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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Faith in High Stakes Testing Fades, Even Among the Corporate School Reformers | janresseger

Faith in High Stakes Testing Fades, Even Among the Corporate School Reformers | janresseger

Faith in High Stakes Testing Fades, Even Among the Corporate School Reformers

After a recent twenty-fifth anniversary conference at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington, Bothell—a Gates funded education-reformer think tank, Chalkbeat‘s Matt Barnum summarized presentations by a number of speakers who demonstrate growing skepticism about the high-stakes, standardized testing regime that has dominated American public education for over a quarter of a century.
Because the Center on Reinventing Public Education is known as an advocate for portfolio school reform and corporate accountability, you might expect adherence to the dogma of test-and-punish, but, notes Barnum:  “The pervasiveness of the complaints about testing was striking, given that many education reform advocates have long championed using test scores to measure schools and teachers and then to push them to improve.”

Then at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology School Access and Quality Summit early this month, Paymon Rouhanifard presented a major policy address challenging the use of high stakes testing to rank and rate public schools.  Rouhanifard was until very recently Chris Christy’s appointed, school-reformer superintendent in Camden, New Jersey.  Formerly he was the director in New York City of Joel Klein’s Office of Portfolio Management.  Rouhanifard describes the belief system he brought with him to Camden and describes how his five-year tenure as Camden’s superintendent transformed his thinking: “Our belief was that politics and bureaucracy had inhibited the progress Camden students and families deserved to overcome the steep challenges the city was facing…  We believed it was important for the district to segue out of being a highly political monopoly operator of schools….  This is a story about an evolution of my own thinking during that five-year experience…. What I’m referring to are the math and literacy student achievement data we utilize to drive so many of the critical decisions we make… My realization a few years ago was that I rarely asked questions about what these tests actually told us.  What they didn’t tell us.  And perhaps most importantly, what were the specific behaviors they incentivized, and what were the general trade-offs when we acutely focus on how students do on state tests.”
In 2013, at the beginning of his tenure, Rouhanifard introduced a school report card that rated each school primarily by students’ standardized test scores. Two years ago Rouhanifard: Continue reading:  Faith in High Stakes Testing Fades, Even Among the Corporate School Reformers | janresseger

CURMUDGUCATION: Don't Call Me A Reformer -

Common Core Creator Slammed Reading Teachers for Having a Research Gap—How Ironic

Common Core Creator Slammed Reading Teachers for Having a Research Gap—How Ironic

Common Core Creator Slammed Reading Teachers for Having a Research Gap—How Ironic

Teachers have enough difficulties. Sometimes you find an article so full of hubris and irony it cannot be ignored.
Several weeks ago, I criticized a series of reports about reading by journalist Emily Hanford. Hanford claimed teachers didn’t understand reading instruction and that their education schools failed to teach them what they should know.
I made the case that these reports involved poor arguments. The author cited the flawed National Reading Panel report and the National Council on Teacher Quality a think tank meant to discredit teachers.

It seemed like the underlying goal was to pit parents against teachers.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a discussion to be had about reading instruction in public schools, only that Hanford’s articles were promoting corporate reform, however nuanced.
I overlooked an Ed. Week article by Susan Pimental, an architect of Common Core English language arts. Pimental praises Hanford’s articles. She criticizes teachers Continue reading: Common Core Creator Slammed Reading Teachers for Having a Research Gap—How Ironic

CURMUDGUCATION: Trump, Apple, but No Teacher

CURMUDGUCATION: Trump, Apple, but No Teacher

Trump, Apple, but No Teacher

Ivanka Trump, Czarina of Shiny Things, traveled to an Idaho school and took Tm Cook, Big Boss Apple, along with her, to contemplate the glossy beauty of post-teacher education.

The Idaho Statesman covered her visit in severe detail (including coverage of an omelet she ate before leaving). The visit was intended to be quick and quiet, with only the Statesman and an ABC crew allowed to witness. And only to witness-- no questions allowed. Some word got out and an assortment of supporters and protesters were waiting outside the school.

One more rich self-appointed ed expert
Inside, students awaited with... well, what the Statesman described were not exactly technomarvels. They spelled out "welcome" on some ipads, and were "making a movie" of the visitors. The tour lasted an hour, featuring the various uses of the ipads that Apple gave the school three years ago.

Trump dropped the usual line about some states and schools being "laboratories of innovation." No, wait-- that was the usual line for the Obama administration. Huh. But the real kicker was Cook's observation about one of the classrooms:

Cook gestured around the classroom: “You notice in this classroom there is no teacher, there is a mentor. It makes the learning process for students very different because in a classroom where there is a mentor, people can move at different rates. This is life. We all learn things at different rates.”

Instead of a teacher standing before the entire class and lecturing, the students at Wilder hold the classroom in their hands and complete the work at their own pace.

It's an ed reformster techno-twofer-- pushing the Personalized [sic] Mass Customized Learning  Continue reading: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Trump, Apple, but No Teacher

Where Do Teachers Get the Most Respect? - NEA Today

Where Do Teachers Get the Most Respect? - NEA Today

Where Do Teachers Get the Most Respect?

teacher respect
How educators are respected in relation to other professions can be a key marker in determining their overall status in an individual country. In China and Malaysia, the teaching profession is often placed on par with doctors. In Finland, the public aligns teaching with social work. Other countries rank teaching alongside librarians. These are just some of the findings in the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, a worldwide survey of the general public and educators in 35 countries on the status of the teaching profession around the world.
How teachers were viewed relative to other occupations is one of four indicators the index uses to measure overall respect for the profession. The survey also looked at what teachers should be paid and whether parents encourage their children to enter the profession.
The researchers said 2018 data show a clear positive relationship between teacher status/respect and student achievement as measured by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores.
China and Malaysia have the highest score in the 2018 index, 100 and 93 respectively. Taiwan – the only other country that places teachers on the same level as doctors – is third.  Russia and Indonesia round out the top five. At the bottom of the rankings are Argentina (23.6), Ghana (18.9), Italy (13.6), Israel (6.6) and Brazil (1).
Most countries surveyed recorded an increase in teacher respect for 2018 over the previous year, including the United States. The U.S. score was 39, which placed it 16th overall.
Doctor was the highest status profession in the survey. Other occupations included nurse, librarian; local government manager; social worker; website designer; policeman; engineer; lawyer; accountant; and, management consultant.
(Source: Global Teacher Status Index 2018)
Most countries placed teaching on the same level as a social worker. The U.S. equated the role of teachers to that of librarians, although the educators in the Continue reading: Where Do Teachers Get the Most Respect? - NEA Today

Bullying, Suicide, and Murder | The Merrow Report

Bullying, Suicide, and Murder | The Merrow Report
Bullying, Suicide, and Murder

Last week in this space I connected the dots between bullying and the suicides and attempted suicides by children and adolescents, pointing out the close correlation between them. This week, I want to surface an equally grim reality: school shootings are also closely correlated with bullying.
Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps that we can take to reduce bullying and, by extension, suicides, suicide attempts, and school shootings.
Let’s cut to the chase: Girls who are bullied beyond their breaking point are most likely to try to kill themselves, not others.  All too often they succeed. 
By contrast, boys who reach the breaking point are far more likely to try to kill others.  All too often, they are successful.
Girls rarely use guns.  Boys usually do.  And guns almost always function they way they are supposed to, meaning that people die.  And, sadly, guns are readily available in modern America.  (About 70% of school shooters got their weapons at home or from relatives, according to ABC News.)
“The modern era of school shootings” (an awful phrase) began on April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado, when two white male teenagers who had been bullied excessively shot up their high school, Columbine High, killing 13 people and wounding at least 20 others before they turned their guns on themselves.  The ensuing 19+ years have seen close to 300 school shootings  including Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, two that you no doubt remember.  By the way, at least 65 of the shooters Continue reading: Bullying, Suicide, and Murder | The Merrow Report