Testing Disaster

Discussion in 'General Education' started by iteachbx, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/n...ts-see-sharp-decline-in-test-scores.html?_r=0

    This is what we're dealing with in New York. What a disaster. We expected the shift to common core would be rigorous and there would be some decline in scores, but this is pretty outrageous. To top it all off the computer system that reports the grades to parents and teachers doesn't have the grades out yet- and on that computer system my class list has already been changed to my new class. So I won't get to see my students' grades until I return to school in September.

    These scores are eventually supposed to be used as part of my evaluation. Yet here we are 4 months after taking them and still I haven't seen a single score except the pass/fail we get in June- which obviously according to this must have been way off. Kids I thought passed definitely failed. They really need to get their acts together.
     
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  3. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I don't get why when these results come back this way its never the test design that is questioned. Just whether or not teachers messed up. If you went from a 60% pass to a 10% pass(hypothetical) with the same teachers then obviously something doesn't add up with the test themselves. Or maybe not and the previous tests were WAY to easy(doubtful).
     
  4. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I think it's a combination of things. Easier tests in the past- the new standards definitely made a huge difference, but the test itself definitely needs to be questioned.

    It's scary how we moved further this year with how teachers are going to be held accountable for these scores and now the results come out and it's clear no one is equipped to deal with these tests. I don't come from a high performing school so I wasn't expecting great results but this makes it clear it has nothing to do with my school, my teaching, my students. There are way too many other factors to hold me accountable for their test scores- or even to hold them accountable for their own scores!
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I also don't have a problem with raising standards, but you can't just expect success in one year-it's ridiculous. It drives me crazy that everyone is all about the numbers.

    We ran into that here too, they changed our testing to make it more rigorous and also cut the time in half that the kids have to take the test. And then decided that those results are 50% of teacher evaluations. :dizzy: Last year it was a huge deal in the media how many kids failed, no one knew what the test was even going to look like.
     
  6. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think part of it is teachers teaching to the test. I know it happens at my school. Teachers see a standardized test and make sure the next time they teach, they cover items that were on it but they didn't specifically mention in class before.

    New test means no one has had time to get those details added in.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I looked at the sample math test that was linked to the NY Times article. The two third grade questions seem to me to be way above grade level appropriateness. Others were challenging as well, but the two third grade ones were just ridiculous. One had them using the distributive property. Really? Nine year olds using the distributive property? Sigh.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I don't think that's always a teacher's choice. I know administrators often require it. We have reading classes that don't even read actual books anymore, because they are told to only use the passage format that the kids will see on the test.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I think its a bit of both. I think there are teachers and admin that think the only way to be effective on standardized tests is to teach to the test. This is simply not true.
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is so depressing. I cannot believe that everyone always views the tests as infallible...well except for now, since they're deciding the old tests were too easy. It's ALWAYS the teachers' fault. Of course.

    What stands out the most to me - 3% of nonnative English speakers passed? THREE PERCENT??? If that's how well ELs do on this lovely test, I guess CA is really in for it, since I think 20% of our student population consists of ELs.

    Don't worry, NY teachers. We'll all be right there with you soon as we change tests. I know CA will.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I thought the head of the Federal Department of Education said that teachers would not be held accountable for scores the first year....
     
  14. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    It is part of the third grade standards. I taught 3rd grade, gave the third grade test and actually thought it was fair to the standards. The problem is because my 3rd graders weren't learning common core in k, 1, and 2 there is a huge gap between what they knew coming into my classroom and what they were supposed to have already learned. This gap is going to continue at least for the next few years until we get groups of kids that have been learning common core since k.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We aren't being held accountable this year, but this doesn't look like it will fix it self in a year. :(
     
  16. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    We won't be held accountable this year but it will be the basis for next year so we technically will be held accountable for "growth". I was also told that some of the questions on some of the tests were "pilot" questions and were above grade level but would not count? My school did above average compared to neighboring schools but I know my p and teachers are still very upset. My heart goes out to these students
     
  17. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I also keep hearing comments from teachers on this forum that they are receiving little or minimal training in the Common Core. How can we expect them to be master teachers if we aren't preparing them to implement this new program? How do we hold them accountable for test scores unless they were rigorously prepared?
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I know that was true in 2012...not sure if that happened this year. I thought the 3rd grade math test was a fair representation of the 3rd grade common core standards. It just wasn't fair to expect this year's 3rd grade students to be able to close the gap between our former standards and common core standards in 1 year. Not to mention we had no common core aligned math programs this year.
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    http://www.nysucceeds.org/

    Look at this open letter from business leaders.

    "We support continued implementation of these new, tougher academic standards that are currently being rolled out in classrooms across the state. These standards will better prepare students for college and the workplace, something of critical importance to New York's employers."

    I'm sorry, but being an employer of adults doesn't make you qualified to determine how an 8-year-old should be taught.
     
  20. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    :agreed:


    i teach 7th and I don't even think I am qualified to determine how an 8year old learns and should be taught!
     
  21. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    I agree with you 100%. :unsure:
     
  22. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    ugh. headache!

    time for a nap.
     
  23. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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  24. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I really liked the letter from the superintendent. I didn't realize that these tests were 4 hours long for math alone. What the heck? I'm all for teacher accountability but who ever designed these tests really need to reevaluate their methods if they think sticking students of any age in a 4 hour testing session is a good way to measure understanding. Its been a while but I don't even think the SAT is 4 hours long.
     
  25. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    It's over 3 days.
     
  26. Jlyn07

    Jlyn07 Comrade

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    In my district, those scores are being used for our evaluations for the 2012-2013 year, they are 20% of our total score. We have been told that are rating really won't mean anything this year though. Who knows.
     

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