Education in 20 years

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 1cubsfan, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. 1cubsfan

    1cubsfan Companion

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    In 20-30 years, what do you predict education in the US will look like? More testing? Less testing? More special education? Private education? Will the differences be drastic?

    Looking back, I have been trying to think about how education has changed in the last 20 years, but I am only 23 so it's hard for me to tell. I think the biggest thing I have noticed is that there are many more special education services.
     
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  3. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    To be honest, I'm concerned what U.S. education will look like in 20 years. I don't feel it's improved since I was a kid. I know many will use the "but look at how technology has helped." Yes... but when class sizes are increasing and tax dollars are decreasing... it doesn't matter they've invented the iPad 6 "now with holographic interface!" when my students are told they can't be given pencils.

    Twenty-five years ago, did the thought of somebody entering classrooms with an automatic gun enter our minds? Did the thought of teachers being laid off enter our minds? I don't believe so.

    I suppose we could have have a "shift" and all of a sudden things will make a 180 degree turn.

    Just not hopeful.
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Ted with all that in mind I wonder if there will just be more online or out reach type stuff...

    I don't remember guns being an issue but I can remember having bomb threats called into the school. One day we were forced to leave the school early for the day. Do you know what it's like early spring without a jacket? COLD!!! We sat on busses for a few hrs then they sent us home.

    I know I was pretty disheartened as a new teacher in the early 2000 and being told only teach what is on a test at that time...
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Using history as our guide it will look exactly the same as it does now, and by extension in 1950.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I agree with Rockguykev that it will probably look the same. I hope that the big guns look at what all this testing is doing to students and cut back (thank god TX has done this in HS already!) on testing. I think as online schools continue to grow, we might see more and more students opting for going to online schools.

    I think with RtI, we will actually see a drop in special education referrals and therefore, the special ed numbers will drop...at least that's been my experience.
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I am very optimistic about education in 20 years. I actually feel it is going forward, but right now we have a huge anchor around us by overemphasizing testing.

    First, I think the changes will be greatest in the higher grades. Colleges and high schools will change dramatically. Teachers who lecture will be rare, and those who do will be very good at it. Technology will be able to pin point what students know and what they don't. Students will be able to go to websites to help them specifically in areas they need the most help.

    Teachers will have countless options of how to teach information. The one textbook system will be dead. Teachers will be able to go to a website, type in a standard and immediately find countless ways to teach a lesson with the electronic materials readily available.

    Testing will be the largest unknown. I am not confident about whether the "war against too much testing" will be won. I do believe that the quality of testing will probably improve. Tests will be done electronically and students who are low and miss the first few problems will get easier problems more at their level. Testing will result in more accurate results. AR has some of this technology, and it should improve more in time.

    Personally, I would not want to go back 20 years ago when I had an Apple IIe computer, no internet, no YouTube, no teacherpayteachers.com, no Pinterest, and no atozteacherstuff.com. I truly believe this is the best (although not the easiest) time to be a teacher and the future will be even better. Bring it on.
     
  8. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I wish I could find a school that was willing to invest some time and try going back to basics (for lack of a better term). Some of our greatest leaders and minds came from a classroom that was radically different and "old-fashioned" compared to today. People talk about progressive classrooms and then look back on all of the past great minds and wonder where they all went. Maybe they're back in those old-fashioned classrooms. We're trying everything else, so why not?
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Fly to Arizona and you'll see we have "Back to Basic Schools" that focus on the basics and less on new methods of teaching. Some are doing very well, some are not. I know the P at one that is doing well, and I know he has had to incorporate some modern methods to improve the learning in his school.

    If there are 2 things that the research says and 2 things that I have learned in my teaching career, they are the following:
    1. You are correct, the basics are important and they must be taught. The research shows phonics and several other traditional methods really do work.

    2. Some modern methods also work. The research on using hands-on materials and manipulatives in science and math shows that this is really helping these subjects. Therefore, we can't throw "the baby out with the bath water"and go back. We must instead incorporate the best of the new with the best of the old.

    This is why it is so hard to improve teaching. Many teachers and most parents are attracted to either all the new methods or all the past ways of teaching. Until their is a happy marriage of the two, outstanding education will remain just a dream.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

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    It's an interesting question. My fear is the push right now for charter schools by many politicians-I wonder if there will be more of those in the future making the regular public school more obsolete.

    It's funny I was just looking through a memory book from when I was in elementary school and there were standardized test results in there-I don't even remember taking those tests. I think the emphasis on testing today can't get much worse.
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Kinder... I don't think it was as big of deal.I mean today some kids have a big bfast before test, everyone in the school knows. I remember my grade going to the cafeteria and taking the tests in there.
     
  12. TeacherShelly

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    Since schools today are meant to train factory workers (bells, follow instructions, stay in one place all day), I guess the schools in 20 years will be training office workers. No bells, 8:00-6:00, cubicles, staff meetings, water-cooler talks, and lots of computers.
     
  13. Croissant

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    Hmm..I wasn't considering hands-on/manipulatives to be modern. I guess you'd could be right in categorizing them that way, though.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I was an elementary student when No Child Left Behind first started. I attended a relatively low SES school. Much of what I remember of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade is testing/preparing for the test. Fortunately once I got to 7th classes were ability grouped and my advanced class teachers didn't worry about the test. In elementary, it felt like that was all we did. We had practice books that we had to do every day. Each subject had a binder where we had to complete a certain number of test questions each day where we showed how we were highlighting, underlining, crossing out wrong answers, etc. We started this really cool project in 5th grade with a mock stock market, and we had ONE snow day and my teacher decided to cancel the project because she was afraid we wouldn't have enough time to spend on test prep. All of our bulletin boards were related to test strategies, doing our best on the test, etc. When we finally took the tests for the year, the teachers would start talking about the test in the next grade level! I'm part of the first generation of teachers that really understands what it was like to live through the test-crazed era as a student. Now that the tests are getting more "rigorous" and teacher pay/evaluations is based on them, I can't imagine how students today feel.

    I honestly don't know how it will ever get better. The general public is never going to settle for less "accountability" (testing) now. I do see public schools becoming more and more obsolete. That's already becoming an issue around here. In my area, charter schools only accept students that will likely do well. They ensure parent involvement by requiring a hefty number of parent volunteer hours. That and no transportation provided to school generally keeps out the lower SES families. On top of that, students who basically have any behavior issues at all are kicked out due to strict conduct rules. They don't provide adequate sped services either, so those families tend to have to opt for public schools. They also will often say that a student can't be in a grade level unless they are actually on grade level (so a below level 4th grader could be placed in a 2nd grade class, rather that being in 4th with interventions). Through that tactic they basically push out any kids who aren't on grade level since most parents don't want to put their kid in a non age-appropriate class. This has already drastically changed the demographics of public schools in my area. The district I'm going to used to be 40% free and reduced lunch. Once "schools of choice" started, they lost a large part of their student body and they are now at 70% free and reduced lunch. I only see this continuing where families who can will get out of public school and the only kids left are the absolute neediest ones.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    That is so sad. :( I know I feel so fortunate to be able to teach 5th grade with a supporting P where I can do fun and meaningful projects and get the students excited about learning. My students get to read real literature each day, science experiments every week, and go back in history. They do fine on the tests with very little test prep.

    Your story reminds me that those who can still teach, inspire, and not do much test prep...must!
     
  16. Rainbowbird

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    I am afraid for the future.

    I began teaching in 1990 when my state began putting more and more emphasis on testing. However, it was not nearly as bad as it is now.

    The problem is that what is happening in schools is directly tied to politics, big business, and profits. Our entire economy is essentially designed to keep a very small minority wealthy, and a majority struggling to survive. This ensures a steady flow of students who are not prepared to learn adequately.

    For-profit education seeks to disenfranchise public schools by funneling dollars away from public schools and into the corporate owners' pockets. Politicians are happy to do the bidding of the corporate interest groups in exchange for campaign cash. Throw in the monster corporations like Pearson who are making literally billions off testing and there is absolutely no reason for anything to change.

    Breaking the unions is the next step--why should they pay experienced teachers a higher wage when there is a steady flow of unemployed, younger employees who can be fired at will once they begin to creep up the pay scale? And then there's TFA, who handily solves their staffing needs. Meanwhile, teachers are now being evaluated on test results. Results that are likely to be lower in depressed areas. How convenient that funding to solve the socioeconomic problems in these areas is always being cut so as to ensure the "failure" of the schools.

    The entire system is rigged so that a very few will benefit. Teachers and students are increasingly becoming mere cogs in the corporate wheel. Honestly there are times when I wonder why on earth I want to participate in the process. The answer is, of course, the students. However, if things just continue to go this route and it gets to the point where every school is forced to do monotonous test prep in place of real learning, I probably will get out for good and find some other way to use my skills.

    Waterfall, it is very interesting to hear your perspective. One reason I left teaching while still in my 20s for awhile was test prep. It was getting extreme and I just felt like I had to apologize to my students for what I had to put them through. This past year, as a long-term sub, I threw away tons of test prep in favor of rigorous but exciting projects and content based on the state standards. I did just the test prep i thought they really needed. I would have been doing nothing but test prep every single day if I'd not made some decisions in that area. the reams of paper used for the test prep materials boggles the mind. I'm pretty sure it didn't hurt my kids any. ;). In fact, I had parents and students writing me letters thanking me for making learning fun, creating enthusiastic readers, and helping a little boy who'd lost his mother want to come to school everyday.
     
  17. Pashtun

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    I am sorry you had teachers that had no confidence in their teaching abilities. What you describe is not a test taking problem, it is a teacher training problem. The teaching you describe, IMO, prepares them less for the test than authentic in depth teaching.

    Why would they scrap a 5th grade project? There are so many standards that can be taught, practiced, in projects, thinking they don't have value shows a lack of understanding on the teachers part.

    Sorry, what you describe is poor teaching.
     
  18. Rainbowbird

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    Please. There are districts that micro-manage their staffs and insist that everyone do everything the same way. I have a friend in a priority district who will get written up if she is off the pacing guide. Many teachers are told that their test prep is mandatory. Some districts are taking away recess, art, and music in favor of test prep.

    It sounds like you are in a good place where you can do good teaching without feeling like you're cheating or being bad and worried about being caught. Don't blame those who aren't so lucky.
     
  19. Pashtun

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    I am in a place that values state test scores above everything else.

    So what you describe is admin(former teachers) don't have the confidence or teaching skills.

    What Waterfall described sounded like it was the teachers choice, not admins.

    Either way, its not the test that is the problem, it is the teacher training and confidence....for BOTH admin(former teachers) and the current teachers.
     
  20. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I sincerely doubt any teacher would choose to teach that way. Much more likely they are scared out of their wits not to follow the rules that have been laid down. I don't know what would have happened to me if anyone had found out that I was dumping some test prep materials. My p liked me so I suppose I would have gotten a little slap on the wrist and reminder about how important they were.

    There are admins now in my state who never taught or even gone through an administrator cert program btw, even though it is illegal for them to be there. Yet they are laying down the law and telling teachers how to teach.

    You sound fortunate to be in a place that values high test scores but realizes that there are many ways to get them, esp. quality standards-based lessons. Pashtun, as you get older you're going to see and experience things you would not believe. Don't be so quick to judge.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    If your performance was high, I am willing to bet they wouldn't have done much.

    More teachers need to be like you, stand up for what they know is right, effective, have confidence that it will/has worked.

    When a teacher starts a project, then cancels it because they don't think it will prepare students for a test...that is a lesson design problem, NOT a test problem.

    I think many teachers think the only way to prepare students to perform on state tests is to teach to the test...there are better ways.
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Maybe. My experience is most teachers are scared out of their wits because they may not meet test score expectations, or flat out say they can't meet them.
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    :agreed:
     
  24. Toy_03

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    PREACH! you described my school to the T. We don't have music, recess, and computer lab any more. We aren't allowed to step out of our pacing guide (serious trouble if we do)
     
  25. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Rainbowbird is correct...the teachers were not just choosing to teach that way. Who would do that? I've heard of many districts around here where you have to be following the pacing guide to the minute. Literally if you are on page 17 and the other teachers in your grade level are on page 18, you are in big trouble. When your entire career is on the line, what are you supposed to do? I started test prep about a month before the test last year and was worried sick that I'd done the wrong thing and it wasn't enough. I had anxiety dreams about the scores almost every single night before they actually came out. Mine were much higher than previous years at this school (17% higher), but were by no means "good" relative to the state average. My friends who work in the wealthier districts just don't get it. They don't have to worry about the tests other than just hoping no student blows it off or something. They know they're going to get high scores. The majority of students enter their class on grade level. They have the background knowledge necessary to understand what the questions are asking and answer them properly. There is no need for test prep, so those kids actually get to do a lot of higher level thinking projects and more interactive activities, which widens the gap even further between low SES and high SES schools. I just can't imagine that any educator truly thinks that the low SES or inner city schools are getting bad scores because they have all of the "bad" teachers and the high SES or middle class schools are getting good scores because they just happen to have the "good" teachers every single time.
     
  26. Pashtun

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    So you felt test prep was the best way to get them to score well and that you should have started it earlier?

    You made my point. Many teachers think that you have to do test prep in order to get students to do well on tests. All students would benefit and test better with a lot of HIGH LEVEL THINKING projects.

    I would argue they(so called wealthy schools, but really just good schools) know they are going to get high scores BECAUSE they are doing high level thinking and not buying into drill and kill test prep.

    All students should be engaging in high level thinking activities all year long.
     
  27. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I see your point Pashtun. There are better and more effective ways to increase test scores than test prep. This includes lots of great methods which allows students to have great projects and be prepared for tests. I understand this because I use some of those methods.

    Waterfall makes an excellent point here though. In some schools, it isn't just about the test scores, it goes further than that. Admin, has even controlled how a teacher teaches through pacing guides and other bizarre methods. I think you'd agree that you wouldn't want any school to have the type of pressure to do test prep as what Waterfall describes.
     
  28. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Oh boy, SERIOUSLY! The lack of common sense abounds...


    I try not to think of what education will be like in 20 years, honestly, because it scares me. I plan to make a career of this, and I will be in my late 40s then, hopefully still in the classroom. My problem is that my heart is for low income schools and English learners. I hope politics and policies haven't made it impossible for me to teach in that type of environment by then. Honestly, I just have to take it one day at a time.
     
  29. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yes. Bad admin is bad admin.

    As I have said, that admin(former teachers) that forces test prep were, likely bad teachers. They (admin) feel the only way to score is to drill test prep. Maybe they lack confidence in their teaching, maybe they just didn't have good "teaching development" opportunities.
     
  30. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    So you really think that every wealthy school just happens to have a great teacher in every single classroom? It has nothing to do with the background knowledge, parent support, and countless other home opportunities that the students have? That's just so illogical!

    My dad has worked in a wealthy district for over 20 years and he's seen some crazy things going on with the teachers he works with. A few years ago there was a 4th grade teacher that was an alcoholic and she was literally bringing tupperware containers full of alcohol to drink at school. Another teacher decided he'd had enough mid year and actually walked out the door in the middle of the day and didn't come back. There was also the woman who basically just unraveled in the middle of the year- they knew she'd gone completely off the deep end when she started using red sharpie as lipstick. Test scores didn't suffer in any of these classrooms despite the lack of good teachers. They have never had any individual classroom not get over 90% proficient, which they brag about constantly at the district level.
     
  31. Pashtun

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    I don't believe that wealthy schools are the only ones that are able to guide their students to greater achievement.

    I believe there are a lot of great teachers in "poor" schools that are able to achieve.

    What I mean here is that its NOT wealthy schools its GOOD schools. That good "urban, wealthy, suburban, rural...etc" schools are getting good scores BECAUSE ALL students are doing high level thinking activities and not buying into test prep drill and kill.

    That good "urban" teachers know that high thinking level activities are for ALL students, NOT just for students that have back ground knowledge, parent support, money, home opportunities...etc.

    Do you believe that only wealthy schools have students able to achieve at high levels?

    High level thinking activities for all students!
     
  32. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think that if schools allow teachers to teach the way the CCSS calls for children to be taught, education will be improved. This means that scripted programs are out, and teachers are trusted to develop engaging, hands-on, project-based lessons. Every book I have read this summer about the CCSS speaks strongly against the scripted programs that so many districts are using.

    From the research and professional development that I have done around the standards, they call for skills to be integrated across all subjects, rather than taught in isolation. In my opinion, this makes sense. Rather than working on a reflexive pronoun worksheet and knowing the definition of reflexive pronouns, students are asked to use them correctly when writing.

    The new standards also call for students to think for themselves, ask question, and "dig deeper." In my opinion, the CCSS have education headed in the right direction. If you do the research and really understand how experts in education are interpreting the standards (rather than thinking, "What's the big deal with Common Core? Isn't it the same as what we have always been doing?" :dizzy: ), you can see that they align well with what the most successful countries in the world are doing in education today.

    However, I am very concerned with the lack of funding in education. The CCSS cost money to implement, and most states are cutting education funding significantly. Increasing last sizes doesn't help, either. I think this is the main setback that education faces.

    If anyone hasn't watched The Finland Phenomenon, I would highly recommend it. I think this is the direction that the CCSS would like us to move in, but many teachers, schools, and districts don't "get it" yet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhH78NnRpp0

    Also, I have recommended reading Role Reversal before. It is an easy read, and very insightful. The main focus is on student goal-setting, and providing feedback on assignments, rather than providing a grade and tossing the assignment aside.

    http://www.amazon.com/Role-Reversal...&qid=1376108864&sr=8-1&keywords=role+reversal

    If education is headed in this direction, I think it will be improving!
     
  33. yellowdaisies

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    I think the problem is that districts will be going towards MORE scripted programs because of the extremely difficult CCSS assessments. Unfortunately, I don't see the CCSS bringing more hands-on learning at all. I see the new standards and the assessments that go with them increasing the testing panic and test prep craze. :unsure:
     
  34. KinderCowgirl

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    And remember there are some places who refused to adopt the common core and some that are abandoning it already. I'm not sure it will continue if the political affiliation changes in the next election.
     
  35. DrivingPigeon

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    I agree...I am so grateful that I work for a district that recognizes the teachers are capable of developing their own standards-based units.
     
  36. readingrules12

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    I've heard that too. I don't think that will be the case though. Many states that put together the Common Core are "red" states such as Arizona, and I don't see the standards as "red" or "blue" ideas. Texas has always liked its independence in developing their own things in education, and I do think that will continue for a long time. Minnesota has always liked their freedom as they see themselves often "on the cutting edge" of education, and fear any national policy will drag them down.

    I do think the Common Core might be modified a bit depending on politics, but I would be really surprised if Common Core isn't here 5 years from now.
     
  37. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I feel bad for the kids that have test anxiety,,,, UGH I did horrible before a test. I would psych myself out.
     
  38. John Lee

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    I think we will see a transition to a flipped environment. The reasons for leading students through traditional methods of instruction in the classroom lessen, as our access to technology increases. In the future, one has to think that the only reason for physically coming to school, is the chance to work with others.
     
  39. Rainbowbird

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    I think this may happen at the college levels and perhaps high school. Technology use will probably increase at the lower levels, but young children will still come to school. With most parents working two jobs, who would take care of them? Also, most parents want the social interaction for their kids. I have thought of homeschooling my children to give them a totally individualize and challenging program away from the tests, but they love to see their friends at school and also do get some enrichment there. I think the social aspect is very important.
     
  40. Pashtun

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    Aug 11, 2013

    I agree. I don't see this at elementary at all. Technology used in the classroom, yes, technology removing students from the classroom, no.

    So much of elementary education is making connections with students, teaching them how to work, motivating them, inspiring them to take pride in their work...etc

    I can't see it being effective in elementary school.
     
  41. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2013

    While I will never be a large proponent of standardized tests, I do see that teachers (in their great concern for children) are finding ways to make school fun and exciting even when made to prepare for "test bubbling madness" each spring.

    For example, I have seen teachers who have used Fred Jones' PAT to use it for games such as "Jeopardy" "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" and other games to practice important content that might be on a standardized test. The students love these games, and the teacher is able to see which students know the material and who doesn't in a fun game where students are putting forth their best effort. Also, students run to line up from recess, race to get their materials put away, and save 10's of minutes throughout the day in order to play these games.

    I have used these methods and it has helped my students do well on standardized tests, and helped them to have something to look forward to each day. (I must admit, although I use PAT each day, I don't have these games each day as that might be overkill)

    I do think teachers banning together to make teaching learning and fun without sacrificing test scores will defeat the admin. "killjoys". :)
     

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