Monday, August 02, 2010

The Truth As I See It

I'm no expert on elementary school or middle school testing. Heck, I have little to no idea as to what is involved in their curriculum either. What I am an expert in is teaching high school math. Never, in all my years of teaching, have I seen students coming to high school as ill prepared as they have during the reign of the Education Mayor Bloomberg and his side kick Chancellor Klein. Never before have I seen kids deemed proficient in math by scoring 29 out of a possible 89 (or something like that) points on a regents. Never before have I seen things like credit recovery where kids can make up a whole terms work by doing some Mickey Mouse assignments or warming a seat for a few hours.

Let's forget about finding a cure, having small classes, giving kids what they really need to learn. Let's keep blaming the tests and teachers and making excuses as the Laurel and Hardy seem to be doing.


Jim McClain said...

They get kicked up to middle school with the same test scores.

Anonymous said...

Okay..I can speak to this.
The "powers that be" decided first to put us on Trailblazers and then EveryDay Math. These programs do not believe in teaching skills, and their concepts are thrown in helter-skelter.

When my 5th-grade first got the program, the teachers met during the summer to try to figure it out---and we couldn't. We had to meet during the summer because our school wasn't offering any development on it. We had to find someone from another school to explain how the program functions. Once we learned that, we had to learn the lessons which were outrageous. These programs don't believe in teaching adding and subtracting using exchange. And multiplication is taught by a grid. Skills are forbidden! I had to teach the multiplication table behind closed doors. Thankfully our principal recognized the pitfalls and ordered skill books too.

My niece in NJ can't do math because of this program. Parents are not allowed to show them how they learned.

Bring back the old-fashioned texts, but most of all, give us many more weeks to teach one particular concept on a topic instead of the 3-5 day calendar. Trying to explain equivalent fractions in 2 lessons is so unfair before going into reducing fractions. Each concept needs to be mastered fully.

The same holds for ELA. When Klein came in, phonics went out.
Schools that just purchased the new Open Court series were told that they needed to buy different texts approved by the DoE. Columbia was in, now it's out. Most schools are back on Open Court. Not my favorite because I personally liked the balance of a phonics, basal and workshop model.

Money was made at the expense of getting a good education.

Anonymous said...

Just a note to suggest you correct the spelling error in the second line of this post. (shouldn't be "know," but "no.")

Pissed Off said...

Thank you--I hate when I make those mistakes.