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4/4/13 7:25 A

The test questions get harder not for "improvement", they get harder so that there's certain "failure" otherwise the state is going to have to spend more money on public education and less on tax breaks for the wealthy.

Well, I'm gonna tone it down here a bit as this thread may get zapped due to my liberal thinking.......soooooo, keep posting and keep it positive!

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (101,558)
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4/4/13 7:11 A

In Canada we have standardized testing but only in Grade 3 and Grade 6 for elementary and in High School it is Grade 9 and you keep taking it until you pass. We have 4 different School Boards here in Canada - French Catholic, French Public, English Catholic and English Public -- you can sign over your school taxes to whatever school you want wish your child to attend. Our test scores are not used to determine federal nor provincial funding yet our teachers are underpaid in any case.

Standardized tests are called EQO and your school gets ranked on the scores. The only thing that determines funding is the government -- yeah socialism! We could use more funding.

My solution to helping teachers is to be extremely involved in my son's school and help anyway I can. I have been the Parent Council (like the PTA) Chairperson for the last three years at my son's school. I take the time to say thanks to all teachers and we throw them a huge Appreciation Luncheon on a day of their choosing.

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,297
4/4/13 6:10 A

Two of my favorite films about teaching are STAND AND DELIVER and LEAN ON ME. I have a friend who worked in the Paterson, NJ school system...I wouldn't want that job. But when you look at an institution that doesn't work, you blame the school. You forget the environment, the 'role' models, and the background these kids deal with. And the stories you hear from some of these burnt out teachers, makes you wonder how people coped with that day after day. It takes a radical change to turn that around. I’m not sure there are many principals like Joe Louis Clark, or teachers like Jaime Escalante, to go around.
When it comes to schools with very bad scores, what does that mean? Are the teachers burnt out? Are the kids not learning? Is the system failing? And what do you do in that situation…Do you continue to throw money at that school, or do you close it down…and hopeful reorganize that part of the system? Hard questions…glad I’m not the one who needs to find the solution.

As for tests…if everyone passes a test with decent scores…doesn’t that mean it’s too easy? And as the system improves...wouldn't you expect to adjust the standards?

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 4/4/2013 (06:11)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 1,935
4/4/13 5:16 A

It's ridiculous. There's absolutely no way that 100% of students will ever pass any test. There are a lot of students with learning disabilities, lots of students who don't speak English, students who have low IQs, etc. Top that off with the fact that most students don't even care how they do on the test because there is absolutely no consequence for them for doing poorly on it... It's not assessing how well our students are doing. It's just costing us a lot of money to do the testing and it's causing our teachers to be forced to do nothing but teach to the test. I'm so glad I'm not a teacher.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
4/4/13 3:30 A

My husband is a teacher (not in the US) and there are no such tests here, just one at the end of high school which serves as a university entrance exam. The teachers write exams for the students to take at the end of each year or semester and it's based on what they did that year and usually quite heavy in writing, often oral exams as well. These exams are pretty hardcore. How the students perform has no impact on school funding. All schools throughout the entire country are funded on exactly the same scale and all teachers throughout the country are paid on the same pay scale (with one exception that I know of -- those teachers who are at schools very close to the border make an extra €100/month). There isn't enough money to go around, but at least it goes around fairly. I don't think it's fair to the kids (the high achievers, the average kids, or the underachievers) to bind their school's funding to each other's test scores, it seems like it would mean that the best teachers would teach at schools that got the most money, and the wealthiest parents would move to be assigned to those schools, and the result would be gap where the wealthiest people have access to the best teachers and well-funded schools, where the poorer people are stuck with poor schools and inexperienced teachers. Seems like a recipe for disaster to me.

On the other hand, American teachers may be underpaid, but my husband would cut off his right arm to be paid what an average American teacher makes! Americans (in all jobs) make an obscene amount of money by the standards of just about any other country in the world.

STARDUST2K4 Posts: 1,347
4/4/13 1:07 A

In my own town, they're shutting down an elementary school because the standardized testing scores are too low (I live in Monmouth, Oregon). They're shutting it down after this academic year.
This means that students are either going to have to be home-schooled, or be disbursed to nearby schools. In turn, teachers will be laid off (we already have a HUGE problem with that in my state, as well as many others I'm sure) and class room sizes will grow.
I don't see how this is going to help students in the long run. My dad is an elementary school teacher, and he talks about how poorly executed the N.C.L.B. was. He said that it holds back students who actually excel and it in a way punishes them.
I think it's sad that many people want to penalize the teachers for the student's not applying themselves. They already don't get paid enough. After about 30+ years of being a bilingual teacher, my dad only makes about $60,000 a year.
This issue affects many people. Not just the students.

ETHELMERZ SparkPoints: (96,897)
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4/3/13 10:05 P

Did this all start during the Reagan years, in Calif., and then spread across the country to save money on public schools? When we went to school, in the 1960's, it seemed to be better, but there were alot LESS people to teach, then. Population explosion didn't help anyone.

4/3/13 8:01 P

@NAUSIKAA: And so you got it a.s.a.p.! The NCLB is a thing of pure genius, set the bar so high that the schools have to fail and funding can be taken away and schools shut down and who works at those schools? Democratic voters, aka LIBERALS! Karl Rove is a god.

@SheryLDS: The tests work the opposite, each year the questions get harder if the previous year's scores were high. This way it's nigh impossible to meet the standards and then....(read my reply above)

He's something; there has been a false culture of mistrust for educators the past several decades by conservative politicians who lothe intellectuals because of their logical thinking (I'm not saying liberals aren't without faults, they got their demons, too). My mother ALWAYS sided with the teacher, even after I tried to lie my BEST to make it like the teachers hated me, I did all I COULD to get my teachers to hate me so I could slack off and tell my mom I'm failing because of "bad teachers" but she never did believe me and guess what? She was right, I was bad, not them. Todays educators are 10x's BETTER than they were back then, the college courses are harder, the training is more in-depth, the expectation is set higher for today's teachers than teachers in the 50's & 60's.

We all have been told to drink the Kool-Aid that today's teachers are stupid & lazy and a bunch socialistic enemies of the state.


We need MORE MONEY spent on PUBLIC EDUCATION not less. I don't know about you but I want the best & brightest young people to become teachers so that we may have the tools needed to compete in the global market so we need to make their salaries reflect that importance.They are NOT GLORIFIED babysitters and if they were at $5/hr per child and 30 children per class at 7.5 hours a day that's ....lemme see,.....that's $1,125/day for that glorified babysitter and 180 days per year that's $202,500/yr minus 30% taxes comes to...

$141,750 net take home a year. The average public school teacher's salaray is about less than half of that.

How about less money on highering companies to make the tests and more into the system itself for better facilities (safer ones), better school lunches, better IT stuff, better salaries to attract BETTER teachers (our brightest and smartest) and the sucky ones never GET hired, they can become politicians! LOL!

Grrrrrrrrr...................steps off of soapbox......................

If you can read everything I said, thank a teacher!

Yeah, yeah, my mom taught me how to read, too. My teacher SOLIDIFIED IT!

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,297
4/3/13 7:15 P

I’m not a parent…so I apologize for my ignorance.
What scares me with some of these school programs is that it seems they lower standards so that they can comply with the no child left behind rules. But we compete in a global world. We need to educate our kids to compete with the kids from other countries who are pushing their kids to the max. And instead we try to make things easier so they maintain self esteem and don’t feel pressure.
There is a huge difference in the quality of education between social groups here. Compound that to the difference in the advantages (Computers, smartphones, cable tv, etc) and what inner city kids get exposed to, and you have a gap in information they have access to.
Other countries understand the importance of an education and what it means…for many it’s crucial to surviving in a harsh world. Now, more than ever people need to push their kids, because there are no guarantees of keeping a job or even getting one…so they better be able to think.

RENEEAQUA SparkPoints: (35,127)
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4/3/13 5:49 P

My daughter got a perfect score on her first year taking the test. so we'll have to see what she does this year. She's above average in her class, so I wasn't surprised she did so well.

IRISHFANUH87 Posts: 1,038
4/3/13 5:46 P

The concept is just not practical. And it makes SOOOO much sense to pull funding from schools where the children are not performing high enough. They are the ones that need the most help. Ugh, I couldn't be a teacher - the most underpaid profession in the country!

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
4/3/13 5:29 P

I don't live in the US so forgive my ignorance, but how can 100% of students pass a test? Aren't there students with profound intellectual disabilities? Or are they not allowed to go to school?

LEC358 SparkPoints: (9,920)
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4/3/13 3:47 P

The thing is standardized tests aren't meant to measure things like teacher performance and some don't even measure what they say they're measuring anyway. Statewide testing every year does a poor job at benchmarking students because the teachers are given examples of what is on the test so then they teach to the test. A model like the National Assessment for Educational Progress ( makes more sense because its a random sampling and they don't hand out sample questions. Its meant purely as a tool to understand where students are at, not to measure improvement, teacher proficiency, or anything else.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (63,212)
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4/3/13 3:35 P

it's great! What could possibly go wrong?

seriously though - good intentions (I guess); really bad execution.

one of the seasons of 'The Wire' dealt with this too. Very well written IMO. Heartbreaking to see those inner city kids lives wasted (and much of that show was based on real life experience in Baltimore)

4/3/13 3:15 P

My view is slanted because this really hits close to home for me but here's how I see it; if your child's school scores the school continues to recieve state funding, if it does not do well then the school is penalized and state funding is withheld.

The states usually give a date as to when the entire school must have 100% proficincy from every student (in PA I thinks it's by 2015, not sure), this means that evry single student must score at profiency or better by that time. The questions are are designed to get more challenging as the years pass,......

I may have missed a few details but I think I got the gist of it down.

What say you?

Here's the NCLB link from wikipedia

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