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Re: eliminate public education

Ken Bernstein wrote:

"I happen to be able to ace standardized tests. For one thing, I read at
1,000 words a minute. That gives me a huge advantage, as standardized tests
are time. Further, I know how such tests work, and know to look for the
the test creator wants, EVEN IF THAT ANSWER IS NOT CORRECT.


My best friend is a teacher and a few years ago when she wanted to go back
to the classroom had to take the CBEST - the test that determines if someone
is qualified to teach in California' public schools...She was having
difficulty with the math portion of the test - 60 questions in 60 minutes
and since she knew that I at least used to take math tests well, she came
over one day to ask for my help. I asked her to show me the practice test
and watched her work through a couple of the problems...What she was doing
was trying to "figure out" the correct answer to each question independently
of the multiple choice answers - so I saw immediately why she was having
difficulty getting through the exam in an hour. It wasn't because she
didn't know the math - she just didn't know the TRICK - that you look at the
problem, set it up and look at the answers. Most of the time there will be
only one or possibly two answers that would work so you answer those
questions quickly - then go back over the others and try to then figure out
the right answer...I remember that first one I showed her - the answer had
to end in 6 because the set up was 3X2 in the final column and there was
only one answer that ended in 6...once she figured out how to do it she
passed with flying colors.

Now, the real problem - my friend is an incredible teacher; I've been in her
classroom and seen her work (she's a reading specialist so works with
students who are struggling); she is patient, understanding, and uses
whatever tricks she has in her sizable toolbag to teach each child
individually . I on the other hand figured out a long time ago that I would
be a disaster in a classroom when I tried to tutor my neighbor's child when
I was in 7th grade. She was struggling with fractions and her mom asked me
to help. By the time I had explained how to do the problem for the THIRD
time (course as I understand now - in exactly the same way, just using a
louder voice), I gave up....so the fact that I could have passed the CBEST
has absolutely nothing to do with my teaching abilities - which are 0 -


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