NCLB and Standardized Tests

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by Iceblink, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So many of my students have been shafted by their teachers over the years. They just weren't learning the things they needed to. Now, they're in high school, and I do what I can.

    My school is on probation due to not meeting standards on the ACT. It has been for quite some time

    I just spent a week teaching my students how to beat that test. I didn't teach them to be better readers. I taught them how to answer the questions without reading the passages. I didn't teach them to think about the answers. I taught them how to skip questions they don't know in favor of ones that are easier.

    The first scores are in. One student did the things I told him and raised his reading score from an 11 to a 19. It's low still... but it's just under the state average and above the Chicago average... definitely enough to get us off of probation if other students scores follow suit. If enough of my students get higher scores this way, I'll probably get a medal!

    It screams volumes about how utterly preposterous it is that people put merit into these scores... these tests.

    But... this is what NCLB is all about. Taking the time out of our curriculum not to teach to the test (bad in itself)... but to teach around the test. Justify it.
     
  2. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Proud of it? Rather than teaching a balanced curriculum, leaving out the propaganda, so there remains time throughout the year for periodic testing, you complain about a test that measures student progress! Wow! Either you're insecure of your own pedagogical prowess or you wish to deny parents a true measure of what they are paying for; either or both are embarrasing! What is worse is that by teaching students to "beat that test" you are doing them a disservice; but that's very popular today by the NEA crowd!

    Justify the test? Easy! Schools are failing; evidently yours among them! Tests measure progress... what other measure is there of failing students (and in turn, incompetent teachers) other than tests? If you teach a balanced lesson plan, approved by the State, and meet measured metrics for individual lessons, you will not have to "take time out of your curriculum" to "teach to the test"! Your students will be ready to take the test whenever they are tasked! Only teachers that are failing their lesson plans have problems with such tests as NCLB... Many schools meet all the requirements of No Child Left Behind; it is only the failing schools which NCLB illustrates!

    IntheNet
     
  3. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Well, the good thing is that the test only wasted a week of class time. I know people who spend more time teaching to various tests (as opposed to teaching subject matter) that this seems almost justifiable in this case. Almost.

    And it occurs to me, it's possible that those 8 extra points might give him more confidence in his reading, which might encourage him to take part in class more willingly (yours and, should he go to college, those classes, too). So while I think you're right to object to wasting time with stupid bureaucratic impositions, with luck you might be able to make something good come out of it.
     
  4. djwalker

    djwalker BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2000
    The 405
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The tests that are being forced on schoolchildren do NOTHING to help them receive an education. They exist solely for the benefit of politicians and school administrators.

    It's not as if the tests are a minor inconvenience which get in the way of a balanced curriculum and good teaching for a week or two. In my district, and I'm sure this is repeated in most districts these days, we are told explicitly that nothing else matters other than raising these scores. Nothing. You can't tell me this equals an education.

    Standardized tests comprise about 2% of what really counts in educating a child. But they are given 98% of the priorities in school. Ahead of teaching thinking skills, ahead of teaching creativity, ahead of learning how to read (I mean REALLY read, not just the minimal level required to regurgitate test answers). Standardized testing drives curriculum, discipline, funding, staffing, everthing. Except of course, athletics, which are untouchable.

    You cannot possibly convince an educator that this is anything other than insanity. It's sick and toxic and it's ruining education. It's sure as hell ruining it for me. I love teaching, but since I don't really get to teach anymore, my work has become loathsome to me.

    "you wish to deny parents a true measure of what they are paying for"? Are you kidding? Do you think an education can be measured by a sterile, arbitrary, meaningless computer-generated test score?

    Just curious, do you work in a classroom?



     
  5. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No...I'm a parent with kids! Just curious, do you have children in public school?[/QUOTE]
     
  6. djwalker

    djwalker BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2000
    The 405
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    [/QUOTE]

    Nope.

    If, God willing, I ever have kids, I've spent enough time in public schools to know I'd never let them go there.
     
  7. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    Now, normally one might hear this from someone who does poorly on standardized tests. I don't. Only once below 97th %tile. SSAT(3x), PSAT, SAT, ACH(2x), AP (2x), ASVAB, GMAT. The GMAT was the one (90th), because I hadn't taken a computer-based test before. No "fill in the ovals you can" tricks.

    Performance on standardized tests are indicative of nothing except one's ability to perform on standardized tests.

    I went to a competitive prep school. There were folks there who were head and shoulders above me in intellect and academic performance who couldn't break 1000 on their SATs. Although I didn't keep in touch, I'll bet they finished their Bachelor degrees a wee bit younger than I did (31).

    Nothing. Serves no use. Wastes class time. Teach children how to think critically instead.
     
  8. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You are pure evil. I am not proud of it. That's why I started this thread. You prove time and time again that you know nothing about true education. You listen to the rhetoric of people like Page and Spellings but can not speak to anything real. You are obviously a sheltered person who is content to spend as much time away as possible from the places I enter daily.

    I am not doing them a disservice. I am giving children of multiple intelligences the opportunity to leave their neighborhoods and attend good colleges.

    As for my "pedagogical prowess" I am ashamed that I must leave behind a good curriculum for any time at all to teach them about this test that fails them more than they fail it.

    Once again, you prove that you have no right to comment on teachers failing anything. You don't even have the right to comment on the ones who actually are... and, of course I know they exist. Testing the only measurement? That's a sad statement. It's people like you who are making the decisions about education, and it's very hard on those of us who really do know what we experience.

    There are so many other possibilities that will measure authentic learning. If I have students who can do better on tests by learning test-taking skills rather than material, then it shows that the tests are the failure, not the teachers OR the students. There is a reason that so many teachers feel that standardized testing is not the way and so many blowhard government officials and clueless individuals think it is. Try talking to some teachers!

    As for my state-approved lesson plans... I align every single one of my lesson plans, week after week, to the Illinois Learning Standards. And guess what! If you take a look, very few of the standards are tested by the ACT and the ISBE tests that make up the two-day PSAE! Take a look at them!

    And you say "Only teachers that are failing their lesson plans have problems with such tests as NCLB." That is a sweeping generalization that would get you a lower grade on any standardized writing exam. Most teachers have problems with NCLB. It fails students... well, perhaps not the "many" schools who meet all the requirements. Take a look at those schools by the way. I think you'll see some commonalities as far as racial and socio-economic distribution.

    You and your ilk are the real problems in education.
     
  9. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, this was just a single week in which I was not allowed to teach anything but test-taking strategies, etc. There are other days in which I have to teach some of the material... just not a solid week.

    Probably not. He knows exactly why he got the score he did. He followed the instructions that our teacher inservices with Princeton Review gave us and it worked for him. And he actually does take part in the class, for the most part. My biggest concern is to get these kids out of their crappy neighborhoods and into decent schools... and to teach them as much as I can along the way.
     
  10. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Rather than turn a reply into a Political Rant, for which Jacen McCullough will likely lock, I will keep my reply short, above board, and to the point. You are obviously frustrated at the testing procedures, and as a teacher you are concerned about your charges and their total education; that is honorable. I also respect the fact that you started this post; that too shows concern. However, I truly believe that you might have the wrong understanding of testing. As a parent, I only see the end result of the education process, not the beginning or middle result that you as a teacher see. And as a parent, I can tell you that I too am concerned, thus my support such testing along the lines of NCLB and other national programs. As a parent, as with other parents, we try to augment the teaching process with what we, as parents, can do. However, we expect that some measure of the basic curricula, for each grade, for each student, will be instructed by the teachers, and understood by the students. We also hope that no student will be promoted to the next grade without a full comprehension of the prior grade's subjects. Unfortunately, testing seems to be one such way we, as parents, can determine if such education is taking place.

    I am not, as you say, evil, despite your charge. With children in the nation's public schools, I am, like you, concerned with their future, and I, like Education Secretary Spellings and other legislators, superintendents, and parents, willing to do what might be necessary to determine whether all students are getting a fair and balanced education. As a teacher, I am sure you share this goal. If you can assure this goal, without such testing as NCLB, than I am all ears! In any event, as a teacher, you are but one part of the education process.

    IntheNet
     
  11. pething101

    pething101 Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Smyrna, Ga
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Standardized tests are the absolute worst thing going in modern education.

    An absolute waste.

    How fair is it to compare a high school that I went to, an upper class school with children from two parent homes where both parents are college educated and professional, and compare it to a school where I first worked at, a predominately native American school where 99 percent of the kids are below the poverty level, live in single parent households where that parent can barely read.

    Heck, in my school, where we teach on a 90 minute block scheduel we loose out on so much instruction time because of standardized tests. It seems like there is one every other week. They always take three hours to take so there goes half your day. It is a mess.

    Eh, screw it. I am just going to be a bitter, old, crusty teacher who always feels hamstrung by moronic politicians.
     
  12. djwalker

    djwalker BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2000
    The 405
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    On the contrary, I think it should be incumbent upon you to show any evidence whatsoever that standardized testing and the drivel in the NCLB Act do anything apart from prevent students from getting the education they deserve.

    You're blindly allowing your children to be exposed to substandard curriculum, superficial coverage of important subjects, and anti-intellectual pedagogy.

    And you can't even explain why it's a good thing.

    Because it's not a good thing, it's a disaster.

    This isn't about politics, it's about common sense.
     
  13. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I didn't hear you make a recommendation for an alternate method of determining whether children in schools receive a balanced education, other than testing. Did you make such a recommendation, or just criticize testing?
     
  14. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'll hit the other post later, but, as for this one... how about cummulative portfolios that show REAL progress through their years from Dick and Jane to Shakespeare... showing writing samples from "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" to literary analyses.

    I'm an English teacher, so I am always going to be heavy on English with my examples. But the same can be done for science. A portfolio that ranges from the introduction to the types of weather in early grades to plate tectonics to frog dissection to research projects before high school graduation.

    History - Intro to the government, wars, civil rights to a dissertation proving a political stance or the solution to a societal problem.

    Critical thought is a measure of progress... not these tests.

    Of course, people will complain about the fact that it's so much more difficult to assess these portfolios. Of course it's easier to run a bubble sheet through a machine... but these are our children. They need to hire teachers to audit them. They could audit students' work, schools, etc. This is more authentic. This shows them what they truly need to know.

    I care more about whether my students can react critically and appropriately to a piece of writing rather than answer questions about it. I want them to be able to write a grammatically correct sentence rather than fix one by choosing a better one from a list of five.

    Gotta run.. half day... period ended.
     
  15. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    Just to add to what Iceblink said, nobody that I know is wholly against standardized testing. They are simply angry at the god-like status it is given. For some politicians, the answer to every education problem is "more testing." Testing has it's place, but it can't have the only place at the assessment table.

    Portfolio development, something that fits well with the multiple intelligences theory of education, is possible if the community invests enough in the education system. Everyone claims there is no money for more teachers. Everyone claims there is no money to pay good teachers what they are worth. I think this is just lip service. If people really wanted good education, they would pay the price for it. We are entering a vast teacher shortage. This is hurting the city schools more than most. We need to attract people to the education field, and pay them enough to retain them when they officially enter that field.

    Americans love to sue people. Thus, we have plenty of money for lawyers. Americans love sports, thus big cities have millions of dollars to devote to pro teams. There is nothing wrong with this, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that if people actually truly valued education, they would find a way to get money into the system, create smaller class sizes and hire experts to conduct BOTH standardized tests AND alternative assessments such as portfolio review.

    That being said, I'm off to keep grading. I've got one more week left in the high school rotation (then I move to teach in a middle school for 8 weeks) and I have a HUGE pile of quizzes and essays to grade. I'm also getting observed by the principal and the dept. chair on Tuesday, so I need to set up a whopper of a lesson (word on the street is that there may be an opening at the school next year, and if the observation goes well, I have a decent shot at it.).
     
  16. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do these "cummulative portfolios" meet the following criteria:
    - Are available by parents to review to show progress
    - Can be compared to other students to show progress
    - Meet state approved curricula guidelines

    Further, should a review of these "cummulative portfolios" for an entire class show multiple examples of students not meeting state coursework guidelines, is there an established process in place for corrective action?

    IntheNet
     
  17. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's student work kept in a binder. Of course they would meet all of your criteria. In fact, they would be even more likely to meet your desires.

    1. Availability to parents... which would you honestly like seeing more? A sheet of paper with numbers on it labeling your child a 27... or some of your child's actual work? You need to understand that some brilliant children who are gifted writers freeze up when taking tests. I am a decent writer; I could pass the new SAT writing test quite easily. However, I write publishable quality work after midnight. That's the way I have always been. Then again, I can't stay up quite as late as I used to. I say this because it's something that these standardized tests do not take into consideration. Anyway, I respond to your first requirement with a resounding YES! I would have it no other way. Parental involvement is huge, and a portfolio of this nature is something that the parents, students, and the teacher would all be proud of! It is REAL! It shows progress throughout the entire academic career of a student... not how he or she did on one test one day.

    2. Comparison to other students... of course.... If you see two pieces of writing side by side, you would recognize which is the superior relatively quickly with even a short perusal. I don't know why it is important to compare students this way though. Is it important to show who is meeting or exceeding standards or who is best? I am not sure what you want to compare really. I would have no problem applying a score to something of this nature, I suppose. Does that satisfy you?

    3. Meet state-approved curricula guidelines. The portfolios would contain real student work. If the lesson plans reflect state standards, goals, benchmarks, etc. then of course the work contained in the portfolios would.

    It's much easier to stick a scantron in a machine to get a score, of course. I'm sure the government is too lazy to check the materials for quality, etc.

    I can't stress enough that this would be so much more authentic. It would give teachers a much better understanding of where their students are lacking and where they excel. I can tell much more easily that a student needs to improve subject-verb agreement by reading a writing sample than by checking to see if he or she got a single answer correct on a test.

    There's another thing that needs to be considered when weighing these tests. Time! These tests are timed... and I don't think they are given enough time. Do you realize that the students are expected to answer 75 questions in 45 minutes? The test is made up of several reading passages. There are truly some unreasonable questions that are designed to suck up the time. Many of my students are quite intelligent. If they had two hours to complete this portion, I bet they'd score at least in the mid twenties. Most of them start off on the test and then run out of time, having to fill in random bubbles when they have a minute left. They waste so much time on a few questions that they leave blank some pretty easy stuff that they would have gotten correct had they had the time. Is this a good measure of academic standards????

    If you look through the different standards from different states, I bet not one of them says, "Must read very quickly" or "Must answer questions very quickly." I take my time when I read. I have very good reading retention, but I need to truly read the text... not skim. We're testing these children on speed skimming, not reading!

    Basically, all I'm trying to say is that the standardized tests, which the government and administration put so much stock in are flawed in almost every way. They are completely inadequate in trying to do the exact things you truly want - as listed above.

    I've seen your posts all over the politics board, and I know you are pretty set in your ways, but I honestly don't see how you could, after listing your criteria, not admit that a cummulative portfolio would be a more authentic and superior measure of a student's progress.
     
  18. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    How to beat the math section of any standardized test:

    1) area of a triangle= .5*b*h
    2) length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle--> a^2+b^2=c^2
    3) circumfrence of a circle= 2*pi*r
    4) area of a circle= pi*r^2
    5) area of a quadralateral (any quadralateral)= b*h
    6) Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
    7) FOIL --> (x+a)(y+b)= xy+xb+ay+yb
    8) x=(-b)+/- sqrt((b^2-4ac)/2a) (learn this one by rote. just keep saying it aloud: negative b, plus or minus...)

    Know these eight things, don't freak out at the sight of a word-problem, and you've got yourself about a 550-600 out of 800.

    Does this mean I know a damned thing about math? No. But it does mean that I know how to take a standardized test on the subject.

    Parts of the English portion are similarly formulaic. Know a few key greek and latin derivatives and sound out the rest to get vocab. Analogies are just vocab in a different outfit. For reading comprehension, just don't try to out-think the test and you'll do okay.

    And remember: it's multiple choice. That means that the answers are on the page somewhere. Sometimes it's easier to figure out which three aren't the answer and flip a coin between the last two. And I've never had a coin taken from me in a test.

    THIS IS NOT THE MEASURE OF ONE'S EDUCATION.
     
  19. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But would they force schools to make changes as needed? I have no doubt that your intensions with such portfolios is noble and in the best interest of your student charges... but how can such a thing work nationwide, as NCLB does, particularly with schools that work as jobs programs for teachers, and put the best interests of students secondary? Many public schools across the nation are advancing functionally illiterate students, despite parents that truly wish to be involved in their children's education?

    President Bush outlined his plan to bring No Child Left Behind testing to 10-12 grade high school curricula; here is a school that has benefitted already:

    http://www.boston.com/news/educatio...1/12/bush_outlines_proposals_for_hs_students/

    While I admire your seeming dedication to student portfolios, and while I have no doubt these may work for some schools, I don't believe they would have national application, on the same basis as NCLB...

    IntheNet
     
  20. pething101

    pething101 Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Smyrna, Ga
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the point that needs to be made is that there is no one approach that is going to work nationwide.

    The key to being good at standardized testing is the reading levels of the the students taking the test. I know that a teacher at the school I first started at worked his ass off for 90 days to get his kids prepared for the NC course on Civics. I mean, he worked his tail off and so did his kids.

    The test comes and all his students said the did horrible.

    The teacher went back and looked at the reading level of the test they just took and it was on a reading level of someone on the 13th level. Of course, these kids were in 9th grade. Of course, these kids come from one parent households were the parent was barely literate themselves. Of course, all these kids are not good readers because it is not a focal point when they go home. Those kids had no chance on that test.

    And you mention schools were teachers put the interests of the students second, well, this school I was at was on its third year as an underachieving school. They had an state assistance team there and accused some teacher of not caring enough and not working hard enough. I thought that was all BS cause I saw no evidence of it. All that did was piss off most of the teachers and there was a big attempt at cleaning house at the school at the end of the year. The atmosphere at the school was so bad, I said screw it, no way I am staying here.

    I dont have all the answers to this problem. I just know that there is no one way to judge all the kids in this nation. Quite frankly, that is why education has always been a local issue and should always stay a local issue.
     
  21. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've had a positive answer for every question you've posed.

    You are incapable of reason. I am through with you.

    You need to understand that many of these schools are receiving students with reading levels so low that it is truly impossible to get them up to the desired level in four years. It can be done with some, but not others... not with the materials and equipment we have.

    NCLB utterly fails schools like mine. We need the resources to be able to hire good teachers. We need enough teachers to be able to cut down class sizes. I know wonderful veteran teachers who are not capable of giving the needed individual attention to students in a class of 30. It's very, very difficult. Large classes leave children behind.

    NCLB is forcing schools to reduce their staff. The money that our school gets from property tax is substantially lower than that of white suburban schools.

    In any case, I am for using the portfolios in place of the standardized tests, not in place of NCLB. I want them to be a part of NCLB. I want NCLB to do things properly. As of now, it does not.

    Bush's first quote is so flawed. "Testing in high schools will make sure that our children are employable for the jobs of the 21st century" Testing makes sure that children are employable? What?! I can't think of a job which requires taking tests. Who takes tests for a living? If you want capable employees, review their cummulative portfolios. They contain the necessary data. Last time I checked, the ACT doesn't have a section on writing resumes, writing business letters, reading memos, etc. I don't believe I saw a section on auto repair, house painting, hair styling, etc. It's a very white collar attitude.

    According to some web site, George W. Bush had very high SAT scores. I don't. At that point in my life, I didn't care about those scores. I knew where I wanted to go to school and what score I needed to get in. However, I am a better writer than he is. I'm a better reader than he is. I can string sentences together adequately when talking to my classes. I would rather have my children taught by me than by him. In truth, from what I've seen, there's no way those scores of 1250 or whatever could possibly be accurate... unless he's very good at math and got a perfect score on that section.

    And you... I think I saw you somewhere in the past touting your high scores. Employers can't find workers with basic grammar skills? You had two glaring grammatical errors in the second sentence of your last post - well, a spelling error and a mistake in subject-verb agreement... but I'm not suggesting you shouldn't have graduated.

    In any case, you say that NCLB works "nationwide" and I say that it doesn't. I have proof. I teach in a school which is suffering as a result. You have articles. You ask for an alternative. I give one. You obviously believe that seeing a score on a test is as good a measurement of intelligence and progress as a writing sample. Incidentally, I haven't even talked about the fact that some essay tests are now being scored by a freakin' COMPUTER! You gave me criteria; I had an answer for each and every one.

    I think you are too caught up in your "conservative" rhetoric that you are incapable of listening to reason or listening to people who truly do know better than you do. You think you have all the answers, but you do not have the experience that I have with the schools that are being left behind. It's a different culture. NCLB does exactly the opposite of what it purports to do in many areas. It does not foster success "regardless of race, wealth or background." Instead, it is heavily biased toward the rich and white. For every success story, such as the one for which you provided the link, you will find hundreds of ways NCLB has left entire schools full of children behind.
     
  22. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    Just out of curiosity, Iceblink, does your school have the AVID program? I've had brief encounters with the program and I've been impressed with what I've seen so far. It really seems to turn around some of the kids in the "ignored middle" (not AP and not IEP).

    As to ITN, I think the key, as Iceblink said, is class size. Most kids come into each grade already below level. With classes of 30+ kids, it's just impossible to give good, individualized attention to everyone who needs it. That's 120 kids taught per day. It's not possible. We need to get more funds for the school to up teacher pay and recruit more teachers. Then we could lower class sizes and get students the attention they need.

    Also, from your past post on the topic, you (ITN) are very anti-teacher. You pay lip service to how much you appreciate teachers, but in your arguments, you come off as being very much against them. You don't know how much dedication and work teaching requires. On the flip side, many teachers I've met seem to be anti-parent (see the recent Time Magazine article). The adversarial nature of the parent/teacher relationship only hurts the student. Parents need to realize that the teacher really does have knowledge and ability that they do not. They are experts. Some teachers need to realize that parents only want the best for their kids, and that THEY are the experts when it comes to their kid.

    More money for more teachers and lower class sizes, in addition to better parent/teacher relations would do wonders for our schools.

    I also love the portfolio concept. I think a good balance between testing and portfolio work needs to be struck. I don't think testing is worthless, but it is also not the panacea to the ills of education.
     
  23. IntheNet

    IntheNet New Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    Northern Virginia
    Club:
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with more pay for teachers, if the quality is raised. I question, however, simply raising pay without some measure to judge the best teachers... perhaps teacher pay could be linked to test scores? And as far as more teacher I agree, if the teaching profession is opened to all professionals. For example, under the current education rules a CEO of a private business COULD NOT teach business in college, an Editor of a trade magazine COULD NOT teach journalism in high school, a Physicist COULD NOT teach elementary school math! That's a problem! Many retiring business, military, and government folks would make excellent teachers, but they lack the 'ridiculous' education courses for certification; however many of these professionals have spent their lives teaching, just not in a classroom setting! The teaching profession should be opened to those that wish to teach!

    I am not anti-teacher but pro-student. The education system is not a jobs program; teaching is a vocation. I've met both good and bad teachers; there needs to be an overhaul on how teachers are hired. The result of education
    is educated students; teachers are tools in the process, as are superintendents, cafeteria workers, school bus drivers, and parents. Students are the reason for the education process; I think teachers forget that quite a bit!

    IntheNet
     
  24. needs

    needs Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Brooklyn
    You've never seen a business school course guide, have you?

    I've taken business classes taught by mid-level executives at a top ten business school. A great number of CEOs teach business classes in MBA programs across the nation.

    And numerous school districts have programs that allow professionals to teach while they work toward their certification.

    Edit: You also need to realize that university education and secondary education operate according to completely different rules and standards. There is virtually no one teaching at the university level who has taken education courses (oftentimes for the worse, it's one reason you get so many bad teachers as professors).
     
  25. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    So a great teacher who takes a job at a school on probation because the teacher thinks he or she can make a difference is screwed.

    If all of the current teachers were replaced with perfect teachers right now, it would still be YEARS before the effects are seen. Should the teachers who choose to teach juniors and seniors (like me) suffer lower salaries as we wait for the new crop of students to arrive to our classrooms?

    We tell you that the tests are inadequate and should not be given so much power... and you want to give them MORE?!!!!! HAVE YOU NOT LISTENED TO ANYTHING WE HAVE SAID?!?!!!!!!!!!!

    You are so stuck in your ways and beliefs that you are incapable of change. You WILL NOT listen to reason. You refuse it.

    What's your next step? Eliminating those who receive low test scores from civilization? Should those who receive below a 20 on the ACT just be exterminated?

    Don't fool yourself. You are anti-teacher AND anti-student. 3/4 of what you write reads like 1984.

    I can't stand it anymore. You are going on my ignore list. It's fun to argue a point, but not with someone incapable of reason.
     

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