"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2011 Medley #12

The Complete List of Problems with Standardized Tests, Teach for America, Charter School Failure, Are Teachers Paid Too Much?, Corporate Reform Fails its Standardized Test: NAEP Analysis

The complete list of problems with high-stakes standardized tests by Marion Brady
Teachers oppose the tests because they focus so narrowly on reading and math that the young are learning to hate reading, math, and school; because they measure only “low level” thinking processes; because they put the wrong people — test manufacturers — in charge of American education; because they allow pass-fail rates to be manipulated by officials for political purposes; because test items simplify and trivialize learning.

Why I did TFA [Teach For America], and why you shouldn’t
TFA has highlighted their few successes so much that many politicians actually believe that first year TFA teachers are effective. They believe that there are lazy veteran teachers who are not ‘accountable’ to their students and who are making a lot of money so we’re better off firing those older teachers and replacing them with these young go-getters.

“Poor Assessment Tool” Led to Jacksonville KIPP schools failure
Isn’t it ironic though, that a charter entity – who markets itself on test data – gets burned by the very data it seeks to manipulate?

Are teachers paid too much?
There are other points in the paper, which you can read here, but perhaps the most telling is this, my personal favorite: “We should be careful not to draw strong conclusions about the wages of a single occupation from a regression such as this one.” And then the paper proceeds to draw strong conclusions about the wages of a single occupation, teaching.

The Nation's Report Card on Corporate Ed Reform Comes Home
NCLB/corporate education reform is not working....improvements on NAEP have slowed since 2003, when NCLB went into effect.

What the new NAEP test results really tell us
Since closing the achievement gap was the goal of No Child Left Behind, which went into effect a decade ago under the administration of former president George W. Bush, the NAEP results tell us that it was an abject failure.

Under NCLB, the high-stakes standardized test became supreme in school reform for purposes of evaluating schools and students — and, now, under the Obama administration, teachers as well — and still, the achievement gap remains stubborn. In fact, trend lines show that NAEP gains were bigger before NCLB.

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