Education and politics

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Education and politics
170
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 7:45am

http://dianeravitch.net/2013/12/03/my-view-of-the-pisa-scores/

I always find it interesting the continued attention to other countries the United States compares itself to, Perhaps that's the root of the problem after all.  This author makes a lot of outstanding points. 

Thoughts? 

 

 


 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:22am

bordwithyou wrote:
< Well, obviously testing -- and I hope a lot of testing -- is going to be used to diagnose a special education student.   I've got one myself, and we spent almost two years getting an accurate diagnosis and plan, which involved, as you say, a lot of test instruments. I am not against testing when there is a good reason for it, and the results are used appropriately.  When politics get involved, tests tend to be used stupidly, and unnecessarily, and punitively.  </p>

So are you saying it's punitive to use standardized test scores to deprive a school of funding?  Is that what you mean by punitive? That's a hard argument to make if standardized test scores are used to get funding for children with special needs. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:43am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">savcal2011</em> wrote:</div>&lt;p&gt;While I don't have any firm opinions on how heavily the US should compare itself to other countries, I do not believe for a moment that this comparison is the at the root of our educational system problems.&lt;/p&gt;</blockquote></p><p>Why?  The US is all about test scores and numbers at the end of the day, if that's not to compare our schools to schools across the globe what is it?  While tests have their place IMO, I mean tests today prepare kids for entrance exams, college tests, even life skills, I believe we've placed far too much emphasis on standard testing, and now it comes down to cutting more funding b/c we're (general) not meeting some right score.   The author's points were good ones.  </p>

Because many US test scores and numbers aren't for comparing to other countries.  Tests don't prepare kis for entrance exams, college tests or even life skills, not the standarized ones anyway.  They are supposed to be for measuring benchmarks.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:44am

jamblessedthree wrote:
Poverty is a home problem, I believe schools do a lot for the poor communities.

Wrong, poverty is a problem of society.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:46am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>Ahh, more numbers.  Of course funding is being cut and isn't that a shame, What's your point?  Maybe school funding is being cut to pay for obamacare you like so much.</p>

Obamacare is being funded by the increase in taxes, both payroll and income.  You might want to review those tax increases that went into action this year before filing your taxes.  

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:48am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p><em>poverty is a social problem, not the problem of the individual.</em></p><p>We need more Nelson Mandelas in the world.  RIP. </p>

We do, and you might want to review what he has to say on the subject as your comments disagree with this comments.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:49am

bordwithyou wrote:
We should not be testing children to compare them with anyone else. We should be constantly assessing them to find out both their strengths and weaknesses, to build on their strengths and help where they need more reinforcement.

Yes, yes and yes.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:49am

thardy2001 wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">bordwithyou</em> wrote:</div>&lt; Well, obviously testing -- and I hope a lot of testing -- is going to be used to diagnose a special education student.   I've got one myself, and we spent almost two years getting an accurate diagnosis and plan, which involved, as you say, a lot of test instruments. I am not against testing when there is a good reason for it, and the results are used appropriately.  When politics get involved, tests tend to be used stupidly, and unnecessarily, and punitively.  &lt;/p&gt;</blockquote></p><p>So are you saying it's punitive to use standardized test scores to deprive a school of funding?  Is that what you mean by punitive? That's a hard argument to make if standardized test scores are used to get funding for children with special needs.  </p>

That is one of the ways that test scores can be used in a punitive fashion.  There are many, many reasons why some schools will have lower test scores than others.  For instance, in my town, there is a small elementary school that is a very good school -- one of the best, generally great teachers, great curriculum, good student: teacher ratio.  About a third of the students from the school come from maried/graduate student housing for the university.   The people who tend to use that housing are grad students from foreign countries who don't speak English in the home.  Often the kids go to school with little or no English. Of course they are not going to do as well on standardized tests as a group than the school across town where the professor's kids go, which also has great teachers, etc.  It is punitive to tie teacher salaries, promotions, and school ratings to scores on examinations taken by children who have been speaking English for a grand total of three months by the time they are taking these tests.   And yet, that's what often happens.  It leads to further inequities, such as new teachers with no seniority being assigned to the poorest-performing schools, and experienced teachers bidding out, because won't get raises and promotions in the lower-performing schools.  So kids who come to school with one strike against them now have two strikes against them because of the thoughtless use of test scores.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:53am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">bordwithyou</em> wrote:</div>So you think poverty is done kind of "excuse" that people offer, Jamblessed? Is that it?</blockquote></p><p>It's an attitude, yes<span>.  I come from an educated home but very different in the sense that we never placed ourselves above single parent homes or homes that had less, And that was learned.   That's probably why my father never lived according to hard numbers or statistics either, the guy even taught the course but he was intelligent enough to know that real lives aren't dictated by that.  </span></p>

How do you reconcile that attitude growing up with the one you have now, where you do place yourself above others?

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 9:57am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>So back to the op, standard test scores matter?  Is the most able bodied individual the college student that ranked/s highest in his class?  There are bright students across the spectrum, probably not.  Nor is an international scale the way to look at education, IMO. </p>

In some ways yes and in other ways no.  What should matter is how indiviudal do on the test, not comparing it to other children or to the world.  Everyone in the world is different with different strengths and weaknesses. There is a saying that I have seen on facebook...

""Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.""

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 10:01am

bordwithyou wrote:
  That is one of the ways that test scores can be used in a punitive fashion.  There are many, many reasons why some schools will have lower test scores than others.  For instance, in my town, there is a small elementary school that is a very good school -- one of the best, generally great teachers, great curriculum, good student: teacher ratio.  About a third of the students from the school come from maried/graduate student housing for the university.   The people who tend to use that housing are grad students from foreign countries who don't speak English in the home.  Often the kids go to school with little or no English. Of course they are not going to do as well on standardized tests as a group than the school across town where the professor's kids go, which also has great teachers, etc.  It is punitive to tie teacher salaries, promotions, and school ratings to scores on examinations taken by children who have been speaking English for a grand total of three months by the time they are taking these tests.   And yet, that's what often happens.  It leads to further inequities, such as new teachers with no seniority being assigned to the poorest-performing schools, and experienced teachers bidding out, because won't get raises and promotions in the lower-performing schools.  So kids who come to school with one strike against them now have two strikes against them because of the thoughtless use of test scores.</p>

I'll admit I'm not averse to cutting back on federal funding to a school filled with children of parents who intend to return to their country when their education is complete.  That type of school is not really the problem school anyway.  The problem schools have children who will continue to live in the US...parents who may not have completed high school, not so much which graduate school are they attending.

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