Unrealistic expectations. . .

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MelissainGA, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Nov 2, 2010

    We were just given our data sheets to plug in where our students scored last year and where they are expected to score this year. I almost hyperventilated when I saw where some of my students were expected to score to achieve "adequate gains". 1/2 my class is supposed to achieve at the exceeds (top) level possible in all areas. This even though the norm when students move from 2nd to 3rd is that their scores drop because this is the first year they have to read the test by themselves. I also know the achievement level of some of these kids. I seriously doubt they will score exceeds, I am just praying that they pass. Anyone else have unrealistic achievement expectations placed on them where their students are concerned?
     
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  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Have I got this right?

    If a student scored say 840 in reading last year in 4th grade, are they expecting a score above 840 on the 5th grade test in order to show "adequate gains"?

    And are the data sheets something your county made up? I've got a grade level goal of a certain percent that have to meet or exceed, but that's it.
     
  4. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Taking into account no child left behind, I assume most of us have unrealistic expectations placed on us. My kindergartners are suppose to read at a DRA level 4 at the end of K and at a 6 by the end of the summer when they start 1st grade. Hmmm...Who's working with these kids over the summer? Moreover, they are suppose to segment 40 sounds out of words in 60 seconds when that is not a test we ever do or even how we practice in kindergarten!! Never mind that it's not appropriate...
     
  5. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Someone at my school calculated that in the next 2 years, all the schools in my district will be in "Program Improvement" status because the gains they are expected to make basically say all students will have to be proficient or above on tests.
     
  6. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Not quite. They are expected to score close to an 840 on the 5th grade test as it will be a more difficult test.


    Thus, your effectiveness as a teacher is based on how they have performed in the past. If you're being really effective, they will score better than they have in the past. If you're being mediocre, they will score the same and ineffective is lower.


    These evaluations, of course, don't take into account what's going on in the student's lives. They could be in a broken home, have been raped, have been thrown out of their home, be pregnant, attempted suicide, etc, etc, etc. We all know that these things shouldn't effect test scores and we all know that we shouldn't take these things into account when evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher. <sarcasm off>


    The interesting part of all of this is that the teacher who is REALLY screwed is the one who teaches the honors students. ALL of their students will be expected to score highly advanced and there isn't much wiggle room. In a class of 30, you're going to have 1 or 2 with an off day on that testing day and they won't hit the mark. The rest will do as expected since they're expected to get almost all of the questions rights. Thus, the honors teacher's best hope is to be mediocre in the view of the state.
     
  7. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Nov 2, 2010

    lol our state (or maybe it's district) expects that in 2012 100% of students will have met or exceeded the Arizona state standards.

    We also feel pressure to have our intensive students reach benchmark by the end of the year. Um, they are intensive because they don't know any sounds/blends/basic 2nd grade words and sometimes not even 1st grade words. They need 1 on 1 help which is not going to happen seeing as all of us have 30+ kids in our classes!
     
  8. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Nov 2, 2010

    OK. I knew it there was something simple I wasn't getting. :)

    So. Last year, almost all my students came from one teacher's classroom. Their scores on the test were higher than normal. In fact, there was one boy who scored at "exceeds" in reading but he couldn't read. The reading teacher and I gave him the DIBELS, and sure enough, he was way below average. He was low on the Johns. Even tried Star Reading and low. A lot of the kids' scores just didn't seem to match their abilities in 5th.

    We suspect that the teacher cheated in order to look good to the administrator and to the parents who happened to be a lot of teacher's kids.

    Needless to say, we couldn't use any of the data from that teacher's room. I won't say more than that about what happened since some of my colleagues in other grades visit this site.

    An unusual situation? I don't know. I suspect there will be more of it.

    So. Basing a teacher's effectiveness on the previous year's score and this year's growth can be flawed for other reasons besides the home life of the child changing.

    Today, I am feeling ineffective. I have quite a few students that are Special Ed, but are being "tracked" because the special ed teacher is needed elsewhere. And I have some that are "performing at their ability level" which is one or two points above MI status, and so are not labeled at all. I don't know how to get them to pass the Georgia Writing Test. They are so language delayed. So dyslexic that it is difficult to read what they've written. I see progress, but not enough to get them to pass.

    Today I feel a bit defeated. But I'll suck it up and research and keep at it. Who knows? I can only do my best. Apparently I am not Superteacher.
     
  9. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    In Tennessee, the goal is 100% graduation rate.


    The expectation is that our SPED kids who are so disabled that they can't speak will be passing Algebra II and 1 math higher than Algebra II.

    We're even requiring that these kids take the ACT their junior year. I'm not sure what they expect to get from the data but ALL high school students in Tennessee are now required to take the ACT and those test results are being used to evaluated the effectiveness of our schools as compared to other states (despite the fact that most states don't require all students to take it.)


    I guess that education has dug it's own hole. Today's politicians are a product of the poor education of the 1970's - 1980's (a time that is often referred to as the lowest point in American education) and now they're dictating what education should be.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Nov 3, 2010

    Our schools are also expected to have 100% proficient in the next couple of years. That includes my SPED students who will be learning life skills when they get to middle school because they will never learn how to read or count. By the time the district gets their act together and renews the plan to evaluate and pay teachers based on the test results, I will be retired so they won't be able to fire me based on my students test scores. I'm sure those test scores are really important to my 4th grader who has just accomplished potty training and can now hold a pencil with a strong enough grip that he can make a mark on the paper. He now can recognize his first name, also. I'm guessing this child is not too interested in the ins and outs of NCLB.
     
  11. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Nov 3, 2010

    Have I got this right?

    If a student scored say 840 in reading last year in 4th grade, are they expecting a score above 840 on the 5th grade test in order to show "adequate gains"?

    And are the data sheets something your county made up? I've got a grade level goal of a certain percent that have to meet or exceed, but that's it.

    Here is an example of what I am talking about shouldbeasleep:

    student #1 831 855.93
    student #2 878 904.34
    student #3 789 812.67

    this is across the board. The first score was their 2nd grade score from Reading (where the test is read to them) the second score is the score that they will be required to make to achieve an "adequate gain" for ayp status. Don't take into account the fact that this is the first time that they have taken the CRCT w/o the questions being read to them, don't take into account that the 3rd grade test is more an endurance test than a knowledge test on some accounts.
    I can seriously, seriously tell you some of the children I have won't score close to the "projected required gain" unless a miracle occurs.

    The data sheet was something developed by our county so that we could meet expectations of the new super.
     
  12. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 3, 2010

    :yeahthat:

    Same here. We met earlier today as a school and the P said that each testing grade level is going to be having an all day meeting with people from the state to discuss why our students did not score the way they thought they should score. Theyre going to analyze the data.

    I think unrealistic expectations are put on us due to NCLB. Right now, my school's 1 year away from going into School Improvement. If we still keep failing, then next it'll be Turnaround where they literally clean out shop and get rid of 50% of the faculty. That happened to my friends school. :(
     
  13. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Nov 3, 2010

    Nearly everything about it was unrealistic and abusive in my short time in one of the most challenging schools. I had a student that missed months out of the year. And one missed 3 days every single week.
    Others came from "the village" where many parents don't believe in sending their kids to school, and the student had no address or phone on record, or no school records...they were in school ONLY so the parents could stay out of jail.

    Yet I was still threatened and warned, trickled down by government, of what I better do for them academically, no questions asked and their truancy not withstanding.

    That's not the job I signed up for and I will never allow myself to be in that horrible situation again if I can help it. How can I teach them if they're not there? Yet I was held responsible for the parents not sending their kids to school. That's insane.

    Those of you about to retire, you're so lucky!!
     
  14. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    OMG! Melissa!

    That is insane! So expected to score quite a bit above where they scored last year! Look! Up in the sky! Faster than a state legislator struggling to keep up with an MI.d student. Stronger than the ....etc. It's Superteacher!

    I haven't heard anything like this in our little county directly west of Atlanta. (hint so it doesn't pop up on a google search of our county's name) I'm just hoping the middle and high ones keep up their good scores and that the low ones pass the 800 mark.

    To expect a child who scores at 789 to move to 812 is simply unrealistic. There is a reason they are at 789, and it doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the education the teacher is giving them. (Too difficult to explain to our friends in other states except maybe TN which I think has the same scoring.)

    There are such students as "below average" in ability. This isn't Lake Woebegone. It's a bell curve, for goodness sake. This is expecting that we have a race of superchildren who are all average and above in intelligence.
     
  15. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Yeah Shouldbeasleep,

    That's exactly why I am sweating it here in my county directly east of ATL down the same interstate you are located on. I have some low babies and unless they experience divine intervention like a couple did last year I don't foresee an 800 in their future much less anything close to the #'s they are supposed to have to achieve for their 3% gain.
    It's as bad in Language Arts and Math not just Reading. The kicker is though they are supposed to pass Science and Social Studies and I don't even have time to teach them.
    I had a sub today because I was at a PD and I left science for her to cover during Reading because I knew she would be able to cover it and not get in trouble since she was the sub.
     
  16. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Yeah, that does seem to be pretty common. Here this year our new expectation was that all GT students in our district were supposed to score a "commended" level on our testing in 3rd, 4th and 5th. ALL students. Our super doesn't seem to realize you can be GT and LEP or GT with learning disabilities-that label doesn't mean you excel in academics. I have a 1st Grader this year who is absolutely truly GT, however he can't read a word yet. We had 2 third graders last year who had that label actually fail the test the 1st time because it's the 1st time they took it in English and their vocabulary is just not there.

    Oh,and our Kinders are supposed to be reading 40 words/minute by the end of the year. 20 years ago 20% of kids going to 1st knew how to read, now 100% are supposed to learn. Don't worry about the fact that they come in a blank slate-knowing no letters and sounds.

    I think anytime the goal is 100% in education-it's unrealistic. With all the factors that affect these kids on a daily basis, are 100% ever going to be at that required level?
     
  17. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Nov 4, 2010

    I think you folks are missing a very important detail.....


    When a school becomes targeted and the State starts exercising control, the State suddenly has responsibility to meet the test scores.


    The State wants to say how BAD things are, but they don't want control as that comes with responsibility for performance.


    This is going to blow up in their faces as the politicians dictate that State Dept of Ed's take control and as these schools continue to fail after State control is taken.
     
  18. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2010

    It seems like it would make more sense if there was a constant standard set for performace, like 70% proficient or something to that effect. For the standard to keep rising, while the population doesn't change, seems to be super unrealistic.
     

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