The NCLB and standardized test beast

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2009

    Science counts for performance, but not growth because there is no way to judge it. This is the first year it has counted for anything.

    That said, K-4 teachers could not teach science and it would not affect the 5th graders on their EOG at all because only the 5th grade curriculum is tested. If your science test scores go down significantly next year, I would think that would throw up red flags.
    Not that I think it is right...
     
  2. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 16, 2009

    That happened before they started testing Science here on TAKS - people had stopped teaching it, then suddenly the 5th Grade class was trying to cram everything in - the vocabulary just wasn't there. The first year it was given here, even exemplary campuses tanked it - there were campuses with like 30% of kids passing. You can't teach everything in one year, the concepts build on each other.

    Our part of the district has a new executive principal who wants to do more hands-on, project-based, meaningful learning even in the higher primary grades. He said our scores may go down for a year or two but after that we should she a major increase in actual application of what is learned. We'll see what happens.
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2009

    I'm with that executive principal: if the projects involve correct vocabulary and critical thinking - including thinking through causes and effects and also justification of reasoning, and if all the teachers are on board with that and can model it, then I'd bet on kids who are much better at explaining how they reached a justifiable conclusion or at catching themselves while they're making an unjustifiable one. And, oh yeah, test scores should go up too.
     
  4. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jun 19, 2009

    Right.
     
  5. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jun 19, 2009

    Exactly!
     
  6. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jun 19, 2009

    I have seen that too especially at my old school where it's a struggle every year to meet AYP - even with block scheduling there is no way to cram all that science into 1 year and have those kids get it much less be successful on a test like the EOG's.

    Science terminology is like learning a foreign language on top of definitions and then applying it to actual scenarios that the DPI has put on the EOG's.
     
  7. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Jun 19, 2009

    My school focuses on math and reading as well, but we are able to get around this by departmentalizing science and social studies. We are able to get an hour of science and social studies a day. Our test scores drastically improved with this practice. It's like the admin cannot see past elementary. I mean eventually these kids will have to know science and ss.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    A wise woman, though I won't mention names (teachergroupie), once said, on these very boards, that children can't be readers until they are doers. Go ahead and "incorporate science and social studies into reading". I think they'll find the result is the opposite of what's intended. If kids don't have the background of experience, you may as well be putting a theoretical mathematical statistics book in front of them. They won't get it, they'll get frustrated, and their reading skills will drop.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2009

    No wonder my ears were burning...

    It's well known that a good oral vocabulary is crucial in building proficiency in reading. That goes double for reading to learn, and in fact it works both directions: if readers keep always having to stop and think to recover or discover the words that are fundamental to the discipline, it's bound to hamper their comprehension and it's bound to turn most of them off the discipline.
     
  10. TBRacing

    TBRacing Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2009

    The school I was student teaching in has failed the last several years so we had all kinds of things we had to do. We had to do a curriculum mapping program for the teachers, and we had a computer program called Success Maker that the students had to do for 30 minutes each day. Between all the extra things you have to do in the day it was so hard to actually find time to teach!
     

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