Teachers refuse to give test, but aren’t there some tests that are worth giving?

crcted.0920 (Medium)Teachers in Seattle are taking a stand against standardized testing by refusing to administer a required district-wide test.

What’s odd to me is the test Seattle teachers are choosing to protest, which is the Measure of Academic Progress. The high performing City of Decatur Schools uses MAP testing as well, giving it three times a year to see where students begin, where they are mid-year and where they are at the end of the year.

My kids attend Decatur schools and are not intimidated by MAP testing as it has been part of their education for a long time.  Nor are they overly concerned with the scores, which they get instantly as the test is taken on a computer. I would be interested in what other Decatur parents out there think about MAP.

As to the comment within the news story below that algebra students see geometry on the test, my kids tell me that the challenge of the questions on the MAP test increases depending on how well a student is doing. If they get a question wrong, the test adapts and provides an easier question. Each time students answer a question, the test considers all questions taken so far to generate the next question. The tests respond to the achievement level of the student.

So, a student who is doing well will get harder and harder questions, including some that contain material they may not have seen in class. Decatur uses MAP scores to accelerate kids as well as remediate them.

I see the main value of MAP as diagnostic, allowing teachers to know where students are when they walk in the door. Teachers have told me it is valuable to get the information early in the school year.

I understand that schools are test weary, but question condemning test that measures student progress and pinpoints where students are falling behind. I would prefer that we focus on repetitive tests that give no new information.

I also think we have to be careful not to denigrate testing without acknowledging that testing also helps students recognize their own potential. I have interviewed people over the years who first considered college because of how well they scored on some test. In most cases, the people came from families without a history of college attendance and weren’t raised from the cradle with the expectation that they would earn a college degree.

As reported by NPR:

Students in Seattle Public Schools take a test called the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, up to three times a year, from kindergarten through at least ninth grade. The school district requires the test to measure how well students are doing in reading and math — in addition to annual standardized tests required by the state.

The MAP test is used as part of the teacher-evaluation process, and it’s supposed to help teachers gauge students’ progress.

“We’ve lost a whole lot of class time. I don’t know what the test was about, and I just see no use for it at all,” says Kit McCormick, who teaches English at Garfield High School.

McCormick says teachers are never allowed to see the test, so she has no idea how to interpret her students’ scores.

“So I’m not going to do it. But I’d be happy to have my students evaluated in a way that would be meaningful for both them and me,” she says. Instead of this kind of high-stakes testing, teachers at Garfield propose that student learning be judged by portfolios of their work.

The school’s academic dean, Kris McBride, was supposed to administer the test this week. Instead, she’s standing behind the teachers. McBride says a major problem with the test is that it doesn’t seem to align with district or state curricula.

“In fact, our Algebra 1 students go in and sit in front of a computer and take this math test. It’s filled with geometry; it’s filled with probability and statistics and other things that aren’t a part of the curriculum at all,” she says.

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda says the teachers are expected to fulfill their responsibilities.

He says the MAP test’s frequency is useful in making sure students are learning what they should be but has invited teachers to take part in a formal district review of its effectiveness. That still doesn’t let them off the hook from administering the test, though.

“In the meantime, they have duties they’re supposed to complete, making sure that this assessment is given,” he says. Banda says instead of boycotting the MAP test, teachers should work with the district to find solutions to their concerns.

–from Maureen Downey for the AJC Get Schooled blog

114 comments Add your comment

testing needs to be vetted

January 18th, 2013
10:59 am

But Maureen – the test is measuring elements that are not addressed in the curriculum. The main point that has been expressed in multiple articles about this schools is not that the teachers don’t want testing – they want tests that reflect the curriculum. They also want tests to be vetted for strong questions – our own CRCTs and EOCTs contain flawed questions. On top of that, there is the opening a can of worms idea that tying a teacher’s pay to a test containing questions about topics they don’t teach is horrible at best.

The teachers are not boycotting all tests; they are boycotting this one for strong reasons. Why can’t teachers be more involved in making the state assessments they are being evaluated on? The idea of a test that my kids take at the beginning, middle, and end is awesome – if it’s vetted properly, contains topics I follow from the curriculum, and can provide timely and well-defined reports that can show me where my students’ weaknesses are.

Stand Strong Seattle Teachers

January 18th, 2013
11:10 am

Who knows the students best?

Who has to deal with the student’s daily?

Not these jerks making a fortune from the for-profit educatonal world!

How much does this MAP testing cost, per student, per year? Who gets the kick-backs?

I wish more APS employees would step up and stop putting up with the BS, like their collegues in Seattle!

Maybe then we would have received 24 checks for the 2012 school year!

Maybe then we’d still have a day off in February to handle personal issues rather than going to another poorly executed teacher “training” day!

Maybe, just maybe, we’d all band together and argue for a cost of living pay increase, which we haven’t seen in over 5 years!

Last time I checked, groceries and gas hasn’t gotten any cheaper since 2007.

Sadly, our only option is to walk away….It’s your children who suffer because of this Atlanta!

paulo977

January 18th, 2013
11:25 am

DO READ MAUREEN ….”http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/ftt.htm

paulo977

January 18th, 2013
11:33 am

Stand Strong Seattle
Teachers …
_________________________
Great great post !
http://www.alfiekohn.org/books/tcast.htm

d

January 18th, 2013
11:43 am

1) I think the tests that we give in Georgia need to be written by Georgia teachers. DeKalb paid $1.2 Million to Pearson to write their benchmarks (from RTTT funds). Why not pay DeKalb teachers who know the curriculum to write the questions – and put that money into the local economy?
2) We need to require that students pass EOCTs to actually graduate – 20% of the grade isn’t that big of an impact so starting with the class of 2015, students only need to pass one exit test – the state Writing test. I’ve seen students pass that test who still cannot write a complete sentence.
3) I actually like what we are doing in the classes that have SLO tests. Pre-test, post-test. We actually get to see if the student made progress in the course rather than how I am evaluated – did a student “grow” between two totally unrelated courses.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
11:45 am

The way it used to be done was one test at the end of the year to track / record progress, show standing. The was considerable autonomy, like when you go to the doctor and get an annual blood test and then the results, “Maybe less salt, lay off the parmesan cheese?”
_____________

Today, in lower socio-economic environment schools, kids are threatened with testing. Literally, as a part of instructional time or learning, “if you do not pass the test, required score of 815 (or somesuch) THIS will happen.” Kids are threatened with testing. It’s like… there’s a term for it, emotional coercion, “Pedagogic coercion may be applied within a strictly educational context, and it is then mostly directed towards children.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coercion

Actually, the word I was thinking of is “extortion.”

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
11:48 am

This fits and, in my experience, is accurate: “Emotional blackmail is a form of psychological manipulation – it is “the use of a system of threats and punishment on a person by someone close to them in an attempt to control their behavior” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_blackmail

“”emotional blackmail” is a powerful form of manipulation in which blackmailers who are close to the victim threaten, either directly or indirectly, to punish them to get what they want.”

“Emotional blackmailers use fear, obligation and guilt in their relationships, ensuring that the victim feels afraid to cross them, obligated to give them their way and feeling guilty if they don’t”

BehindEnemyLines

January 18th, 2013
11:54 am

Seems like pretty obvious grounds for dismissal, and with all due haste.

Centrist

January 18th, 2013
11:55 am

Teachers get to override policy made by school boards and professional administrators who hire them?

If this stands and they are not fired for gross insubordination, other school boards and administrations will be challenged on this and many other grievances – until there are swift and certain repercussions.

HS Public Teacher

January 18th, 2013
11:59 am

Cannot we all realize how out-of-control this standardized testing craze is going?

We have…… end-of-course testing (these are State required multiple tests for different subjects), checkpoints testing which is a pre-test and post-test (to see how students are ‘progressing’ required by our school system), SAT (for students wanting to get into college, ACT (for students wanting to go to college), PSAT (for students getting ready for the SAT), etc.

These are on top of the regular class tests and regular final exams each semester.

Issues:
1. Too much time simply TAKING tests rather than learning.
2. Tests that are not properly aligned with what we are told to teach.
3. Cost associated with tests (creating test, grading test, etc.).

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
11:59 am

Here is a little puzzle I have spent no lack of time contemplating: Teachers do not know what is on the tests. Teachers are prohibited from viewing the test. There are very few prior tests to be in the hands of teachers and you have to be connected to even gain access to prior tests to see the concept.

Basically, there’s three parts to it.
1. That state standards, common core, whatever: the content guidelines per subject / grade.
2. the content materials the teacher uses for teaching, often assembled by the teacher due to no provision.
3. the test.

Do the three line up? Which one is the outlier? It is an awkward thing.

Another aspect, with tests be “secret” and no access based on the rational of cheating, there is little scholarship on what is in the tests. This includes, are their psychologic monitoring questions? Do the test questions even make sense, what is the quality of the presentation? Any responsible educator would want to know this. Currently it is like giving kids a vaccination and you do not know what is in the syringe. Teachers are prohibited from even looking onto a students desk at the test. Teachers are not to see the content of the tests. This must too apply to academics wanting to do scholarship on it. Off-limits, not to be accessed.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
12:08 pm

When I recently tutored an adult student in math for an online class with Peason brand software (Peason is a UK and also now owns the Georgia teacher certification testing, which they did not write, they bought the fomerly independent company that used to provide it), in the online math class, the test questions were all over the place and, in my opinion – and this is with one package course all provided by the same company, the test questions did not well match the unit activities. Additionally the included “e-book” textbook was not searchable and did not have an index, either, and the chapter headings were not very specific. This was a train-wreck from a big company, THE big company.

Pearson is doing what Microsoft used to do at software writers’ conventions, go around with a checkbook and buy up other companies / providers.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
12:10 pm

pardon the typos. this laptop is fried. the keyboard is uneven and now the display is out / using outside monitor. ‘already ordered a different machine.

Cindy Lutenbacher

January 18th, 2013
12:15 pm

Maureen, I’m glad that your kids and others you’ve interviewed seem unharmed or even “helped” by some tests. I really am. I wonder if you have sought out kids and families who’ve been harmed by some tests? I’m thinking right now of two of my daughter’s best friends. Have you read the many, many reports and tomes by independent scholars about such tests?
Remember, friends, I absolutely believe in authentic assessments. Standardized tests don’t measure up. At all.
Thanks for the link, Paulo977.

Lee

January 18th, 2013
12:18 pm

Several adages come to mind:

“The boss is not always right, but he is always the boss.”

“He who signs the paycheck gets to make the rules.”

“Choose your battles wisely.”

My guess, after the first pink slip is handed out, there will be a flurry of test taking in Seattle.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
12:18 pm

Point is, too, there is a style to presentation and questions. I’ve seen where different textbook publishers present the same “standards” information in different ways, even using different terms for the same content. Before, I had taught a concept using three different sources and this is how I saw different concept presentations from different publishers. So who even knows what is on “the test.” I think it is a weird experience for kids to taught one way and then testing using voice / presentation that is from an uncoordinated outside source from the classroom materials. Someone needs to locate a “tell all” book from someone working in a testing company. More than a decade ago I had dinner with a friend who worked in one of the major school textbooks publishing houses and she said, “There is not a person in that building who makes less than $75k/yr” and this was a decade ago. And she’s buying the big jumbo shrimp and driving the new Honda car and taking her little dog for hiking trips. -Not exactly a teacher’s life.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

January 18th, 2013
12:18 pm

I read this as wanting to go ahead and shift to performance assessments aligned with Grant Wiggins Understanding by Design template.

There is a great deal of hostility among certain teachers and administrators to ANY test of decontextualized knowledge. John Goodlad has been at U of Washington preaching his vision of education for about 25 years now. If those teachers were not taught by him they were trained by someone who was.

I think Washington is like Georgia and is scheduled to start piloting those performance assessments next year. The mentioned portfolio would be a performance assessment. Task, activity, project, paper. No disembodied facts.

Lucky me spent part of yesterday reading reports from UCLA’s CRESST center, especially from Eva Baker. To say I have a solid understanding of what is coming and why under PARCC and SBAC would be putting it mildly.

Until I did that though I had not grasped the connection of CRESST to Goodlad’s days as DEan of the ed school there. His desire for alternative measures to show what students can do, instead of what they know, is about to be fully nationalized. He must be pleased.

So these teachers think MAP does not matter for the same reasons Beverly Hall and her staff ignored allegations of cheating. They did not think Georgia’s CRCT measured what they wanted going on in the classrooms. These Seattle teachers feel the same way.

We are truly in the twilight of widespread knowledge unless parents understand that and intervene.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
12:27 pm

Centrist Time for to read the essay “Civil Disobedience” by Thoreau. “Walden” is not just the name of an apartment complex of condominium development. http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html

“I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”;(1) and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.”

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
12:37 pm

Looks like “testing” might work in a small sophisticated district where the whole concept of gluing together the standards / source materials / testing is done in a competent manner by sophisticated managers.

Unfortunately, there is little consistency across the state and these are hardly the conditions many places, something woefully lost on the national and state leadership.
_____________________________

Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance
________________

Let us not forget than Finland has zero macro-testing and they have the highest performance in demonstrated competence of students.

“Testing culture” seems like food culture. In one country, noodles in the thing, in another, potatoes, in another, lentils and curry, and in another, everybody loves fried chicken.

In the U. S., testing culture seems to go well with money / power / domination / directing people what to do and keeping power structure as a norm. That’s really what it is about, power and who has it. Whose on the bottom., whose on the top, who gets the money, and who is forced to role-play.

FlaTony

January 18th, 2013
12:40 pm

The unfortunate thing about these tests is the misuse of the information after the tests are given. Teachers will be required to develop reports and lesson plans to show how the results are being used to differentiate instruction – even when it makes no sense to spend time doing that. The testing company makes an easy profit each year when we renew our contracts/license agreements for these “progress monitoring” tools, too. They are a waste of time and money.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
12:42 pm

Lee, Washington state also just legalised marijuana. Don’t be surprised if they do something progressive regarding testing. Are they politically alive there?

Go back to sleep now, Georgians. It’s got nothing to do with you and you’ll be glad to know that you’ll keep it that way.

Just Another Teacher

January 18th, 2013
12:44 pm

I sort of go the other way on this. First of all, testing may not be Man O’ War, but may still be the best horse on the track. It has its purposes. Though certainly it does seem lately to be used as a crutch by systems and politicians who are out of ideas. If you can’t control the students or the parents, create a test and apply the fulcrum under the teachers’ behinds, so to speak.

That being said, a lot of teachers are clamoring for tests they themselves create. That is a decidedly bad notion, I think. First of all, most systems want to apply the normal grading scale to teacher generated assessments, which doesn’t really work.

There is a reason why 50% is a decent score on most standardized tests. Even people with PhD’s and world enough and time to create “ideal” assessments don’t create assessments featuring novel material that would pass the accepted 70% for a passing grade standard. Furthermore, most systems can’t afford the time it takes to continually assess and rewrite assessments to eliminate bad items.

The truth is, almost no teacher gets adequate training on how to create objectice assessments of novel material. Many of us don’t consistently create great assessments of material we have already taught. And this doesn’t even factor in the grading component of the equation, which is another elephant in the parlor no one wishes to address. I know of many students who ace standardized tests created by outside sources and fail every single teacher generated districtwide test. You don’t know how the sausage is made.

Michael Moore

January 18th, 2013
1:02 pm

In Georgia, the schools that have bought into MAP (and it ain’t cheap) give at minimum the three MAP tests during the year. Then there are the quarterly CRCT tests. the ONLY reason we aren’t testing K-2 is because we ran out of money…seriously. Add the occasional ITBS and the mandatory technology test and you have what Smagorinsky estimates as a 20-60 billion dollar business nationally. We are on a year to year with McGraw Hill who has made our tests for the past seven years at least. Add in all the test prep time and the test pep rallies and this problem increases exponentially.
Education is a developing market and the state has been replaced by entrepreneurs who who make fracking look like a kid playing in the sandbox. Testing, remediation, teacher development and materials and you have a wild wild west in education. Anyone who has ever done a textbook in the last ten years simply pasts a “Common Core Ready” sticker on it and off it goes.
The question isn’t whether some tests are worthwhile…the real question is whether any test should be high stakes by itself.

Lee

January 18th, 2013
1:16 pm

@PC, re “That government is best which governs least…”

I prefer the following:

“Government is like fire. A useful servant, but left unattended, will leave ashes and bodies in its wake.”

LD

January 18th, 2013
1:24 pm

@ Michael Moore – CRCT is administered once per year in the spring, not quarterly.

And after speaking with teachers and administrators in my children’s schools, SOME standardized tests are useful in determining strengths and weaknesses of not only individual students, but also of teachers. I do think we need to ensure that assessments are relevant, but we also need to stop using standardize tests as the end all be all of assessing students, teachers, and schools.

HS Public Teacher

January 18th, 2013
1:38 pm

@LD -

No test taken by students can measure a teacher. This has been proven repeatedly. There are many explanations as to why. Some include:

1. Students have different maturing rates. Obviously girls mature faster than boys. But, some girls mature faster than other girls. Are we really saying that to measure the effect of a TEACHER may depend on how mature the students are taking the test? Remember that an immature student might decide to not pay attention, not take the test seriously, and so on.

2. Students may intentionally submarine the test. In other words, for whatever reason, students may purposefully mark wrong answers. Maybe they think it is funny. Maybe they are having a bad day. Maybe whatever – they are kids. Are you saying that THESE test results are a measure of teaching?

Tests results ONLY can attempt to measure what the test TAKER does. Period.

There is no analogy to this in industry. In the corporate world, you are measured on what YOU do – not on someone else (unless you are the big boss or the like where you are managing adults – but then you get to fire them if they are not performing).

Grumps

January 18th, 2013
1:50 pm

There has to be an objective measurement. Test when they start, then test when they leave. Otherwise, how do you know what or if they’ve learned? Oh, you say, they’ve learned because I, the teacher, say they’ve learned. Trust me………

10:10 am

January 18th, 2013
1:55 pm

Time for Seattle parents to send these militant teachers, and their union reps, back to their prior jobs waiting tables.

Grumps

January 18th, 2013
1:58 pm

In addition, don’t use the tests to evaluate the teacher.. except maybe as a statistical whole. For example, if the tests show that nobody improved at all, doesn’t that indicate a problem somewhere?

HS Public Teacher

January 18th, 2013
1:59 pm

@Grumps -

Why do think that there MUST be an objective measurement? Can you explain?

We are talking not just about people in general (which have enough variables in them), but about children.

And, not just children. Think about how different the children are in the northern suburbs of Atlanta compared to the inner city. Do you REALLY think that there is a single test that can be given to account for that variability?

The SAT and the ACT are given to high school teenagers trying to go to college. These tests have been around for DECADES. Even though these kids are generally older, even these tests have flaws in them. And, even these tests do not claim to meaure the teacher AT ALL! They measure the test taker.

However, we in Georgia (of course) think that the State DOE can whip up some multiple choice tests given to all different ages of kids from all backgrounds to measure the teacher – give me a break!

indigo

January 18th, 2013
2:04 pm

And the social experiments just keep coming.

Have teachers finally had enough of this?

HS Public Teacher

January 18th, 2013
2:04 pm

What if…… (and stay with me here)

A school administration has a cousin as a teacher – such as in my school. Do you REALLY think that when it comes to assigning classes to teachers that they will give that cousin ‘bad’ or ’stupid’ kids? Heck no!

So then, here comes your test. Her ‘good’ or ’smart’ kids take the test and ace it! This means she is a GREAT TEACHER?

Or how about the reverse? What if the administration hates an individual teacher? To get rid of her, won’t they just assign her the ‘bad’ or ’slow’ kids?

Here comes your test. And her kids score low. Does this mean she is a BAD TEACHER?

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:04 pm

The last school test calendar I saw (many districts publish these – someone should link to a .pdf) had, like, 20 days of testing. In my former environment, there were tests during the year, prior to the end of year. That’s when it gets weird, when “test culture” becomes the culture in the school, through the speakers, through the announcements. I did not like it at all, it is a form of domination, it is distracting, it is mono-culture and takes up a lot of bandwidth.

When I was in high school we had one test at the end of the year. I scored around 92% in my subject area. Otherwise, there was no testing and there was never an administrator in the classroom, in fact, there were hardly no administrators. There was a headmaster and one counselor and the counselor did not have to hand hold people about their future. If you wanted to go to college, hey – pick your college and apply.

In class, we sat around and read and stuff. And did lots of math, sequentially, not mixed up. And had both visual art and music as electives. And good food and lots of quiet. I recall students had to buy their own paperback novels for English class, were given a list. Made sense – all the way around. Administrators? I can only recall one headmaster, one counselor, and a school secretary, for about 400 students. Distance learning degrees, for-profit and leadership degrees did not exist. There was basically no outside propaganda, none. No one was trying to “change how we thought.” Teachers were not harassed and were a pretty loving jovial bunch. There was basically zero stress in the school environment.

Sandy Springs Parent

January 18th, 2013
2:06 pm

It is just like it is absurd to do Homework questions in Physics in an A B C D format on a computer format. Now my daughter is dual Enrollment at Georgia Perimeter and the Algebra teachers are being required to have the students do their homework in the same stupid on-line program where you answer A,B, C, D. The answers are so close, it brings doubt. Both of these subjects the homework should be graded on how the student sets up the work and works through the problem. Partial credit should be given. My daughter’s math Professor says he hates this on-line system, but he is forced to use it.

Now my daughter wonders why, I wanted her to go to a small private college. Not only are their more scholarships and grants, but Professors are allowed to teach and grade.

HS Public Teacher

January 18th, 2013
2:07 pm

@indigo – Yep. I’ve had enough. I’ve already resigned for next year. I’ll no longer teach in Georgia. EVER!

Just A Teacher

January 18th, 2013
2:10 pm

“Seems like pretty obvious grounds for dismissal, and with all due haste.”

“Time for Seattle parents to send these militant teachers, and their union reps, back to their prior jobs waiting tables.”

What people who post comments like this don’t realize is that replacing thousands of teachers overnight is impossible. This is why we teachers in Georgia need unions; not to boycott tests, but to let the state government and our local school systems know that if they mess with one of us, they need to be prepared to run their schools without any of us. Teachers need collective bargaining rights in Georgia NOW!

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:11 pm

I’d say there is no question that testing culture displaces learning priority / time. If you’re teachers are so sorry that they require testing domination, that’s an entirely different matter.

So you master what’s on the test? What about the rest of life? Knowledge is not pre-pack like Big Mac. Have you ever eaten a Big Mac lately? It’s a ball of mush. “It’s a good time for the great taste of McDonald’s” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UWq26V01po

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:14 pm

The other part is that the “everybody must go to college” theme in the U. S. is clearly a feeder system to debt slavery. Current existent education debt is one trillion dollars. Let us not forget it is an investment banker that initially appointed Arne Duncan to power (truth and fact).

Folks, it’s so simple to see through, even a child could do it.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:18 pm

10:10 a.m. You did not get the same schooling that I got. We were not taught to belong and behave. But I can probably run circles around you in calculus and physics, no disrespect intended.

HS Public Teacher

January 18th, 2013
2:19 pm

@Sandy Springs Parent – I hate it as well. However, it is a necessary evil in high school. The reason is because the job requirements for a teacher in high school have become out-of-control. Most teachers of math and science in high school work 12 to 14 hours a day.

During school hours, any time we are not with the students, we are in meetings – and this includes our lunch time. We have no real ‘planning period’ because we have meetings, and other duties. Before school and after school we have bus duty and my school requires us to sponsor a club after school. So, teachers get home at around 6 or 7 PM. THEN we get to plan for the next day’s lessons. How do we have time to actually go through and evaluate each students each problem in order to give partial credit????

Science teachers also have the joy of finding lab equipment, preparation for labs, and then breaking down the labs and cleaning the equipment. Can you imagine?

Oh yeah – and we do have our own families, too. But too bad that they are an after thought!

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:22 pm

abstract note: hey, I made an “A” in a graduate-level statistics course and the professor’s resume was 25 pages long. Boy, that guy had some kind of resume.

v

January 18th, 2013
2:25 pm

These test were installed by politician in a desperate effort to address a false idea that US students were somehow less well educated than students internationally. Recently those who always knew all of this was completely bogus have been vindicated by a serious study of the international test. In many areas around the world education ends for students who are unable to move forward in their grade. When you exclude all of these students and then compare that system to the US system of educating everyone of course they will look smarter. But they are not. That is why requiring attendance for twelve years actually made the problem appear worse. The train wreck that is US education was caused by politicians. The endless assessment tests, state, local, whatever, whoever wants one this time cost 10 or more days of instruction each semester. In the Seattle situation teaching to the test is necessary which takes away even more instructional days. My kids are out of school now but a few years back they seemed to spend about half their time at school preparing for and taking these tests. Fortunately they succeed anyway. They did learn a lot about test taking strategies. One or two assessments per grading period is enough, and that should be available to students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Everyone else should be looking at sanitized data to determine the progress of the school. The testing craziness needs to end. NOW is a good time to end this contrived solution to a contrived problem.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:26 pm

“During school hours, any time we are not with the students, we are in meetings”

Yes, what the hell is that about? It’s like there’s no gatekeeper, and there’s ten tons of this peripheral brain-washing stuff. Teacher-core is used as an on-demand audience for all kinds of crap profiting somebody else. Sisyphus pushes the rock up the hill. The rock rolls back down and crushes Sisyphus.

Michael Moore

January 18th, 2013
2:34 pm

In many districts in georgia, like Chatham County, the crct is given quarterly. It is a version of the test designed to give administrators a heads up on what to expect at the end. It is part of the McGraw Hill package and many places give it at the end of each quarter.

teacher&mom

January 18th, 2013
2:35 pm

Another viewpoint regarding standardized testing and the unintentional consequences of the testing movement:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/01/18/whos-next/

Natalie

January 18th, 2013
2:36 pm

Read more in-depth explanation from one of the teachers leading this movement at http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2020158085_jessehagopianopedxml.html#.UPmidPUTNTw.facebook. Note that this is not just about a few “rebel” teachers who refused; they went about this in a ‘democratic’ fashion, the teachers voted, the PTSA and student governments voted to support them. While they have objections to the testing culture and to the MAP specifically, their concerns are also also about the cost of the test and the fact that the former brought the MAP to Seattle at a cost of some $4 million while she was serving on the board of the company that sells it. They’re also concerned about the fact that computer labs are taken up for weeks, taking away from academic opportunities for kids who need them (especially those that don’t have kids at home)… in other words, the testing – by costing so much, by using resources and times – causes harm.

10:10 am

January 18th, 2013
2:42 pm

Hey, Private Citizen, why not find a second hobby? Maybe get off your mom’s computer and even make some outside friends?

Would be healthy for you … and give the rest of us a welcome break.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:45 pm

This started out as fun, but I think there is something to it. If you think about McDonald’s is one of the biggest restaurants in the world re: market penetration, I seriously believe testing is being applied in the same way and education is the platform for this business strategy. If you see it any differently, I think you may be a little naive. Point is, testing is not to enhance education, it is a business exploit.

Here is a YouTube video critical of McDonald’s. I used translation link to translate the comments from Portuguese into English. Warning: strong language. Do not watch if you have an aversion or objection to expressive use of strong language. http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pt&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3FNR%3D1%26v%3DLIUN87xkC-I

Globalization, baby! Testing included.

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
2:55 pm

10:10, I think you’ve got the “rest of us” part backwards. I’m a licensed teacher. You’re welcome to participate, and generally I do not play games with territoriality. :-) touché (a formal term from fencing).

Maybe you should get a teaching license. I bet your fuses would be blown when you started to encounter the process. ‘Not trying to be a wise guy. Maybe I’ll just shut-p for a while. The question remains, though. Who defends the public good?

Private Citizen

January 18th, 2013
3:03 pm

teacher&mom that’s a very smart Washington Post article describing externalities (invented costs) of testing culture. I read about 1/3 of the article and had to stop. It really hits home, leaves you stunned. Good find and “too real.” Can’t say enough about it.