Placing student sbased on CA STAR results?!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by senseijoao, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2009

    Hey California Teachers,

    My high school is placing students based on their STAR results?! Is this even remotely legal? The last CA school I taught at saw them for what they were: means of determining API and writing the SARC. Here, students are being placed in 'intervention' classes whenever they do badly, even when their teacher's grade allows them to progress.

    Is there anything that can be done about this? What's going on?

    Thanks in advance for your replies,

    SJ
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 27, 2009

    Hm. I dunno, senseijoao.
     
  4. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    Apr 27, 2009

    Its common in San Diego to place students based on their star results.... well I can only speak for math really, but I know its weighed just as much as the teacher's grade.
     
  5. BioTeal

    BioTeal Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2009

    Well, the silver lining of a policy like that is as long as the students know it works that way, they might actually have incentive to do well on the STAR for their own sakes. "Help your teacher look good and your school get money" isn't the greatest motivator for all students...
     
  6. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Apr 27, 2009

    We do this at my school too. I don't think it's always such a bad thing. The students in my class that scored far below basic or below basic get pulled out during independent work time. The reading and math coach works with them.
     
  7. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2009

    It's blatantly self-serving and totally unethical.

    I am SO outta here...
     
  8. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Apr 28, 2009

    If you school ends up in Program Improvement, that is exactly what will happen. Kids that score below basic and far below basic have to have additional minutes in math and/or ELA and one way to do that is to place them in intervention classes, in addition to their regular class (they will lose an elective). So, based on what the "great" State of California is forcing many schools to do is group students based on their STAR test scores.
     
  9. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    Ah, that totally explains it. We had the state trolling about a couple months ago. I heard rumors about promotion being denied and saw red, as opposed to the rose-colored glasses my colleagues seem to wear.

    What a great time to be starting out in the profession, huh?
     
  10. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Apr 29, 2009

    I'm not sure I understand the outrage. We all know the STAR testing is perfect, but I believe one of the things that isn't perfect about it is that there's no individual accountability for students. If they are actually going to be moved based on their performance on those tests, then (1) student who really need the help will get additional opportunities, and (2) those students who screw around because "it doesn't matter" will have a negative consequence...hopefully encouraging them to try harder on the test and give it their best. I work at a school where a majority should score well and without the incentive of being remediated, even they will screw around on the test.
     
  11. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2009

    Think it through...

    Let's say a student has a wretched teacher. Now they have to pay for it.

    Let's say the classroom is out of control, and nobody can concentrate.

    Can they retest? Be promoted beyond the next track based on "highly proficient" alone?

    And finally as a teacher, don't you think this is a slap in the face? I mean really - when one day of testing overrides a year of instruction?

    Not to mention it's being done now, with 1.5 months to spare, when we haven't finished the yearly timeline, and the provisional ones being written aren't respecting the sequential quality of a mathematical curriculum.

    To top it off, the school is not allowing waivers for students. One of my students was being exploited because she was one of the intelligent ones and the school is desperate. She sat in a room all day long taking every test
     
  12. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2009

    I do understand your point, but assuming the tests are valid (yes, a big assumption) then wouldn't it make sense to utilize the information gathered? Otherwise, I think people are right on the mark when they say the tests are worthless...in fact, I would argue that as teachers we should believe that they SHOULD use the results of the tests for individual feedback, or else I would argue that it is a waste of time...of course, I do recognize that these tests are not necessarily the best individual measure, but if we're going to keep them, I do believe that should be the goal.

    As for punishing students who are in a bad environment...if the test demonstrates that they don't know the material, isn't it good that we know that? And, should we "excuse" students for not knowing the material just because they're in a bad environment? How far should we take it? Should we give people better jobs just because they had a rough school-life? Should we let them into better colleges?

    I do agree that it's silly to test this far before the end of the year, especially since the results are not made available for two + months...if you were going to test this early,the only reason to do so is if you'll provide the results before the end of the year. Should test last two weeks before graduation...in my opinion.

    Also, I'm not sure but I don't believe they intervene on students unless they are either below basic or far below basic...so if a student is that low I would argue that they probably do need the help unless (1) they were screwing around, or (2) they have a special need that should allow them some accommodation in which case they should have been given it.

    As for your argument of a year's work being invalidated by a test, I would hope that we would be able to develop a test that would support the material taught...but I do agree that that is a huge assumption...but don't think that the administration can't already do this analysis of your performance as a teacher anyway...they get the results and can see how your students performed...

    I don't know what you mean by a waiver? Do you mean that she is taking multiple science or math tests, for example? That would seem to be unethical and I would notify someone about that...

    Anyway, not trying to upset anyone, I'm probably as frustrated by the whole testing scheme as anyone, but I do think that if they are going through the trouble of testing, it would make logical sense to use it to help inform what type of additional help our students may need...
     
  13. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Apr 30, 2009

    Well put UCLA, and I agree.
     
  14. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    Apr 30, 2009

    We do it half of my recomendationa nd half on the state tests...

    I make a list of students who will succeed on the next level (for me its anybody who gets a B or higher (82%)) and a list of kids who should be retained.

    The kids who I rec for Geom move on regardless of CST scores. the kids who I rec for retained can move on if they score prof on the CST.

    The rest get there scores looked at before placement and they are compared with my grades. those with basic's and above always move on. Those with Below Basic and a decent grade are usually moved on. Those with Far Below basic and a D or lower are retained.

    It takes a few days to go through the list, we usually pair up and tackle 2 groups of classes at a time.

    Another school I worked at made the schedules based on grades, and then moved people around only if CST scores showed it. For example, they would move somebody from Geom to Algebra regardless of grade in Algebra if they score below basic on the algebra cst. They'd move somebody the other way for an advanced on the algebra cst, regardless of grade.
     
  15. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2009

    That sounds like a good use of the test to me...using both grades and the tests as reference points...
     
  16. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    A lot of these points are valid, but my department is unbelievable (they taught logic AFTER proof, for example; one in many examples...), and listening to them is a death sentence for the tests. You're either going under on the ship of fools or being the gunned down maverick. Hawthorne effect, anyone?

    For the record though: prestigious schools do give leniency for students who are coming from public schools. Anyone who has served on a selection committee knows that public school students do NOT compete with the prep school students. Some committees group them by public/private groups, allocating slots to each and then allowing them to compete on their own merits, others simply allow the students more breaks on SAT/ACT scores, etc. But you are seriously mistaken if you think they all get thrown into the same ring. That would be blatantly classist, but par for the educational course...
     
  17. American

    American Rookie

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    May 6, 2009

    It isn't even enough

    Do anyone know how cool are teachers in the east?
    As there are serious consequences for failing, students are really serious and they get the grade they deserve by the state dept. of education. Many are complaining that it is a bad treatment. I absolutely understand that. There is no perfect solution for this problem. But we should do what is better. Human beings are lazy by nature. They work based on the consequences. It applies to even teachers. Many teachers do not show up to school at or before the scheduled time. But if there is a rule that allows their termination for being late to school, I bet every teacher will be at or before the scheduled time. My point is that NO ONE WOULD WORK FOR NO SERIUOS CONSEQUENCES and so placing students based on STAR results is a brilliant idea. I think that it isn't even enough and their graduation also should be based on their STAR results.:|
     
  18. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    May 7, 2009

    Judging by that grammar, I cringe at the thought of you teaching. Thankfully it's not long, which is my guess, if at all.

    Who gets the good students then? Looks like your fate is sealed from the first day. Think this through! You come in, new teacher, to get the crap classes as is standard practice, and voila! You automatically suck!!

    In a profession where the majority leave in the first 5 years, and stability in the staff is instrumental...
     
  19. American

    American Rookie

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    May 7, 2009

    Who are you addressing to, senseijoao ? If it is about me then don't worry. I don't teach the subjects where the grammar is needed. I teach 4 technology related subjects which only require logical thinking. My AP computer science students love me and for 3 consecutive years I got a 90% passing rate on the AP exam. Anyway, if you found errors I appologize and please correct me. I appreciate that.
     
  20. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    May 7, 2009

    I agree.:)
     

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