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Tony Richards

The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley - 14 views

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    "What Makes a Great Teacher? Image credit: Veronika Lukasova Also in our Special Report: National: "How America Can Rise Again" Is the nation in terminal decline? Not necessarily. But securing the future will require fixing a system that has become a joke. Video: "One Nation, On Edge" James Fallows talks to Atlantic editor James Bennet about a uniquely American tradition-cycles of despair followed by triumphant rebirths. Interactive Graphic: "The State of the Union Is ..." ... thrifty, overextended, admired, twitchy, filthy, and clean: the nation in numbers. By Rachael Brown Chart: "The Happiness Index" Times were tough in 2009. But according to a cool Facebook app, people were happier. By Justin Miller On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in math. One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor's math classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked. The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so. Video: Four teachers in Four different classrooms demonstrate methods that work (Courtesy of Teach for America's video archive, available in February at teachingasleadership.org) At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools-not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it's worth noting, not a very hard one). After a year in Mr. Taylo
Fabian Aguilar

What Do School Tests Measure? - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com - 1 views

  • According to a New York Times analysis, New York City students have steadily improved their performance on statewide tests since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took control of the public schools seven years ago.
  • Critics say the results are proof only that it is possible to “teach to the test.” What do the results mean? Are tests a good way to prepare students for future success?
  • Tests covering what students were expected to learn (guided by an agreed-upon curriculum) serve a useful purpose — to provide evidence of student effort, of student learning, of what teachers taught, and of what teachers may have failed to teach.
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  • More serious questions arise about “teaching to the test.” If the test requires students to do something academically valuable — to demonstrate comprehension of high quality reading passages at an appropriate level of complexity and difficulty for the students’ grade, for example — then, of course, “teaching to the test” is appropriate.
  • Reading is the crucial subject in the curriculum, affecting all the others, as we know.
  • An almost exclusive focus on raising test scores usually leads to teaching to the test, denies rich academic content and fails to promote the pleasure in learning, and to motivate students to take responsibility for their own learning, behavior, discipline and perseverance to succeed in school and in life.
  • Test driven, or force-fed, learning can not enrich and promote the traits necessary for life success. Indeed, it is dangerous to focus on raising Test scores without reducing school drop out, crime and dependency rates, or improving the quality of the workforce and community life.
  • Students, families and groups that have been marginalized in the past are hurt most when the true purposes of education are not addressed.
  • lein. Mayor Bloomberg claims that more than two-thirds of the city’s students are now proficient readers. But, according to federal education officials, only 25 percent cleared the proficient-achievement hurdle after taking the National Assessment of Education Progress, a more reliable and secure test in 2007.
  • The major lesson is that officials in all states — from New York to Mississippi — have succumbed to heavy political pressure to somehow show progress. They lower the proficiency bar, dumb down tests and distribute curricular guides to teachers filled with study questions that mirror state exams.
  • This is why the Obama administration has nudged 47 states to come around the table to define what a proficient student truly knows.
  • Test score gains among New York City students are important because research finds that how well one performs on cognitive Tests matters more to one’s life chances than ever before. Mastery of reading and math, in particular, are significant because they provide the gateway to higher learning and critical thinking.
  • First, just because students are trained to do well on a particular test doesn’t mean they’ve mastered certain skills.
  • Second, whatever the test score results, children in high poverty schools like the Promise Academy are still cut off from networks of students, and students’ parents, who can ease access to employment.
  • Reliable and valid standardized tests can be one way to measure what some students have learned. Although they may be indicators of future academic success, they don’t “prepare” students for future success.
  • Since standardized testing can accurately assess the “whole” student, low test scores can be a real indicator of student knowledge and deficiencies.
  • Many teachers at high-performing, high-poverty schools have said they use student test scores as diagnostic tools to address student weaknesses and raise achievement.
  • The bigger problem with standardized tests is their emphasis on the achievement of only minimal proficiency.
  • While it is imperative that even the least accomplished students have sufficient reading and calculating skills to become self-supporting, these are nonetheless the students with, overall, the fewest opportunities in the working world.
  • Regardless of how high or low we choose to set the proficiency bar, standardized test scores are the most objective and best way of measuring it.
  • The gap between proficiency and true comprehension would be especially wide in the case of the brightest students. These would be the ones least well-served by high-stakes testing.
Dave Truss

Dangerously Irrelevant: It's not 'the tests.' It's us. - 0 views

  • It's not ‘the tests.’ It's our unwillingness and/or inability to do something different, something better. It's not ‘the tests.’ It's us.
    • Dave Truss
       
      Note the highlighted comment as well- scary!
  • In my state, students don't take standardized tests until third grade, but test preparation was a major focus in K-2. Students did little but complete worksheet after worksheet in kindergarten. The block corner was gone, there was no snack time, the dress-up box was taken away, and recess was reduced to just a few minutes. My son and his classmates sat at their little tables and silently filled out worksheets for the majority of the day. Talking, laughing or getting out of your seat was frowned upon. In first grade, the timed math tests began. Shortly after students learned how to add and subtract, they were given daily math facts timed tests in order to "prepare" them for the ITBS math computation tests in third grade. Those lucky enough to pass the tests had their names posted on the winners wall in the classroom. Those who couldn't pass, were sent to the hallway to do flashcards with parent volunteers. In second grade, the timed oral reading tests began. Each week, all students were required to read aloud as fast as they could while they were timed with a stop watch. Those that could spit the words out quickly enough to meet the benchmark number were rewarded with free reading time. Those that were deemed too slow, were given practice pages to read aloud, over and over again. In third grade, they started timed writing tests. His classroom held a weekly contest to see who could write a paragraph the fastest using that week's vocabulary words. The vocabulary words were test prep for ITBS. The fastest child's paragraph was posted on the wall for all to admire. Kids learned very early on that faster meant smarter and that slower meant stupid. NCLB plays a part in the way school has been reduced to test preparation, but teachers chose to use all of these truly awful methods in the classroom. Teachers could have chosen different, more engaging, and more developmentally appropriate teaching methods, but they didn't.
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    We must take ownership of our own culpability... It's not 'the tests.' It's our unwillingness and/or inability to do something different, something better. It's not 'the tests.' It's us.
Vicki Davis

Texas Legislators Seek to Pare Standardized Tests - NYTimes.com - 1 views

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    Texas is going to cut down testing. This is a wise move for many reasons. Some states are cutting out teachers and the same time increasing spending on test taking. Such decisions harm learning no matter what test you take. ""testing companies are in the business of making a profit, but let's not confuse their mission - their mission is to create as many tests as they can and then grade them at as little cost as possible," the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Dan Patrick, Republican of Houston, said Tuesday at a hearing on a comprehensive education bill that would reduce the number of high-stakes tests students must pass to graduate."
Vicki Davis

The problem with Pearson-designed tests that threatens thousands of scores - 7 views

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    I agree. Students who got to read the passages ahead of time had an advantage - of course, is anyone looking to see if there was a "hit" on other textbook passages - is this luck or is it corruption. Either way - it smells like corruption. There is a conflict of interest if you're testing and selling textbooks to help kids do better on testing.  "students who read the Pearson test before seeing it on the state test had the opportunity to fill the gaps in their own knowledge-whether through class discussion or simply by reading and answering the questions provided in the curriculum-before they took the test. And that means that the validity of a test that aims to differentiate between "good" and "poor" readers is necessarily called into question. Unfortunately, it seems that New York education officials don't realize how significant this problem is. Or even that it is a problem. (Meryl Tisch, New York Board of Regents chancellor, actually defended the quality of the assessments, boasting that, thanks to a rigorous new quality-control review, the Department of Education had avoided the kinds of problems that lead to last year's now-famous pineapple scandal. And that failure to recognize what may be a far more serious and consequential challenge may be the biggest red flag that Common Core assessment decisions are in trouble in the Empire State."
Vicki Davis

Why I Will Not Refuse to Give the Tests | Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension - 0 views

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    Pernille Ripp's poignant post shares why more teachers don't refuse to give the tests. Unless it is done en masse, it can't really be done. That said, parents can refuse to have their children take the test without repercussions and in fact, a national opt out movement is brewing. "If I were to refuse administering these state mandated tests, I would get in trouble.  That is an absolute guarantee.  And while I have never been one to shy away from too much controversy, the kind of trouble this time would be much bigger than a write up.  I could even lose my job for failing to do my duties.  To some that may not seem like a big deal, after all, I should be standing up for my students and their rights, my own opinions, I should protect those children that I teach from the tests.  But my job is vital to my own children.  My job is our health insurance.  My job gives us just enough money so that we can pay our bills.  I wish my husband had a huge paying job, he doesn't, and so we are a very dependent two income family.  So losing my job refusing tests just isn't something I can rationally do and in a sense, I am not sure I should be the one refusing the tests anyway."
Vicki Davis

Global education survey puts Shanghai on top - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

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    Remember one thing as you look at these scores - not all students are tested in many countries and in many countries only the brightest go to school. In my opinion, these tests have some serious flaws. For example, I don't play cricket - my scores would be low -- I don't know that I'm so upset about that. While math, science, and reading are important -- standards vary greatly between countries -- so unless we're going to prep for PISA scores. Also on another note -- comparing "Shanghai to nations makes me wonder - I'm sure there are certain cities in the US that would do very well on such a test. Anyway, I want to look deeper, but I think before we rattle cages and get too upset, the report should be looked at deeply but not only the report - but the test. I remember getting upset that my kindergartener scored in the 60th percentile on "environment" only to see that he missed that a judge was supposed to be a guy in a grey wig (who does that) and couldn't identify a subway turnstile (we live in a town of 5,000). Since that time, I always want to see the test. Lots of people will be talking about this so look at it and be prepared to answer questions. This is the post from Aljazeera so you can see what other countries are saying about the report. "Asian countries have topped the rnakings in a global education report which evaluates the knowledge and skills of 15 and 16-year-olds around the world. The report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published on Tuesday, shows that children from Asian nations continue to outshine their western counterparts in maths, science and reading. The city of Shanghai topped the table in the three-yearly reported which tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries. Children in Shanghai were, on average, the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling ahead of the majority of nations tested."
Vicki Davis

How Pearson Cheats on State Tests | Diane Ravitch's blog - 16 views

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    Diane Ravitch calls it. Read her blog post on this major ethical issue. I think we need an independent testing company. Isn't there a conflict of interest here when a company creates textbooks and the test? "I am an 8th grade teacher in Xxxx, NY. On Day 1 of the NYS ELA 8 Exam, I discovered what I believe to be a huge ethical flaw in the State test. The state test included a passage on why leaves change color that is included in the Pearson-generated NYS ELA 8 text. I taught it in my class just last week. In a test with 6 passages and questions to complete in 90 minutes, it was a huge advantage to students fortunate enough to use a Pearson text and not that of a rival publisher. It may very well have an impact on student test scores. This has not yet received any attention in the press. Could you help me bring this to the attention of the public?"
Susan Sedro

Education Research Report: Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers - 14 views

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    Student test scores are not reliable indicators of teacher effectiveness, according to a new Economic Policy Institute report, Problems with the Use of Student test Scores to Evaluate Teachers. The paper was co-authored by a group of distinguished education scholars and policy makers, including four former presidents of the American Educational Research Association, a former assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, EPI Research Associate Richard Rothstein, and others. The authors find that the accuracy of these analyses of student test scores is highly problematic. They argue that the practice of holding teachers accountable for their student's test score results should be reconsidered.
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    I'm sorry, but if this is news to anyone, you've been asleep at your desk. I'm sick of people being all professional about this issue, it is well past time to rebel against it. It's bad for the teachers, it's bad for the students, it's bad for society, and it's bad for the economics of education too! Get active, join a group against NCLB & high-stakes testing, and END IT. I would post the group(s) I work with, but I don't want to be dismissed as promoting them - find one(s) that are right for you and get behind them.
TCY Online

FREE Online Tests for IIT JEE/AIEEE 2010 Entrance Preparation - 0 views

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    * Numerous online tests on Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics * Flexibility to generate sectional tests through test generator. * Challenge Zone to compete real time on a test with your friends & Toppers * Anytime anywhere access to online testing resources
Vicki Davis

ASCD - 0 views

  • first 60 seconds of your presentation is
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How many of us emphasize the first 60 seconds of a presentation students give?
  • Summers and other leaders from various companies were not necessarily complaining about young people's poor grammar, punctuation, or spelling—the things we spend so much time teaching and testing in our schools
  • the complaints I heard most frequently were about fuzzy thinking and young people not knowing how to write with a real voice.
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  • Employees in the 21st century have to manage an astronomical amount of information daily.
  • There is so much information available that it is almost too much, and if people aren't prepared to process the information effectively it almost freezes them in their steps.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Buidling a PLN using an RSS Reader is ESSENTIAL to managing information. THis is part of what I teach and do and so important!
  • rapidly the information is changing.
  • half-life of knowledge in the humanities is 10 years, and in math and science, it's only two or three years
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Personal learning networks and RSS readers ARE a HUGE issue here. We need to be customing portals and helping students manage information.
  • “People who've learned to ask great questions and have learned to be inquisitive are the ones who move the fastest in our environment because they solve the biggest problems in ways that have the most impact on innovation.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How do we reward students who question teachers -- not their authority but WHAT They are teaching? Do we reward students who question? Who inquire? Who theorize? Or do we spit them out and punish them? I don't know... I'm questioning.
  • want unique products and services:
  • developing young people's capacities for imagination, creativity, and empathy will be increasingly important for maintaining the United States' competitive advantage in the future.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      IN a typical year, how often are your students asked to invent something from scratch?
  • The three look at one another blankly, and the student who has been doing all the speaking looks at me and shrugs.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      When teachers tell students WHY withouth making them investigate, then we are denying them a learning opportunity. STOP BEING THE SAGE ON THE STAGE!.
  • The test contains 80 multiple-choice questions related to the functions and branches of the federal government.
  • Let me tell you how to answer this one
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Drill and test is what we've made. Mindless robots is what we'll reap. What are we doing?
  • reading from her notes,
  • Each group will try to develop at least two different ways to solve this problem. After all the groups have finished, I'll randomly choose someone from each group who will write one of your proofs on the board, and I'll ask that person to explain the process your group used.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Every time I do a team project, the "random selection" is part of it. Randomly select -- classtools.net has a random name generator -- great tool - and it adds randomness to it.
  • a lesson in which students are learning a number of the seven survival skills while also mastering academic content?
  • students are given a complex, multi-step problem that is different from any they've seen in the past
  • how the group solved the problem, each student in every group is held accountable.
  • ncreasingly, there is only one curriculum: test prep. Of the hundreds of classes that I've observed in recent years, fewer than 1 in 20 were engaged in instruction designed to teach students to think instead of merely drilling for the test.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Not in my class, but in many classes - yes. I wonder how I'd teach differently if someone made me have a master "test" for my students at the end of the year. I'd be teaching to the test b/c I"m a type "A" driven to succeed kind of person. Beware what you measure lest that determine how you grow.
  • . It is working with colleagues to ensure that all students master the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners, workers, and citizens.
  • I have yet to talk to a recent graduate, college teacher, community leader, or business leader who said that not knowing enough academic content was a problem.
  • critical thinking, communication skills, and collaboration.
  • seven survival skills every day, at every grade level, and in every class.
  • College and Work Readiness Assessment (www.cae.org)—that measure students' analytic-reasoning, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Would like to look more at this test, however, also doing massive global collaborative projects requiring higher order thinking is something that is helpful, I think.
  • 2. Collaboration and Leadership
  • 3. Agility and Adaptability
  • Today's students need to master seven survival skills to thrive in the new world of work.
  • 4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • 6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • 7. Curiosity and Imagination
  • I conducted research beginning with conversations with several hundred business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education leaders. With a clearer picture of the skills young people need, I then set out to learn whether U.S. schools are teaching and testing the skills that matter most.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Background on the research done by Tony Wagner.
  • “First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can't teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is a great aspect of project based learning. Although when we allow students to have individual research topics, some teachers are frustrated because they cannot "can" their approach (especially tough if the class sizes are TOO LARGE,) students in this environment CAN and MUST ask individualized questions. This is TOUGH to do as the students who haven't developed critical thinking skills, whether because their parents have done their tough work for them (like writing their papers) or teachers have always given answers because they couldn't stand to see the student struggle -- sometimes tough love means the teacher DOESN'T give the child the answer -- as long as they are encouraged just enough to keep them going.
  • “I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with other
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Last Saturday, my son met Bill Curry, a football coach and player that he respects. Just before meeting him, my husband reviewed with my son how to meet people. HE told my son, "Look the man in his eyes and let him know your hand is there!" After shaking his hand, as Mr. Curry was signing my son's book, he said, "That is quite a handshake, son, someone has taught you well." Yes -- shaking hands and looking a person in the eye are important and must be taught. This is an essential thing to come from parents AND teachers -- I teach this with my juniors and seniors when we write resumes.
  • how to engage customers
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Engagi ng customers requires that a person stops thinking about their own selfish needs and looks at things through the eyes of the customer!!! The classic issue in marketing is that people think they are marketing to themselves. This happens over and over. Role playing, virtual worlds, and many other experiences can give people a chance to look at things through the eyes of others. I see this happen on the Ning of our projects all the time.
  • the world of work has changed profoundly.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Work has changed, school hasn't. In fact, I would argue that schools are more industrial age than ever with testing and manufacturing of common knowledge (which is often outdated by the time the test is given) at an all time high. Let them create!
  • Over and over, executives told me that the heart of critical thinking and problem solving is the ability to ask the right questions. As one senior executive from Dell said, “Yesterday's answers won't solve today's problems.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      We give students our critical questions -- how often do we let them ask the questions.
  • I say to my employees, if you try five things and get all five of them right, you may be failing. If you try 10 things, and get eight of them right, you're a hero. You'll never be blamed for failing to reach a stretch goal, but you will be blamed for not trying.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      If our students get eight out of 10 right, they are a low "B" student. Do we have projects where students can experiement and fail without "ruining their lives." Can they venture out and try new, risky things?
  • risk aversion
    • Vicki Davis
       
      He says risk aversion is a problem in companies -- YES it is. Although upper management SAYS they want people willing to take risks -- from my experience in the corporate world, what they SAY and what they REWARD are two different things, just ask a wall street broker who took a risky investment and lost money.
Suzie Nestico

Father: Why I didn't let my son take standardized tests - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 0 views

  • My wife and I had Luke “opt out” of No Child Left Behind standardized testing (here in Pennsylvania known as the Pennsylvania System of School Achievement, or PSSAs).
  • Last week I did just that. I looked at the test and determined that it violated my religion. How, you might ask? That’s an entirely different blog, but I can quickly say that my religion does not allow for or tolerate the act of torture and I determined that making Luke sit for over 10 hours filling in bubble sheets would have been a form of mental and physical torture, given that we could give him no good reason as to why he needs to take this test.
  • ch a reason for opting out of the PSSA testing will negatively affect the school’s participation rate and could POTENTIALLY have a negative impact on the school’s Adequate Yearly Progress under the rules of No Child Left Behind.
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  • I asked Luke what he thought about it all. He just smiled. I also asked him what some of his friends were saying. According to Luke, they did not believe that NCLB and PSSAs were going to be used to evaluate the school. They didn’t know about AYP and the sanctions that came with it. Luke’s friends just thought the tests, “were used to make sure our teachers are teaching us the right stuff.” My guess is that is what most parents believe. Why wouldn’t they believe it? They’ve been told for nine years that we are raising standards, holding teachers accountable, and leaving no children behind. Who wouldn’t support that?
  • This time, instead of having Luke sit through another meeting, he researched the Japanese earthquake and tsunami as a current events project.
  • The point was to give Luke some experience in how to conduct planned civil disobedience in a lawful manner.
  • That, of course, is the real problem. NCLB and the standards movement is a political bait and switch. Sold as one thing (positive) to the public and then in practice, something radically different (punitive). This is probably one of the biggest reasons I decided to do the boycott—to make my community aware and to try and enlighten them of the real issues.
  • My answer is that the government is not listening. Teachers, principals, teacher educators, child development specialists, and educational researchers have been trying to get this message out for years. No one will listen.
  • Civil disobedience is the only option left. It’s my scream in a dark cave for light. I want teachers to teach again. I want principals to lead again. I want my school to be a place of deep learning and a deeper love of teaching. I want children exposed to history, science, art, music, physical education, and current events—the same experience President Obama is providing his own children.
  • Maybe civil disobedience will be contagious. Maybe parents will join us in reclaiming our schools and demand that teachers and administrators hands be untied and allow them to do their jobs—engage students in a rich curriculum designed to promote deep learning and critical thinking.
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    Another PA parent opts his child out of PSSA standardized testing as a measure of civil disobedience.  Word of caution:  This can very much hurt a school's Adequate Yearly Progress and ultimately the school may suffer.  But, what if this movement spread amongst parents?  What then?  Would the government take over the school?  
Maggie Verster

Formative and Summative Assessment in the Classroom - 21 views

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    "Assessment is a huge topic that encompasses everything from statewide accountability tests to district benchmark or interim tests to everyday classroom tests. In order to grapple with what seems to be an over use of testing, educators should frame their view of testing as assessment and that assessment is information. The more information we have about students, the clearer the picture we have about achievement or where gaps may occur."
Vicki Davis

Positive school climate boosts test scores, study says | EdSource Today - 8 views

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    If you want plants to grow add rain, sunshine and warmth. The same works with children. A warm, caring environment where students and teachers have positive relationships, where they feel safe and have supports to help them succeed improves test scores. This is no surprise to good teachers. Those who put inordinate stress on teachers in ways that causes stress and harshness are likely hurting test scores and having the opposite effect, if one is to interpret this. Take a read and take action - on my blog I and many commenters have been discussing getting along with colleagues and having warm relationships with students. It isn't fluff but rather, is the stuff that test scores are made of. "It's the million-dollar question or, given the size of the California education budget, the $50-billion-dollar question: What makes extraordinarily successful schools different from other schools? The answer: school climate, according to a new study from WestEd, a San Francisco-based research agency. In recent years, the concept of school climate has gained increasing currency in education reform circles and the California Department of Education has received federal grants to evaluate school climate in 170 schools, as well as Safe and Supportive Schools grants to fund programs that enhance school climate. As defined by the WestEd study, a positive school climate includes caring relationships between teachers and students, physical and emotional safety, and academic and emotional supports that help students succeed. The goal of a positive school climate is "a sense of belonging, competence and autonomy" for both students and staff, the report said."
Vicki Davis

Mixed Results on Paying City Students to Pass Tests - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Information about paying people to pass ap tests.
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    Paying kids to pass the AP test isn't working... but those supporting it say give it time. In some ways, money is the easy answer. But money doesn't solve problems when you have a child who has low self esteem. A child who is beaten every night isn't going to want to learn more during the day for a one time incentive... they feel trapped. Although the average improved (there were more "5's") - the overall pass rate declined slightly -- but more tests were taken. I am glad that people are willing to put money into trying new things, but sometimes I think teachers are left out of the equation. If we look at brain rules, improving the family life of kids and making sure they get more sleep are two of the most beneficial things we could to improve test scores.
Adrienne Michetti

ICT in Education Assessments are Biased and Inaccurate « Educational Technology Debate - 7 views

  • One of the conclusions was that indeed, large reforms (e.g., “Het nieuwe leren”, or the new learning) were imposed without scientific support. Another that political prejudices, not any kind of data, were the main motivating factor in the reforms.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Sadly, I think this is true of most educational reforms - ICT or not.
  • The alternative, assessing educational reforms well before introduction, is a form of social engineering. Social engineering seems to always be more difficult than you think. And I think history has shown that education is no exception in this respect.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      an interesting argument, though I am not sure I agree.
  • Scientific “facts” are never appreciated unless they completely align with the preconceptions of the “stake-holders” (minus the children).
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      what kind of "scientific facts" would guide ICT reform, though? what about research? studies? user testing?
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  • : Does this ICT4E solution improve scores on existing tests
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      whose tests? and what is being tested? and why do tests have to be the only metric of success?
  • The curriculum is obsessed with jargon and nomenclature, seemingly for no other purpose than to provide teachers with something to test the students on.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      I would probably argue that having tests which match the curriculum is a GOOD thing. However, in this case it seems that the problem is the curriculum. So reform does not always begin with the assessment, or with the ICT.
  • If we want to test whether changes in education really improve learning, we do have other tools. They are called aptitude tests.
David Hilton

AP Courses - Advanced Placement Course Descriptions - 9 views

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    Has descriptions of the United States AP courses. Even if you don't teach AP in the US they might be useful for you in course and assessment item design.
Vicki Davis

With Tougher Standardized Tests, a Reminder to Breathe - NYTimes.com - 1 views

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    Testing students over material that is NOT in the curriculum is not fair. I think that states should have a way to mark things not covered and just take the hits across the board for not having it in their curriculum instead of causing children to suffer through feeling ignorant. Common Core may be great, however, if it isn't in the curriculum it is unfair and shouldn't be done. What can we do? Do we cause children to stress out unfairly because adults can't get their act together or it takes time to change the curriculum? I don't know the answers, but the thought of a child looking at a Test and knowing that some things didn't happen in the classroom and the impact of "feeling dumb" that will happen just turns my stomach, literally.  From the NEw York Times. " And they are likely to cover at least some material that has yet to make its way into the curriculum. The new Tests, given to third through eighth graders, are intended to align with Common Core standards, a set of unified academic guidelines adopted by almost every state and goaded by grant money offered by the Obama administration. They set more rigorous classroom goals for American students, with a focus on critical thinking skills, abstract reasoning in math and reading comprehension."
Vicki Davis

Embrace Adaptive Testing - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com - 7 views

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    I have to admit that it was very hard to put into a few short words my thoughts on adaptive learning. I didn't really intend for it to center on the testing piece but I guess that is what the editors thought hadn't already been covered, although I do agree with everything I said on it. Of course, many will say we need much more than testing but I think the big point is that pencil and paper don't cut it. We are wasting time with how we test now and can be much more targeted in terms of what students know and how we can teach. Your thoughts? The biggest thing that bothers me about all these apps is that we have no learning analytics - no feedback loop at all to parents or teachers. I literally have to watch my son play his ipad learning games to really understand where he is and what I need to do to fill things in. 
Vicki Davis

Teach Plus: The Quantified Student - 0 views

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    Fascinating article from a teacher thriving in the standardized testing environment. Fascinating. "Last year, working with the same cohort of students (by then fifth graders), I tried to find more learning opportunities that focused on data. We used math websites like TenMarks that enable students to learn about their own learning even as they practice new skills. We analyzed information graphics and dove into ways of presenting numerical information. We explored how numbers shape our understanding of ourselves and the world. And much of their enthusiasm and curiosity for these tasks came out of their interest in numbers from standardized testing. I've thus come to believe there's a role for standardized testing within education. As a limited portion of a multiple measure evaluation system, it helps teachers understand how well we've taught over the course of a year. It also helps students understand how much they mastered over that year and makes them agents in their own learning."
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