Race to the Top - You're gonna "love" this one.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Muttling, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Oct 21, 2010

    Tennessee was one of the first two states to win this funding and a big part of our proposal was that 50% of teacher evaluations would be based on student achievement.

    They have now decreed that 35% will be standardized test scores and 15% will be other student achievement factors (they haven't told us what that means yet.)



    NOW....Get this!!!!!

    For teachers who teach classes that don't have a standardized test from the State, 35% of their evaluation will be based on the school's average test scores in courses that do have standardized tests. You heard right, 35% of the evaluation of their effectiveness as teachers is going to be based on student performance in classes that they don't teach.
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oct 21, 2010

    Wow ... I wondered how they would "solve" that dilemma. What a mess.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 21, 2010

    W:eek:W!
     
  5. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Oct 21, 2010

    I love it! It's a great time to be a teacher these days! :)! If this field got any more sensible or respectful I wouldn't know what to do with myself.
     
  6. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Oct 21, 2010

    Go Vols.
     
  7. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Oct 21, 2010

    Now that was a bit low stephenpe.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2010

    Why even bother teaching any content at all in those classes??? How ridiculous!
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I don't know if everyone else is being sarcastic or not, but I think this is great, for real.

    Most schools test for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. I teach English, so I am responsible for 2 of those categories when everyone else is responsible for one or none. I agree that if you don't have a test for your subject area, you could at least be helping students with their literacy, or numeracy/math skills. This doesn't mean you have to change your curriculum, but everyone uses (or should use) reading, writing, and problem solving in their classes.

    Otherwise, if people are only responsible for their subject's tests, and there are only certain subjects that the gov't has deemed important enough to test, then shouldn't the people who teach those subjects get paid more?
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I agree it is a collaborative effort, but to say that, for example, a band teacher should be responsible for and evaluated based on reading scores...I disagree. That band teacher can certainly include literacy instruction, but he doesn't have a degree in reading instruction.
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Our district has previously evaluated the special area teachers on the school-wide reading scores. A couple of years ago they came up with a better idea. Now the art, music, and PE teachers give a pretest/posttest to 5th graders each year. That is what their evaluation is based on. At least this gives an idea of the student's progress on the curriculum taught in that special area.
    The district is working on the same kind of tests for the middle/high school courses that aren't tested.
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Sorry Mutt. Didnt mean to get personal or silly but we put with
    FloriDUH for awhile after the hanging chads and such. Im with you 100% on the asinitity(is that a new word) of that policy.
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I'd be better with this policy if all teachers were evaluated that way. This isn't a problem for the non-tested teachers. It is a problem for the tested ones. They are the ones that are going to feel undue pressure from their "colleagues" who will likely complain, whine and offer little support.

    If all teachers were evaluated based on school wide performance that would certainly be an interesting prospect. It would silence most of the "I can't control what students I get!!!" issue and perhaps actually force teachers to work together. That'd sure be neat.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Seems to me we have some A to Z members whose schools DO evaluate school-wide, or have considered it - and they've reported a great deal of carping about teachers who "don't deserve" whatever bonus comes around; for example, kindergarten teachers shouldn't get the bonus because their grade isn't tested, or teachers who just do the minimum will still get a bonus along with everyone else.

    It seems to be very difficult to get teachers to agree on a way to be accountable: in addition to the above, there's the familiar complaint that using student test scores is unfair to the teacher of gifted kids (or the teacher of slow kids, or the teacher of kids in between, or...); evaluations by administrators are unfair because they're subjective and the administrators could be biased against the teacher; having teachers rate each other is unfair because some will just rat out each other; evaluating teachers individually is unfair because previous teachers may not have prepared students properly, or a very good teacher may just be having a rough year...

    From such objections by teachers the public does not get the message that each of these methods has flaws. The message that the public gets (with, admittedly, help from interpreters with axes to grind) is that teachers and their unions are most interested in not being held accountable.
     
  15. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Oct 22, 2010

    But neither do I. In fact, my program was almost entirely based in literature. That isn't even really tested.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Interesting discussion. makes me remember when I was growing up decades ago we all took a test at the end of the year. I think it was the Iowa Test of Basic Skills or something like that. We didn't spend class time preparing, just took it one day at the end of the year. We all moved on to jr high and high school. The majority of my graduating class of 500 either went on to college, service, jobs. We matured, raised families, continued careers, and we are now in our 50's and running businesses, governments, schools, families, etc. I feel our generation has been pretty successful. However, we missed the "advantages" of children in school now...the endless testing, high stakes preparations, being taught only tested subjects, lack of recess, lack of specials, due to budget cuts, etc. I'm pretty sure when I was growing up I didn't hear the talk about evaluating teachers with this method or that...
    It's interesting how things have changed. I wonder if, 30 years from now, the children we are presently teaching will look back upon their school years with fondness or some other emotion. Just wondering...
     
  17. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Oct 22, 2010

    Well said, Swansong!
     
  18. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Oct 23, 2010

    Well stated swansong, and we were Baby Boomers who were in a class with 35-40 kids, bare necessities, and just "qualified" teachers.
     
  19. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Oct 23, 2010

    :yeahthat:

    I can see the damage being done by the over testing, reformers, lack of free time, extra stress on everyone etc. Little kids are hysterically crying over things like AR and you can't calm them down. It's really sickening because they haven't even reached the stress of middle and high school yet.

    We used to love summer breaks but would still be excited and ready to go back to school. Not kids these days, they have double the amount of work, tests, projects, and stress.

    Most surgeons, lawyers, scientists, authors etc that we have today were educated in public schools without the over-testing hassle. I think they did fine in life. I guess the teacher unions and bad teachers didn't destroy these kids like they are destroying kids today, according to sentiments of millions out there.

    And those who went to private school certainly didn't have the testing either. It's just not reasonable or justifiable at all.

    If we were to surpass Finland or South Korea in test scores what would that really mean to the country?? I just don't get it, when we have the highest amount of kids living in poverty of all developed nations. I work(ed) with kids who are living in 3rd world conditions, literally, yet the most important thing is for our test scores to be the highest? Will it help these kids have a stable or "real" home to sleep at night, will it put food on their tables?

    Off my soapbox now....sorry...drafted a letter to "certain politician" a year ago and can't edit it enough to mail it off.
     

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