Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Feb 12, 2010.
Feb 12, 2010
This was in our local paper today:
...but teachers' union threatening lawsuit...
I teach children with IQ's below 60. They have to take the grade level standardized test and must pass for me to be considered a "good" teacher. Makes me feel bad for teachers just entering the profession.
I think a lot of school districts are going to end up going in directions similar to this. Unfortuantely, I think it will lead to dishonest teachers who will just make sure their kids score what they need.
Can we fire the parents if their children score badly for several years in a row? Ok, not serious, but I also have always taken on the inclusion class . That means my kids are 1 to 3 grade levels below where they should be when they start. I always know that several won't pass. I can do a lot but I am not a miracle worker. # grade levels is hard to do in 1/2 a year. (our test comes first week in march)
I teach ESL, of course my students don't pass as often as native speakers, though I do everything in my power to help them be successful in the classroom and on the test. I cannot get a child who just arrives from a foreign country with no schooling and no English on grade level in just one year as required by Federal law. Please fire me for my inadequate results.
And I don't know about Texas, but in Ohio our value added can only measure growth in a very limited way. For instance if they start 3rd grade at a 1st grade reading level and I get them reading at a end of 2nd grade reading level I consider that growth, but they still can't read the end of the 3rd grade reading level passages so how are they going to answer the questions!!!!!
We actually compare one year's growth to the next for each individual student. So my kids took a standardized test in January-whatever they scored then, there should be a certain amount of growth when they are tested the following January in 1st Grade.
I wanted to mention too, I think teachers who teach the low kids are definitely at a disadvantage because they are already struggling and below grade level out of the gate. But I've known teachers of GT classes who are at risk as well. If the 1st grader is already testing on a 4th Grade level, it's hard to get them up to 5th grade and teach them the skills they are missing on the 1st grade level as well.
I'm torn because I do think we need to weed out ineffective teachers, I'm just not sure test scores will show that. As someone else said, a teacher can teach to the test all year and show growth, but her students may not have really learned anything.
I'm torn, also. I don't mind being held accountable for the things I'm teaching. It just bothers me when there are so many things out of my control....like having 28 kids in my 2nd grade classroom, parents and students in crisis, etc. I would feel much better about it if it was indeed measuring growth and if some controls were in place, such as class size limits being adhered to.
haha! yes! Teachers can't make up for everything!
Parents do need to have some accountability as well. Feeding a child supper, getting the child to bed at a reasonable time, and up early enough to make it to school in time and early enough to eat breakfast, get parent notes signed, and at least monitor completion of homework.
Can you tell I am frustrated today? I had my fifth parent bring up ssi forms to fill out. Seventy percent of my class is either labeled as add or ADHD. If the disability has additional expenses for the parent, I can understand the ssi process. But what I can't understand is the parent will bring up bags of chips for parties (on something no less-drunk or drugs, I'm not sure) and will bring up ssi forms, but doesn't get the kid to school on time and never has parent sheets signed and the kid very rarely has homework done. Where is the mandated accountability for the parent? Other than court for absences, there are hardly ever any consequences for parents like this. Our school sends home food on the weekend, gets kids their coats, and gets parents help with bills on occasion. I know everone and anyone can hit a rough patch occasionally, but it gets old when the rough patch is going on eight years or more.
Can you tell I had an interesting day?
"District data show that more than 400 teachers -- about 3 percent of the teaching corps -- could be at risk..."
This is a naïve initiative.
Setting aside the question of whether a teacher's job performance can be measured by the academic performance of his or her students (external factors, etc., etc.), there will always be differences in job performance among teachers. This is true for any group of workers, and indeed, for any group of human beings.
There will always be a 'bottom 3 percent' of teachers. At what point do we stop weeding them out?
If they really wanted to find poor teachers, then I would wonder more about teachers who have students who have continuously shown a certain level of acheivement and then dropped for that year. They have the data to run algorithms to check that kind of thing. That would give more information than straight pass/fail scores for a single year. Of course, that would not take into account first year test takers.
I'll say this: It is a sign of the times, but also represents a slippery slope.
This just shows the need for resiliency and the ability that we as educators need to have to bend with the times we work in.
Feb 13, 2010
I actually just watched the meeting (we have a channel devoted to our district on local cable) and it was really interesting. They had 68 people speak their opinion-all the ones for the policy were either parents or business owners in the area. Almost all the teachers who spoke were against it. The parents, although well-intentioned, I think are in denial about what more teaching to the test will mean in the long run.
Several teachers spoke about how they have had negative value-added scores even though they have 99.5 TAKS passing rates and off-the-chart Stanford scores. They didn't show growth under the statistical model. Or teachers who teach transition classes for ESL kids testing in English for the 1st time. The best part was when one of the union members brought up the new Super's statistics from both the former districts where he worked-both were negative growth. Hmmmm.
I see a thousand things wrong with this, namely that it's ONLY based on test scores. Where are the extensive observations, development requirements, etc.? It will still take "several years" to fire a "bad" teacher. And why only 3-8th grade?
I respect the intention, but the system is flawed.
I can answer one of those questions Ms. Dippel (and I in no way disagree with you that it's flawed). 3rd-8th Grade because that's where they do the bulk of testing-each of those years the kids take variations of our TAKS tests so they have scores to compare. I do think 1st and 2nd will also end up under that microscope because they are also eligible for bonuses under our system, I just don't think the statistical calculations they are using can count the tests they take. Did that make sense? We take a test in Kinder but have nothing to compare it to, since thankfully we haven't started standardized testing Pre-K---yet.
The STAAR test that is going to start in a year or two is supposed to be "significantly more rigorous than the TAKS" so it's going to get even uglier!