AFT's Sizing Up State Standards

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kyblue07, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 27, 2008

    http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/downloads/teachers/standards2008.pdf

    I just happened across this while doing some surfing the other night. Just wondered if anyone else has seen it. After looking at the ratings for my content & grade level standards I don't feel like such a dummy for being frustrated with them. And Ky just revised the standards just a few years ago.:down:
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Wow, some states didn't meet the criteria in any category! Interesting document.
     
  4. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oh my! My state, PA, is one of the 0% ones!
     
  5. I_love_turtles

    I_love_turtles Rookie

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    Arizona actually ranked higher than I thought they would (50-74%) considering that we are usually ranked last in most education studies. The state just adopted new Math standards over the summer, so it will be interesting to see how that effects our standing in the future.
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My state is in the middle. I suppose I should be happy that it's not a zero percent state, but we've still got a long way to go. Actually, at the college, we call county public school graduates "victims" of _____county public education.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Interesting document. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, kyblue07.

    Methodology is crucial, but so is content: to teach truly effectively, one needs to know not only what one's students have learned and are supposed to learn, but what they're going to be learning in the future.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    New Jersey has quite comprehensive standards so I was surprised by the rating this site gave. My ditrict is part of a 7 town consortioum- we take the state standards and write district curriculum guides using the standards. I think we do an amazing job with this part of curriculum writing- our guides are used as standards for other NJ districts.
     
  9. Shinchan

    Shinchan Rookie

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    Colorado is a 0% state. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. :(
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Texas also was not ranked as low as I would have expected-50-74% and higher than that in math. We are usually in the bottom tier of most educational rankings. Our standards can be pretty vague and our district also rewrites them into a curriculum for us to use, which makes it easier. I wonder if this data is something that could be used in the argument for national standards.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Keep in mind this 'ranking' is rather subjective and was prepared by the AFT- not an impartial party. :eek:

    It's not a good argument for national standards. It IS a good argument however for professional educators to get involved in curriculum writing- take an active part, let those who write curriculum have your feedback and hear your voice.
    :2up:
    I don't need my curriculum guides to be teachers manuals. I don't need everything delineated as to HOW I should teach it. I like using a standard to design MY OWN lessons- not those imposed by the state (or nation)...EEEK! We want teachers who can think, not robots who follow the step-by-step regimen, procedures and guidelines dictated by some faceless bureaucratic big-brother-esque political machine who knows nothing about the day-to-day realities of a classroom. :2cents:
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "Ay, there's the rub," czacza: teachers who can think, and who then do so, collaborating with their like-minded peers to explain calmly and firmly to their superiors (who themselves also need to be able to think and then do so) why magic-bullet x doesn't work to raise scores on tests and what about test y is ham-handed and best and outright stupid at worst.

    Part of the trick to turning things around is to start looking for the faces behind the bureaucracy, I think.

    But we as a society are more than slightly ambivalent about the prospect of our young, and those who teach our young, actually thinking: people who think for themselves have an unnerving tendency to reach conclusions that are different, and it's really easy for human beings, sorters that we are, to dismiss different as "wrong". (See mmswm's story about the boorish reaction to her ds3.)
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    czacza...don't even get me started on that one. It's ironic how there's all this talk about differentiating instruction in our methods classes (which is a good thing) but then when we get into the classroom we're told both that we need to do it, but then again, we're told how to teach, which leaves little room for creativity on the part of the teacher. *ugh*.

    As for the subjectivity of the ranking...I don't think any of us has taken this as anything more than an interesting assessment/tool. The aft did clearly explain what they evaluated and how they evaluated it, so, in light of their explainations, certain things, of course, need to be taken with a grain of salt. This ranking, like any other test or ranking, should be included in a larger scale evaluation with rankings/tests from other groups/organizations, if we wanted to get a fuller picture of what's going on. I wonder if the politicians could figure that out....maybe there wouldn't be such pressure on the "tests"...*sigh* I'm daydreaming again.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's also tough to balance consistency and differentiation.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    That's where creativity comes in...which is hard to do when your lesson plans are being dictated to you.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's also difficult for honchos floundering for Results At All Costs to remember the difference between "template" and "straitjacket".
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Can we turn this into a bumper sticker, please???????
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hm. Hmmmmm...
     
  19. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Well said!

    But the reality is that this is the system and as a teacher I am evaluated according to the test results for my content/grade. And if that's the case, then I want specific standards to follow in my classroom for what will be tested. It doesn't mean that's all I'll cover or I have no room for creativity.
     

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