Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On the Recommended List

Grumpy Educators celebrates 100 blogs today. Here are some reports that are worthy of your time.

Scathing Purple Musings posted Why Conservatives and Tea Party Followers Ought to be Appalled by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top:
"And in what ought to trouble conservatives and tea party followers, but really doesn’t (not yet anyway) “…developing effective teachers and leaders,” speaks to reformers “accountability” mantras. This is school reform code-speak for more tax dollars going for corporate standardized tests, elaborate software or training seminars. Or what Steve Wise cleverly described last February as “infrastructure,” on the floor of the Florida Senate."

Missouri Education Watchdog posted information about providing public input by August 15 regarding Common Core initiatives in Register Your Written Opposition to Common Core Standards. Note an expanded call to action in an earlier post here.

According to the Tampa Bay Gradebook, a new study published by the RAND Corporation indicates that merit pay based on student achievement on standardized tests does not work:
"A New York City program designed to improve student performance through school-based financial incentives for teachers did not improve student achievement, most likely because it did not change teacher behavior and the conditions needed to motivate staff were not achieved, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today."
How many more studies does it take before meaningful accountability is formulated? There is no evidence of value-added measurement working anywhere, as currently designed. There is plenty of evidence that excessive testing is occurring.

Recently, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) revealed results of geography achievement by U.S. students. Yes, that is another test administered selectively throughout the nation, roughly 30,000 of the 52 million attending school. The detail of those results were covered by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post here.
"NAEP, administered to nationally representative samples of students by the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education, is sometimes referred to as the nation’s report card because it is the only K-12 assessment system given across the country. The 2010 assessment in geography was given to 7,000 fourth graders, 9,500 eighth graders and 10,000 twelfth graders."

Before you go to the article, see what you think the answer to this geography question is:

Which of the following is an accurate statement about the American Southwest?

a) Alternating areas of dense shrubbery and sand dunes often make travel difficult.

b) Arid conditions make access to water an important public issue.

c) Generally fair weather means that most people rely on solar energy in their homes and businesses.

d) Easy access to Mexico has led to a strong manufacturing sector.

No comments:

Post a Comment