Re: The blind leading the blind: Taking the guesswork out of grading
- Subject: Re: The blind leading the blind: Taking the guesswork out of grading
- From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
- Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 02:45:33 EST
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
In a message dated 1/21/01 5:36:40 PM, aardvark69@EARTHLINK.NET writes:
<< George, please don't have a heart attack! >>
Thanks for the concern, but I've added additional Vitamin E to my daily diet
and am getting to the YMCA three days a week because of stuff like this. They
play "classic rock" in the weight room and if the local or national education
"news" comes on, I put on a Walkman and do an extra couple of sets of aerobic
squats. Then it's time to get back to editing and writing about all this
Chicago is in the forefront of a lot of the idiocy of the testocracy. A major
reason is our totalitarian local government. For example, because the leaders
of the Chicago Teachers Union (Local 1, AFT, AFL-CIO) are now a junior
partner of the Daley administration's "school reform" school board (and
praise anything that comes out of city hall or the politicians that run the
school system), teachers are afraid to speak out because they know they won't
be defended by the union to which they pay almost $700 per year in dues.
The parent "report cards" (optional, by the way) are one just example of our
local lunacy. The biggest (now in its sixth year) has been the use of the
ITBS and TAP for "graduation standards" (for elementary kids) and
"accountability" (for high school teachers).
Bigger Chicago stupidities are to come. Because the official representatives
of the teachers are against the teachers (and in favor of every lie coming
out of Chicago's City Hall), protest against these crazy plans come from
parents (PURE is often alone on this), students (the Organized Students of
Chicago are usually maligned in the press by the city's leaders, as last
month when Paul Vallas referred to one of their leaders as a "punk"), and a
handful of teachers who aren't afraid of speaking out (mostly gathered around
Parent "report cards" aren't the only nutsy notions being implemented and
We also had the Grade Gestapo ("align your class grades with the ITBS and TAP
scores of your students") six months before Boston.
And now we're beginning "high school" as early as sixth grade based on one of
the worst "standardized" tests in the United States -- the Chicago Academic
Standards Examinations (CASE). Later this week Chicago's media will report on
a motion which comes before the school board tomorrow to "grant high school
credit to elementary school students."
How do we know if a child has "passed" high school algebra in sixth grade in
Chicago gives that child the CASE examination. If he or she "passes," she has
"passed" high school. Theoretically, Chicago can have children "passing"
three-quarters of their high school "classes" by taking CASE tests in sixth,
seventh, and eighth grades, then completing a year of two in "high school"
and "graduating" at age 14 or 15. Look for it soon in a "standards and
accountability" package in your town.
After all, the "parent report cards" began here.
So did the Grade Gestapo which checks to make sure teachers' classroom grades
are "aligned" with our promotion, graduation, and accountability "standards"
(the ITBS for the little ones, the TAP for high schools).
This insanity had national implications four years before George W. Bush was
in the running for the White House, and all of its sponsors were on the
Democratic Party's bandwagon.
Chicago's mayor was the one who proclaimed (to the National Press Club in
Washington in 1997) that Chicago had successfully "ended social promotion."
That lie got Chicago into the State of the Union messages in 1998 and 1999.
Then Bill Clinton's handlers figured out that Chicago's claims were fishier
than a Glouchester cod bin that'd been in the summer sun for a week. By
January 2000, Chicago was no longer the Clinton administration's poster city
for "school reform."
By then they had destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of children
(through third and sixth grade retention and withholding elementary school
graduation) and hundreds of teachers and principals (through "redesign,"
"reengineering", "reconstitution," and -- this is the latest --
"intervention" in the high schools that "fail" the TAP reading comprehension
Because they have the full institutional support of the major media, the
backing of groups of "scholars" who are also on their payroll (at most
prominently at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the
University of Illinois at Chicago, and DePaul University), the Chicago
Teachers Union, the official "civil rights" people (Jesse Jackson is a pal of
Daley and Vallas), and the Illinois political leadership (Demopublican and
Republicrat), they have been getting away with all this.
Heart attack? No. Blood pressure normal. Other indicators same same.
5132 W. Berteau
Chicago, IL 60641
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