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Re: Chicago Sun-Times Insanity



In a message dated 9/11/01 4:20:44 AM, vanderesq@MINDSPRING.COM writes:

<< I agree we should hold them to some consistency -- but let's

hold them to THAT for consistency. >>

I couldn't have said it better myself. The trouble is, Scott is still
referring to (a) one test, (b) developed by one of the most notorious of the
testing companies and now being used (c) in a city which experienced one of
the largest examples of test discrimination against teachers in history --
the old Chicago "cerfitication" procedures.

As long as we allow anyone to establish any test as "The Bottom Line" we are
playing into the same hands that brought us the last six years of horror for
children (promotion and retention "policies" based on the ITBS "bottom
line"), teachers (reconstitution, reengineering and intervention based on the
TAP "bottom line" in the high schools) and principals.

What part of this am I failing to make clear.

Give them the right to measure a complex reality by a simple-minded "Bottom
Line" and you have given away the game before the first play.

As FairTest just reported, no teacher test has yet been proven to measure
anything that has much to do with good teaching. For the past 40 years in
Chicago's public schools, this has been proved true hundreds of times. Some
of the highest scoring people on the old Chicago teacher tests were racist
pricks, and some of the best teachers had to fight their way in against a
phalanx of godawful certification tests.

That enormous Sun-Times project was an exercise in teacher bashing.

Never once did they consider the possibility that the tests themselves were
so flawed that any decisions made on the basis of those tests were worse than
meaningless, because they gave you bad data.

Look at the result.

More than 100,000 words have already appeared in print, and not one of them
has noted that the company contracted to make the Illinois teacher tests is
one of the most scaldalous in the United States.

Why do we let them set the agenda this way?

George Schmidt

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