Teachers, colleges of education on firing line for student test scores. Wrong target. Wrong aim.

Here is an essay on testing by Stephanie Jones, professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia.

By Dr. Stephanie Jones

teacherhidingPicture this: a physician takes a position in a doctor’s office within an economically struggling community because she believes that everyone should have access to high quality healthcare and a physician who can provide it. For this decision, she accepts a lower salary and more challenging working conditions.

Years go by and she has created a strong rapport with her patients, working with them to find medications for the lowest price possible and doing a lot of work out of her own pocket. It’s work that is both heartbreaking and rewarding: she changes lives, makes them more livable, and probably even extends them.

The doctor’s patients, however, die earlier in their lives than those who have more money and more resources, and the government has decided that mortality rates will be used to evaluate her performance as a doctor, her salary, and whether or not her office will remain open.

This is devastating news, and while she knows it is unethical, the doctor considers leaving the practice and providing care for patients who are more likely to live longer simply because they have more economic resources to devote to healthcare – and her evaluations will look better.

After remaining in the community and receiving poor evaluations from the government for several years, the doctor gets a phone call from one of her favorite professors in medical school.

Has she considered practicing medicine in a different town or state where the life expectancy of her patients would be higher? They ask. Why? She responds. Because the poor performance of your patients is putting our Medical School at risk of having poor evaluations and the negative consequences will influence our school’s autonomy, funding, and reputation.

Yes, the Medical School would be evaluated based on the health performance of the patients of their former graduates who are now doctors.

This is what will happen to our education system if the latest proposal for teacher preparation regulations from the federal government is accepted. And the entire House of Cards is balancing precariously upon one fulcrum: the testing regime.

In the regime’s last-ditch effort to force us (parents, K-12 educators, teacher educators, students, and citizens) to quietly comply with standardized testing that has turned into U.S. 21st century child labor, as well as ruining childhood and real learning, they are pinning Colleges of Education against the wall: Make your graduates’ future students’ test scores improve, or else.

The American Statistical Association has conducted research and insists the impact of teachers on their students’ standardized test scores is a mere 1% – 14% of the total score. That means 86% – 99% of the variables impacting students’ standardized test scores include things beyond a teachers control: the income level of parents, the education level of parents, access to regular and healthy food, access to stable housing, etc.

Indeed, standardized tests have long been criticized for their biases and non-objectivity, the “value-added” economic model does not work for measuring teachers’ effectiveness relative to standardized tests, and unchanged SAT scores indicates that the militant testing agenda and implementation has not improved “college readiness” one iota.

Even though an individual teacher impacts only 1% to 14% of a child’s standardized test score, under these new regulations the College of Education where that teacher earned her degree will be held accountable for the child’s standardized test score.

Stop the madness. Everyone knows the testing regime is a farce.

The era of testing has failed miserably, but we can only begin undoing the damage and rebuilding our K-12 students’ and families’ trust in and value from public education when we call it quits on high-stakes testing.

If teachers don’t impact standardized test scores very much, what do they impact? Lives, motivation, understanding of content and concepts, non-standardized tests, grades, students’ willingness to learn, creativity, critical thinking, crucial skills for communication in the 21st century, and the ability for children and young people to see themselves as powerful actors in the world around them.

So why would policymakers want to keep high-stakes testing in place – and furthermore – to embed it in the very fabric of the entire education system from kindergarten through university teacher education?

Perhaps pride is getting in the way. It must be terribly difficult to admit that billions of dollars have been given to corporations, millions of children have been retained and put at further risk of dropping out of high school, high school students have been denied diplomas, teachers have been punished, schools have been taken over, others have been closed, communities have been ripped apart, education has narrowed to test preparation, and parents and children have been absolutely tormented because a small group of people insist – against all evidence – that high-stakes testing is valuable.

Please, policymakers, don’t make the mistake of pinning Colleges of Education against the wall with test scores, and release the pressure from K-12 schools so they can implement the learning-focused instructional approaches they have learned in their teacher preparation programs.

Just take a deep breath and whisper “mea culpa” so we can join together as allies in the disaster relief effort.

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

111 comments
Common Sense Committee
Common Sense Committee

It would seem that every critic of education misses the point.  Unless you do the job of an educator, then you're no expert in the field, so go ahead and just stop trying to tell teachers how to do things.  I've had surgery twice, so does that qualify me as an authority on medicine?  No.  The same principle holds true for education: just because you've gone through it does not mean that you are qualified to criticize the work of professional educators.  Professional being the operative word.

So many good, qualified and effective teachers leave the most difficult of schools because it simply wears them out.  Can you blame them?  Years of pay freezes, and odd evaluations that have not been fully thought through.  Who in their right mind would want to work harder for the same pay?  No one, that's who.

Dr. Jones has a valid point.  Link evaluations to something that teachers can impact which is growth.  When there are so many factors outside of the control of teachers, why should they be held accountable for that?  The people who make decisions about teachers have no clue what they do, and they make decisions that simply don't affect them.  Enough is enough.  Let teachers have a say in their evaluation and then hold them to that! 

Common sense?  I think so.

Glenu
Glenu

Ok, so what is the test for: " teachers that don’t impact standardized test scores very much, what do they impact? Lives, motivation, understanding of content and concepts, non-standardized tests, grades, students’ willingness to learn, creativity, critical thinking, crucial skills for communication in the 21st century, and the ability for children and young people to see themselves as powerful actors in the world around them"?

Or are you suggesting we just take their word for it that all the above has been successfully accomplished.

univprof
univprof

Excellent essay, Dr. Jones. Thank you. I wonder if others who read this will realize what you are pointing to is the federal government wanting to control our schools. Right inline with Obama's agenda.  

JustThinking07
JustThinking07

What if we found out that this physician who had been working in this economically struggling community was not using the most current best practices? What is he/she was using medical techniques from the 1950's and never used the most up to date medicines and procedures? What if his/her medical school did not provide him/her with the education and skills required to practice in the 21st century? What if this doctor worked in a struggling community but believed that these poor people have unhealthy lifestyles and were just going to die early anyway? What if we tracked each doctor that graduated  from this particular medical school, looked at their patients, and found that all of their patients had a death rate that was 25% higher than graduates from other medical schools? Maybe then this particular medical school would look at the data, improve their doctor preparation, or stop preparing doctors.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Someday Maureen will write an article about a school that is focused on at risk males, and are using an innovative approach outside the traditional classroom and desk/lecture format to get real results.  And doing it using no more tax dollars than the traditional school gets per student.  


Ha...sorry, must have been a dream.  After all, taking money from traditional public schools "DAMAGES PUBLIC SCHOOLS"!!!  And since we know the top priority for the eduacracy is .....wait for it....1) the public school system and 2) the career educators who make their living from it, then anything that takes money out of their pockets must be destroyed and vilified.  


Of course, all done "for the children"....(ahhhh).  The fact that so many children are failing, and ending up with zero skills and in jail or poverty isn't our fault....there is nothing that can be done.  BUT - don't come up with any ideas that change things, in particular that might take away some of our funding.  Never.


Someday a group of educators are going to turn their backs on this charade, and start up a completely different school that actually reaches these kids.  Using techniques that in no way resemble today's teaching methods.  I just hope it's soon enough for the millions of students that are current on a trajectory of complete failure.


Oh, and btw - it'll also make teaching fun again.  How teachers work in today's schools is beyond me.  The classroom discipline issues alone would drive any sane person insane.



popacorn
popacorn

@dcdcdc Please, the best way to deal with at risk males is to drug them until they act more like the females that teach them. 

luludog
luludog

Of course, Dr. Stephanie Jones is dead-on right here. Bravo to her for stating this point so well: this "testing regimen" is utter nonsense. It is in fact just one more prong being used to attack public schools and the teachers who do their best to educate their students. This is just one more campaign to undermine the public school systems we have now. And all of this was created - dreamed up, as so many of us have said so many times, by the Milton Friedman free-market-for profit- privatization of public schools crowd. I refer to those investors with ready capital who are now salivating over the opportunities being opened up to them by the pro-charter school elected officials - both Democratic and Republican -  whose campaigns are financed by the for-profit charter school operators and companies to make fortunes off this great untapped source of wealth: public schools systems across our country.  Of course teachers have no control over things that make public school children, especially those from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds (In the wealthiest nation in the history of civilization) unable to pass these idiotic tests so narrowly focused as they are on such limited evaluation determinants. What baloney this all is. Our country has done very, very well with its public school experiment all these decades - and done so with very little or no state-wide or national  testing. But now this massive nation-wide, actually global movement to divert billions in taxpayer funds away from traditional public schools and into the coffers of these for-profit operators has taken hold. And to achieve their goals of enriching themselves at the expense of public school students everywhere  they come up with these hair-brained, half-baked policies, like this one: tie funding of schools of education to the level of test scores their graduates' students achieve teaching in public schools. Brilliant! Watch how it all plays out. Watch how billions in public school education taxpayer funds end up in the pockets of these savvy exploiters, exploiters like Jeb Bush who is now running for President and is now a major, hugely influential back-room operator-for- profit in this public school privatization arena. He now invests in and actually works for those companies trying to profit from diverting taxpayer education funds to "school reform" book and program publishers, on-line Charter school operators, and for-profit charter schools and charter management companies. And he started doing all this while governor of Florida! Read "Testing Time - Jeb Bush's educational experiment," by Alec MacGinnis, The New Yorker, January 26, 2015:


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/26/testing-time

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

This problem is easily resolved. You test the kids at the beginning, middle and end of the year to measure progress. You attribute progress to the teacher for gains made from beginning to end of the year. You discard the scores of the students who transferred into the class after the first couple of months. Those scores will measure real gains by the students.

And let's get one thing straight once and for all....
Poverty does NOT cause poor education.
School is FREE! We coddle, beg, cajole the poor kids and families to get to school. For goodness sake, at APS we feed them breakfast, lunch AND DINNER AT SCHOOL!

We spend enormous tax dollars coddling these families. Poor educational outcomes do NOT come from poverty. It is not socio-economic. It is only socio. Poor immigrants from other countries who cannot speak English when they arrive on our shores perform better than the "poor" kids in Atlanta do.
Being that  this is MLK day, leaders in Atlanta need to man up and point the finger where it should be pointed -- at the families who won't send their kids to school. On the south side of Atlanta TRUANCY is their biggest problem. Teachers cannot teach an empty chair.  

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Betsy Ross1776  Thank you for being one of the few who admits that attendance is one of the major problems at failing schools.  That is an ADMINISTRATOR problem, not a teacher problem! Now if I can just get people on board with the discipline and social promotion problems.

duke14
duke14

Good grief! This essay is incoherent. What is she saying? That there is no problem, except the problem caused by testing? Or that this testing regime is not the right way to measure the problem? Anyone who is good at studying- which I am, having been a top student throughout my academic career- knows that the way to learn something is to test yourself constantly. That's the way the mind learns; it needs to have feedback. You read a few paragraphs, then you pause to see how  much you remember. I forget the exact percentage of time spent recalling as opposed to reading which maximizes retention, but it's a lot higher percentage than anyone would expect..

Testing is child labor? Well, yes; education is hard work. One of the major problems with modern education is that progressive educators don't believe that. They do not believe in testing, because they do not believe in education with rigorous academic content. They emphasize originality, creativity, social skills, confident attitudes, etc..

The relevant measure is not relative performance but absolute performance. Students at every level are not learning what they need to know. They don't acquire the knowledge they need to understand the world in which they live, or to make well-reasoned decisions in their private lives or as citizens.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@duke14 An interesting point you raise. Absolute performance is discouraged for many of the same reasons you suggest.  When you provide real feedback- I have had parents lament, "what about his self-esteem".  This is the construct in which many educators teacher. Self-esteem trumps real learning and should you provide real feedback- expect a backlash for the same reasons- including from parents.  Pass rates are more important than authentic learning and students are discouraged from failing- even if they have not done the work. For political purposes including home values etc., you must look like your students are meeting the standards- even if they are not. Sad, but educational ENRON has been in full effect for some time. 

Cere
Cere

What? I don't really get this essay - but I will say, highly qualified teachers definitely can make a difference in the lives and futures of children. Provided those teachers are not burdened with too many high risk/high need students and or too large a class to manage students individual needs. We are losing qualified teachers everywhere. Why? Because the job is too demanding for the pay and has too much potential liability for outcomes. Who wants that?  We simply have to put our money DIRECTLY into the classrooms - support teachers and students in every way possible - and eliminate bloat, unnecessary expense and waste.  Teaching properly is not rocket science. Finding, maintaining and supporting highly qualified teachers is the key. 

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Cere By design- the resources were removed. The classes were increased, and new performance expectations put in place.  Finally, public schools are attacked. By design.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Cere  Why would there be "too many high risk/high need students"?  Oh, yes - MAINSTREAMING!

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

LOL...more bureaucratic rules and regulations cannot fix the mess that is public education which is the result of bureaucratic rules and regulation. The 'system' is really the 'patient' in the eyes of the politicians. Their concern is not for the kids but for the teachers, administrators, colleges, text book manufacturers and all of the ecosystem which is dependent on state and federal controlled dollars. The politicians concern is how to keep the system going so that all of the voters dependent on this huge ecosystem maintain their loyalties. If kids were the primary concern then a voucher system would be a no brainer. Give parents about $10,000.00 per kid per school year to go out and buy the educational service they think would be most helpful to their children. Private enterprise would develop innumerable educational options to compete for this money. If parents did not like the product, they take their money somewhere else. This is the free market solution. It threatens the stranglehold bureaucrats have on billions of dollars and scares the whiz out of them. They fight it not because it wouldn't be better for the kids but because it threatens their livelihood and power. The same sad statistics regarding failing kids and schools have been around for over 45 years when the era of modern education was ushered in and yet, the same power hungry politicians and bureaucrats still trick the public into believing that this time their ideas for change will really make a difference. Does anyone really buy this anymore? Take the money away from the feds and the state and give it to the parents and let them make the educational decisions for their children. Abolish the federal and state educational bureaucracies. How much worse could the results be if it didn't work?

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

@ScienceTeacher671 @traderjoe9 

@ScienceTeacher671 @traderjoe9  In 2011, the per capita spending on each student in GA was $9,203.00. I imagine the cost has gone up since then.


The typical argument from the left against vouchers is that the poor and handicapped kids would be left behind. This is a scare tactic used to discount the likelihood that similar services could not be offered by free market solutions.


Really good private school cost include the expense for a lot of frills which have nothing to do with learning. People pay for frills when they can.


GRADUATION RATES

  • Washington, D.C.: Students who used their voucher in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program graduated at a rate of 91 percent—more than 20 percentage points higher than those interested in the program who did not receive a scholarship and more than 30 percent higher than the graduation rate of D.C. Public Schools.

    Read the Study: Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Final Report

  • Wisconsin: Students participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program had 76.6 percent on-time graduation rate—more than 7.2 percentage points higher than the graduation rate of students in Milwaukee Public Schools.
    Read the Study: Student Attainment and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

College Enrollment

  • New York: African American participants in a private school choice program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college as a result of receiving a voucher.  The study by the Brookings Institution and Harvard University also shows that African American enrollment rates in selective colleges more than doubled among voucher students, and the rate of enrollment in full-time colleges increased by 31 percent.  Using a randomized experiment to measure the impact of school vouchers on college enrollment, researchers tracked privately-funded voucher students in New York City over a nearly 15-year period.

    Read the Study: The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City

Academic Achievement

Taxpayer Savings

  • Florida: The non-partisan Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability reported that: “The corporate income tax credit scholarship program produces a net savings to the state. We estimate that in Fiscal Year 2007-08, taxpayers saved $1.49 in state education funding for every dollar loss in corporate income tax revenue due to credits for scholarship contributions.”

    Read the Study: Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability Report, December 2008

  • Wisconsin: An ongoing state-sponsored fiscal analysis of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program found that the voucher program is producing growing net statewide taxpayer savings.  In fiscal year 2010, the estimated savings was $46.7 million, and the estimated net fiscal benefit in fiscal year 2011 is $51.9 million.

honested
honested

@traderjoe9 @ScienceTeacher671 

Now you might want to 'educate' yourself as to what a ridiculous and faulty program the various 'opportunity' and 'parental choice' programs really are.

Just wait a couple more years and find out what the job placement and job preparation statistics for these poorly prepared students really are. I would imagine even you would find the truth sickening.

But in wrong-wing-world, 'cheap is good'.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

@honested @traderjoe9 @ScienceTeacher671 

Well Science Teacher, maybe you should 'educate' yourself and examine the outcome of the product you offer. How many students dropped out in GA last year? What is the job placement of GA's dropouts, graduates? I'm betting your students could learn more science by watching re-runs of Mr. Wizard from the 1950's.

ScienceTeacher671
ScienceTeacher671

@traderjoe9 First of all, schools don't spend $10,000 a year on the "average" student - they also have students who require lots of special services, and who would not be able to find private schools for that price -- or perhaps even ten times that price.


Secondly, the really good private schools DO cost more than $10,000 per year for tuition, plus you have to pay for your own transportation, textbooks, lab fees, uniforms, etc. at most good private schools.  (Note that I'm not talking about the "Christian academies" that let everyone "learn" by completing workbooks, while supervised by someone who may or may not have gone to college.)


Some serious study of the pros and cons of the voucher program in Minneapolis, plus the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, might be instructive.  

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

@traderjoe9  " Private enterprise would develop innumerable educational options to compete for this money." 

They certainly have!  Haven't you seen the number of on-line "colleges" that advertise on TV now?  Wouldn't that be great?  Our electorate, that is in general, dumber than mud for putting the same venal individuals back in office year after year - that line their pockets with bribes and sweet-heart DEALs now can put their children in those types of schools.

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

@traderjoe9 The best idea is to do away with the federal Department of Education (on that we agree) and take that money and give it directly back to the states on a dollar-for-dollar basis.  I know that would give Georgia politicians less money to steal from education but that's our fault for voting in the idiots in the first place. In the law creating the dissolution of the US DOE, the State of Georgia would be forced to divide the excess money on a per-pupil basis AND be told the money would go to the LOCAL BOE WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED.  In addition the States would be required to create Regional Schools to deal with the "exceptional" students on both ends of the bell curve.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

@OldPhysicsTeacher @traderjoe9  You obviously do not understand how free enterprise works. The parents would have the money. They would decide where they can get the best education for their children. If the online advertiser was one of their choices but it didn't pan out, the parents take their money elsewhere. I think you're confusing private enterprise with the current system where the bureaucrats continue to put kids in failing schools on recycled promises.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

@OldPhysicsTeacher @traderjoe9  Your idea would be an improvement and a step in the right direction but there are many issues which encumber public schools and make many unmanageable. Vouchers put the responsibility back in the parents hands to make choices for their children. However, private institutions would be able to place certain behavioral demands on the students they accept. Undisciplined students could be booted from the school forcing the parent to find a school which focused on behavioral issues or to take other steps to help prepare the student for a learning environment. The dynamic between the learning institution and the parent/child needs to change before we begin to see student test scores improve and dropout rates decrease. Currently, some parents have to do very little beyond breeding to send their kids to public schools.

historydawg
historydawg

@traderjoe9 @OldPhysicsTeacher Since the free market can do all things better, let's do the same with parks, roads, etc. Divide up the money. Let everyone get what is due them. We can each have our own road and our own square footage of greenspace in a park. We are better (e.g., can drive our cars) because we pool our resources. Yelling "mine" and standing behind Adam Smith is sad and most injurious to Georgia's children. Do you think we truly are a free enterprise system? Choice is the free enterprise the government has always implemented, giving preferences and funds to some at the expense of others. That is how the West was appropriated by railroad companies in the 1800s and how folks can leave behind their constitutional responsibility to educate ALL children today. Well, crooked Georgia planter-politicians did that in the 1800s too.

historydawg
historydawg

@traderjoe9 Since when is a government giving money to people characteristic of free market enterprise. We are better when we work together, pool our resources, and teach our kids how to do the same. Our founders, who loved capitalism, believed this. Why not you?

ScienceTeacher671
ScienceTeacher671

@traderjoe9 @ScienceTeacher671


Funny, what I read at your links isn't what you said.  For instance, regarding the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program:


http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20104018/pdf/20104018.pdf


• There is no conclusive evidence that the OSP affected student achievement. On

average, after at least four years students who were offered (or used) scholarships had

reading and math test scores that were statistically similar to those who were not

offered scholarships (figure ES-2). The same pattern of results holds for students who

applied from schools in need of improvement (SINI), the group Congress designated as

the highest priority for the Program. 

ScienceTeacher671
ScienceTeacher671

@traderjoe9 @ScienceTeacher671


From the report on the Milwaukee program:


Overall, the primary finding of this report is that MPCP students had slightly higher rates of

attainment than their MPS counterparts.  This difference is primarily explained by the fact that more MPCP than MPS students both graduated from high school and enrolled in a four-year college. Some of the MPCP attainment benefit appears to be due to family background, as the attainment differences between our MPCP and MPS samples become smaller and lose statistical signifcance when we control for such factors as mother’s education, income, two-parent families, and religious attendance.

Starik
Starik

Perhaps Dr.Jones can explain why teachers who speak incorrect English are teaching English, football and basketball coaches are turning into Principals and teaching academic courses, and many of the teachers are teaching subjects they know little about? 

redweather
redweather

@Starik  Two questions.  Are teachers responsible for this?  Why would Dr. Jones need to explain this?

Mandella88
Mandella88

@Starik @honested


I'm sorry, but I believe you were saying something about correct grammar and use of the English language....

Starik
Starik

@honested @Starik What about the who say "I have went," "I be a teacher (or I beez one."  How much should we pay them?

Mandella88
Mandella88

@Starik @Mandella88 @honested


If you are going to rant on the grammar skills of others, you might want to make sure your abilities are up to par.  Pot, meet kettle....

Starik
Starik

@redweather @Starik Police your profession. How can you teach what you do not know?  f you can't conjugate common verbs - "I be you be we be they be" how can you teach kids to do it right?

redweather
redweather

@Starik @redweather  If it was so easy to "police your profession," we would all have a lot less incompetence to deal with.  Staying with Dr. Jones' analogy, we have a medical board in this state which is charged with protecting Georgians from incompetent doctors. And yet according to stories recently appearing in this very paper, that board has a very odd way of viewing its duties.  See this link for instance:  http://www.myajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/georgia-gives-ok-to-prison-doctor-despite-sanction/njQBh/#389590b5.1968318.735617

gactzn14
gactzn14

@Starik While I don't always agree with you- there are elements of dis-functionality that inhibit progress in many schools- you cannot effectively lead a school if you were never an effective teacher to begin with. But to answer the question- its the same reason that there are doctors and lawyers who speak incorrect English, as well as high school graduates who become department heads (worked their way up)  and supervise people with degrees- similar fundamentals.

honested
honested

@Starik 

That would be easy.

Provide adequate compensation to hire the very best, entirely professional personnel available.......

And raise the revenue necessary to pay for them.

Mandella88
Mandella88

@Starik @Mandella88 @honested


I think we can start by making certain their opinions are irrelevant on blogs when they forget to type sentences correctly after crying out on the importance of proper grammar.  How does that sound to you, hypocrite?  

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Like so many things in education:  Ready, fire, aim!

dsw2contributor
dsw2contributor

University of Georgia (UGA) Professor Dr. Stephanie Jones writes:  "The American Statistical Association has conducted research and insists the impact of teachers on their students’ standardized test scores is a mere 1% – 14% of the total score."

Consider what that amazing statistic means for elementary school teachers: despite spending 6 hours a day, five days a week, with their children, they are only responsible for 14% (at most!) of how well their children do on standardized tests.

I am so sorry University of Georgia (UGA) Professor Stephanie Jones, but standardized testing is not the problem.  Schools of Education and Professors of Education that think that 86% to 99% of a teacher's results are outside of a teacher's control are the problem.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@dsw2contributor Even though many children live in realities you can't seem to comprehend, without the parental support required for academic success- I guess you surmise that when they show up they are eager and ready to learn Shakespeare, Circuits, and Algebraic Expressions- give me a break and get real!

gactzn14
gactzn14

@dsw2contributor Schools in more suburban or middle class environments typically consist of parents who have cultivated a culture of learning in their home.   Some schools exist in  upper middle class neighborhoods where learning (not grades) matter and parents are active participants in the learning process.  I wonder if that makes the jobs of those teachers and administrators less challenging than those working in  lower income districts?  I also wonder which school in the Tale of these Two Cities would most likely be turned over to a charter management organization and who would protest? Last question- how much, if any, of what I discussed fell under the purview of the teacher- NADA

dsw2contributor
dsw2contributor

@gactzn14 @dsw2contributor

What is that supposed to mean?  If a family is homeless and living out of their car, then their children can be written off?   Or, if mom is sent to jail and dad is nowhere to be found, then the child is doomed because he/she lacks "the parental support required for academic success"?

gactzn14
gactzn14

@dsw2contributor @gactzn14 What is the likelihood that they will have the support system to overcome?  They still have to return to the reality you know nothing about.

gactzn14
gactzn14

@dsw2contributor In terms of readiness for the classroom- those in upper and middle class schools have already won 1/2 the battle- stable home and loving parent(s).

NewName
NewName

@dsw2contributor - It is a rare child who overcomes the circumstances you describe, and that is the point. 

gactzn14
gactzn14

@dsw2contributor And studies have shown, that students will still learn no matter how crappy the teacher- if their preceding teachers were strong.  The fallacy is to assume that there are more bad teachers than there are good ones.  Look a little closer and you will see there is an agenda.  This is not to say that there aren't schools that can get better- just that like any other organization there are embedded cultures and processes that hurt progress.  There are too many hard-working teachers that are being mis-characterized for convenience sake.

dsw2contributor
dsw2contributor

^ In other words, children in upper middle class schools will learn no matter how crappy the instruction is in their classrooms. Crappy teachers can coast in upper class schools because the moms and dads will teach the children at home, as they do their homework.

Children in poverty lack that luxury.

historydawg
historydawg

@dsw2contributor You have completely missed the point. The point is that the tests are missing the true target of what education should be, what our founders intended public education to be when they wrote it into state constitutions. Teachers make a huge difference, but none of that is not tested. For example, teachers may teach high school students to write and to think, none of which are tested. Thank goodness, Dr. Jones understands this and is speaking out.