Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tenure and Test Scores

Correct me if I am wrong, but those standardized tests kids take in fourth and eighth grade don't just test what they learned that year, they test all they have been learned up to that point, right? So, when a child does poorly on the exam, if we are going to hold teachers accountable, not only should the current teacher be held accountable, but every previous teacher should be held accountable as well. And, while we are at it, how about the principals and the assistant principals that were satisfied with the work the previous teachers had done. They have got to be at fault as well.

There are problems in education and everyone, teachers included, need to be held accountable for doing their part to help students learn, grow and flourish. Test scores are not the answer.


Ricochet said...

You are right that the blame for a poor performance goes back more than one year. Without some form of standardized testing how would you know who needs remediation and what they need remediation on?

Rather than blaming teachers for poor performance, what if we took the standardized tests and used those to track the students' classes for the next year.

I am not talking tracking in the sense it has been used in the past, but as a year-by-year plan. If Group A cannot multiply, put them all together so you can work on that skill. If Group B has mastered everything that was expected, why not group them so that group moves a little faster?

I'm sure there are flaws in this plan - as there are in most plans - but doesn't this give us the start on correcting the problem? What we are doing is fixing anything.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, when I first came into teaching, students were tracked into certain levels. Homogeneous classes were formed so teachers were able to work with that group of students with the same strengths and weaknesses. Why in God's name did they change it when it did work? With the advent of inclusion programs and the beginning of differentiated instruction, teachers now have to focus on the various levels of skills in a heterogeneous class and create lessons to meet each of those students' educational needs. It's mindboggling! Those teachers who have been in the system a very long time, and have seen every innovation of teaching and learning come down the pike will attest that what's happening NOW in these classes is NOT working. We need to back to common sense for the children's sake and for the sake of the teachers' career.

Mr. W said...

they changed it because they didn't want the students to feel like they were in the "dumb" class. We didn't want to hurt their self-esteem so we threw them all together.

They might not be learning anything, but their self-esteem sure is high.

NYC Educator said...

You're right, of course. However, the chances of anyone being held accountable for anything rapidly diminish as the tests become so preposterously easy that they're nothing but tools for the mayor to declare what a great job he's doing.

I forget which grade it was, but one of those tests was so easy that a reporter was able to achieve level 2 by not looking at the questions and writing A, B, C, D in sequence until she finished the test.