycornteeth: Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing. Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer. You really think it's just an hour and half? And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.

So tack on a day if you want per test it's still 2% of the time in school.

I think that the people that don't want the tests are afraid that their kid won't do as well as they think they should.


In 4th grade my daughter had the highest English CSAP score in the school. It was kind if funny, we were moving the following year and her school called hoping that it was a mistake.

I don't dislike them because I am afraid my kids wont do well, they both excel in school.

I dislike them because of the environment they create. You clearly don't understand the impact "teaching to the test" has. It changes the entire dynamic of the entire school year. I don't get too worked up about it because we provide a home environment that is stimulating and we focus on what we believe their school is short on. But I do think it is a toxic system and if you think that it only changes 2% of their time in school I think you underestimate the overall impact it has.
 
2014-03-10 03:29:54 PM  

OccamsWhiskers: I don't really get it. I think part of the protest is the outrage educators have about the growing movement to apply objective measures to their work.

I have a son who very possibly went to the high school she writes about (there are only 3 in town). He was never very motivated for these tests, but I told him that he could make use of them as practice for the ACT/SAT tests. Plus, the results are used to rate job performance of the staff at his school. He's had some outstanding teachers and the principal is awesome. I pointed out a few cases where they'd really worked specifically for him, and a few for the students in general. So he took them seriously and did his best.

The tests are not perfect measures of a school's performance and never will be. There aren't any perfect measures in my job either, but the days of having no objective criteria are gone from public schools with good reason.


Do you have objective criteria for your job that is mandated by legislature, then created by a separate for-profit company with no oversight from your own company (and that also makes substantial campaign contributions to the legislators who mandated it in the first place)? Then, are decisions about whether to fire you or give you a raise made at the CEO level for you in particular?

Or do you have a boss and HR that makes those decisions, based on day-to-day interactions with you personally and internal reviews, with the occasional blanket lay-off handed down from corporate whenever the budget gets trimmed because the share price drops?

The second option is how it used to be for teachers, the first option is what it has become.

Most people (teachers included) have no problem with objective evaluations, but the way we are trying to implement them is insane.
 
2014-03-10 03:30:56 PM  

namegoeshere: So she opted he kids out for no reason other than she felt like it, and what happened was... nothing? A couple of phone calls and emails? Some AWing on Mom's part?

Jeeze, Overreactionmitter, from the headline I was expecting CPS involvement or an educational neglect charge at least.


Happened in Colorado. Massachusetts would have seperate the family.
 
2014-03-10 03:33:17 PM  

KoalaFace: I got this EXACT same run around when trying to opt my child out of ISAT (illinois equivalent). The ISAT is being phased out, and is in it's final year. My son is in 5th grade and would do 5th grade testing, but he's been doing 7th and 8th grade course work all year with great success. Why the hell would I want to test him at the 5th grade level?

His school threatened everything they could. Unexcused absences, not letting him even roll next year, holding him from extra curriculars. I had to have my lawyer call the school board to stop the harassment.


Your sons results will show (most likely) that he scores in the 99th percentile, ahead of the curve for his classmates. He'll probably breeze through the test and spend the remaining time staring at the walls or doodling on the desk. So what, it won't kill him.

For kids with a debilitating, if you get them diagnosed as such (extreme anxiety disorders or performance anxiety) you can request an IEP to provide a special accommodation for the kid, such as being allowed to take the test in a separate room with a monitor. This helps to alleviate some of the pressure and anxiousness.

I don't completely agree with the validity of standardized tests because they don't accurately quantify a students ability. I was a great test taker, regularly scoring in the 99th percentile and got a 31 on my ACT. However, I had undiagnosed ADD during high school and was a total scatterbrain who regularly lost homework or waited until the last second to do a project. I scored great on the quizzes and exams but lost tons of points because I couldn't produce the required work. These tests are basically a glorified version of Trivial Pursuit.

However, without some kind of evaluation districts and states cannot determine what percent of the students are not getting a grasp of the basic tenets of their education. We need some kind of tests that will show that the kids know stuff and that they can apply it.
 
2014-03-10 03:33:50 PM  

brap: I really kind of missed what the point of this whole exercise was. It's also sad that public educators have to grovel to people that are benefiting from an education and refusing to participate in something that, fairly or not, really does affect school funding.


Really? This has to be explained?
Government says "this is optional."
Some citizen says "okay, then no."
Government: "WTF? I told you this is optional, now comply."
Citizen "No thanks, not my thing."
Government "Okay, we were kidding about the optional part. Your children are 'truant, they will have consequences.'"
Citizen "Wait just a damn minute."
People on Fark: "Snarky 'snowflake' comments, why doesn't this legal professor just shut up and do what she is told? It's not like her children are really her children. What is she trying to prove by questioning that optional program that farks you over when you opt out? Everybody should just be the same and never question authority!"

/Yeah, cranky Monday for me too. Whatevs
 
2014-03-10 03:35:07 PM  

Raoul Eaton: ikanreed: ArcadianRefugee: FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.

Except, no one provided an adequate explanation of what her kids were getting out of it.  Isn't that the simple threshold?  Have a good reason to do things?


Frequently these tests have everything to do with school funding and/or career advancement for higher-level administrators (way above the principal level), and litte to do with student learning.


Yeah, but the person I was responding to was making the case that the parents were being irresponsible somehow.
 
2014-03-10 03:35:13 PM  
I wonder who mommy will try to sue when her precious snowflakes find out that the "opting out" is on their permanent school records and follows them to college, limiting their options?
 
2014-03-10 03:35:38 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: teenytinycornteeth: TNel: teenytinycornteeth: You should have worked harder on reading comprehension. I'll say it again. KIDS TAKE INDIVIDUAL TESTS IN THEIR CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS BEING GRADED ON WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS. This is how we know how they are doing. Or do you now ONLY believe in standardized results? I should also mention that I am not against ALL standardized testing. Like I said, as long as colleges require SAT or PSAT scores, they'll have to exist, but when a seven year old is subjected to computerized standardized tests more than three or four times a year, it takes away from other valuable things she could be learning and it does nothing to benefit the student.

I look at the tests as Finals.  You get a printout grade of what they know up to that point along with the weekly tests they normally take.  I don't see any issue.  State testing starts at 3rd grade here, which would make the students atleast 9.  So the hour and half long test 4 times a year so 6 hours of testing out of 1000 hours of being in school is too much?

Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing.  Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer.  You really think it's just an hour and half?  And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.


Testing in Kindgergarten - Chicago Reader

Another good read with the following interesting facts:

"When all is said and done, kindergarteners will have spent up to 60 days of class time-or a third of the school year-taking various standardized tests"

"This year CPS has added a new test to the array already faced by grammar school students: the REACH. It comes on top of the TRC, the MAP, the EXPLORE, the ISAT, and DIBELS. Two of these are teacher accountability tests. Two are diagnostic. And the others are a combination of both. One way o ...


you know what?  you're talking kindergarten now.  put the gorram goalpoasts back in the 13-and-14 year old middle-and-high-school age students' slots.  (not that they ARE slots, just remember the original argument)

no, i don't expect kindergarteners to know what "my lai" is, how to pronounce it, or even expect them to give a shiat. they're KIDS, for fark's sake...

OTOH, with the colleges in trouble for star athletes who read at a sesame st. level?  if at all?

if you're going to say someone reads "at or above high school levels"  they should be able to prove it.
 
2014-03-10 03:35:39 PM  
Long story short: Nothing actually happened.

The end.
 
2014-03-10 03:38:04 PM  

namegoeshere: So she opted he kids out for no reason other than she felt like it, and what happened was... nothing? A couple of phone calls and emails? Some AWing on Mom's part?

Jeeze, Overreactionmitter, from the headline I was expecting CPS involvement or an educational neglect charge at least.


I seriously thought the cops were going to show up or something and all that happened was nothing.

More power to her if she doesnt want her kids to take the test but it would have been nice if her reasoning was a little more than I dont wanna.
 
2014-03-10 03:43:03 PM  

jst3p: TNel: teenytinycornteeth: Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing. Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer. You really think it's just an hour and half? And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.

So tack on a day if you want per test it's still 2% of the time in school.

I think that the people that don't want the tests are afraid that their kid won't do as well as they think they should.

In 4th grade my daughter had the highest English CSAP score in the school. It was kind if funny, we were moving the following year and her school called hoping that it was a mistake.

I don't dislike them because I am afraid my kids wont do well, they both excel in school.

I dislike them because of the environment they create. You clearly don't understand the impact "teaching to the test" has. It changes the entire dynamic of the entire school year. I don't get too worked up about it because we provide a home environment that is stimulating and we focus on what we believe their school is short on. But I do think it is a toxic system and if you think that it only changes 2% of their time in school I think you underestimate the overall impact it has.


There is also a flip-side to the overall scoring on standardized testing: Grant eligibility. Higher scores remove elements of eligibility for certain alternate sources of funding. Low scores combined with adequate or better teacher ratings indicate to the state that 'there must be some problem there that maybe money or additional technology might fix.' So, a low-scoring school might qualify for a crate of laptops or iPads for the math, English, reading, or whatever departments compliments of some specific grant funding, where higher scores would eliminate eligibility. They may also provide additional funds to be applied to educator salaries if it appears that there's a need to hire 'better teachers' and use increased pay as an enticement.
 
2014-03-10 03:45:06 PM  

Slypork: basically a glorified version of Trivial Pursuit.


it's called trampolinING, you're wrong!  ;P
img.fark.net
/technically correct is best correct, i know...
img.fark.net
//b-b-b-buttslashies... :(
///always come in... three's company too...
img.fark.net
 
2014-03-10 03:46:57 PM  

jylcat: Long story short

TOO LATE:
img.fark.net

Nothing actually happened.

The end.

 
2014-03-10 03:47:55 PM  
The worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.
 
2014-03-10 03:50:13 PM  

cynicalminion: teenytinycornteeth: teenytinycornteeth: TNel: teenytinycornteeth: You should have worked harder on reading comprehension. I'll say it again. KIDS TAKE INDIVIDUAL TESTS IN THEIR CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS BEING GRADED ON WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS. This is how we know how they are doing. Or do you now ONLY believe in standardized results? I should also mention that I am not against ALL standardized testing. Like I said, as long as colleges require SAT or PSAT scores, they'll have to exist, but when a seven year old is subjected to computerized standardized tests more than three or four times a year, it takes away from other valuable things she could be learning and it does nothing to benefit the student.

I look at the tests as Finals.  You get a printout grade of what they know up to that point along with the weekly tests they normally take.  I don't see any issue.  State testing starts at 3rd grade here, which would make the students atleast 9.  So the hour and half long test 4 times a year so 6 hours of testing out of 1000 hours of being in school is too much?

Don't forget teaching the test my friend! Here are the ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES to use in the classroom when preparing for standardized testing.  Practice Tests, Reading about the test, learning how to pick the best multiple choice answer.  You really think it's just an hour and half?  And all of this test prep is not learning about the material ON the test, but how to manage the format and the questions.


Testing in Kindgergarten - Chicago Reader

Another good read with the following interesting facts:

"When all is said and done, kindergarteners will have spent up to 60 days of class time-or a third of the school year-taking various standardized tests"

"This year CPS has added a new test to the array already faced by grammar school students: the REACH. It comes on top of the TRC, the MAP, the EXPLORE, the ISAT, and DIBELS. Two of these are teacher accountability tests. Two are diagnostic. And the others are a combinatio ...


Wait.  You're accusing ME of moving the goalposts?  My argument throughout this thread has been against standardized testing overtaking school, starting with the statement that i have a seven year old.  I also said that I had no problem with PSAT or SATs, I have said from the beginning that it's a disturbing trend of teaching to the test, and TNel said that all of this is fine for a third grader.  I never mentioned junior high or high school.  I'm talking about the trend towards public school doing nothing but training kids for standardized testing...which they do...STARTING IN KINDERGARTEN.
 
2014-03-10 03:51:17 PM  

eeyore102: The worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.


Not only incentive but time/money. In our school district the gifted kids and the remedial kids were catered to from the same budget, at the school my kids were in there were so many that were behind the curve they didn't have the resources to do anything extra with those ahead of it. It was one of the main factors in getting my kids to a different school.
 
2014-03-10 03:52:24 PM  
The real problem is not that the school funding is tied to it.  I mean, sure that is what is driving the principals and other administration to make sure kids do it.

The real reason is WHY school funding is tied to it.  Supposedly it is to make sure all the kids participate and try their best.  The real reason has to be College Board and the entire testing industry.  They have dropped fat wads of cash all over DC and the State Houses. They don't get paid for a missing student, so the elected officials make sure public money will go to private 'non-profit' orgs.  My state now requires all high school students to take the ACT at least twice.  Its 'free' of course to the students, but its not free for the school system.  ACT is making fat cash on all the K-12 products it now offers.  I imagine College Board and other testing organizations are doing quite well too.
 
2014-03-10 03:52:26 PM  

eeyore102: The worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.


If a student is truely gifted they don't need any incentive to learn new things.  Gifted programs are garbage and are only for parents to think they are special by having a kid in the program that does jack for the student.
 
2014-03-10 03:54:05 PM  

ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.


But it's perfectly okay for military families, right?
 
2014-03-10 03:55:09 PM  
i1.livememe.com

If this is all you see to worry about in the world, you're not looking very hard.
 
2014-03-10 03:55:10 PM  

Alphakronik: I wonder who mommy will try to sue when her precious snowflakes find out that the "opting out" is on their permanent school records and follows them to college, limiting their options?


Yes. Because there must be serious life long ramifications for failing to comply with an optional program.
 
2014-03-10 03:55:15 PM  
I love standardized testing.  It made me what I am today.
 
2014-03-10 03:55:19 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: I also said that I had no problem with PSAT or SATs, I have said from the beginning that it's a disturbing trend of teaching to the test, and TNel said that all of this is fine for a third grader.


I said in my State testing doesn't happen until 3rd grade.
 
2014-03-10 03:57:58 PM  
When the guards teachers say "optional" they mean "mandatory".
 
2014-03-10 03:58:07 PM  

TNel: eeyore102: The worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.

If a student is truely gifted they don't need any incentive to learn new things.  Gifted programs are garbage and are only for parents to think they are special by having a kid in the program that does jack for the student.


"Gifted" is used too casually here. My daughter isn't "gifted" but she is in sixth grade and almost through the 8th grade math module here:

www.aleks.com

I don't even think she is incredibly bright, I just think that the bar is too low. Her school happens to have a GT focus and she is in  Pre-AP classes but there are plenty of kids who are above average and it isn't a waste to challenge them.
 
2014-03-10 03:59:01 PM  

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

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


Even though this is a trolly post to get responses, I am going to bite with an honest question. In most schools, students are divided pretty randomly into classes so the whole spectrum (below proficient, approaching proficient, proficient and advanced) would expect to be represented in a classroom and the results of the tests might (erroneously) lead to the conclusion that the teacher was somehow responsible.

In some schools, children are grouped in a method called "cluster grouping" which puts all the identified gifted students into one classroom rather then spreading them out among all four/five classes in a given grade. The students are then assigned to a teacher with specialized training in gifted education. In this schoolwide method, the teacher with the gifted cluster group is going to have a higher percentage of students testing advanced on the state mandated standardized tests. Most likely the children in that class would score proficient or advanced without any teacher intervention, so in a school method like that, you really would not be able to tie test scores to any sort of teacher evaluation.
 
2014-03-10 03:59:35 PM  

TNel: eeyore102: The worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.

If a student is truely gifted they don't need any incentive to learn new things.  Gifted programs are garbage and are only for parents to think they are special by having a kid in the program that does jack for the student.


Depends on the program. Would you rather have the smart kids sitting bored at the back of the class, cutting up because it's the only way they can get any attention or entertainment? It's true that truly gifted kids tend to seek out opportunities to learn, but it's going to be hard for them to find opportunities in the classroom if the resources aren't there.
 
2014-03-10 04:00:44 PM  

melopene: ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

But it's perfectly okay for military families, right?


Less than ideal but that is part of the sacrifice they and their families make. And I appreciate them.

It is way different than "I am going to move my kids in and out of a school for one year so I can take a temp teaching gig."
 
2014-03-10 04:02:42 PM  

iheartscotch: iheartscotch: triplenickel03: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

The same kind that bouces their kid in and out of school about 7 times a year-alternating between home schooling and traditional schooling while they gallivant around the country on archaeological digs. I witnessed it.  But then again it was Texas, where anything goes.  Christ all mighty, either take them out and home school or leave them in. Not frigging both when you don't feel like home schooling this week.

Was your dog's name Indian?

Dammmmmmm auto-correct!

Was your dog's name Indiana!


Nope.  Lucas.
 
2014-03-10 04:04:18 PM  

jst3p: Albinoman: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

I went to 10 different schools from K-12. You definitely learn to make friends more quickly and you get to see a lot more variety of people and classes. It's not really that bad.

I never went to the same school two years in a row until High School. I disagree, it sucked.


Same here, due to being an Army brat... It made for no excuse for poor geography grades, but it ensured I never bothered to make any friends, because I was just going to move in a year or so, so the librarian at the school typically became my best friend...

And speaking on topic, I find standardized tests to be a complete joke. They were talking about using the tests to also judge teacher's performance and pay off the results, but that went out the window when the test results came back on the FCAT results after the kids were asked to write about some Australian or Antarctic animal that most of them had barely heard of for the 1st graders 2 years ago... They're still trying to implement it...

And also it's funny that teachers are the first ones to feel the heat when these tests are used, since the admin at the school as well as the school board come down on them hard to get 100% participation, despite the only ones who lose money if the results suck are the schools themselves, yet the admin and board are exempt from losing their perks... And yet they seem shocked when teachers gripe about having to use their own money to buy supplies that the schools should have plenty of, yet the still have to beg each parent to supply them with a certain amount each year...
 
2014-03-10 04:04:25 PM  

So, the moral of the story is "she's an idiot."

No, seriously. She opted her kid out of the testing before she bothered to research the possible results of her actions? She "stood on her principles", only to discover that not only does her "principled", short-sighted decision have little impact on what she wanted to accomplish, she also succeeded in screwing not just her two kids, but potentially all the other kids as well, and then had the gall to be surprised by this "revelation."

And she's a lawyer? Sheesh. Here's a thought - research first, and then act. Don't make huge, short-sighted assumptions based on incomplete information, only to be surprised by the consequences of your actions later.
 
2014-03-10 04:05:41 PM  

trippdogg: [i1.livememe.com image 750x570]

If this is all you see to worry about in the world, you're not looking very hard.


Anybody who doesn't want their children to be indoctrinated to be a drone. Maybe standardized testing is okay. The problem is that under Common Core parents have no say in testing or curriculum anymore. In fact as a member of Clark County Parent School Association I can tell you they don't solicit ANY input from parents anymore, all they talk about is school fundraisers.
 
2014-03-10 04:06:32 PM  

trippdogg: [i1.livememe.com image 750x570]

If this is all you see to worry about in the world, you're not looking very hard.


The whole point of this article is to provide anti-education fuel. That's it. "LOOK! STANDARDIZED TESTING IS LINKED TO MONEY! THEY'RE EXPLOITING OUR KIDS! THE STATE IS FORCING US TO TAKE A TEST! WHARGARRBLLLLLL!"

The article is meant to be inflammatory, but not actually provide useful information other than "if you're in Colorado, standardized testing is the law."
 
2014-03-10 04:07:29 PM  

TNel: teenytinycornteeth: I also said that I had no problem with PSAT or SATs, I have said from the beginning that it's a disturbing trend of teaching to the test, and TNel said that all of this is fine for a third grader.

I said in my State testing doesn't happen until 3rd grade.


Which is still younger than 13 or 14, so accusing me of moving the goalposts is disingenuous.
 
2014-03-10 04:07:45 PM  
TFA: we currently live in Boulder, one of the most liberal, individualistic towns in America

Your assumption that those two naturally go together was your first mistake.

scotchlandia:
Government says "this is optional."
Some citizen says "okay, then no."
Government: "WTF? I told you this is optional, now comply."
Citizen "No thanks, not my thing."
Government "Okay, we were kidding about the optional part. Your children are 'truant, they will have consequences.'"
Citizen "Wait just a damn minute."
People on Fark: "Snarky 'snowflake' comments, why doesn't this legal professor just shut up and do what she is told? It's not like her children are really her children. What is she trying to prove by questioning that optional program that farks you over when you opt out? Everybody should just be the same and never question authority!"


and img.fark.net
 
2014-03-10 04:07:53 PM  

FormlessOne: So, the moral of the story is "she's an idiot."No, seriously. She opted her kid out of the testing before she bothered to research the possible results of her actions? She "stood on her principles", only to discover that not only does her "principled", short-sighted decision have little impact on what she wanted to accomplish, she also succeeded in screwing not just her two kids, but potentially all the other kids as well, and then had the gall to be surprised by this "revelation."

And she's a lawyer? Sheesh. Here's a thought - research first, and then act. Don't make huge, short-sighted assumptions based on incomplete information, only to be surprised by the consequences of your actions later.


Because she believed it to be optional, which means by definition : you don't have to do it. Since when do we need a legal opinion to opt out of optional activities?
 
2014-03-10 04:10:27 PM  
Yesterday: opting out of vaccines.
Today: opting out of standardized tests.
Tomorrow: opting out of work!

Oh, the humanity!
 
2014-03-10 04:12:06 PM  
 
2014-03-10 04:12:59 PM  

eeyore102: Depends on the program. Would you rather have the smart kids sitting bored at the back of the class, cutting up because it's the only way they can get any attention or entertainment? It's true that truly gifted kids tend to seek out opportunities to learn, but it's going to be hard for them to find opportunities in the classroom if the resources aren't there.


I've seen the gifted program at our school and it's a free for all and I know the teacher that was teaching it for years and I wouldn't want my Pre-Schooler in that class.

Most MS and HS are in blocks unlike Elementary so if a kid is better in Alg they move up a step.  Once they get past what the school has they send them to the local college.

teenytinycornteeth: Which is still younger than 13 or 14, so accusing me of moving the goalposts is disingenuous.


I didn't say it but a 5 year old is a HUGE gap from a 9 year old in schooling.
 
2014-03-10 04:14:15 PM  
I also want to agree completely with what jst3p said about how tying funding to test scores encourages folks to game the system.

If you want to see a good example of a system that depends too heavily on the outcome of standardized tests, take a look at China.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-levy/what-i-learned-from-china _b _872126.html

Some of the problems they've had:
- Rich students do better because their parents pay for test prep.
- Ability to perform well on a standardized test does not measure students' ability to innovate and think critically -- two things you want to encourage if you want to build a generation of job creators.
- Cheating is rampant, making the test outcomes suspect anyway.
 
2014-03-10 04:15:23 PM  

scotchlandia: FormlessOne: So, the moral of the story is "she's an idiot."No, seriously. She opted her kid out of the testing before she bothered to research the possible results of her actions? She "stood on her principles", only to discover that not only does her "principled", short-sighted decision have little impact on what she wanted to accomplish, she also succeeded in screwing not just her two kids, but potentially all the other kids as well, and then had the gall to be surprised by this "revelation."

And she's a lawyer? Sheesh. Here's a thought - research first, and then act. Don't make huge, short-sighted assumptions based on incomplete information, only to be surprised by the consequences of your actions later.

Because she believed it to be optional, which means by definition : you don't have to do it. Since when do we need a legal opinion to opt out of optional activities?


This would be my sort of response as well. Again, I think the parent is largely off puttig if not outright wrong, but if a form has a box that says "Check here if you do not wish your child to undergoe standardized testing" option, and you check it, that's sort of the end of the story. Maybe educators should have some leeway to make the case for convincing you that participating in testing is in your childs best interest, but at the end of the day, if you give parents that option, you sort of have to respect it.

Again, the mother seems more self interested and basing her decisions on, at best, faulty logic, but I do think we overemphasize standardized testing in this country and don't know that I entirely disagree with her, even if she's being incredibly brash.
 
2014-03-10 04:16:37 PM  

error 303: Again, the mother seems more self interested and basing her decisions on, at best, faulty logic


There is a reason she teaches law, those who can't do and all...
 
2014-03-10 04:16:56 PM  

eeyore102: e worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.


As previously posted, in some states, schools receive money based on the number of AP classes that they offer. The AP track is fed by students coming up from middle school. In progressive districts, the elementary feeder schools will have advanced programs for students to prepare for the middle school pre-AP program, which prepares for High School AP. If the district is well coordinated, all feeder schools are working together from elementary to middle to high school to ensure the advanced students are getting what they need.

I do think that putting too much emphasis on the once a year state testing is a mistake and that too much pressure is put on the students and teachers for this one measure, but good schools/districts have not sacrificed the "extras" in favor of helping the middle. If you live in a district putting so much emphasis on the testing that it has removed art, music, PE, technology "specials" and does not provide enough for your gifted student, then move or open enroll in another district/school if you have that policy where you live.

Overall, I think state testing in elementary school should be removed in favor of smaller assessments like SRI for reading growth indicators, but I am in favor of state testing for high school graduation. If you cannot pass a basic readiness test coming at of high school, you shouldn't get a diploma. Maybe that would fix at least a part of the large problem we have in the country with the number of students graduating from high school and needing remedial studies classes in college.

Next year, Colorado will be part of the PARCC assessment (as will 16 other states). PARCC will then be used not only as a state standardized test but as the basis of admission for colleges in many of the participating states. Colorado students will not have to take the ACT/SAT if they want to go to a Colorado school; their PARCC test score will determine their admission eligibility instead. At least students in these states will only have to prepare for one type of standardized test that will serve multiple purposes.
 
2014-03-10 04:18:57 PM  

error 303: scotchlandia: FormlessOne: So, the moral of the story is "she's an idiot."No, seriously. She opted her kid out of the testing before she bothered to research the possible results of her actions? She "stood on her principles", only to discover that not only does her "principled", short-sighted decision have little impact on what she wanted to accomplish, she also succeeded in screwing not just her two kids, but potentially all the other kids as well, and then had the gall to be surprised by this "revelation."

And she's a lawyer? Sheesh. Here's a thought - research first, and then act. Don't make huge, short-sighted assumptions based on incomplete information, only to be surprised by the consequences of your actions later.

Because she believed it to be optional, which means by definition : you don't have to do it. Since when do we need a legal opinion to opt out of optional activities?

This would be my sort of response as well. Again, I think the parent is largely off puttig if not outright wrong, but if a form has a box that says "Check here if you do not wish your child to undergoe standardized testing" option, and you check it, that's sort of the end of the story. Maybe educators should have some leeway to make the case for convincing you that participating in testing is in your childs best interest, but at the end of the day, if you give parents that option, you sort of have to respect it.

Again, the mother seems more self interested and basing her decisions on, at best, faulty logic, but I do think we overemphasize standardized testing in this country and don't know that I entirely disagree with her, even if she's being incredibly brash.


I should clarify, I mean that her reasoning and the way she's handled this may be outright wrong, not neccessarily her decision to keep her kids out of standardized testing.
 
2014-03-10 04:19:11 PM  

jfbnr24: Overall, I think state testing in elementary school should be removed in favor of smaller assessments like SRI for reading growth indicators, but I am in favor of state testing for high school graduation. If you cannot pass a basic readiness test coming at of high school, you shouldn't get a diploma.


This! Especially considering the fact that my kid takes those smaller assessments already!
 
2014-03-10 04:21:11 PM  

Alphakronik: I wonder who mommy will try to sue when her precious snowflakes find out that the "opting out" is on their permanent school records and follows them to college, limiting their options?


Have you even been to college? As long as you can find money and aren't a total screwup they'll take you.
 
2014-03-10 04:21:20 PM  
/csb
When I was in college we had to take some stupid test like this too.  I was enrolled in night classes that were designed for working adults, 3 hours once a week for 6 weeks then on to the next course, basically designed to run us through as quickly as possible with a degree in hand.  Anyway 1st couple times we had to take these tests it was stated that they do not count towards grade & no work was ever assigned after taking it.  So I would use this as my only day to miss.  Soon it changed to you must be here the night of the test in order to get points for attending.  The made it weighted enough that you didnt want to miss it.  So I went with "C" the whole way down and left 15 minutes into the 3 hour long class.  Got a call from the dean & person in charge of the adult education class wanting to meet with me, so next day I meet them and they really wanted me to retake the test.  I asked "Does it count towards my overall grade?"  "Well, no but it means alot to the school that you score highly on it."  "I have better things to do with my time than take a test that doesnt matter for my grade.  I'm here to get a piece of paper.  I left early to go to my son's baseball game, that is more important to me than the test."  It was a private "christian" based university that loved to preach on family being super important and that most of us were doing this to better our family.  The look on their face when they had to decide if they wanted to tell me that them getting more funding vs me watching my 8 year old play ball was priceless.  Took 2 other people coming to me on separate occasions before I took it again.  Still did a crappy job on it, I wasnt going to rack my brain trying to figure anything out just educated guess & move on.  Now that I think about it I should have dropped the harassment on them, they coulda paid me for my degree.
/end csb
 
2014-03-10 04:21:25 PM  
All of you complaining about this would you be willing to pay more in taxes so these parents don't have to subject their kids to standardized testing?
 
2014-03-10 04:21:53 PM  

TNel: eeyore102: Depends on the program. Would you rather have the smart kids sitting bored at the back of the class, cutting up because it's the only way they can get any attention or entertainment? It's true that truly gifted kids tend to seek out opportunities to learn, but it's going to be hard for them to find opportunities in the classroom if the resources aren't there.

I've seen the gifted program at our school and it's a free for all and I know the teacher that was teaching it for years and I wouldn't want my Pre-Schooler in that class.

Most MS and HS are in blocks unlike Elementary so if a kid is better in Alg they move up a step.  Once they get past what the school has they send them to the local college.


I attended a gifted and talented school in the 80s. Most of the kids there were from the better side of town, unlike me. I still wound up testing out of some of the reading material and had to go to an entirely separate class for math because I was so far ahead of the rest of my class.

Still, though, I learned a few valuable things there. I learned how to write a research paper (big emphasis on that). I started learning some basic computer literacy and got an introduction to programming. There was an entire segment dedicated to speed reading for comprehension -- I eventually maxed that out, but it took some time. I got a lot of opportunities there that I really could not have gotten from my neighborhood school in the barrio.
 
2014-03-10 04:23:51 PM  
Lol. Would be ok because it is the most liberal. Wow, that is comedy at its best.

Doesn't she know liberal translates to controlling everything and making sure people fit in line or get abolished.

Next test - how to identify and turn in your parents for yelling to loudly.
 
2014-03-10 04:24:47 PM  

jfbnr24: letrole: Good teachers like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.

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

Even though this is a trolly post to get responses, I am going to bite with an honest question. In most schools, students are divided pretty randomly into classes so the whole spectrum (below proficient, approaching proficient, proficient and advanced) would expect to be represented in a classroom and the results of the tests might (erroneously) lead to the conclusion that the teacher was somehow responsible.

In some schools, children are grouped in a method called "cluster grouping" which puts all the identified gifted students into one classroom rather then spreading them out among all four/five classes in a given grade. The students are then assigned to a teacher with specialized training in gifted education. In this schoolwide method, the teacher with the gifted cluster group is going to have a higher percentage of students testing advanced on the state mandated standardized tests. Most likely the children in that class would score proficient or advanced without any teacher intervention, so in a school method like that, you really would not be able to tie test scores to any sort of teacher evaluation.


ALSO:
In some schools that do the cluster teaching method, they have the highest averaging students placed in with the lowest achieving students, so that they "average out", and supposedly so the highest on the curve can help provide a good example to the lowest on the curve. However, it doesn't work out this way, as the teacher will move more slowly in the curriculum to make sure the lowest students get it, and the highest students end up getting bored.
This may or may not lead them to disrupt the classroom, because they aren't getting anything out of it, and as aren't allowed to read ahead or ask more in depth questions, there's nothing better for them to do.
 
2014-03-10 04:25:16 PM  

badhatharry: It prepares them for the common core math on the SAT.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/31/a-rid ic ulous-common-core-test-for-first-graders/



http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/">http://whatiscommoncore.word press.com/

Common Core, huh?
US Code § 1232a  General Educational Provisions Act: "No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system..."
 
2014-03-10 04:25:45 PM  

trippdogg: [i1.livememe.com image 750x570]

If this is all you see to worry about in the world, you're not looking very hard.


People have opinions about [major domestic political issue]?  Can't they see that the world is full of terrible shiat? (Yes they can)
 
2014-03-10 04:27:25 PM  
There are no white lies.  There are just lies.  This article is a case in point:

"my middle-schooler had to go to school for first period, then come home, then go back to school three hours later. For several days."

Followed by:

"We're on our second day of opting out of TCAPs as I write this..."

So I definitely believe this woman to be an academic, but she's either totally full of b.s., has no concept of time, is incredibly stupid, or all three. I'm sure that, as an academic, she's used to writing pages of pointless drivel that nobody ever seems to read and thought she could circulate the same thoughtless kelp to everyone else to be equally ignored...

Or maybe she's totally full of crap and went to law school with Lionel Hutz.... Either way, the article is all lies, and if her kids are anxious, it's probably due to their mother's insistence on "difference" that is the cause, not standardized testing.
 
2014-03-10 04:27:54 PM  
So according to the Fark consensus:

1. Standardized tests are useless.
2. Kids should go through them anyway because they are also useful.

Well, which is it Fark?
 
2014-03-10 04:30:46 PM  

TNel: eeyore102: Depends on the program. Would you rather have the smart kids sitting bored at the back of the class, cutting up because it's the only way they can get any attention or entertainment? It's true that truly gifted kids tend to seek out opportunities to learn, but it's going to be hard for them to find opportunities in the classroom if the resources aren't there.

I've seen the gifted program at our school and it's a free for all and I know the teacher that was teaching it for years and I wouldn't want my Pre-Schooler in that class.

Most MS and HS are in blocks unlike Elementary so if a kid is better in Alg they move up a step.  Once they get past what the school has they send them to the local college.

teenytinycornteeth: Which is still younger than 13 or 14, so accusing me of moving the goalposts is disingenuous.

I didn't say it but a 5 year old is a HUGE gap from a 9 year old in schooling.


I hardly believe that as they progress the testing slows down.  if anything they increase.  One of the articles I read about Chicago school testing said they were so proud that they reduced the number of standardized tests from 25 to 10.  10 tests a year, and like I already established, it's much more than an hour and a half out of the kids day.  If it's a third of the kids year in kindergarten, I doubt it goes down to 2%, like your suggestion, in third grade.
 
2014-03-10 04:32:39 PM  

mikemil828: So according to the Fark consensus:

1. Standardized tests are useless.
2. Kids should go through them anyway because they are also useful.

Well, which is it Fark?


Standardized tests are getting out of hand but this woman is not the right person to make the argument because she applies the academic rigor of toddler playing with its own feces.
 
2014-03-10 04:32:55 PM  

TNel: All of you complaining about this would you be willing to pay more in taxes so these parents don't have to subject their kids to standardized testing?


So you think there is a correlation between the tax rate and participation rate?
 
2014-03-10 04:38:53 PM  
OK then ... take the test, but hand in a blank test. See how well that works out.
 
2014-03-10 04:40:08 PM  
This is a no brainer, the schools get funding based on the standardized test scores. Administrators are paid according to how the schools performs on these tests.
 
2014-03-10 04:40:19 PM  
Right in front of the pricipal I'd have said "honey, go ahead and do the test but try not to get a single question right." The mother's reasons for pulling her kids doesn't really matter. She shouldn't have to defend her decision so rigorously. The principals need to know that they aren't all-controlling.
 
2014-03-10 04:46:10 PM  

Russ1642: Right in front of the pricipal I'd have said "honey, go ahead and do the test but try not to get a single question right."


Meh, if it mattered to me I would just make sure my kid knows that it doesn't matter how he does on the test so try or don't, I don't care.

As it is I encourage my kids to do well on the tests even though I believe they are a flawed system. I do this because I know my kids are going to be just fine but the money the school gets can be used to help other kids. The teachers, the principals and other administrators didn't create the system. They are the players, I hate the game.
 
2014-03-10 04:46:48 PM  

BunkyBrewman: These kids are already tested in each individual class they take.  This test has nothing to do with their progress and everything to do with funding and ranking the schools.


And that grade means nothing without context.

There's alot wrong with standardized testing and how the results are interpreted, and it's getting to much emphasis and time.  But it's addressing a real problem - the fact that all schools are not created equal and kids at under-performing schools get shortchanged, even though they may have stellar GPAs from those schools.

I've seen that first hand after coasting through Podunk High and graduating at the top of my class.  Got to college where everybody graduated at the top of their class, but mostly from bigger, more affluent, better high schools and got my ass handed to me freshman year.  The difference in preparation and opportunity they had at those schools was very significant ... but our HS GPAs and class rank were very similar.

And now I see it with my own kids.  Teacher #1 challenges the kids all the time, lots of assignments, good interaction and feedback and the kids have to work for it.  Teacher #2 coasts through the semester with the bare minimum of effort, homework is rare, and sometimes not even graded and returned.  But an A from teacher #1 counts the same as an A from teacher #2.

One of the uses of these standardized test results is to measure student progress from year to year.  This progress can then be aggregated and correlated by subject and teacher to show that teacher #1 is doing a great job and teacher #2 is slacking.

That data reduction/interpretation still need alot of work in some areas.  At least in Colorado, they really need to get a handle on this from what I've seen - statistics is not their strong point.  NEA hates data based evaluations and erosion of tenure, and they have a legitimate beef with some aspects of this.  But it's a start.  You can't improve what you don't measure.
 
2014-03-10 04:55:43 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


Military, contract , various government agents and more...

/Life,  it happens with or without your stupid opinions.
 
2014-03-10 05:03:36 PM  
How about next time the parent just says "Just try your best, sweetie." End of story.
 
2014-03-10 05:03:56 PM  

MassAsster: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

Military, contract , various government agents and more...

/Life,  it happens with or without your stupid opinions.


I understand it isn't avoidable for many, this does not seem to be one of those cases based on the limited data we have. Her taking a one year guest teaching position in Denver but living in Boulder (expensive for the area) seems selfish and more disruptive to her kids education than taking these tests.
 
2014-03-10 05:07:54 PM  
I hate everything about Slate.  Journalism = I did a thing then I sloppily wrote about it and framed it in the context of a larger issue that I only considered so I could make a few bucks.
 
2014-03-10 05:14:08 PM  

TNel: eeyore102: Depends on the program. Would you rather have the smart kids sitting bored at the back of the class, cutting up because it's the only way they can get any attention or entertainment? It's true that truly gifted kids tend to seek out opportunities to learn, but it's going to be hard for them to find opportunities in the classroom if the resources aren't there.

I've seen the gifted program at our school and it's a free for all and I know the teacher that was teaching it for years and I wouldn't want my Pre-Schooler in that class.

Most MS and HS are in blocks unlike Elementary so if a kid is better in Alg they move up a step.  Once they get past what the school has they send them to the local college.

I was in gifted programs until HS (where the program became "enroll in advanced classes"). Most of the time the program was a mess and, yes, it was a free for all (I recall a lot pranks-- reconfiguring teachers' computers, sabotaging the nerdiest kids' experiments etc.), but at least the smart kids got to spend time together and engage instead of sitting around bored while the slows figured out 2+2.

After a while teachers stop calling on the smart kids during general lectures, so those kids dont even get minimally engaged by normal curriculum. It makes more sense to give smarter children that time to explore more advanced or interesting topics even if the time is unstructured. That way the kids dont have to give up all their free time to do self study.
 
2014-03-10 05:14:38 PM  

jst3p: Russ1642: Right in front of the pricipal I'd have said "honey, go ahead and do the test but try not to get a single question right."

Meh, if it mattered to me I would just make sure my kid knows that it doesn't matter how he does on the test so try or don't, I don't care.


anshuchristajacobson.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-10 05:15:36 PM  

scotchlandia: badhatharry: It prepares them for the common core math on the SAT.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/31/a-rid ic ulous-common-core-test-for-first-graders/


http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/">http://whatiscommoncore.word press.com/

Common Core, huh?
US Code § 1232a  General Educational Provisions Act: "No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system..."


Hahaha. That's funny.
 
2014-03-10 05:19:54 PM  

Slypork: jst3p: Russ1642: Right in front of the pricipal I'd have said "honey, go ahead and do the test but try not to get a single question right."

Meh, if it mattered to me I would just make sure my kid knows that it doesn't matter how he does on the test so try or don't, I don't care.

[anshuchristajacobson.files.wordpress.com image 850x637]


What a try looks like:

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-10 05:23:33 PM  
The problem isn't with the tests.  The problem is what stupid people try to use the results of the tests to measure.  The tests were never intended to measure teacher effectiveness, see who gets funding, etc.

Results of tests are an easy single number for dumb bastards to latch on to in order to do something else with it which it wasn't intended to measure just like any other metric.
 
2014-03-10 05:26:19 PM  

jst3p: Slypork: jst3p: Russ1642: Right in front of the pricipal I'd have said "honey, go ahead and do the test but try not to get a single question right."

Meh, if it mattered to me I would just make sure my kid knows that it doesn't matter how he does on the test so try or don't, I don't care.

[anshuchristajacobson.files.wordpress.com image 850x637]

What a try looks like:

[img.fark.net image 288x175]


You win
 
2014-03-10 05:26:47 PM  
Sounds like their funding is directly tied into participation, like federal road funds being tied to the drinking age. Bummer.
 
2014-03-10 05:31:33 PM  

TNel: teenytinycornteeth: I wonder how many people in this thread screaming "suck it up snowflake" have children and fully understand the rampant and spreading plague of standardized testing and how different school is for kids these days.  My daughter is SEVEN and in FIRST GRADE she's already taking standardized tests three or four times a year, complete with reports sent home letting us know exactly where she falls in relation to her classmates, the school and the district.  Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.

School is no longer an exploration of subjects, it's "let's prepare to take a test...here's the test, lets talk about the test...here are the test results".

And the more we sit around and say "well it's school, they must know what they're doing, and I went to school and I was fine, so everything must be exactly the same!"  the worse it's going to get.

For a long time, there were Chicago Public Schools where six year old kids sat at their desks for all but twenty minutes in a seven hour day.  No recess.  Minimum PE, lunch at their desks.  BECAUSE WE HAD TO TEACH TO THE TEST.  It's crap.

While you may not agree with this particular mom, I agree that if more parents don't stand up to this bullshiat, school is going to continue to become nothing but corporately owned vocational programs, training drones to do nothing but the specific jobs the corporations want ::cough:: charter school ::cough::.

I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...



No.  That makes incorrect assumptions about the contents of tests.  Tests are standardized and provided, typically by for-profit companies, from outside the school system.  The curriculum is developed within the individual school system to some extent, and at a more granular level within the individual school and classroom.  Both the subject matter and methodology of a standardized test frequently have no resemblance to what is being taught as part of the regular curriculum.  As a result, for the kids to have any chance of succeeding on the test at all, they get weeks of in-class cramming on test subject matter and performance.  I've seen it firsthand.  There's a lot of "this is how you're going to have to do it on the test," when the better pedagogy would be "here's how you can understand the subject matter."  And then, there's a whole different set of tests where the subject matter is so far removed from the curriculum that it doesn't give any useful information at all -- for example, testing students on math subjects that won't be covered in school until the following year.  Brilliant!
 
2014-03-10 05:32:08 PM  

dj_bigbird: jst3p: Slypork: jst3p: Russ1642: Right in front of the pricipal I'd have said "honey, go ahead and do the test but try not to get a single question right."

Meh, if it mattered to me I would just make sure my kid knows that it doesn't matter how he does on the test so try or don't, I don't care.

[anshuchristajacobson.files.wordpress.com image 850x637]

What a try looks like:

[img.fark.net image 288x175]

You win


Conversely, sometimes there is no try:

www.wikihow.com
 
2014-03-10 05:42:18 PM  

jst3p: melopene: ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

But it's perfectly okay for military families, right?

Less than ideal but that is part of the sacrifice they and their families make. And I appreciate them.

It is way different than "I am going to move my kids in and out of a school for one year so I can take a temp teaching gig."


Let me introduce you to academia, where you move around as often as you have to for various reasons (better jobs, getting out of a toxic university, failing to get tenure, moving for your first job), and you don't just get to select what city you live in, or even if you like it there.

Also, why aren't you hating on the father? How is being a woman with a career selfish at all? He's in school full time, how SELFISH! WHY ISN'T HE HOME WITH THE KIDS?
 
2014-03-10 05:49:16 PM  

melopene: jst3p: melopene: ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

But it's perfectly okay for military families, right?

Less than ideal but that is part of the sacrifice they and their families make. And I appreciate them.

It is way different than "I am going to move my kids in and out of a school for one year so I can take a temp teaching gig."

Let me introduce you to academia, where you move around as often as you have to for various reasons (better jobs, getting out of a toxic university, failing to get tenure, moving for your first job), and you don't just get to select what city you live in, or even if you like it there.

Also, why aren't you hating on the father? How is being a woman with a career selfish at all? He's in school full time, how SELFISH! WHY ISN'T HE HOME WITH THE KIDS?


I did say in a previous post I thought dad and kids should have stayed where they were for the year. Like I said, if they moved to Boulder in order to teach in Denver they aren't desperate to take whatever job she can, they have flexibility.
 
2014-03-10 05:50:25 PM  

Lamberts Ho Man: BunkyBrewman: These kids are already tested in each individual class they take.  This test has nothing to do with their progress and everything to do with funding and ranking the schools.

And that grade means nothing without context.

There's alot wrong with standardized testing and how the results are interpreted, and it's getting to much emphasis and time.  But it's addressing a real problem - the fact that all schools are not created equal and kids at under-performing schools get shortchanged, even though they may have stellar GPAs from those schools.

I've seen that first hand after coasting through Podunk High and graduating at the top of my class.  Got to college where everybody graduated at the top of their class, but mostly from bigger, more affluent, better high schools and got my ass handed to me freshman year.  The difference in preparation and opportunity they had at those schools was very significant ... but our HS GPAs and class rank were very similar.

And now I see it with my own kids.  Teacher #1 challenges the kids all the time, lots of assignments, good interaction and feedback and the kids have to work for it.  Teacher #2 coasts through the semester with the bare minimum of effort, homework is rare, and sometimes not even graded and returned.  But an A from teacher #1 counts the same as an A from teacher #2.

One of the uses of these standardized test results is to measure student progress from year to year.  This progress can then be aggregated and correlated by subject and teacher to show that teacher #1 is doing a great job and teacher #2 is slacking.

That data reduction/interpretation still need alot of work in some areas.  At least in Colorado, they really need to get a handle on this from what I've seen - statistics is not their strong point.  NEA hates data based evaluations and erosion of tenure, and they have a legitimate beef with some aspects of this.  But it's a start.  You can't improve what you don't measure.


The reality is that schools in places like D.C. and Miss. don't improve unless their progress can be measured against a standard.
 
2014-03-10 05:51:51 PM  

jst3p: melopene: jst3p: melopene: ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

But it's perfectly okay for military families, right?

Less than ideal but that is part of the sacrifice they and their families make. And I appreciate them.

It is way different than "I am going to move my kids in and out of a school for one year so I can take a temp teaching gig."

Let me introduce you to academia, where you move around as often as you have to for various reasons (better jobs, getting out of a toxic university, failing to get tenure, moving for your first job), and you don't just get to select what city you live in, or even if you like it there.

Also, why aren't you hating on the father? How is being a woman with a career selfish at all? He's in school full time, how SELFISH! WHY ISN'T HE HOME WITH THE KIDS?

I did say in a previous post I thought dad and kids should have stayed where they were for the year. Like I said, if they moved to Boulder in order to teach in Denver they aren't desperate to take whatever job she can, they have flexibility.


A friend had a kid in grad school when we were at UGA... the family then moved to Chicago for a job, and then found a chance at being closer to home and will be moving to Denver this summer. The kid's probably in second grade by now... so does that make them bad parents, for trying to have a happy and fulfilling life, and thus a happy environment for the kid? Serious question.
 
2014-03-10 05:53:44 PM  

vudukungfu: You can mandate these stupid exams but not vaccinations?
How farked up is that?




www.clevescene.com
 
2014-03-10 05:57:02 PM  

melopene: jst3p: melopene: jst3p: melopene: ransack.: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

But it's perfectly okay for military families, right?

Less than ideal but that is part of the sacrifice they and their families make. And I appreciate them.

It is way different than "I am going to move my kids in and out of a school for one year so I can take a temp teaching gig."

Let me introduce you to academia, where you move around as often as you have to for various reasons (better jobs, getting out of a toxic university, failing to get tenure, moving for your first job), and you don't just get to select what city you live in, or even if you like it there.

Also, why aren't you hating on the father? How is being a woman with a career selfish at all? He's in school full time, how SELFISH! WHY ISN'T HE HOME WITH THE KIDS?

I did say in a previous post I thought dad and kids should have stayed where they were for the year. Like I said, if they moved to Boulder in order to teach in Denver they aren't desperate to take whatever job she can, they have flexibility.

A friend had a kid in grad school when we were at UGA... the family then moved to Chicago for a job, and then found a chance at being closer to home and will be moving to Denver this summer. The kid's probably in second grade by now... so does that make them bad parents, for trying to have a happy and fulfilling life, and thus a happy environment for the kid? Serious question.


I think there is a significant difference between moving kids in and out of schools at second grade and in high school. Also, your friend seems to be trying for more stability, this family knows the job is only for a year and their plan is to move at the end of the year apparently.

You are correct, it is a harsh judgement given the very little information I have, but that's what we do on the internet.
 
2014-03-10 06:05:27 PM  

jst3p: You are correct, it is a harsh judgement given the very little information I have, but that's what we do on the internet.


I wish I could have this post back so I could say "I came to this decision by consulting my gut, not research."
 
2014-03-10 06:05:32 PM  

jst3p: I think there is a significant difference between moving kids in and out of schools at second grade and in high school. Also, your friend seems to be trying for more stability, this family knows the job is only fo ...


Academics tend to move every 3-6 years. It comes with the territory. Some of us choose to have kids (I chose not to because ew, kids) and manage to make it work.
 
2014-03-10 06:16:58 PM  

melopene: jst3p: I think there is a significant difference between moving kids in and out of schools at second grade and in high school. Also, your friend seems to be trying for more stability, this family knows the job is only fo ...

Academics tend to move every 3-6 years. It comes with the territory. Some of us choose to have kids (I chose not to because ew, kids) and manage to make it work.


Just seems like a poor time to move for a one year contract and have dad in school full time.
 
2014-03-10 06:32:40 PM  

BunkyBrewman: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

Public schools do this type of testing so they can get their piece of the public funding pie. ($$$$$$$)

Private schools do not do similar testing.

Has nothing to do with snowflakes.  This is one article you might consider taking the few minutes to read and how these types of tests don't do anything for the students, but everything for the schools they attend.


Actually in some states private schools are also starting to test (at state expense) as well as homeschoolers being required to be tested.   We homeschool in Arkansas because we were tired of the "teach to the low end of the bell curve" mentality of the local schools, but we STILL have to show up at a private school the first week of April for a standardized test required by the state.
 
2014-03-10 06:35:15 PM  

TNel: I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.


Which latter is precisely what happens when schools start obsessing with testing. You think they say "Litte Freddie has a test coming up which includes some stuff we did last year. Let's hope he remembers it." Hell no. Tests like this institutionalise short-term cramming and regurgitation.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...

No, that's not what the test is. It's what a test might be, but in practice and for a variety of reasons, tests invariably end up asking a small number of types of question about a small and tightly defined syllabus, and schools invariably end up - or start off - teaching students what they need to pass the test, not what would be useful to know about the subject generally.

Here's an example. Years ago, I earned my living preparing rich children for their A-level (English school leaving) exams. One topic in maths was "quadratic equations". Now, there are lots and lots of interesting things you can learn or teach about quadratic equations. One not terribly interesting thing is that if ax^2 + bx + c = 0, the sum of the roots is -b/2a and the product of the roots is c/a. I don't think knowing the sum and product of the roots of a quadratic equation has ever been of use to me. However, I used to spend hours teaching kids how to do these party trick because there was always a question about the sums and products of roots of a quadratic equation in the exam. The kids knew stuff-all about quadratic equations except how to find the sums and products of the roots (half of them hadn't a clue what roots were) but they could find those sums and products and they passed the exams, and I got paid.

tl;dr - I have taught to the test.
 
2014-03-10 06:43:40 PM  

melopene: A friend had a kid in grad school when we were at UGA... the family then moved to Chicago for a job, and then found a chance at being closer to home and will be moving to Denver this summer. The kid's probably in second grade by now... so does that make them bad parents, for trying to have a happy and fulfilling life, and thus a happy environment for the kid? Serious question.


Depends, how long do they plan to stay in Denver? Moving for life betterment is not a problem and I don't think that is the suggestion being made. I moved from California to Colorado when my kids where going into Kindergarten and 3rd grade. However, moving for one year only and uprotting the kids for a defined one year might be. Though even then I might have to disagree with Jst3p here. If the opportunity came to move for only one year to Italy, I might take my kids with me for the year because the value they would get from living in Italy as far as world experience might be worth the "life disruption". The person in question here moved from Philadelphia to Boulder for one year. Maybe she is trying to use the Visiting Professor role to get a more permanent gig in Denver, maybe not. Maybe they plan to move back to Philly next year. Either way, the kids might be better off with a year in Boulder then spending that same year in Philly.
 
2014-03-10 06:55:30 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: cynicalminion: teenytinycornteeth: Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.

[img.fark.net image 500x546]

I'm not sure what the fark your point is...but good work.


point is, anyone old enough to be in middle/high school can sit in a room coloring bubble sheets just as easily as they can sit in the same room with a "teacher".

unless you can point out how these tests are HARMING your kids, just sit them there and have them play connect the farking dots

orbister: tl;dr - I have taught to the test.


so, you ask "what is two plus two?" and when they say "four" (or potato, if you happen to be trying to teach the politics tab) you say "RIGHT!" and not "GREAT... WHY?"
 
2014-03-10 07:02:21 PM  

teenytinycornteeth: cynicalminion: teenytinycornteeth: Nothing like letting a seven year old know that life is nothing but rating and competition.

[img.fark.net image 500x546]

I'm not sure what the fark your point is...but good work.


also, depending on how many claws you want in your finish,
img.fark.netimg.fark.net
 
2014-03-10 07:11:17 PM  
Okay, now I see the problem: Colorado.

Rocky Mountain High, dude.
 
2014-03-10 07:11:54 PM  

lostcat: The motivation of the principal is suspect. The author indicates that her daughters are strong students. It seems that the principal is intent on including strong scores to help push the curve of the school's scoring results.

Those are the things that bother me more than the points you mentioned.


When I was an obnoxious child, it was actually possible to determine how smart one's teachers thought one was by whether or not they encouraged you to show up on test day. Some of the real morons had 'senior skip day' suggested to them by faculty and really bright kids were offered extra privileges to show up.

Of course, neither group got anything like a decent education because God forbid we challenge the bright ones or sort the kids by actual ability. Someone might realize they're in the slow group and feel bad!
 
2014-03-10 08:56:42 PM  

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


Most military kids in the 70s did this. Never attended the same school two years in a row until high school.
Straight A's. Early acceptance top 10 Engineering school. Master's Degree. Nice job. Etc.
Nothing wrong with moving and changing schools add a kid.
 
2014-03-10 09:06:08 PM  

doyner: 3: Boo farking hoo. Life is hard. Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.


I object to this sentiment.

For some people anxiety is not overcome.  It may be overcome for you; but you may not extrapolate that success to everyone.
 
2014-03-10 09:12:24 PM  
My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back

I think she should be allowed to opt out, but I find the above statement really, really hard to believe. What ten or eleven year-old experiences "serious test anxiety" for a farking standardized test? FFS, raise your kids better.
 
2014-03-10 09:17:09 PM  
The System Don't screw with it.
 
2014-03-10 09:38:19 PM  
Standardized testing is the biggest load of crap to be foisted on education systems, but it seems to be the darling of administrators. 

At least America isn't as bad as Japan, where kids have to spend half of their waking hours studying for entrance exams just to get into a good Junior or High School.  Entrance exams that are 100% pure rote memorization and that make no lasting contribution to a child's education.
 
2014-03-10 10:05:33 PM  

TNel: eeyore102: The worst thing about these dumb tests is that schools no longer have any incentive to challenge gifted kids, since they're not the ones bringing down the averages.

If a student is truely gifted they don't need any incentive to learn new things.  Gifted programs are garbage and are only for parents to think they are special by having a kid in the program that does jack for the student.


Ebenezer TNel says "are there no libraries? Are there no TED talks?"
 
2014-03-10 10:06:15 PM  

Pattuq: Standardized testing is the biggest load of crap to be foisted on education systems, but it seems to be the darling of administrators. 

At least America isn't as bad as Japan, where kids have to spend half of their waking hours studying for entrance exams just to get into a good Junior or High School.  Entrance exams that are 100% pure rote memorization and that make no lasting contribution to a child's education.


Ditto for India. And we want this system of rote learning so badly now.
 
2014-03-10 10:26:08 PM  

orbister: TNel: I have 3 kids and once they get old enough I have no issues with them taking the tests.  For one it's good to verify that the kids are learning what they should be learning and remembering it and not just doing it one week and then regurgitating the next.

Which latter is precisely what happens when schools start obsessing with testing. You think they say "Litte Freddie has a test coming up which includes some stuff we did last year. Let's hope he remembers it." Hell no. Tests like this institutionalise short-term cramming and regurgitation.

I never understood the "Teach to the test" crap you complain about.  If the test is just a summary (like it is) of what a student should know at a certain point in their school education what's the issue?  It sounds like you have more complaints about the teachers ...

No, that's not what the test is. It's what a test might be, but in practice and for a variety of reasons, tests invariably end up asking a small number of types of question about a small and tightly defined syllabus, and schools invariably end up - or start off - teaching students what they need to pass the test, not what would be useful to know about the subject generally.

Here's an example. Years ago, I earned my living preparing rich children for their A-level (English school leaving) exams. One topic in maths was "quadratic equations". Now, there are lots and lots of interesting things you can learn or teach about quadratic equations. One not terribly interesting thing is that if ax^2 + bx + c = 0, the sum of the roots is -b/2a and the product of the roots is c/a. I don't think knowing the sum and product of the roots of a quadratic equation has ever been of use to me. However, I used to spend hours teaching kids how to do these party trick because there was always a question about the sums and products of roots of a quadratic equation in the exam. The kids knew stuff-all about quadratic equations except how to find the sums and products of the roots ( ...


Thank you for mentioning how tests get beaten. Every test has idiosyncrasies that drift in. The Princeton Review guides for the SAT used to test the "Joe Blogs Method" where Joe Blogs is your average Joe that gets all the easy ones right, splits the medium, and misses all the hard ones. It basically teaches you the cues and tells that indicate whether the question is straight forward and you can answer just what your gut tells you, and when to look for a "trick."  They taught tons of ways to save time on the reading comprehension by being able to answer the questions with only skimming the passage and finding the answer the test "wants."

My AP calc teacher used to point out that most standardized math tests value order of operations and so the choices might be:

a: -10
b: 1
c: 10
d: 100
e: 562

And noted that many times if you weren't sure how to work a problem you could plug in a number you think likely and work backward from there. (hint: 562 was a distractor for people just guessing a number)

And so on.  Most standardized tests used to suffer from shallowness on concepts. You could easily min/max your score by not wasting time on the challenging ones and scooping up the easy/medium difficulty ones.
 
2014-03-11 05:06:41 AM  
Some people have a problem with standardized testing.

They insist it's not valid.

These people are wrong.

Standardized testing is the ONLY valid measurement available when you're comparing students who went to different schools.

Class grades are utterly worthless.  Schools inflate or reduce grades all the time, depending on today's politics.  Curriculum differences between schools make two classes with the same name not even remotely comparable.  And you had a bad teacher?  Who knows what happened to make that grade what it was.

But these tests are the same test all over the state.  You can make a valid comparison between a kid in Denver to a kid in South Park.

And the SAT is the same test, all over the country.  You can make a valid comparison between any two kids anywhere in the country.  A kid who went to Cousinfarker High in Alabama and a kid in San Francisco with the same score can be rated as equally likely to flunk out of college, even though the CA kid got C's and D's and the AL kid got straight A's.

And they're even still valid beyond college.  Did you know that the lawyer who wrote TFA isn't licensed to practice law based on law school grades?  Nope, it's another standardized test.  Flunk the bar exam, you're not a lawyer.  How about doctors?  It's all about the med school, right?  Nope, there's a standardized test, because it's the only valid way to compare doctors who went to different med schools.  Engineering license?  Standardized test.  Accountant?  Standardized test.

And that's because it's currently the only valid way to accomplish a comparison between two people with different backgrounds, and that's not likely to change in our lifetimes.

/Figure out mind reading, then we can replace standardized testing.
 
2014-03-11 09:56:35 AM  

DarkVader: Standardized testing is the ONLY valid measurement available when you're comparing students who went to different schools.


It is only valid if what you want to measure is how well children do in standardised tests, and that depends to huge extent on how much they have been educated and how much taught to the test, on whether they have had a standard school education or whether their parents could pay for coaching.

But these tests are the same test all over the state.  You can make a valid comparison between a kid in Denver to a kid in South Park.

As above. You can make a comparison; maybe even a valid one, but it may not have any significance whatsoever.

Did you know that the lawyer who wrote TFA isn't licensed to practice law based on law school grades?  Nope, it's another standardized test.  Flunk the bar exam, you're not a lawyer.  How about doctors?  It's all about the med school, right?  Nope, there's a standardized test, because it's the only valid way to compare doctors who went to different med schools.  Engineering license?  Standardized test.  Accountant?  Standardized test.

Not in the UK it isn't, for any of these. Standardised tests are a fetish
 
2014-03-11 05:21:48 PM  

brimed03: Dafatone: Can anyone name another industry that puts as much effort into self-evaluation (at the expense of its actual purpose) as education?

Schools today are like a restaurant where the cooks are eating 75% of the food made to make sure it's good.

Wowwwwwwww.....

So first schools get the reputational crap kicked out of them because OVREPIAD TEECHUURS DO WHATEVUR THEY WANT and the party of "small government" demands massive state and federal testing programs to provide oversight (by non-educators), proof of results in the classroom, and control over the material being taught.

Then, once it's all in place, we get TEH SKOOLS SPEDN MOOR TIEM TESTIGN TEHN TEECHING!

I'm sorry Dafatone, I don't know your politics or if that was your intention with this post.  I'm sorry if I misunderstood or skewed your meaning.  Frankly, I didn't even intend to post ITT, it's too ripe for derpitude with no hope of insights.  But I have too many friends in the classroom and admin of K-12, and I'm tired of them being beaten up from the right and the left for things that they have little to no influence over.  Most of the educational folks I know are against standardized testing for empirical reasons... no wonder they aren't listened to, facts have no place in education policy decisions!


So uh... you're agreeing with me, but you're starting off by assuming I'm a right-wing asshole for no apparent reason?

That works.  We're in agreement.  Teachers are, by and large, good at what they do because they've been doing it for a long time, and experience makes a huge difference.  Letting teachers do what they do, and putting resources into training, supporting, and bettering them, would be a good effort.  Putting all of our resources into evaluating teachers because we absolutely have to hunt down the bad ones and get rid of them vilifies teachers and wastes students' time.

And yeah, non-educators making decisions is one of the biggest problems here.  Especially when those non-educators are bought and sold by Pearson.  Or are actually Pearson in the first place.
 
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