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View Diary: The Myth of Failing Schools (216 comments)

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  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    But so what?

    The tests do the best they can.

    The real good teachers will continue to do an amazing job.

    Let me ask you how many amazing teachers do a great job at helping their students personally develop but fail on the academic? My personal guess this number is next to 0.

    With any kind of promotion system there is always some wiggle room.  But you just deal with it and try and minimize it.

    •  Meet teachers in Special Education (4+ / 0-)

      Which is getting slaughtered nationwide.  

      The absolute best teacher I know of is a Special Education teacher K-2.   She runs a special classroom for autistic and challenged students.

      Most of those students will NEVER perform well on a test.   But I have seen absolute miracles come out of that classroom.   I've seen kids start in (K) who couldn't speak or keep eye contact.   I've seen her develop books and programs to help those kids do everything from talk to people to not hit people.

      She'll never get recognized on any test score.   Anywhere.  But there are families all across our city who would sell their house to be in a district just close to her because that's how good she is.

      I'm not saying this as a joke, I did it.   We moved just so we could be within 2 blocks of that school.   This year, two houses on our block sold - above asking price - just by parents desperate to get their kids into her classroom.

      She'll never have test scores to prove that she does a great academic job.   But I have -never- met a teacher who works as hard and accomplishes as much as she does.  

      I say this as someone who TA'd in college, met some great HS and Middle School teachers.     I have never met anyone anywhere who works as hard as that woman.   At anything.  

      Even though my son is too old to be in her classroom now, if there is one standout achievement of the elementary school he's at, it's teachers like her.

      Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

      by Chris Reeves on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So your telling me (0+ / 0-)

        you think that special education teachers would be/are graded on the same scale as regular ed?

        •  I'm saying (0+ / 0-)

          Your argument was that it's hard to be a great teacher without showing academic achievement on a test.  

          There are other examples.  Have a good test for

          Vo-Ed?
          Band/music?
          Art?
          Home-ec?

          Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

          by Chris Reeves on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:58:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ill (0+ / 0-)

            concede your point that there are a variety of sub professions within teaching where it would be hard to come up with a test of any kind.

            However I would argue that those besides vocational ed and special ed are not core subjects and are thus not really what this debate is about.

            •  But the problem is you have this move (0+ / 0-)

              to value added tests... and the only teachers who are the sole input for their students for a year, for whom there is a previous year to compare, is grades 3-6. (In CA we have a 2nd grade exam.)

              It seems kind of ridiculous to build this infrastructure to use a metric of dubious merit that can only be applied at best to less than 1/4 of the teachers.

              I think using the scores informally as an input to an evaluation is valuable. I think you always need to look at the scores and then ask yourself what they tell you.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:44:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Those kindergarteners are slackers (0+ / 0-)

            never show any achievement on the bubble tests.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:40:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Schools have already failed on the performance (0+ / 0-)

          of the special education kids.

          I wouldn't be surprised if special education teachers were graded on the same scale, since NCLB apparently does so for the children.

          Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

          by Cassandra Waites on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 05:05:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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