Testing Culture in Public Schools

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Testing Culture in Public Schools
51
Sat, 03-22-2014 - 8:03pm

Now that conservative commentator Michelle Malkin is all up in arms about excessive testing and our school children being used as lab rats, do you suppose I'll be forgiven for seeing and naming the issue a decade ago?<http://m.columbiatribune.com/opinion/columnists/revolt-against-the-testing-tyrants/article_8e237030-b167-11e3-9846-10604b9f6eda.html>

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 2:30pm

I think CUNY once did something like that at the college level. There was a lot of outrage about it, which I thought was quite baffling. People thought it was "unfair." OTOH, it really shouldn't be necessary to double-check a school that way.

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 3:11pm

litlmiss_cantbewrong wrote:
Ours are similar, although we only have reading, writing math.  And they take them at the end of 10th, then again 11th &amp; 12th.  But I was wondering what you think about taking the tests themselves. And what would you think if your state decided to change it to the SAT instead, would that be postivite, negative?</p>

I think the EOIs are more appropriate than the SAT or ACT.  In some ways, I think the EOI testing is a good idea - the aim is to ensure that our students have a basic grasp of core subjects that are pretty  necessary to becoming a productive member of society.  Pretty much anyone - even one not planning on going to college, or planning to go to technical school or something else -- needs a satisfactory level of knowledge of those basic subjects.

The ACT/SAT, otoh, is really geared toward college preparation and readiness. So I dont' think it would be an approriate measure for those not college bound.  It's also taken as a junior or senior; this is problematic in two ways: 1) it covers subjects that one might have last taken 2-3 years ago and 2) it covers subjects that non-collge bound students might not have taken yet (if they're going to take them at all). 

The EOIs are taken at the end of the semester in which the course is taken. That is better, imo.

As a final note regarding testing in general -- we need some sort of measure to make sure students are learning.  But I don't know what the best mechanism for that is.  I don't think anyone does.  Which is why it's such a controversial subject.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 3:13pm
Just a note -- students do a heck of a lot more prep and studying and are under a lot more pressure for the ACT/SAT than they are the EOIs. I think it would be worse for the students' emotionally and mentally for them to require the ACT/SAT in place of the EOIs.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2011
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 4:57pm

I think you're right SavCal, the ACT/SAT for testing would be inappropriate as-is. There is already too much riding on those results.

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Registered: 06-27-2013
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 5:05pm

bordwithyou wrote:
<p>The whole language movement does seem to have mostly run its course.  The latest ideas seem to be well-intentioned but developmentally inappropriate for the youngest children.  That surprises me.  </p>

My DD's teacher (who has over 25 yrs of experience) is really unhappy about the direction education is going: started w/NCLB and is magnified by common core. We're in a very good district. But my first grader doesn't have spelling words. They aren't in the curriculum. Her teacher is horrified by that. And so am I. They were taught to spell phoenetically last year in kindy. Now the expectation is that they will spell correctly. But there are not spelling words in the curriculum to teach them to spell correctly. Apparently they're just supposed to know how to do that. It is lunacy. Moreover, the expectations are much, much higher than they were for DS five years ago. She's reading a grade level ahead. But the barometer for what constitutes a particular grade level is ever-shifting. Her kindy work? Looked like what DS did in first grade. Her first grade work is more like DS's second grade work. I had 45 minutes of recess as a kid (3 fifteen minute recesses) and a decent lunch. She gets far more instruction time and far less down time, which is NOT a healthy way for small children to learn. 

Glenn Beck is a pompous, bombastic flame thrower, but I actually agreed with this: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/24/teachers-resignation-letter-after-25-years-describes-disturbing-era-in-public-schools/

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 5:18pm

QueenbeeNotaWannabee wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">bordwithyou</em> wrote:</div>&lt;p&gt;The whole language movement does seem to have mostly run its course.  The latest ideas seem to be well-intentioned but developmentally inappropriate for the youngest children.  That surprises me.  &lt;/p&gt;</blockquote></p><p>My DD's teacher (who has over 25 yrs of experience) is really unhappy about the direction education is going: started w/NCLB and is magnified by common core. We're in a very good district. But my first grader doesn't have spelling words. They aren't in the curriculum. Her teacher is horrified by that. And so am I. They were taught to spell phoenetically last year in kindy. Now the expectation is that they will spell correctly. But there are not spelling words in the curriculum to teach them to spell correctly. Apparently they're just supposed to know how to do that. It is lunacy. Moreover, the expectations are much, much higher than they were for DS five years ago. She's reading a grade level ahead. But the barometer for what constitutes a particular grade level is ever-shifting. Her kindy work? Looked like what DS did in first grade. Her first grade work is more like DS's second grade work. I had 45 minutes of recess as a kid (3 fifteen minute recesses) and a decent lunch. She gets far more instruction time and far less down time, which is NOT a healthy way for small children to learn. </p><p>Glenn Beck is a pompous, bombastic flame thrower, but I actually agreed with this: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/24/teachers-resignation-letter-after-25-years-describes-disturbing-era-in-public-schools/</p>

This is kind of my point.  Good teachers are exiting the schools and advising would be educators to choose some other career, any other career.   Families are choosing to avoid public schools in growing numbers.  The outcry isn't coming from just one side of the spectrum.  Liberals and conservatives alike are horrified by the situation.  It is time for a radical change.

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 5:31pm

This isn't testing related, but it is tangentially related ...

Our school system is facing major budget cuts this year -- to the tune of $1.8M. They've already tapped into reserves and were lucky enough that in the past few years, the cuts were minor, when other districts in the state were facing bigger cuts. This year it caught up to us.  The proposals on the table - most of which are being voted on at the school board meeting this evening -- are drastic and controversial.  But the board is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. They *have* to make the cuts. they don't have a choice. But much of the community is not in agreement that they've made wise choices as to where to cut.

That said, one of the items in the proposal, which would *supposedly* save $300K, is our block schedule. They're proposing to either do away with the block entirely, or go to a modified block.  The student, parents and teachers - myself included - are vehemently opposed to this.  There a huge student-led grass roots movement to "Keep the Block".  We got some enlightening news last week - the superintendent pulled the block schedule cut from the agenda for tonight's meeting because -- and here's where it gets good -- because the TEACHERS banded together and protested and asked to be given a chance to put forth a proposal of their own that would save the same $300K that cutting the block would.  

Our district isn't perfect. Far from it.  But things like the teachers' support here is one of the things that makes me love our district anyway.  I love that the teachers themselves are trying to do what's right for the kids' education.

Unfortunately, I suspect that if the block goes, some of the teachers will go as well.  :(  

Note: none of theese changes would go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year -- they'd be effective for 2015-2016. 

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 5:52pm

savcal2011 wrote:
<p>This isn't testing related, but it is tangentially related ...</p><p>Our school system is facing major budget cuts this year -- to the tune of $1.8M. They've already tapped into reserves and were lucky enough that in the past few years, the cuts were minor, when other districts in the state were facing bigger cuts. This year it caught up to us.  The proposals on the table - most of which are being voted on at the school board meeting this evening -- are drastic and controversial.  But the board is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. They *have* to make the cuts. they don't have a choice. But much of the community is not in agreement that they've made wise choices as to where to cut.</p><p>That said, one of the items in the proposal, which would *supposedly* save $300K, is our block schedule. They're proposing to either do away with the block entirely, or go to a modified block.  The student, parents and teachers - myself included - are vehemently opposed to this.  There a huge student-led grass roots movement to "Keep the Block".  We got some enlightening news last week - the superintendent pulled the block schedule cut from the agenda for tonight's meeting because -- and here's where it gets good -- because the TEACHERS banded together and protested and asked to be given a chance to put forth a proposal of their own that would save the same $300K that cutting the block would.  </p><p>Our district isn't perfect. Far from it.  But things like the teachers' support here is one of the things that makes me love our district anyway.  I love that the teachers themselves are trying to do what's right for the kids' education.</p><p>Unfortunately, I suspect that if the block goes, some of the teachers will go as well.  :(  </p><p>Note: none of theese changes would go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year -- they'd be effective for 2015-2016.  </p>

We are in a similar boat...have had to have cuts in previous years but this year they needed to cut about 25 million and next year on top of that another 23 million.  The cuts they have taken are are many teacher positions, whereas in earlier years they cut anyone else to not cut teachers (which is not that helpful when you cut the support people the teachers are doing more...but we didn't cut teachers!  Anyway, one thing they were going to cut was high school schedule changing from 6 classes to 7.  If they cut teachers it's easier for them to teach more classes.  I don't know how this makes sense unless they also cut planning time.  In the end they did not change the schedule, they made cuts elsewhere.  But next year, the same amount of cuts....ugh!  And there is a state law that says we can not increase funds from the city, even if the city wanted to give us more.  And our state has not raised student based allocation for schools in 4 years, not even to keep up with inflation.  And our state is not bankrupt, we have tons of money...it makes me angry that they will not spend more on education.  

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

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Registered: 03-22-2013
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 8:36pm

bordwithyou wrote:
<p>The whole language movement does seem to have mostly run its course.  The latest ideas seem to be well-intentioned but developmentally inappropriate for the youngest children.  That surprises me.  </p>

Interesting you should mention that.  I just saw this linked on Facebook:  http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/a-kindergartners-nightmare/?fb_action_ids=10152690143545299

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 9:55pm

bordwithyou wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">QueenbeeNotaWannabee</em> wrote:</div>&lt;p&gt;&lt;blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"&gt;&lt;div class="quote-author"&gt;&lt;em class="placeholder"&gt;bordwithyou&lt;/em&gt; wrote:&lt;/div&gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The whole language movement does seem to have mostly run its course.  The latest ideas seem to be well-intentioned but developmentally inappropriate for the youngest children.  That surprises me.  &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;My DD's teacher (who has over 25 yrs of experience) is really unhappy about the direction education is going: started w/NCLB and is magnified by common core. We're in a very good district. But my first grader doesn't have spelling words. They aren't in the curriculum. Her teacher is horrified by that. And so am I. They were taught to spell phoenetically last year in kindy. Now the expectation is that they will spell correctly. But there are not spelling words in the curriculum to teach them to spell correctly. Apparently they're just supposed to know how to do that. It is lunacy. Moreover, the expectations are much, much higher than they were for DS five years ago. She's reading a grade level ahead. But the barometer for what constitutes a particular grade level is ever-shifting. Her kindy work? Looked like what DS did in first grade. Her first grade work is more like DS's second grade work. I had 45 minutes of recess as a kid (3 fifteen minute recesses) and a decent lunch. She gets far more instruction time and far less down time, which is NOT a healthy way for small children to learn. &lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;Glenn Beck is a pompous, bombastic flame thrower, but I actually agreed with this: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/24/teachers-resignation-letter-after-25-years-describes-disturbing-era-in-public-schools/&lt;/p&gt;</blockquote></p><p>This is kind of my point.  Good teachers are exiting the schools and advising would be educators to choose some other career, any other career.   Families are choosing to avoid public schools in growing numbers.  The outcry isn't coming from just one side of the spectrum.  Liberals and conservatives alike are horrified by the situation.  It is time for a radical change.</p>

I agree, I believe the outcry is coming from everywhere and if one claims to not hear that outcry then they aren't paying very close attention to education today.  I'm also not really seeing the point in the states requring additonal testing to graduate from high school, why would that be needed if a high school is doing their job?

PumpkinAngel