State moves away from using test scores to assess schools but moves closer to using them for teachers

crcted.0920 (Medium)Since we are talking about standardized testing related to the teacher letter in an earlier blog today, I want to share a good AJC piece by my colleague Nancy Badertscher.

I recommended some experts for the story and am glad to see two of them in the piece.

My only caveat to the views expressed by State School Superintendent John Barge about an over reliance on testing: While Georgia may be de-emphasizing test scores in its assessments of schools, it is about to start emphasizing those same scores in its assessment of teachers.

So, I am not sure we have changed the game plan in any meaningful way.

Here is an excerpt: (Please note that this story is part of the AJC’s new premium site, MyAJC.com, which is free through mid May. Take a look at the full story and the nifty new site.)

John Barge was working in Bartow County Schools when a high school student had a panic attack trying to pass the graduation test and a fourth-grader became so stressed taking the CRCT he drew blood stabbing his arm with a pencil.

“I believed well before the Atlanta cheating issue that we place far too much importance on high-stakes tests to determine a student’s abilities, as well as a school’s quality,” said Barge, Georgia’s state school superintendent since 2011.

Some education leaders and researchers — including Barge — say it is time — if not past time — for a national debate on whether high-stakes tests are having the uplifting effects that were promised.

High-stakes tests, such as Georgia’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), are expected to play a central role in the criminal investigation of cheating in Atlanta Public Schools. Former Superintendent Beverly Hall received more than $580,000 in pay bonuses above her annual pay in the 12 years she worked for the district, based on academic goals laid out in her contract, and she is suspected of creating a culture of cheating, using threats and bonuses.

According to the nonprofit advocacy group Fair Test: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, cheating involving high-stakes testing has been confirmed in Texas, Ohio, 35 other states and the District of Columbia.

Standardized tests are nothing new in public education. But they took on added significance with the passage of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, determining, for instance, whether a student moves up a grade or graduates from high school. Proponents argue that the tests can improve student achievement and narrow the achievement gap between racial groups. They say that students, knowing the potential consequences, take the tests more seriously and work harder, and that the results allow teachers to more quickly assess when students and schools are struggling and need extra help.

Critics argue that high-stakes testing creates a pressure-filled “teaching to the test” climate that puts aside real learning and increases the dropout rate, largely among low-income minority students.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and former state school board chairman, said, “You’ve got to have a measurement system.”  Still, in light of the cheating scandal, Isakson said he believes high-stakes testing is “certainly something we should take a look at. But if you are going to take that away, you’ve got to tell me what the substitute is.”

Alfie Kohn, author of “Feel-Bad Education” and other books, said “we’re at least 20 years overdue for a serious national conversation about the damage that corporate-style, test-driven school ‘reform’ has done to our children and our public schools.. Unfortunately, those who know the least about how kids learn have the most power. And they want to continue the test-based status quo regardless of whether they’re Democrats or Republicans.”

Many educators feel “they must boost scores by hook or by crook,” said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for Fair Test. “As with any profession, the more the pressure to produce unrealistic results ratchets up, the more people feel compelled to cross the ethical line,” Schaeffer said.

Georgia’s focus on high-stakes test is evolving — somewhat. On one hand, the state is phasing out the make-or-break high school graduation test in favor of a series of tests taken throughout high school. On the other, it’s rolling out a new teacher-evaluation system that factors in how a teacher’s students show growth through standardized tests.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

110 comments Add your comment

Charles Douglas Edwards

April 10th, 2013
12:27 pm

State School Superintendent John Barge is correct in stating our over reliance on testing !!!

Maude

April 10th, 2013
12:37 pm

My students were given the beginning of the year test in December and the end of year test last week. How can the test scores show a years growth?? These test scores will be used as part of my evaluation. With the Christmas, MLK, and Winter Breaks also no contact with students on 3 teacher professional training days the students did not get solid months of instruction between the testing dates. I am not a magic I cannot teach the brighest student a years worth of knowledge in that amount of time!!! Oh, yes lets count the days of testing when I could not teach. Three test Reading, Language Arts and Math that is 6 more days of no instruction. This does not include Mock CRCT and other required test days. Of course there is no instruction during CRCT testing. The system is cheating the children and teachers all those days of teaching, oh well, at least I still get paid for baby sitting on those days. But what do the children get from those wasted days????

Progressive Humanist

April 10th, 2013
12:37 pm

Tests can be very effective at measuring learning in certain areas. The picture gets a lot more complicated when you assert that they measure teaching. Yes, teaching and learning are intricately related, but they are not the same exact same thing, and the tests are designed to measure learning, not teaching. Many upper-middle class students will learn no matter who is standing in front of them; many disadvantaged students won’t learn much even from strong teachers. They certainly can learn, but due to a variety of factors they don’t learn at the same clip as their counterparts. The test can measure the students’ learning, but allowing us to infer which teacher was more effective goes beyond what the tests were designed to do.

Brasstown

April 10th, 2013
12:39 pm

Mr Isakson,
How about the teachers assign grades based on their assessment of a student’s work? Other than that 2-3 times in a student’s school career they could be tested to get a second opinion.

IMO most teachers are honest. Probably much more honest as a group than your peer group or even our society as a whole. The whole reason that the wide-spread cheating scandal is even a story is that most people agreed with this. You’ll never be able to completely safe-guard against cheating, stealing, lying etc. in any field. “Trust but verify.” That’s about the best we can do.

irisheyes

April 10th, 2013
12:47 pm

Here we go again. So, I’ll ask the same question I keep asking. What do we do about those students with excessive absences and tardies? If they aren’t in class to actually learn, how can I be assessed on what they did (or did not) learn?

And I’m in the primary grades, so it’s not usually the child’s fault that they aren’t in class.

atlmom

April 10th, 2013
12:47 pm

and that is why my kids won’t be tested. i’ll take them somewhere and they’ll learn something.

in any event – we have to stop it. we’re doing a poor job by teachign to the test – you get what you reward. if you’re going to reward teachers based on a test, you’re going to get more teaching to the test, it’s that simple.

if we think the testing isn’t good (oh, wait, it is – it’s making the test companies millions) – then, maybe we should stop the whole thing. stop testing. it’s not like we don’t know where the good schools are. just look at property values.

gardenerontheside

April 10th, 2013
12:50 pm

Testing students to evaluate teachers has several deep flaws that keep getting glossed over.
1) Where is the data that shows that the tests actually measure a teacher’s performance accurately?
2) Students have no “skin in the game” to perform well on the tests for the non-EOCT subjects.
3) Teachers must grade the tests, including subjectively graded sections.
4) Teachers have to administer the tests and grade the tests taking away time from their work.

I have no problem being evaluated, but don’t measure my effectiveness by taking away my time to be effective for my students. Please make the metrics valid, accurate, and repeatable.

Maureen, have you seen the testing calendars for the school districts? Its insane. From the middle of April to the end of school, solid testing. At the high school level, there are EOCTs, APs, SLOs and Benchmarks all occurring at the same time. Teach? Ha!

atlmom

April 10th, 2013
12:54 pm

irisheyes: our system is a mess, and the politicians have no idea how to fix it.

The definition of insanity...

April 10th, 2013
12:55 pm

Is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Sigh. Have the politicians and oligarchs who have decided that they know more about educating children than the teachers do learned NOTHING from the Beverly Hall fiasco???

If you tie financial gains – or in the teachers’ cases, their very jobs – to test scores, you will get people cheating on the tests. Simple fact.

Dr. John Trotter

April 10th, 2013
1:18 pm

Bully for Dr. John Barge. I am glad that I voted for him. I know he has been working in an atmosphere that tends to undermine him, but I saw mettle in his personage, and this is the reason that I voted for him. I am glad that he stood against the Charter School Amendment too. The wording on the ballot was so blatantly biased that it was ridiculous. I know that he raised the ire of the Governor and many of his fellow Republicans, but he will be a better man for taking this stand, although they slashed his budget big time. But, there’s something good about being able to look at yourself straight in the mirror when shaving in the morning.

I know that my comments will probably draw some pro-charter school folks out of the wood work. Quite frankly, however, I haven’t seen any evidence that charter schools, especially when the different variables are controlled, result in any significant upward swing in student achievement. In fact, in some cases, the results are markedly worse.

Private Citizen

April 10th, 2013
1:27 pm

So now we’re unmeasuring. ha Someone should get these authority folk a catalog. It’s like they get to play “aesthetics” and everyone else gets to play “obey.” This is like doing brake tests on a Camry. And then you drive a real car and realise there’s a whole different world out there. Maybe wherever it says “testing” we should replace this with “proxy arrangement.”

“I believed well before the Atlanta cheating issue that we place far too much importance on high-stakes proxy arrangements to determine a student’s abilities, as well as a school’s quality,” said Barge, Georgia’s state school superintendent since 2011.

Some education leaders and researchers — including Barge — say it is time — if not past time — for a national debate on whether high-stakes proxy arrangements are having the uplifting effects that were promised.

High-stakes proxy arrangements, such as Georgia’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Proxy Arrangements (CRCPA), are expected to play a central role in the criminal investigation of cheating in Atlanta Public Schools…

According to the nonprofit advocacy group Fair Proxy Arrangement: National Center for Fair & Open Proxy Arranging, cheating involving high-stakes proxy arrangement has been confirmed in Texas, Ohio, 35 other states and the District of Columbia.

Standardized proxy arrangements are nothing new in public education. But they took on added significance with the passage of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, determining, for instance, whether a student moves up a grade or graduates from high school. Proponents argue that the proxy arrangements can improve student achievement and narrow the achievement gap between racial groups. They say that students, knowing the potential consequences, take the proxy arrangements more seriously and work harder, and that the results allow teachers to more quickly assess when students and schools are struggling and need extra help.

Critics argue that high-stakes proxy arranging creates a pressure-filled “teaching to the proxy arrangement” climate that puts aside real learning and increases the drop-out rate, largely among low-income minority students.

Thurston Howell IV

April 10th, 2013
1:46 pm

@Dr. John Trotter

“The wording on the ballot was so blatantly biased that it was ridiculous.”

You’re wrong, sir. The language on the ballot said what it said and free people made up their own minds to vote for it. Your politics on the issue just didn’t work and you are as we used to say, a “sore loser” . That amendment and the reforms that are going to follow will free our children the dictatorship of a school system being run by people like you.

Call me ignorant, call me anything you wish, but I am proud to have voted for the charter school amendment and have celebrated every day since it passed.

Retiring in days.....

April 10th, 2013
1:52 pm

Like I have said for many years, we ask students to remember content that is 7-8 months old in many cases. None of us, while in college and beyond, have ever been asked to retrieve that much information. NCLB was one of the most useless and detrimental laws to be passed and history will show this. This generation wants everything instantly and technology, although I am a big supporter of it, has dismantled critical thinking skills and students taking the time to “just maybe” use their prior knowledge skills to come to a conclusion.

The best line in the above article:

Unfortunately, those who know the least about how kids learn have the most power.

Until this mindset changes, public education will continue the nose dive it is in. I am thankful and grateful for my 30+ years, but the road ahead for educators will not be easy.

Best of luck to all my peers in the future…….

Clutch Cargo

April 10th, 2013
1:53 pm

Code words in the above article that indicate that the autor is a union shill:

1) “High Stakes” testing

2) “Low income minority students”

3) “Corporate style”

4) “Unrealistic results”

Nice try there, bub. But while you’re pumping sunshine at the dues paying pawns, the kids are getting further and further behind other countries. We need school choice and we need it 15 years ago.

Mary Elizabeth

April 10th, 2013
2:15 pm

“. . . it’s rolling out a new teacher-evaluation system that factors in how a teacher’s students show growth through standardized tests.”
==============================================

The teacher’s responsibility for the academic growth of his/her students cannot be accurately, and fairly, determined unless each student’s IQ (the score of which is given on some standardized tests) also becomes part of the analysis. A student whose IQ is 83 would do well to improve by 8 months in a year’s time period, as reflected on his/her standardized test scores; whereas, a student whose IQ is 150 would fall short of his/her potential only to improve a year within a year’s time.

As Maureen Downey wrote in her excellent column for the AJC’s Editorial Board, Sunday, April 7, 2013: “What’s more important than measuring absolute performance across schools is measuring steady growth in individual students.”

To the extent that teachers’ evaluations are based on a rise in their students’ standardized test scores, teachers should not be evaluated based on an overall increase of all of their students’ standardized test scores (presented in a summarized form), but instead they should be evaluated based upon the specific score increases of their individual students, in which each of their student’s potential for increase is also weighed. A student’s potential is often reflected in his/her IQ score.

When an unrealistic and overly demanding pressure is placed upon teachers to show an overall student increase (irrespective of the wide range of IQs for their various students to increase to various levels), teachers will feel tension daily and, as a result, their students will also experience that high level of tension while the students are in their classrooms.

If teachers are held accountable for individual student’s test score increases, then all of the factors that will contribute to each student’s score increases – or not – must also be weighed. In addition, teachers must be evaluted on more factors than simply the increase of their individual students’ standardized test scores because standardized tests are inherently limited in what they can assess regarding students’ growth and learning.

For any reader who wishes to explore the topic of teachers’ and students’ assessments in greater detail, I am providing, below, the link entitled, “Assessing Teachers and Students,” from my blog.

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/about-education-essay-5-assessing-teachers-and-students/

Rod Johnson

April 10th, 2013
2:28 pm

@ Dr. John Trotter

“The wording on the ballot was so blatantly biased that it was ridiculous.”

Ah, the old “NO” crowd rears its curb-stomped head again. What a bunch of sore losers. To continue to suggest that some 2 million GA voters just couldn’t read the ballot correctly is an insult to concerned parents and taxpayers statewide. Face it – the system you espouse is a dismal failure and 60% of GA voters agreed.

Just throw more money at the problem, right?

saddened teacher

April 10th, 2013
2:36 pm

As an educator, I am saddened to say that many politicians who have gone after teachers have never stepped foot into the classroom. I consider myself a very experienced and highly qualified teacher who have 20+ years under my belt. What I have seen over the years is the lack of resources for low-income and at-risk student. Try teaching a child who is homeless, in foster care, and who have a parent who get off on cussing the teacher out and bragging about. When that child is neglected at home, has no parental support, and has to deal with where their next meal will come from, learning is the last thing on their mind. I feel that parents need to be made more accountable and to play a bigger part in working with the teacher and school on what’s best for their child. It is easier to blame or put someone else at fault to take the blame off of yourself. If you ask teachers why they chose this profession, all will tell you to educate, motivate, and to shape young minds to be productive citizens in society. I just wish that politicians and educational leaders will just wake up and trust the judgement of teachers. Just like in any profession, we are professionals and know what we are doing, just like any CEO who runs a major corporation because without educators, many of you would not be where you are today.

Rick L in ATL

April 10th, 2013
2:39 pm

@ Dr. Trotter: I’m yet another parent who knew exactly what I was getting with the Charter ballot and sprinted to the polling place to vote YES. Some unsolicited advice: if you want to retain the apparently high level of credibility you have here with most participants, acknowledge the clear conflict of interest you have in talking about the amendment.

If and when we parents start and run more charter schools and treat our teachers the way we believe they can and should be treated, there would be no need for MACE–none at all. So if I were you, I’d steer clear of this issue, because your conflict here is obvious and it does you no service to simultaneously lambaste educrats and act like one.

Megan

April 10th, 2013
2:46 pm

NCLB was the last stake in Public Education. It 10 years all of the teachers will have quit and we will be left a Third World Country. Over half of the teachers in my school have already walked out (and not looked back).

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2013
2:51 pm

time to bail, people. its your career, livelihood, and sanity.

take charge of it and get the hell out

Spedteacher

April 10th, 2013
2:53 pm

You want something different than the CRCT or End of Course Test – it is called pre/post testing. Give tests on day one of class and give post test on last day of class, difference in the scores is the amount of growth (i.e. learning) the student achieved. Done and easy. Allow the teachers to teach the standards the best way for their class and students will learn.

Wiserwoman

April 10th, 2013
2:54 pm

Whose going to stop the Teacher from cheating on their exams, some educators cheated at universities. Some are teaching for a pay check instead of actually caring about the students. Teaching is not their vocation in life; it makes difference if any job is your true passion. Poverty was not a true factor for getting an education in the early 60’s inspite of segregation. Those teachers took their career more seriously than most educators do today. Parents did not send children to school leave the whole responsible in the teacher’s hand. Good parenting makes a difference in a child being able to grow each day. We have information available to all parents so they can help their children do homework. Be present at the schools or get a designee in your village to assist you with educating your child or children. Last time I looked the public library was still distributing cards and offer many items online. Granted, if the parent can’t read or take education seriously the child will continually suffer. Turn the TV, Video Games, and other items that distract off. Good test taking skills can be taught, fear what? Get back to basics READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC. Forget being so politically correct in everything, children should enjoy being at school.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2013
3:06 pm

if Sen Isakson would like to have a discussion on the matter, perhaps he might invite us to discuss it with him.

its not like he’s doing much up in DC these days.

catlady

April 10th, 2013
3:09 pm

Mary Elisabeth, the SUS developed a predictive model in about 1996 to seek to determine if a college/university was living up to its potential. For example, UGA draws many middle and upper class kids with high GPAs and high test scores. Their parents are overwhelmingly professional. UGA, serving mostly those kids, should have a much higher retention rate than, say, a Savannah State or a Atlanta Metro, which draws more poor kids, more kids of single parents, more first generation college kids, more kids with marginal achievement histories. I never heard anything else about it. Do you know if it was ever implemented?

I would guess that the best way to measure a teacher’s effect on student growth would work on the same type of predictive model. That is, that it would take into account the student’s home situation (parental ed, parental income, single parent, etc) , the student’s intelligence, the student’s prior academic history, the student’s behavioral history, and other factors that have been directly correlated with student achievement. Shall we hold our breaths waiting for that?

Just A Teacher

April 10th, 2013
3:14 pm

“As an educator, I am saddened to say that many politicians who have gone after teachers have never stepped foot into the classroom.”

These are the same people who refuse to regulate large corporations. Their thinking is that Wall Street will do just fine if left alone, but somehow, teachers will not. Personally, I believe that thinking is a bit skewed. Why are you wasting your time looking over my shoulder in a classroom while Wall Street is stealing you blind?

Plato

April 10th, 2013
3:14 pm

Both sides have merit. There are many teachers that underperform either through lack of know how or sheer negligence. But trying to come up with a program to fairly assess the teachers is nigh impossible without using the student results on a standardized test. It will simply need to be adjusted by school. For example, nobody can expect a poor rural or inner city school to attain the same results of an affluent school. Teachers that are getting the lowest results in an affluent school even if the results are high based on state averages is obviously doing a poorer job than their peers especially if this is proven out year in and year out. There simply has to be a difference out of teachers that teach the same material….some very good, some good, some average, some below average and some that are horrid. Just the nature of human labor.

Also, there’d be no need for any of this if the school administration was truly set up to assess their employees like any good business. Why have districts not developed a system to truly weed out weak employees? I am an educator now through passion but spent over two decades in the private sector where professional employees are heavily scrutinized for their ability to perform. How many have ever heard someone say that a teacher is just not very good….but they are a coach? Simply put our priorities are often not in concert with our supposed goals. Come up with a way to assess the effectiveness of administration staffs and I bet their is a direct correlation with their teaching staffs.

Brasstown

April 10th, 2013
3:24 pm

It’s helpful to read this blog. It always confirms for me that there is no hope on the horizon for GA schools. I’ve got seven years left. It’s really too long to stay and accept no further pay raise. I can go back to private practice, but I’ve picked up a second job teaching and writing curriculum at the college level. All together I’m doing pretty well. So, I’ll probably stay. Still love the work with the students and families. Younger folks should definitly get out. I would suggest looking at other states to see if you could find a more progressive environment or maybe look at Europe. There’s just no reason to waste your talent and dedication here. It’s not going to change. If you have to stay in GA, go ahead and get your PhD and go on to the college level.

indigo

April 10th, 2013
3:26 pm

The sentence should read “all educators have been told they must boost minority scores by hook or by crook”.

So, the “new teacher-evaluation system” joins the long list of social experiments that started in the 60’s, has produced failure after failure, and will continue because our country seems to have a terminal case of political correctness.

Centrist

April 10th, 2013
3:27 pm

Thank goodness this blog and posters do not represent a majority of parents and voters.

Testing of students and teachers along with the expansion of charter schools is a fact of life. Only the balance levels are in question.

Clutch Cargo

April 10th, 2013
3:29 pm

““As an educator, I am saddened to say that many politicians who have gone after teachers have never stepped foot into the classroom.”

… Which is just as stupid as teachers trying to dictate laws after never spending a day in public office.

I am just one of many that are tired of hearing how never being a teacher means that you have no constructive input into teaching. You people take PUBLIC money. We hire the legislature to look after that money. they are not saints or savants. They make mistakes,but the conceit that drips from these “set foot in a classroom” comments is a large part of the reason that the education cartel has lost the narrative,the voters and the parents.

( Actually, I like that. It shows that you’re not cognizant of why you are losing ground which makes these victories even easier. On second thought, keep up the good work)

Clutch Cargo

April 10th, 2013
3:31 pm

@ Brasstown

I don’t know how we’re going to get along without you. But starting in seven years,we’re going to try.

Mary Elizabeth

April 10th, 2013
3:31 pm

Take a look at the way the world is moving forward in technology regarding medical advances through state-of-the-art medical technology. (See link below.)

We must change the narrative in education from one of blame-casting, punishment, and fear regarding the use of standardized testing into a positive narrative in which the use of standardized test results are used to analyze, precisely, the correct placement of, and levels of instruction for, individual students as they advance, yearly, through the curriculum continuum.

This narrative will help to make schools places in which the joy of learning and the joy of interaction with others can exist. With a little imagination, educators should be able to see how they can model the analytical/diagnostic aspects of teaching – through the use of state-of-the-art technology – to the medical profession’s advances for individual patients, as seen in the video below.

The creative/exploratory/ ideas aspect of the education of students cannot, and should not, be modeled after the medical profession. However, to the extent that educators can assess the specific levels of instruction for each student at every point-in-time, as well as assess each student’s specific rate of learning, teachers should be able to use state-of-the-art technology (as does now the medical profession) to address effectively and quickly each student’s instructional needs – so that teachers can, also, immediately address an individual student’s remediation needs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=r13uYs7jglg

living in an outdated ed system

April 10th, 2013
3:33 pm

I think Barge, like many others, are blaming the test instead of the incentive structure and culture which has created the moral hazard of cheating. You have to formally assess, but it shouldn’t be the sole indicator of performance. Testing is part of life, but it doesn’t have to define the student or teacher. I know that the readers of this blog will immediately denounce the POV of a link I’m sharing below because of the claims they are too “conservative,” but read the following response on its merits which makes good sense: http://educationnext.org/the-right-response-to-the-atlanta-cheating-scandal/

Brasstown

April 10th, 2013
3:37 pm

Catlady,
Your idea for assessment makes perfect sense. The only problem you’d run into is cries of elitism, rascism or sexism when you tried to base your predictors on various social factors. A tough area to deal with in a multi-cultural society. “Not that there is anything wrong with that!”

Brasstown

April 10th, 2013
3:46 pm

Clutch,
Why don’t you close your stinkin pie-hole. Your teacher bashing with no constructive input is old news. You have no real ideas to add so just close it.

Mary Elizabeth

April 10th, 2013
3:49 pm

Catlady, 3:09 pm

“Do you know if it was ever implemented?”
=========================================

What an excellent post you have written. The ideas are outstanding. I do believe that educational assessment instruments can move in the direction that you have mentioned. Please write more about this predictive model on “Get Schooled.” The more that many teachers and educators will write about the multi-faceted elements which must be considered in teaching and in assessment, the more likely it will be that a multi-faceted assessment instrument will be utilized, over time.

I had not heard of the SUS predictive model of 1996 which you mentioned so I do not know if it has ever been implemented. However, I think that that model should be looked into because it appears to incorporate, realistically, multi-faceted reasons for variations in students’ test results and variations in their rates of improvement.

Clutch Cargo

April 10th, 2013
3:51 pm

“Why don’t you close your stinkin pie-hole. Your teacher bashing with no constructive input is old news.”

Now, now ,now. Better calm down there or you’ll come across as …Overly sensitive.

indigo

April 10th, 2013
3:52 pm

Centrist – “thank goodness this blog and posters do not represent a majority of parents and voters”

And you know this how?

Brasstown

April 10th, 2013
3:56 pm

“Which is just as stupid as teachers trying to dictate laws after never spending a day in public office.”

No, Clutch, this comment of yours is stupid. We all have the right to attempt to effect legislation and have you ever heard of citizen legislators? Never having been in public office does not mean we should just be quiet about our laws. You don’t make any sense. So quit trying to bash teachers.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2013
4:10 pm

more class in the AJC living room

jarvis

April 10th, 2013
4:18 pm

@catlady, the other basis could be “forced” or “stacked” ranking.
Logic would dictate that all children within a school would come from similar backgrounds.

The teachers should be evaluated and ranked against each other.

Clutch Cargo

April 10th, 2013
4:20 pm

I think that the legislature is doing a good job in their good faith attempts to reform public education. I hope that they continue. As a voter and taxpayer, I believe that teachers that feel strongly about these important public policy issues should run for the legislature and try to change what they believe is wrong through legislative initiatives. Some people that may be so inclined from the education community would find out real quick that they have very limited support from the public at large.

jarvis

April 10th, 2013
4:21 pm

It’s silly to say that no one should have an opinion about having a classroom without ever working in one.

I have an opinion about my doctor…I’ve never been one of those. I have an opinion about my grocery, I’ve never worked in one of those. I have an opinion about how poorly my last experience at Enterprise Rental Car was and I have a couple of idea on how to improve that experience, but I’ve never worked for a rental car company…..etc.

We all have opinions about any service we are receiving.

Pride and Joy

April 10th, 2013
4:29 pm

Today’s AJC has a vent that perfectly describes how many parents today feel about teachers. Straight from today’s vent:
“Some of us parents do still make sure our kids do their homework, and help them when they need it. Get over yourself.”
http://projects.ajc.com/vent/metro/2013/04/10/#1708690

irisheyes

April 10th, 2013
4:31 pm

I bet Johnny Isakson and John Barge have never been called union shills a day in their life. Until today by the uninformed.

BTW, before you attack me as a union shill, I don’t belong to GAE. I do belong to PAGE, but if it’s a union, it’s a really bad one. I keep it simply for the liability insurance.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2013
4:35 pm

@ jarvis

its true, anyone should be able to respectfully voice an opinon on most anything, especially in regard to how it effects them.

in my case, anyway, the reason I ask if someone has taught, volunteered, ect is simple. many here often post things as stated fact, not opinion. when doing that, to have some level of experience makes the comments more valid.

I have fussed about my MD, likely same as you have yours. but I’ve not fussed about his skill in doing medical procedures or diagnosis since I don’t have the practical experience to evaluate.

Dr. John Trotter

April 10th, 2013
4:48 pm

@ Thurston: If the wording was not biased, could you do us all a favor by placing it here on the blog so that we can get re-acquainted with it? It was classically biased, and you have to be biased not to see that it was biased. It said something to this effect: Would you like to vote for a State charter school commission which will make every kid in Georgia an Einstein with the personality of Mr. Rogers and will cure all diseases known to mankind and make sure that each kid has a nice roast beef and fresh green beans and apple pie waiting on him or her each night and each kid will be guaranteed a scholarship to Georgia Tech, the College of Charleston, or Pepperdine University on Malibu Beach when they graduate from the charter schools? Yeah, I’d have to vote “Yes” for this.

The wording should have described simply what it was and not attempted to state what it was going to effect. The efficacy portion of the statement was uncalled for but very planned. Hey, I have to give it to you Charter Hearts. You out-politicked those who faintly were opposed to the proposed amendment.

Sorry about my untimely response. I was having fun with “Georgia Coach” on the previous thread. Aren’t we glad that Al Gore invented the internet? Ha!

atlmom

April 10th, 2013
4:52 pm

and in the end – we don’t want students to be further ahead than their peers. we want each child to move ahead by one school year each year. unfortunately, while on average that might happen (and, well, shouldn’t – because ‘one year’ in school parlance is asking kids to do way too little) – the school doesn’t want them to move *too* far ahead, because the next year – all the kids start from the same place.
it is all not working – and not working spectacularly. but let’s keep making tiny tweaks and see what happens.

sam lee

April 10th, 2013
4:54 pm

We no longer value learning for learning’s sake. It used to be fun to go to school and learn but now, we go to school to be told, repeatedly, that this will be on the test. As a special education teacher for 23 years, I have seen a decline in student’s attitudes towards school. We no longer learn to proficiency, we learn to beat the odds on tests that don’t have relevance towards anything that is important in life. Other than the fact, that if a student doesn’t pass certain tests, they don’t pass and eventually, they don’t graduate. We have been so busy trying to prove something ( I am not sure what) that we have lost an entire generation of children. High stakes, teaching to the test, Benchmarks, etc., mean nothing to the child, but it does convince them that something must be wrong with them because everyone is so worried about how they do on the “tests”

dc

April 10th, 2013
5:03 pm

tests are the only possible way to get an objective measure of how much a student has learned. And ANY teacher who disagrees is a complete hypocrite…since tests are the way that all normal teachers assess how much a student has learned.

The hilarious issue in the eyes of the teacher is that suddenly….its their teaching ability that is being measured. They can’t just “present” the material, but take no responsibility – NONE – for whether the student actually learned it (or whether their way of teaching is in fact effective).

They are used to being able to just blame the crappy students….I can absolutely see why they are now whining and crying (that is, the bad ones….the good teachers know they are effectively teaching, not just lecturing). And I for one am quite pleased to see it.