Indiana RISE Evaluation Song

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Indiana RISE Evaluation Song
7
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 10:00am

My SIL, who is an Indiana teacher, shared this on her FB page.  I think it's sad, but well said.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 4:52pm

It is so true!  The testing and documentation, meetings and more meetings to discuss the data and set goals to be verified with more data collection and analysis is driving everyone crazy.  One of the scariest things I've noticed is that many are resigning themselves to the fact that they have to play along and give up being creative, innovative, and independent thinkers. They are giving in to the system and accepting the fact that even though it doesn't work it will not change so they have to play the game to survive. Playing the game includes teaching the test and avoiding any subject, skill or lesson that is not tested on standardized tests.

The other part I see is that admins and teachers they are also becoming defensive and uncooperative.  They see every parent inquiry or request as a criticism and they are balking at making any concessions or changes. They are afraid to admit a mistake or weakness, be flexible  with rules and methods, analyze their expectations and actions, or accept that others have valid opinions.. I saw this up close and personal yesterday. This defensive recoil will not build cooperation and a team approach to student problems and needs.

 

Sherry
Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 5:37pm
I'm surprised I haven't seen this anywhere yet. It's exactly what we're dealing with at my school. The word "data" is almost a dirty word these days. We're sick of collecting all this information just to prove we've actually been teaching. What do they think we're doing? Playing all day?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 6:17pm

You know Sherry and Shywon, I haven't really spent a lot of time in the classroom yet, so I still have some idealism left.  I had taught fulltime for a year under emergency certification before I officially student taught.  Even though on that first job I had a truly evil principal and standardized testing up the wazoo (even though I taught band i still had some testing curriculum I was responsible for, ick!), I still held onto my idealism, and am proud to say i still do.  I hope that in these dark times I always can.

I ramble, but in my student teaching assignment, I saw teachers right and left teaching to the test to the letter.  I knew if they weren't doing this, the kids would learn more.  I then concluded that it's bad for the kids (making it morally wrong), so I asked these teachers why they did it.  They said they wanted to hang onto their jobs.  I can't blame them for that, but why does it need to be that way?  There's just got to be a better way to do this.  Until we figure out a way to implement that better way, the kids will suffer.

Express!

Beth "Petrouchka"

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 6:49pm
It's not about what teachers are choosing to do. That's the whole point. It's what administrators are telling us we have to do. We have to keep binders showing where we've "tested" each skill (just math for now, but eventually on all subjects) and then retaught the kids who didn't pass, then retested. We have to do that at least three times for every math objective. The thing I don't get- I was already doing that in my own way (using Study Island) and had binders for both math and CA. Because the SI tests have ten questions, not the three we're told we have to have, all of my previous work isn't good enough to satisfy the requirement. Since my principal wants it "consistent", I have to double up on assessing my kids. I'm not about to throw all of my previous work out the window, especially since ten questions gives me a much better idea of who knows what than three does. Did I mention we have to give these mini assessments (called exit slips) on certain days of the week? We don't even get freedom there. I'm so sick of the words "data" and "research based" I could scream! Or drink a little more. To be honest, I think drinking more just might do the trick!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 8:41pm

Does it need to be that way? Yes unless you want to take the chance and ignore the demands of the admins and expectations of the parents who have bought in to what the politicians are selling. More and more parents seem to believe in the test scores and believe they really represent learning and the quality of teaching. The admins evaluate you  based on the hoop jumping and how willing you are to be a model teacher. Translate model to mean efficient data gatherer and great conformist to the expectations. You can do it your way but you had better figure out a way to play both sides. Stay under the radar if you are wasting time on non-tested skills and topics and figure out a way to keep up with the testing schedule and accountability documentation at the same time without going nuts. You can be an idealist but you might be unemployed or at least labeled as a trouble maker. It's sad but true.

Sherry
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 10:05pm

Perhaps I'm used to being a trouble maker.  That very thing got me kicked out of teachers' college once...true story.

Express!

Beth "Petrouchka"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 9:13pm

 With practice, and after a lot of threats for being uncooperative, I got a lot better at conning the admins when needed. They thought I was following the directives but I accomplished a lot more with my own methods and lessons. I learned how to change gears when one came by or popped in if needed. I also learned to give nice vague middle of the road responses that were not lies, just  non-specific but carefully worded. They heard what they wanted to hear if I used the right words. Since my kids always did well on the tests they never knew the difference.

Sherry