Good News! Just 62% of 4th Graders in Rhode Island are Below Reading Level!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherman1, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2014

    The Headline: Rhode Island in Top Three Nationally for 4th Grade Reading Gains
    http://www.golocalprov.com/news/rhode-island-in-top-three-nationally-for-4th-grade-reading-gains/

    From article:
    " In 2013, 81% of low‐income fourth graders were reading below proficiency as measured by the NAEP, compared to 45% of higher‐income fourth graders. Rhode Island’s achievement gap between low‐ and higher‐income students is among the largest in the nation."

    If this is the good news, I'd hate to see the bad...:confused:

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Feb 12, 2014

    Definitely in no way whatsoever the fault of the teachers of course.
     
  4. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Not sure how you mean that, Rock. Can you explain?
     
  5. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    He's almost certainly sardonically pointing out that many teachers (including some on this board, unfortunately) refuse to take any responsibility for the actual academic progress of their students. In an effort to preserve job security and self-efficacy, they'll find any other variable to blame for a lack of results.
     
  6. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Yes, that.

    Given that in your other thread on a near identical topic you blamed NCLB for the lack of progress I figured I should in early since I'd miss the next 9 hours at work.
     
  7. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Do you think the teachers who let others get away with taking no responsibility or accountability for their work know that they're complicit in the reputation our profession has gotten in recent years?

    Probably not. They'll probably just blame the media or parents. Sigh.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It's always amazing to see how low-poverty kids seem to end up with great teachers, while high-poverty kids seem to end up with awful teachers.
     
  9. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Sarcasm aside, poverty and its effects can be controlled for when gauging teacher effectiveness. Do you understand how regression analysis and value-added measurements work?
     
  10. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    The problem with achievement gaps is that everyone, teachers included, like to point the finger at someone else. Education of children takes effort on the part of everyone involved in children's lives: parents, teachers, and even the kids. If any one of them fail, then the child suffers. I think in our culture these days we spend too much time saying, "It's not my responsibility, it's yours."
    You can't boil down something as complex as education into one single issue.
     
  11. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    This is my other thread - word for word:

    Since 2003 4th Grade Reading Scores Have Stayed the Same or Fallen in 23 States

    Keep in mind that NCLB was signed into law and was just starting to roll by 2003

    The Nation's Report Card
    http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading.../#/state-gains


    Thoughts?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I can't "blame NCLB for the lack of progress", Rock. But I do agree with Diane Ravitch on her assessment of where it's brought us.

    This is a speech she gave on the 10th anniversary of NCLB:

    "I'd like to share some thoughts about a momentous occasion: the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind, which occurred two days ago.

    After 10 years of NCLB, we should have seen dramatic progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, but we have not. By now, we should be able to point to sharp reductions of the achievement gaps between children of different racial and ethnic groups and children from different income groups, but we cannot. As I said in a recent speech, many children continue to be left behind, and we know who those children are: They are the same children who were left behind 10 years ago.

    In my travels over the past two years, I have seen the wreckage caused by NCLB. It has become the ‘Death Star’ of American education. It is a law that inflicts damage on students, teachers, schools, and communities.

    When I spoke at Stanford University, a teacher stood up in the question period and said: "I teach the lettuce-pickers' children in Salinas. They are closing our school because our scores are too low." She couldn't finish her question because she started crying.

    When I spoke at UCLA, a group of about 20 young teachers approached me afterwards and told me that their school, Fremont High School, was slated for closure. They asked me to tell Ray Cortines, who was then chancellor of the Los Angeles Unified School District, not to close their school because they were working together as a community to improve it. I took their message to Ray, who is a good friend, but the school was closed anyway. The dispersed teachers of Fremont are still communicating with one another, still mourning the loss of their school.

    When I spoke to Citizens for Public Schools in Boston, a young man who works as a chef at a local hotel got up to ask what he could do to stop "them" from closing his children's school. It was the neighborhood school, he said. It was the school he wanted his children to attend. And they were closing it.

    In city after city, across the nation, I have heard similar stories from teachers and parents. Why are they closing our school? What can we do about it? How can we stop them? I wish I had better answers. I know that as long as NCLB stays on the books, there is no stopping the destruction of local community institutions. And now with the active support of the Obama administration, the NCLB wrecking ball has become a means of promoting privatization and community fragmentation.

    I have often wondered whether there is any other national legislature that has passed a law that had the effect of stigmatizing the nation's public education system.

    Last year, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that 82 percent of our nation's schools would fail to make "adequate yearly progress." A few weeks ago, the Center for Education Policy reported that the secretary's estimate was overstated, and that it was "only" half the nation's schools that would be considered failing as of this year. Secretary Duncan's judgment may have been off the mark this year, but NCLB guarantees that the number of failing schools will grow every year. If the law remains intact, we can reasonably expect that nearly every public school in the United States will be labeled as a failing school by 2014.

    If you take a closer look at the CEP study, you can see how absurd the law is. In Massachusetts, the nation's highest-performing state by far on NAEP, 81 percent of the schools failed to make AYP. But in lower-performing Louisiana, only 22 percent of the schools did not make AYP.

    Yet, when you compare the same two states on NAEP, 51 percent of 4th graders in Massachusetts are rated proficient, compared with 23 percent in Louisiana. In 8th grade, again, twice as many students in Massachusetts are proficient compared with Louisiana, yet Massachusetts has nearly four times as many allegedly "failing" schools! This is crazy.

    More evidence of the invalidity of NCLB: The top-rated high school in the state of Illinois, New Trier High School, failed to make AYP. Its special education students did not make enough progress. When outstanding schools fail, you have to conclude that something is wrong with the measure.

    The best round-up to date of the catastrophe that we call NCLB was published by FairTest in its report, "The Lost Decade." It shows in clear detail that progress on NAEP was far more significant before the passage of NCLB.

    Congress, in its wisdom, will eventually reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I hope that in doing so, they recognize the negative consequences of NCLB and abandon the strategies that have borne such bitter fruit for our nation's education system. NCLB cannot be fixed. It has failed. It has imposed a sterile and mean-spirited regime on the schools. It represents the dead hand of conformity and regulation from afar. It is time to abandon the status quo of test-based accountability and seek fresh and innovative thinking to support and strengthen our nation's schools.

    Diane"


    Here's the link where that came from:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...e-damage-done/2012/01/10/gIQAR4gxoP_blog.html


    Thoughts?
     
  12. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2014

    I've given my thoughts on her blather plenty of times. I think she says what she says to drive controversy and earn an easy buck.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Right. Diane Ravitch is the one in the whole "reform" movement that is trying to drive controversy and earn an easy buck.
     
  14. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I agree. Teachers who disagree tend to work at low poverty schools. If they switched positions with teachers who work at high poverty schools, they might have a different opinion, that is if they were able to last there more than a few days.


    Yes, you can. Poverty is the single greatest predictor of academic and social failure in U.S. schools.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2014

    Exactly.
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Yeah... I'd definitely admit that I would not be a good inner city school teacher. I'd like to think I'd make it through a year, but there'd be an awful lot of booze involved, and I certainly wouldn't be happy.
     
  17. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    No. And it p*sses me off beyond all reason when people say that. When people, especially teachers believe that it becomes reality: it becomes self fulfilling prophecy. Any teacher who listens to those studies needs to get out of the field. They're doing their students a disadvantage, even the rich ones.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    A student in poverty can succeed, absolutely.

    However, the one thing that is consistent across the entire country (and the entire world, for that matter), is that low poverty levels correlate strongly to student success.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Whether the data is true or not, I don't care....this is the attitude every teacher should take.
     
  20. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    They should take that attitude from 9-4 on school days. They should NOT take that attitude outside of those times. Outside of school, teachers should take what they know about children in poverty to help advocate for change, and to educate others about the role poverty plays in becoming a generational cycle, etc.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    That's fine. As long as they believe those kids have equal chances of success during the school day.
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Do you believe there are teachers in low with low poverty students who are able to overcome the odds and get great results year after year?
     
  23. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I believe there are teachers in high-poverty areas who get good results. I believe those same teachers would get much better results without poverty being in the mix.
     
  24. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree.

    But if it is being done, it is being done.
     
  25. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Great post. I think this sums it up.
     
  26. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Feb 14, 2014

    Inner-City School Teacher Blues

    If you've worked in an inner city school then this probably won't shock you. If you've only taught in suburbia, then it just may give you a new respect for those who do.....
    http://www.rjgeib.com/biography/inner-city-blues/innerblu.html

    From the article:

    This was the reality: most Berendo parents (working long hours as house cleaners, janitors, security guards, mechanics, parking lot attendants, maids, or factory workers just to pay the rent and put food on the table with little chance of ever getting a better job) unfortunately did not actively involve themselves in the education of their children or come to see their children's teachers. All too often the family lives in a tiny apartment with eight or twelve other people with children having no place in which to study or do their homework - in a household where nobody reads for pleasure and hardly a book can be found on the premises. I remember staying in during lunch once to teach a child how to wash his clothes in a sink because his family lived in a cheap hotel and rarely did laundry. I knew that many of my students would not have eaten if the school did not provide free breakfasts and lunches every school day. I knew that some of my student's parents hardly even checked their children's report cards. This was the reality.

    I wanted my students to arrive to my class with their basic needs taken care of so that they could devote 100% of their attention to learning. In this desire, I was more often frustrated than not. I learned almost nothing about the subjects I specialized in (English, social studies) while teaching at Berendo. However, I learned a great deal about poverty and parenting and, if for no other reason, that made my time as a teacher in Pico-Union worthwhile. When I say "poverty," I refer to both the financial and spiritual sense of the word illustrated by the lack of money on the one hand, and the glut of assaults, drug-dealing, robberies, intimidation, and murders in the area on the other. It is the all too common litany of grinding problems which poor students face in their school careers. I had to later on work at a prestigious college preparatory school to truly place it in perspective, to appreciate precisely how bad it all was.
     
  27. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Acknowledging that poverty and its effects can affect a student's achievement is an important first step in addressing the issue.

    This article touches on why we need to address this elephant in the room:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local...3-83b9-1f024193bb84_story.html?wpmk=MK0000200

    As the article states, "A better approach to accountability would be to target support and interventions to certain “at risk” children, so that the entire school could benefit, the researchers said."

    A teacher who ignores these studies is the one who does the disservice to children.
     
  28. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Feb 15, 2014

    Anyone want to ACTUALLY address this post? Poverty needs to be addressed; ineffective teaching also needs to be addressed.

    Ineffective teaching can be quantified and identified independent of getting all students out of poverty. Poverty is a red herring that our profession throws out to mask the fact that many poor teachers remain in these schools under the guise of "poverty" being the reason their students don't show growth in line with their previous growth.
     
  29. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Feb 15, 2014

    And as this thread has now proven many times over my original snark was justified.
     
  30. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    It's just so, so sad; we want a profession bursting at the seams with professionals who won't take responsibility for their work to teach responsibility to the next generation?

    We want teachers who refuse to take part in solving the complex problems of our educational system to teach problem-solving to our future? People who say, "The status quo is fine; there are no problems" when that's clearly not the case.
     
  31. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Honest_teacher I've addressed this every time you've brought it up. Studies of state tests have not been able to completely isolate the variable of teaching quality from poverty and other variables to the level of making individual decisions about teachers.

    Second, I would also disagree that poverty is the reason many bad teachers stay in school. I DO agree that there are many bad teachers which need to be removed, but I believe it's because we won't have effective policies and procedures in place for evaluating them and removing them, be in union policies in those states, fear of retaliation, etc.

    So, I DO believe that there are ways of evaluating teacher effectiveness, but I don't believe the reason we are keeping bad teachers in school is because of the poverty debate.
     
  32. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Did you read the post about believing you're in absolute control of a child's destiny (relatively) from 8-3 but acknowledging the multitude of factors outside the classroom outside of that time frame? What are your thoughts on that?

    Honest_teacher you aren't dealing with the group of folks you may think you're dealing with here - we're not all Diane Ravitch groupies who believe the education system is completely fine. Some due, of course, but there is diversity. My point is that - by all means - continue to address those folks who believe the teaching profession is in no need of improvement - you do have stuff to contribute to that discussion. However, addressing the (likely majority) of folks who are in the middle may prove effective as well.
     
  33. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I believe the majority of folks here believe that teacher effectiveness is not the problem(or a serious problem).
     
  34. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    You're asking for an R-Squared of 1.0 in any regression analysis in order for that type of statistical analysis to be used. No other social science asks for that type of specificity. No other science period, other than ones capable of laboratory-controlled experiments (and really, not even then) require that level of R-Squared for conclusions to be drawn about the data set.
     
  35. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I hate blanket statements. I think far too many people hide behind them. I have a large group of friends who are teachers, from several states. They range from preK to high school and include special ed and regular ed. In all our conversations, I have never heard a single one say that some teachers aren't part of the problem. All agree that we, as teachers, must continue learning, stretching, and improving. I'm not going to get into a shouting match with anyone about this. I am a **** good teacher. Am I perfect? Absolutely not! Are there things I can do better? Definitely! Am I working to get better on them? You bet! I think the majority of teachers feel the same way. So, instead of pointing fingers and laying blame. Maybe we should look at ways to make it better. Is that too simple an idea? Anger just leads to more anger. Righteous indignation doesn't lead you down a good path. So, instead of slamming every teacher on this board and in this country - maybe we should start discussing ways to make it better. I think that starts in our classrooms and in our schools. We can't change the country overnight. But if we each make the changes within ourselves and our schools, the ripple effect could be amazing.
    In short - maybe we should stop looking for posts to use as bait to snipe at each other and strut around like roosters waiting to pounce - we should try to find ways to get along and help each other. As I tell my 4th graders all the time:

    [​IMG]
     
  36. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    I agree as well; just look at the multitude of posts that make no acknowledgment that at least a part of their teacher struggles are related to their own efficacy as opposed to the students, parents, and administration's contribution to their struggles.
     
  37. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Nope - that's not what I asked for.
     
  38. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I thought this was EXACTLY what honest teacher is trying to do with his method of evaluating teachers.
     
  39. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Feb 15, 2014

    I'm sorry you don't like the way "most" of the teachers on this site post. If it bothers you that much, remember, membership on this board is voluntary. You can leave at any time. You can also put anyone who bothers you on "ignore".
     
  40. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This is good advice that all members should take.
     
  41. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Alright Pashtun & Honest_Teacher - I asked before on a similar thread, and we'll go through the same process.

    For all posters: How many folks disagree with this statement:

    - While teachers do not necessarily cause a majority of academic/learning problems, they do have the opportunity to address them. Furthermore, while there are many teachers who are effective and doing the best job they can, there are also many teachers who are not making the best possible instructional choices in the classroom, from choosing evidence-based reading interventions to the most effective behavior management procedures. There IS room for improvement in the teaching profession, and such improvement would likely cause an increase in academic achievement - not only as measured by state test scores, but other indicators as well.

    Who disagrees with this? Let's see how many folks.
     

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