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(Salon)   "We must hate teachers. I've won awards, my kids thrive. But thanks to crazy tests, I'm considered one of the worst teachers in the state because I don't teach to the test, and I'm being shamed by my home state." Well, the tag explains it   (salon.com) divider line 24
    More: Florida, gifted students, won awards, test scores, institutes, field trips  
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2873 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Apr 2014 at 10:40 AM (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-04-01 10:59:24 AM  
5 votes:

stuhayes2010: AirForceVet: When my son attended school in Florida, his teachers had to teach how to take the FCATs in order to not get beaten up with low scores.

Judging how good schools are by one standardized test doesn't completely evaluate good schools from bad schools, good teachers from bad teachers.

However, FCAT does show what schools have better funding, and what schools have parents with more money and resources.

This kind of testing is sweeping the country and all teachers and administrators hate it.  I am not sure who's making money off these tests, but they should be stopped.


In Mass, there the testing companies are making out like bandits. Which is one of the reasons why we have likewise the MTE, despite the NTEs and Praxis Series which are national standards. You add a layer of testing--and oddly enough, campaign contributions to folks who vote on these sorts of things, you know, for kids--and you get a lovely scent of corruption around the whole of testing. It's a nice way to skim from taxpayers, and tell them that they're getting good value because you can point to numbers which mean kids can take tests, not that they've learned anything useful. It's a bureaucratic layer which doesn't mean a lot, but dang there is a lot of number crunching to say, "some teachers play the game."

And you do have to play the game. With Administrators, with school boards, with parents, with legislators, but the testing craze just adds cost to education, and ties money to folks who play easily, and gives Administrators tools to remove teachers who are a pain in their asses. It's got nothing to do with education, but everything to do with money that can be moved, and lost along the way, and contracts handed out.

Teaching was something I loved, but I'd rather deal with cuts, burns, and dishwashers not coming in, and pain the ass pseudo-vegans who still want cheese, but call their diets "vegan" to their friends, than deal with the crap that my teacher friends have to deal with every damn day. Oddly enough, my special ed training--behavior needs--comes in handy in kitchens fair often, so I don't feel I entirely wasted all those years at school, though I will need to recertified for my Chef 2 at some point soon, but that's test I can at least see real income from...
2014-04-01 10:54:47 AM  
4 votes:
The goal of testing-driven "education" is to make people good at repeating what they're told.  Not to think for themselves.
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-01 09:44:37 AM  
4 votes:
They ought to measure how much money and recourses the parents have.  That would probably predict academic success better than any test.
2014-04-01 11:45:01 AM  
3 votes:

Needlessly Complicated: How hard are these tests, really? If you are well versed in the topic would you be able to pass without having been specifically "taught to the test"?


Not terribly difficult if you're from a family that supports and prioritizes education, attend a well-funded school, have proper nutrition, are from the same cultural background as the testmakers, speak English as your first language, and don't have a learning disability. Unfortunately that describes very few students in the city school system in which I teach.

I used to teach at a private school, and very few of my students had problems with these tests. Now...
Teachers are villians in THE Ohio too. Especially the ones who work in the poorest districts with the kids who need the most help. Good times.
2014-04-01 10:47:41 AM  
3 votes:

AirForceVet: When my son attended school in Florida, his teachers had to teach how to take the FCATs in order to not get beaten up with low scores.

Judging how good schools are by one standardized test doesn't completely evaluate good schools from bad schools, good teachers from bad teachers.

However, FCAT does show what schools have better funding, and what schools have parents with more money and resources.


This kind of testing is sweeping the country and all teachers and administrators hate it.  I am not sure who's making money off these tests, but they should be stopped.
2014-04-01 01:04:37 PM  
2 votes:
In a state where 40 percent of students pass the fifth-grade science test, 100 percent of my students passed; but no one (at the state level) cares about science scores.

media.tumblr.com

And people wonder why this country is going to hell in a hand-basket.  Keep those kids addicted to Honey Boo Boo and eating McDonald's so they can't contribute to the development of our nation.
2014-04-01 09:16:06 AM  
2 votes:
When my son attended school in Florida, his teachers had to teach how to take the FCATs in order to not get beaten up with low scores.

Judging how good schools are by one standardized test doesn't completely evaluate good schools from bad schools, good teachers from bad teachers.

However, FCAT does show what schools have better funding, and what schools have parents with more money and resources.
2014-04-01 03:45:35 PM  
1 votes:
Standardized tests need to disappear, permanently. All of them.
2014-04-01 02:21:17 PM  
1 votes:

brimed03: Tellingthem: JNowe: Tellingthem: You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.

You don't know many teachers, do you?

Heh...come from a family of them

brimed03: Tellingthem: You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.

Why? Evidently, nobody else is going to do it.

"and was immediately acclaimed" "I have been greatly moved and honored to win numerous awards and been nominated for more still." " leaving them running to the administration to sing my praises." "Two years ago, I was lauded "

Sounds like plenty of people have been praising her. I'm just saying that when you make a big deal at how great you are you tend to turn people off of the message.

Point taken. But counterpoint: these are all in-profession awards. As a whole, American society has this to say about teaching: those who can't do....

The fact that you know how that phrase ends proves my point. As does the fact that neither of us can, anywhere nearly as readily, come up with a corresponding "positive* maxim about teachers and teaching.


"If you can read this, thank a teacher"?
.....always thought that was a positive maxim...
2014-04-01 02:10:05 PM  
1 votes:
What gets me, are the folks who insist that the only folks who should be putting forward legislation that regulates and governs their industries are the folks IN those industries, and that the layman just doesn't understand the complex issues of finance or market forces, are just fine with folks WITHOUT education backgrounds deciding what should be imposed on educators, and that the voices of those within the profession are just "too close" to the issue to be of any use, despite those years of experience...

Yes, Virginia: legislators are too obtuse without an extensive business background to regulate business, but an office drone with years of PR experience is more than capable of understanding education...
2014-04-01 01:47:40 PM  
1 votes:
I know we like to dump on teachers because they're union slugs who don't do real jobs and are just glorified babysitters, but does anyone here actually remember evaluation testing from their student days? I was in a plethora of school districts because we moved a lot, and there were some that figured that proper comprehension of course materials would logically mean students would do fine on the tests, and plenty more that actually stopped all normal curricula for a week and had the teachers figuratively walk us through sample problems for the test du jour. As a teacher, I guess it sucks to be you if your lesson plan and teaching skills are subsumed for a bullshiat strategy pushed by politicians and testing company lobbyists.

Standardized testing is fine as one of several global metrics to determine student performance, but there are plenty of people out there, either because they truly believe or they've been paid to spout the line, who hold testing up as the be-all end-all of a child's school existence.
2014-04-01 01:43:34 PM  
1 votes:

Tellingthem: JNowe: Tellingthem: You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.

You don't know many teachers, do you?

Heh...come from a family of them

brimed03: Tellingthem: You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.

Why? Evidently, nobody else is going to do it.

"and was immediately acclaimed" "I have been greatly moved and honored to win numerous awards and been nominated for more still." " leaving them running to the administration to sing my praises." "Two years ago, I was lauded "

Sounds like plenty of people have been praising her. I'm just saying that when you make a big deal at how great you are you tend to turn people off of the message.


Ah, one other thing. The whole point of her column is to contrast the system's evaluation of her with the mountain of accolades she's earned. In other words, to establish that the defect lies with the system.

She can't make that point by saying "some folks have said I'm pretty good at what I do."

Sure, given American taboos about bragging, it would be better if she was writing this about another teacher. Or if someone else was writing about her. But in this case, she has the strongest knowledge and motivation. Don't publicly mis-characterize it as self-aggrandizement. You know better than to believe that; I'm sure of it.
2014-04-01 01:30:03 PM  
1 votes:
Several days worth of incredibly dull (and more than a bit stressful) testing that has no bearing whatsoever on the students' grades, and you expect the kids to put forth the effort to do well on these it-doesn't-make-a-difference-tests? And you use the results as a metric to evaluate teacher/school performance and future funding?


Somebody didn't think this through.
2014-04-01 01:00:50 PM  
1 votes:

JNowe: Tellingthem: You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.

You don't know many teachers, do you?


I do. And you're a fool if you think anyone else is going to stand up and do it for them.

So your solution is-- what? They should stay quiet while they get trashed by sellers of standardized testing and right-wingers who assume it's still okay to badmouth and underpay teachers because, at heart, right wingers think all teachers are women (and a few gay men) and, at heart, right wingers are misogynists (and gay bashers)?
//watch out for those run-on sentences
2014-04-01 12:21:31 PM  
1 votes:
I was a math teacher, for one year. I have done all the biatching I can stand about the topic, the short story is American schooling is going downhill and charter schools (for-profit public fund gobblers) are fast-tracking that downhill slide.

And the problem is essentially a cultural problem. We have no respect for teachers and education. We say things like "those who can't do, teach". Teachers are among the country's lowest paid college-educated professionals, leading to a very high turnover rate. Teachers are also expected to complete lots of paperwork on their own time, the most ridiculous of which I found the self-evaluations (rate yourself in this area and write down suggestions for your own improvement).

Pardon me, I have to get out of here before I get lost in a biatchfest. I seriously just received one more email from a recruiter, I'll throw it in the trash bin with the other 1000 offers I got this week.

You know it's bad when they have recruiters whose job it is to talk you into coming back.
2014-04-01 12:15:54 PM  
1 votes:

Tellingthem: You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.


Why? Evidently, nobody else is going to do it.
2014-04-01 12:11:03 PM  
1 votes:

stuhayes2010: AirForceVet: When my son attended school in Florida, his teachers had to teach how to take the FCATs in order to not get beaten up with low scores.

Judging how good schools are by one standardized test doesn't completely evaluate good schools from bad schools, good teachers from bad teachers.

However, FCAT does show what schools have better funding, and what schools have parents with more money and resources.

This kind of testing is sweeping the country and all teachers and administrators hate it.  I am not sure who's making money off these tests, but they should be stopped.


Lots of fingers on the school reform pie. Actually, there probably isn't much pie left in there. Just a huge multiplayer thumbwar between headgefund managers, billionaires, land developers, book publishers, test designers, union busters, charter schoolers, and etc etc.
2014-04-01 11:49:06 AM  
1 votes:

zimbomba63: The teachers are always claiming that they want to move on to deeper, more meaningful subjects, but, are restrained from doing this, because of the standardized competency tests. Just how the fark do you move on, if someone doesn't understand the foundation principles of the subject.


I teach math, and I don't really by that schtick either. What really holds back the exploration of knowledge is allowing students to sign up for classes when they are wholly unprepared for them (teachers have to really dumb things down to prevent the masses from failing), or forcing students to take those classes because graduation requirements and further reasons.
2014-04-01 11:48:15 AM  
1 votes:

Needlessly Complicated: How hard are these tests, really? If you are well versed in the topic would you be able to pass without having been specifically "taught to the test"?


The issue isn't the difficulty of the tests, exactly. I'll use the FCAT as an example.
The kids we tutored (after school program) fell into the "must pass basic reading by 3rd grade or repeat" - seems a fair goal. However? The material they were given fell into "rote memorization" rather than the "read for context" approach.  So? You may recognize a word, and be able to spell it, but teaching to the test left a few of them (non-native but fluent speakers) crippled in putting it to use effectively.

There were more than a few that attended the same school, same level, same assignments. They could all read and spell the words - but "use it in a sentence" or "use these ten words in a paragraph"? there were tears - lots of them - which was the other problem

The stress put on the kids, parents and teachers is horrid - the underlying message (and upfront message when they get to high school) is "if you fail, the school fails" - and one of the brightest kids I helped missed her 3rd grade FCAT test day because, after months or prepping she was unable on the day due to vomiting and tears.

I blame Jeb Bush for a lot of this bs - follow the money if you are in a mind to google
2014-04-01 11:36:33 AM  
1 votes:
My kid didn't test as well in math this year as last year.  Mind you, she still tested in the 99th percentile for her age group, and 3rd in her class, but the overall score was lower than before.  So her teacher and I are having to explain to a 3rd grader about "regression towards the mean" and how this doesn't mean she's "bad at math".
2014-04-01 11:19:37 AM  
1 votes:
How hard are these tests, really? If you are well versed in the topic would you be able to pass without having been specifically "taught to the test"?
2014-04-01 10:59:53 AM  
1 votes:
More than just a Florida problem.

DVDA

My cousin has taught Special Ed for 30 years, he is retiring this year because his evaluations are low because his special ed students can't pass the standardized tests. He teaches High School near Chicago.
2014-04-01 10:27:25 AM  
1 votes:
NCLB and the spate of tests is exactly why I'm not teaching today.
2014-04-01 10:17:01 AM  
1 votes:
You may be a great teacher but you might just want to tone down the self praise just a bit.
 
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