This comes from Students Last. Satire alert!
I will bet anyone a quarter that some edutrepeneur will try that before it all hits the fan and people wake up.
I have a question about the current NCLB tests on which everyone was supposed to score proficient eventually. Are those tests normed–on the bell curve? If so, wouldn’t it be statistically impossible for everyone to be proficient? Or are they somehow criterion referenced so that the statistical system could hypothetically allow for everyone to score proficient? How about the NAEP and the PISA? I’ve been wondering about those.
All standardized tests are normed on a bell curve. Richest kids always at the top (but not every single one of them); poorest kids always clustered in bottom half. Tests are a measure, not a reform strategy.
No, tests aren’t a measure as teaching and learning can’t be quantified. And they definitely are a rheeform stragedy (a neologism combining strategy and tragedy)
Hire Rhee, Henderson and Jason as consultants. I’m sure they’ll ‘guide’ you along the road to higher scores. :>)
Hire Michelle Rhee, Kaya or Jason as consultants. I’m sure they can ‘guide’ you along the road to higher scores. :>)
All standardized test questions are normed even if they insist they are criterion referenced. That’s one of the testing industries dirty little secrets. The tests are meant to sort and separate and therefore the questions must be able to “discriminate” the “good” students from the “bad” and that is done by norm referencing each question.
NAEP was supposed to be criterion referenced.
It is a normed test, with a spread of easy, moderate and hard and very hard questions. It produces a bell curve distribution of achievement.
MCAS tests (in Massachusetts) were also supposed to be criterion-referenced, so that theoretically everyone could become proficient. But they set the cut scores each year after testing, and only in the 10th grade are the vast majority of students proficient. (10th grade math cut scores are very different than the math 3-8 cut scores.) The initial cut scores for proficient, in 1998, according to a DOE spokesman in that year, were set at the level of the 85th percentile on the Iowas. In the past few years, they have increasingly used a “growth” model, the student growth percentile, which a DOE spokesperson noted was part of moving away from criterion-referenced testing and towards a growth model. Since it’s a percentile, it seems clear to me that there will always be 50% of students below the 50th percentile no matter how much growth Massachusetts students make on their test scores.
If a test is “rigorous,” that means that not everyone will be proficient. Teachers have failed.
If everyone is proficient, that means the test wasn’t “rigorous.” Teachers have failed.
No one says, “Everyone got this question right. Our teachers are teaching and our kids are learning.”
Instead they say, “Gosh, better pull that question off the test. It’s obviously not a useful question.”
Here’s a great video about testing in schools and how it adversely affects students and teachers
Reblogged this on Thinking in the Deep End.
I just wanted to TY for the humorous link Diane. Kind of hits the spot on a Friday!
I’m sure Michelle would have given a testimonial!
During the course of my years as teacher and mother I experienced these ways of “improving” test scores:
Get a copy of the test, xerox it and send it home for “homework” the day before the test. That’s what my son’s teacher did 20 years ago and it worked! He scored at the 99th percentile and later got into Harvard!!
Look at the test ahead of time and drill your students on ithe exact items from Sept. to May. That was the advice given to other teachers and me by an administrator who attended a conference on testing and assured us it was OK.
Encourage your teachers to check out the test a week ahead of time so they can “familiarize yourself” with the “format.”
Ask your reading specialist to make up “practice tests” for each grade level. Give her copies of the actual test to give her “ideas” for the practice test.
Ask your grandmotherly and kind-hearted first-grade teacher (the one who believes it’s her job to help the children because “I know they know the answers”) to pull and the lowest kids in each class to administer the test in a small, private office.
Encourage your lowest test-scorers to stay home on testing days or “invalidate” their tests for any reason you can think of.
If the administration of tests has become quite strict at your school, just make certain the teacher gives the test by herself, without proctors.
Place a gifted student with really high test scores in the center of a group of low-achieving children. Push their desks together. (When I asked a teacher in a high-scoring school how they did it, that’s what she told me!)
If you are the principal, collect all tests, go to your office after everyone has gone home, and check the tests for “stray marks.”
If all else fails, consider teaching the curriculum to the best of your ability.
Seriously, this test “invalidation” has been going on for years. It’s about time journalists and others were catching on.
Oh, I forgot the most important strategy for raising your test scores: If you are a teacher whose students got very low test scores last year, try this: Transfer to a school in an affluent area in which most of the parents are professionals with advanced degrees. I GUARENTEE your test scores will be phenomenal and you won’t have to do anything.
I meant to write “guarantee.” Sorry!
Not finding a better place to put this, so thought I’d drop this in here, about real teaching and real learning for improved results in writing:
(mm, we need blockquotes)
This is not something that your average teacher can be expected to figure out on his own. Looking at student work together as a form of data can be a good start. A teacher with a gift for thinking about language may intuit some of these teaching points and work them into her instruction and feedback, and a really visionary, borderline monomaniacal one might devise a whole system for teaching these structures methodically in his own classroom. But even that wouldn’t be enough. The revolution has to be bigger than that, because there’s a lot to learn, and none of it is going to be learned without a whole lot of practice.
That’s why the breadth, follow-through, and focus of New Dorp’s writing initiative was so crucial. The kind of learning that meaningfully improves student writing can’t happen once a week with a tutor, or once a quarter when it’s time to write the big paper, or even every time the word “although” happens to come up in a student’s homework. It needs to happen methodically and repeatedly, in a variety of contexts, until students are able to make the moves automatically, the way sophisticated speakers and writers do all the time — not pausing to remember a rule that someone once wrote in the margin of their paper, just talking and writing in the way that allows them to say what they have to say.
Oh, and perhaps most importantly from that link:
I wish that the writing revolution at New Dorp were just about switching genres, or at least that we already knew what worked decades ago and could just start doing it again. But we don’t. We are trying to do something new. I am not the first to remark on this, but once more with feeling: We’re trying to teach all our kids, even the poor ones, even the ones to whom school does not come easily. We’re trying to dedicate our schools to teaching rather than sorting — to dramatically improving the skills of the students who were, in those good old days, earmarked for voc-tech by the third grade. So we’re figuring it out as we go. And New Dorp just took a big step forward.
IC must be a private school???
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 57,288 other followers