Thursday, April 18, 2013

Remember teachers, as this happens, YOUR jobs are on the line. Think about it. – @ the chalk face

Remember teachers, as this happens, YOUR jobs are on the line. Think about it. – @ the chalk face:

State test “puke” policy trumps parents refusal attempts.

After the first week of opt out or “refusals” across the country there have been some interesting stories emerging—one that is bit troubling.  I won’t call it a trend but it is worth mentioning.  Principals and teachers are coercing children into taking state tests even after parents have made it clear that they do not want their children to take the tests.
Example:  Last night I posted the following Facebook comment from @the chalkface’s Kris Nielsen.
Parents from all over the state are reporting more threats from school personnel, as children are told that if they refuse, their teachers will lose their jobs. First of all, that’s a lie. Second of all, it’s horribly unfair for anyone to try to place that type of stress and anxiety on any child.
This was followed up with:
Sue: I love educators, have the utmost respect and admiration for them. Most of them. I used to 

Remember teachers, as this happens, YOUR jobs are on the line. Think about it.

Kid taking test in resource room, looks up: Mrs. T? Sorry, I can’t help you with that. Looks down. Makes random marks, gives up. #happened
— ned hoskin (@nhoskin) April 18, 2013

A brief and important thought about high stakes testing

Remember, and I want to make this brief, yet as clear as crystal. I’ll even bold it.
If you are a supporter of a regime of high stakes testing and scripted core curriculum, then you are the status quo. 
There is this rather confusing idea out there that those who take marching orders from the Business Roundtable or McKinsey and Co. are these rebellious moral crusaders fighting entrenched interests, subsumed by antediluvian traditions and folk knowledge.
Nope. I apologize. Perhaps you can purchase a Che Guevara T-shirt at Urban Outfitters or pick up a vintage Led Zeppelin shirt on eBay to wear on the weekends as you fancy yourself some kind of rebel bucking the system.

@commercialfree should investigate product placement in NY ELA tests #testFAIL

This from the New York Post. Although, take what they say about the Boston Marathon with a grain of salt.
Teachers and students said yesterday’s multiple-choice section of the eighth-grade tests name-dropped at least a handful of companies or products — including Mug Root Beer, LEGO and that company’s smart robots, Mindstorms.
IBM, the comic book and TV show “Teen Titans” and FIFA — the international soccer federation — 

“Interesting” question re: student engagement with testing.

Education week asks: How can we help students feel engaged with state mandated tests? Oh, even the phrase “state mandated tests” really turns me on.
So, head on over and tell them what you think. Or, in the comments here.

New York ELA day 2 disaster #FAIL #Pearson #NYSED

As I hear from educators at my school, baseball practice tonight, and via social media, today’s Day 2 of the New York State ELA Assessment was an unmitigated disaster.
From reports far and wide around the state I have cobbled together a list of issues reported to me or from various facebook groups:
  • Very long instructions, ranging from 20-25 minutes.  The instructions were over three pages long and teachers are required to read word for word. Heard from educators that students were burned out before the exam started.  How can we expect children age 8-14 to listen to instructions for that length of time.