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Author Topic: Oh Fracking Great.
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 06:50      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Chemicals in well water.

When an adult took a standardized test.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 07:21      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To be fair, the guy who flunked the standardized test was a school board member. These are the same sort of people who have put rules in place that have expelled kids from kindergarten for making a gun shape with their fingers and saying bang. You'd have to be quite the optimist to expect them to pass any sort of test that involves logic.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 07:26      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh yeah one of the granddaughters is having trouble with Geometry, I really do not want to help, That was fifty years ago.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 08:17      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's hard to find a teacher anywhere who's in favour of these bullshit tests, not because (as the test proponents would claim) the tests expose their poor teaching, but because they invariably lead to "teaching how to do the test" - which is a really crap educational outcome.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 08:32      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The best Math. Instructor I had. Taught Math. as a history, "With what we already know how would we find a solution to this problem?" He did not want us to memorize any formulas he taught us to reason our way to The Solution.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 08:52      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Famous Druid wrote:
they invariably lead to "teaching how to do the test"

Or, even worse, copying questions from the test and handing them out as a "study guide".

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 14:58      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
It's hard to find a teacher anywhere who's in favour of these bullshit tests, not because (as the test proponents would claim) the tests expose their poor teaching, but because they invariably lead to "teaching how to do the test" - which is a really crap educational outcome.

Indeed, this is how my sister went from being an bright-eyed and bushy-tailed elementary school teacher to a burned-out former elementary school teacher in less than four years.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 18:31      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I certainly agree that 'teaching to the test' is a terrible situation, but I do have a curious question: What's the best way to measure how schools/students/teachers are doing?

I ask because of the stories I read every other week about NY schools 'failing' and also about how American students fare in math/sci. compared to the rest of the world. One of the biggest issues seems to be the the crappy teachers are choking out the good ones, and the unions are fighting every measure attempted to evaluate and reward the good new ones (and to not throw them out first in layoffs). How does this get fixed?

Edited:
Erm...so I read that article in full, and NYT article it linked to, which brings to light the fact that the tests are in fact awful, and the teachers are being treated very badly. I think one of the clearest ideas put forth in the NYT article is of principals stopping in every class on a routine basis. That's probably more logical than asking stupid questions that few will get right. (Mind you, for all the carping, I aced the WashPo sample test.) The only major thing I could see as in issue is if a principal visits the classrooms in a very sporadic /or/ very predictable manner, resulting in inconsistent or otherwise flawed observations. Perhaps truly random site visits by district/state folks might be good, to avoid local bias?

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 19:18      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
dragonman97 wrote:
I do have a curious question: What's the best way to measure how schools/students/teachers are doing?

One idea that I liked that I've seen suggested somewhere (sadly I don't recall where) was to use standardized testing of students by a third party to evaluate the teachers in a way that doesn't take the students passing or failing into account.

The students would take the test and the test score would be compared to the students' scores through the year for the subject. If a significant number of students do much better or much worse than their grades indicate they should, the teacher would be investigated because something isn't right.

Teachers wouldn't "teach the test" nor would they dumb down their lessons and give only easy tests to pass students because doing either would cause score discrepancies and launch investigations that would (theoretically) uncover these problem and result in a reprimand, a demotion or even being fired. If it was just a fluke, that should (also theoretically) be shown by the investigation as well and the teacher wouldn't be punished.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 20:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Mind you, for all the carping, I aced the WashPo sample test.)

I found those sample questions interesting.

The underlying maths was pretty basic, but some were quite poorly worded, a kid who wasn't paying close attention (or was from a non english speaking background) could easily misinterpret some of them. It's almost as if those who drafted the test were deliberately trying to trick the kids into giving the wrong answer...

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 22:13      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or they were written by the authors of the GRE. [Frown]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2011 22:49      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nah, the GRE math questions were way more bizarre. It's been nine years since I took the damn thing and I still twitch thinking about it...

As for the Washington Post questions, I got them all, but the wording was funny and in a high pressure situation I can see the difficulty. If you haven't been taught how to game a standardized test, you're hosed. And if you just suck at tests, or suck at multiple choice tests, you're also hosed.

As far as the actual tactics schools and teachers use to work this fouled up system, her last year of teaching, Sisthine's principal called a staff meeting. This principal informed the teachers that as far as the state standardized testing goes, there were three types of students in the class, the ones who'd excel no matter what, the ones who'd struggle no matter what, and the ones who'd do well with extra coaching. The teachers were instructed to provide the ones who'd do really well with extra coaching that extra coaching at the expense of the other two groups. By ignoring the strongest and the weakest, the school hoped to beat the consequences of NCLB. Am I the only one who smells the irony?

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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