Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nobody Does It Better


When it comes to wasting money and time and then more money, no one does it better than the New York City Department of Education.  Now, if you happen to be a McGraw Hill stockholder, or a city bureaucrat with ties to that company, I am sure you are vehemently disagreeing with me.

Today was Acuity test day for the algebra classes.  The kids got to spend a period bubbling answers to questions most not only had no clue as to how to answer, but had no clue as to what the question was asking.  The test predominantly covered material they will be taught this term.  The good kids were frustrated.  I don't like being given questions I can't answer and they felt the same.  The not so good kids just bubbled anything and used the period as an excuse to do no work.

We gave Acuity tests to the same kids in June and we never saw those results.  They performed as they did today. 

I have been told that these tests are given so teachers can determine what their students know or do not know. I know that the kids don't know how to graph or how to recognize a parabola.  That work is in this year's curriculum.  They haven't been exposed to yet.  Besides, I am the teacher.  I evaluate what my students know or do not know on a daily basis.  McGraw Hill is being paid thousands of dollars to do what teachers do daily.  The big difference is they are not doing a very good job and teachers are not making the money the execs at this big company make.

Money is tight, budgets are stretched to the limit but McGraw Hill and its stockholders are still doing well.

Where is the accountability for all this wasted time and money? 

3 comments:

NYC Educator said...

I wonder if these are the tests they're considering to rate teachers.

Pissed Off said...

I don't think so, but anything is possible. Giving a test no one can pass is a good way to cleanse the system of teachers.

NYC Educator said...

Well, if you give tests in the beginning of the year about which kids know nothing, and then you give the same test at the end of the year, you can show your "value-added."

All you need to do is drill the kids endlessly as though your job depends on it, which it does, and give absolutely no attention whatsoever to anything that won't appear on the test. That's the Bill Gates way.