No more NCLB

Discussion in 'General Education' started by runsw/scissors, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Now that NCLB has been replaced by Every Child Succeeds, what changes do you think we will see? Thoughts on this new legislation?
     
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  3. otterpop

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  4. 2ndTimeAround

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    I think we'll see more government spending for the same old crap that's been going on.
     
  5. Puppet Debris

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    I think NCLB was to big of a step. Maybe "they" wanted everyone to think they were actually doing something - an attention getter.
    Back in the 80's with the "America At Risk" publication, I simply thought it would be good to have the government test every student in every subject with the same test. I thought it might be good for everyone to know where they stand and then see what happens. Certainly people would have discussed the results, given their version of the meaning. But instead, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like the government jumped the gun and set up some "NCLB" that got twisted all out of proportion.
    I would still think it best to develop tests for each subject for every student. I wish they had done just that in the 80's. No more. Maybe that is all that would have been needed. Take things slow. I would think the test could be written in some clever way so teaching to the test would not be a motivation or benefit. I think students would have to learn not to just put their head down when they see a problem that looks like something they have never seen before - would have to learn to use whatever they've got to figure it out.

    For example here is a question. How could the trash lady transfer a heavy load that she can barely lift from one trash bin to another? The answer might be to put both bins side by side in an elevator and press the down button - because as it starts going down, the load lightens for the second of time that it takes to lift it.

    I don't know, but there are probably millions of questions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  6. gr3teacher

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    Every student a test in every subject? Yeah... no thanks.
     
  7. shoreline02

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    I agree with gr3teacher, a test in every subject? A big ... NO THANKS.
     
  8. Puppet Debris

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    Well, yes, shoreline and gr3. Why not? Would they not take tests at all? I guess I don't know what you mean, or maybe I wasn't clear. What I mean is to take a test in every subject that is taught.
    Now I do recall many arguing with me on this back in the 80's. Maybe they, maybe you all are right, but I think I would argue. Why not?
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

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    I wouldn't mind a test in every subject for every student. Unless the student has an IQ of _____.

    But have it as a placement test. It doesn't count as a grade for anyone (students, teachers, schools). Just a placement for the next year/semester. Didn't learn what you needed to in 3rd grade? Let's place you in this class/school where you can get focused remediation and get caught up. Didn't learn what you needed to in Algebra? Let's put you in a condensed Algebra course and see if we can get you where you need to be before you move on to Geometry. And maybe talk to the math teacher to find out why you earned a C in her course but bombed the test. Is it because you're a star football player or do you have issues taking tests? If the latter we'll continue administering the regular tests and then provide a follow-up assessment. If we used the tests as true assessments for individuals, the students would benefit.
     
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  10. gr3teacher

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    1) Because that would include young students. I think third graders are too young to be sitting for high stakes tests, so I certainly think kindergarten is too young.
    2) Because we already have schools turning into test-taking factories just over two state tests. Now add in the state test in music, PE, art, science, social studies, writing...
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    They already do that where I live. Students in kindergarten take 13 final exams.
     
  12. gr3teacher

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Pashtun

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    RFLMAO, every subject, let me introduce you to the forums here....teachers on this site go ape$%#@ over having to give 2, yes 2, federal standardized tests a year in starting in 3rd.
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    You are entitled to your opinion, but the majority of posters who speak here about standardized testing give a much broader view of how their schools and districts handle standardized testing and all that it entails for them. 2 tests per year would be wonderful, if that's all it was.
     
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  15. otterpop

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    Dec 27, 2015

    Agreed.
     
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  16. Pashtun

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    Maybe I am mistaken? Does anyone here have more than two federally mandated state tests? California only has 2, language arts and math. I believe 5th and 8th will have science, but not sure. How many federally mandated tests does your state have swansong? Please do not include teacher mandated CFAs, district tests, or state tests...just federal tests.

    As well you are welcome to your opinion that most teachers would be happy with 2 federeally mandated tests. I disagree and all my experience, on these forums, in the news, at my site..etc. supports that the majority of teachers would not be happy with ANY federally mandated test that removes the grading, who sees the results, how it is graded, how results are interpreted, who creates it..etc if it is out of the hands of the individual classroom teacher.
     
  17. gr3teacher

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    Remind me again, how many days of instruction do your two tests disrupt? I believe it's six, even assuming you don't spend so much as a single second beforehand reviewing, practicing, doing test prep, or interacting with the testing software?
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If your big concern is classroom disruption, you should be first advocating for things like assemblies, choral concerts, plays, most field trips, class parties, etc to be eliminated. The amount of learning associated with many of those things is minimal except for maybe the students who are actually learning the songs or the lines for the plays. The class time to benefit ratio is very low on most of them, but since they are enjoyable for many (not all), and they don't shed any negative light on the teachers or the school, everyone looks the other way at the amount of time wasted by these activities.
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Pashtun , you can't use just federally mandated tests to gauge the school year. You have to determine how many actual tests, pretests, practice tests, etc are given in any one district to gauge how education is being affected. That's why I said that just two federally mandated tests would be wonderful if that's all we had. A recent study of the district i used to work in found that children were being tested (practice tests and all other tests) 130 days out of 180 school days. That means disruptions to education for 130 days per year. Even if the practice test only takes one hour, that is one hour lost to actual instruction.
     
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  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Many of the tests that have been added don't necessarily have to do with NCLB but with changes in the way we look at teaching children. Pretests came about because education wanted to get away from forcing all students into a lock-step education. Why make a child sit through two weeks of learning how to do long division when the student already knows how? It wasn't because of NCLB but because of the recognition that lock-step wasn't benefitting all students.

    Your district may have calculated how many times kids are tested, but until you have proof that each and every test was because of NCLB and not some other education decision change, using that information to support your position is a false argument.

    Not every change in education is because of NCLB. Some came about for other reasons.
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Exactly!

    Personally, when I account for our CFAs (Common Formative Assessments), i-Ready tests (we use i-Ready for ELA and Math benchmarks), CELDT (California English Language Development Test), district ELD benchmarks, and practice tests for all of these exams--we lose weeks on end of valuable instructional minutes.

    Notice I didn't even mention SBAC. Between SBAC test prep and administration of the actual exams, we give up at least two weeks of teaching time.
     
  22. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My students can go to an assembly and get right back to work. I know exactly how long a chorus concert will take. I don't need to spend a lot of classroom time letting students explore the software they'll be using during a class party.

    For what it's worth though, the music major/theater minor in me is rather offended by the idea that there's no educational benefit to a choral concert or a play, and I have never taken students on a field trip without a direct, relevant connection to our curriculum in a way that is either not feasible or possible to deliver in the classroom setting. As far as class parties go, I'd agree that the academic value is low (or non-existent), but spending two hours a year building a classroom community and helping students build positive memories of school doesn't seem like wasted time to me. Maybe I'm wrong.
     
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  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Like I have said many times before, crappy teachers make crappy administrators...stop blaming the standardized tests for crappy administrators. If they got rid of tests altogether these crappy former teachers would impede education in another way...it simply is not the test.
     
  24. Pashtun

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    Yes, this coming from the same person who has stated on here they will not stand up and make a stand...wonderful...status quo.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I agree with all of this. Music and arts are not "extras". Also, community building and celebrating together often has a positive impact on classroom environment, which can mean that on-task time is used more meaningfully. I know that's true in my class - when students feel like a community and support one another, more efficient learning happens. So, I don't feel bad taking an hour out of the day to celebrate occasionally. In contrast, testing often detracts from a positive attitude about school. If kids hate testing, or feel like failures after they tried their best, it can be very demotivating.
     
  26. Pashtun

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    Exactly what you describe as positives for assemblies...etc. can very much be the same positives from testing. You guys act as if the only "tests" you give are mandated tests. Maybe you should think about ways in which testing can be a very positive experience in and of itself. Some act as if tests are inherently "bad", yet who has most control over this perception...classroom teachers...change your perspective and you can change the culture and environment of your classroom.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Huh? Are you insinuating that I should single-handedly change the system?

    Get a grip, Pashtun.
     
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  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am suggesting that if you want change and are firmly opposed to to the way things are done, that you have an obligation as an administrator to stand up for it. If no one in admin takes a stand and just goes with it, guess what?......it will continue.
     
  29. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    And test prep can be incredibly academic as well. The implication that all time spent prepping for or taking tests is wasted time is ridiculous. Everything we do is time spent prepping for an assessment. If you're only preparing your kids 130 out of 180 days you're doing it wrong. I'd love to know what that study used as a measure of test prep.

    It simply comes down to teachers wanting to be the ones who decide what that assessment is and how much it should matter. I won't deny the appeal of that but I also won't accept that most are concerned for the students when they claim that testing is a problem.

    So, to the original question, I'm scared, honestly. I started teaching the first year of NCLB. My department at that time had 7 teachers. 3 of them literally taught whatever they wanted all year long. One spent an entire year on ancient Rome, another on Native Americans. Those kids came out entirely unprepared for World History in later grades. I've already seen in my department now in the year since History was dropped from the state tests that teachers have given up. Our pushes to increase rigor have stopped completely. Nobody is interested in sharing lessons any longer because, who cares? If there's little to no accountability I'm afraid of what that means for our students.
     
  30. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have taught for many years and began my career well before the standardized testing phenomena. We had accountability then. The students took a nationally normed test at the end of the year that assessed their skills in all subjects. The information was not used to penalize teacher, schools, and districts. It was used to assess skill levels.Before the test, we had a couple of hours of practice to acclimate them to the forms. Then, we tested for a couple of hours a day over three or four days.

    The children we taught then were well prepared for college and careers. As an aside, high schools offered vocational classes for students wanting to go right into the work force.

    Judging from the education my own children received under standardized testing, I haven't been impressed with their education.
     
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  31. Pashtun

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    Can you describe what this accountability looked like and how it differs from todays evaluation process and testing?
     
  32. Pashtun

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    To me this screams, no one looked at or used the data, it simply had no relevance. Are you saying no one stressed over the results? No one was anxious?
     
  33. otterpop

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    Are you saying that you want people stressed and anxious over results?

    How swansong describes testing is what I remember in school. We did take assessments (I think in 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 11th, or something like that), and the information was sent to our parents and our teachers, but it was used to inform and not to "grade" anyone. Just a general progress update - your student scored XX, this is their percentile, etc. As a student, there wasn't much focus on it. I liked seeing my scores, but I didn't stress about it.

    To me, this is all the accountability that is needed. Also, it's okay if some disagree with me.

    Not everyone is destined to be a doctor, teacher, businessman, or lawyer. That's okay too. The kids who want to push themselves will do so, regardless of whether a test (or teachers teaching to a test) is encouraging them to improve.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  34. Pashtun

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    Can you describe something that is meaningful, where the outcome matters, where people are not anxious or stressed over its outcome?

    So to answer your question....yes, people should be anxious for the results.

    I remember these tests too as a kid, however we never got any results, or maybe it was no one cared and we were never told about them?
     
  35. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess we will agree to disagree that accountability should stress people out. Teaching before all this mess was much less stressful, teachers enjoyed teaching, and many stayed in the same school for their entire career. Students were not made to feel that the test was the end all, be all to their education. It was just another assessment and was no cause for concern.

    I know it's hard for younger teachers to wrap their minds around a completely different educational system that our country supported before standardized testing. If you didn't live through it, it's hard to explain how different things were.

    School does not have to be stressful, make teachers and students anxious, and we did not need reams of test data to inform our teaching. We used the textbooks and materials given us, and delved further into topics that were related that the students were interested in. Look at all the people in this country who grew up in the 50', 60, and 70's. They grew up with the old system and we all turned out quite successfully without today's system.
     
  36. Pashtun

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    We can agree to disagree. However, can you please name some meaningful events, where things matter to the person, where they are not anxious or stressed over how it turns out?

    I absolutely am making the claim that when things matter to humans, there will always be moments of stress or anxiousness. Emotions are always tied to things that matter to humans.

    Again, please name a few where you feel this is not true?

    I will name a few where I believe we feel anxiety or stress over things that matter.
    1. Marriage and wedding
    2. Kids playing video games
    3. College acceptance letter
    4. Job interview
    5. Surgeon performing life saving surgery
    6. Playing competetive sports(any and all)
    7. Christmas morning opening presents
    8. etc.....
     
  37. otterpop

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    Like I said in the post above, I was always interested in my test scores as a kid, but never anxious about them. Interested and anxious can be two very different things, and I'd argue that interested is a much more positive emotion.
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Moments of stress are normal for everyone. My point is that the present system causes in inordinate amount of stress on all...students, teachers, schools, and districts. I realize that I can't change things as they stand, so have chosen to leave the public school system, as have countless other teachers. I think it bothers me more because of my longer background in education.

    Yes, I did what I could to change the system when I could, but, as you know, teachers are very low on the totem pole.
     
  39. Pashtun

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    Yes they are, I would argue they imply a very different level of personal importance and relevance as well, and that is my point.
     
  40. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Wow, just wow, touche, we will agree to disagree.
     
  41. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    repeat post
     

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