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*Subject*: Re: eliminate public education*From*: Karen Canty <kscanty@PACBELL.NET>*Date*: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 15:16:26 -0800*In-reply-to*: <3C6049DF.D2098BD9@earthlink.net>*Reply-to*: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>*Sender*: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>

Ken Bernstein wrote:

"I happen to be able to ace standardized tests. For one thing, I read at

over

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

answer

the test creator wants, EVEN IF THAT ANSWER IS NOT CORRECT.

Ken,

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 -

none!

Karen

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