Re: Wasting Class Time
- Subject: Re: Wasting Class Time
- From: Juanita Doyon <Jedoyon@AOL.COM>
- Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 02:07:21 EST
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Educational triage-- exactly what the testaholics are telling our schools
here to practice. We no longer concentrate effort on the lowest third
either. We want to get those meeting standard up, so our percentages
Used to be that the principals would jump the hoops and write the strategic
plan so that we got the staff development monies from the state-- no big
deal. Now we jump the right students through the hoops, so we get the test
scores to look better for the state. And the sad part is, even good
principals are doing it, because it's the test scores that matter for the
whole school and they know that if they lose in the high stakes of it all,
everybody loses. More damage control at the site. We chose what is least
harmful instead of what's best for kids.
And speaking of losing-- our levy is going down with just barely 50% yes
vote. We need 60% to pass. The district ran a stinkin' "stealth" campaign.
In a message dated 2/5/02 7:41:10 PM Pacific Standard Time, learn@JPS.NET
> In a recent conversation with teachers from large urban districts in Orange
> County (California), I learned that in one district with a large population
> of Limited English Proficient students, teachers were told to concentrate
> on teaching math--because it's easier to raise those scores in the short
> term than to make students proficient in English. Never mind what students
> - or society as a whole - might need in the long run.
> In the same district, I am told, administrators have instituted a system of
> triage. Whereas teachers serving needy populations often devote much of
> their time and effort to students in the bottom third of the class,
> teachers in this district have been told to focus on the middle third. The
> theory is that with much effort a student might move from the second to the
> tenth percentile, but it wouldn't help the API (Academic Performance
> Index). Students at the 35th or 40th percentile might be able to get scores
> above 50. The goal is to get "above the mean."
> A teacher described the horrible feeling of meeting with parents at the
> first conference, informing them that their child was likely to be retained
> because she was far from "meeting standards," and knowing (as parents
> asked, "What can we do, Senora?") that she was not supposed to "waste"
> class time on assisting those students.
> At the school where one of my informants works, the principal discourages
> field trips and assemblies, so that teachers and students can focus on
> tested curriculum. Of course, these co-curricular activities are the very
> thing that students would be most likely to remember and that would be most
> likely to build a positive attitude toward school.
> When it was time for physical fitness testing, one teacher pointed out that
> students had had no opportunity to develop these abilities. Every activity
> is supposed to be related to the math and English tests, so many elementary
> classes have stopped having P.E.
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