Texas teachers..TAKS too easy?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by smalltowngal, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I saw a report on the news tonight that some people in Washington deemed the TAKS test too easy. They went on to say that we were giving these students a false sense of success. What a bunch of idiots!!

    What do you think?
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    They said thr Illinois test was "too easy" too. I think I heard on the news that ours was the second easiest test in the nation. The news, however, did not say how the test was evaluated. Being a language arts teacher, I am VERY aware of the reading and writing tests. These tests are NOT easy to pass (at least not the extended response section of the reading test). The rubrics for the written portion are quite specific, and I actually use these rubrics to score much of my students' writing throughout the year, even though they don't take the ISAT writing test until 8th grade. Believe it or not, you can use the ISAT rubric and help your kids become better writers - without the formulaic 5 paragraph essay!
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I think we're approaching a presidental election, so they (both sides) are going to say whatever they think will get them the most votes, regardless of any actual evidence or truths.

    Having said that, I teach 11th grade English in Texas -- the year the Exit level English/Language Arts test is given -- and NO, I don't think the test is too easy. I don't think it's too hard either. The kids have to read and respond to two reading passages and write a personal narrative. Nothing overly difficult about that.

    The science test is a KILLER. The kids are tested on specifics about biology, but some of them haven't been in a biology class in 2 years. The failure rate is astronomical.
     
  5. caringforkids

    caringforkids New Member

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    The writing test is not easy. We are in the so called best ISD, and I see so many 4th graders got 2 and lower. This was their first time to be tested on writing, so that could be a reason as well.

    No Taks is not that easy.
     
  6. smithf1

    smithf1 Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2007

    tests

    Our MCAS tests have been deemed one of the hardest. I am proud to say our school is in the top 20 schools in all tested areas!!:)
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    There are some grades that I don't see a large enough jump in difficulty from the previous grade level, but overall, I definitely don't think the tests are easy. There was also another study that said Texas fourth graders performed better than all other states' fourth graders. They can do a million different studies and get a million different results.

    If there was a national standard, this debate wouldn't even be happening.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    You've hit the nail on the head...a NATIONAL standard needs to be set.
     
  9. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    The ISTEP is ridiculously easy.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    For those of you in other states, if you'd like to see the TAKS test, check out the Released Tests on the Texas Education Agency's website. The SDAA test is for special ed students who meet the qualifications to take a modified test. Those are *very* rare exceptions...

    For us, exit level is the 11th grade.
     
  11. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    Oh gosh, ya'll are going to HATE me.....

    I teach in Texas. I teach Science. I am the school's TAKS Science coordinator - and I KNOW the test is hard for the kids....

    But I DO believe it's too easy.

    The kids should be retaining the materials and they aren't. The teachers should be teaching to a higher level and they aren't. We have to go back and teach the kids English in HIGH SCHOOL first, then teach them TAKS stuff, and they still don't get it. The TAKS test is EASILY an 10th grade test that the kids still can't pass as seniors. The reason the failure rate is astronomical is because the system is so far behind.

    I know you all want to shoot me, but we haven't raised the bar for these kids.

    I had a boy from Mexico who learned English in school in the 9th grade when he came across the border take the Science test as a junior and easily get a perfect score. He said that is was soooo basic and he could have passed even not speaking English. I felt a little ashamed of our Texas system.

    Begin the lashing.....
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2007

    :sorry: for hi-jacking this thread

    BUT Mamacita, did you see in the papers today where "our man Mitch" is moving the ISTEP to spring. As a HS teacher, that makes me very happy. BUT did you read where next year in order to implement the new testing date, we will be testing in the fall and spring. More instructional days give up to testing :mad:
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Originally, ISTEP was in the spring, and its object was to test what the child had learned/retained as a natural progression in all grades up to and including the testing grade. We were FORBIDDEN to do any kind of review, and encouraged to play games and show movies during the parts of the day that were not being used for testing.

    Then ISTEP was moved to the fall, which is ridiculous anyway, and suddenly teachers were not merely encouraged but REQUIRED to drill, drill, drill and review anything that might possibly be on the test, to make the school's scores look good. The test no longer measured what the child had, himself, retained; it was now focused on that final score, school-wide.

    Personally, I believe that the children are best served by a spring test, taken and scored 100% on what was learned and retained by the child himself, without last-minute desperate coaching and drilling beforehand.

    But the whole thing is so political now, that will never happen again.

    And Mitch is an idiot, plain and simple. He cares nothing for education and is nothing but a big stupid good ole boy.
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    No lashing, girl! You are certainly entitled to your professional opinion! LOL!

    I can't speak as a science teacher, so I hesitate to slam what they do or their curriculum... you would know much more about that than I would.

    I do, however, question the whole "they should be retaining the information" philosophy. I'm not sure that I could retain specifics about the structure of a cell 2 years after it was taught to me, even if I really wanted to. Now, could I study for it and remember it? Yes, but I think that's asking an awful lot of the typical 16 year old. I also think it puts a lot of pressure on chemistry teachers to quit teaching chemistry and review biology in the months immediately proceeding the test. I've seen this happen. :unsure: I guess that's why I'm a supporter of the End of Course exams. Test them about biology immediately after they've taken biology. :2cents:
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The End of Course exam, however, subtly implies that it's okay to forget all that stuff once the course is over. That's not a good message to send.
     
  16. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Any test that is MULTIPLE CHOICE is too easy.
     
  17. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    You are SO RIGHT! that is exactly what happens, the Chem teachers have to quit teaching Chem the month before and review Bio and Physics. I totally agree with the End-of-Course exams as an alternative. You shouldn't be allowed to pass Bio if you don't know Bio. Then there are no excuses! We can also more adequately track what the teachers are doing in the classroom. If their whole class fails the genetics part of the EOC, then maybe you go back to that teacher and re-vamp their genetics lessons (or maybe they never taught it.....)

    Love the EOC idea!!! Can't wait to see what it holds for dear old Texas (GO AGGIES!!!)
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 8, 2007

    Depends on the test. I've seen some multiple choice questions that really required people to know their stuff. But questions like that are hard to write well.
     

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