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View Diary: Why Obama's New Teacher Incentive Pay Will Take Education Backward (254 comments)

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  •  And teaching to the test gets results (7+ / 0-)

    I taught Remedial Algebra (called Algebra 1A), basically solving and graphing linear equations. I faced a moral dilemma, because I truly believe my kids needed the problem solving skills afforded by a strong Algebra education, but did they need them more than a diploma? Without a passing FCAT score, a student cannot earn a diploma.

    Once you realize that all standardized tests are the same and that the same tricks will work on any of them, it becomes easy to work backwards and employ other tricks to eliminate wrong answers and increase the probability of selecting correct answers.

    My students passed at a rate 10% higher than that of any other class. I'm not sorry for what I did. I helped my kids move on to successful careers in many cases (HVAC technician is steady, high paying work in Florida). I helped my school earn a passing grade from the state and extra state funding. (That always struck me as foolish. They give bonus money to the high performing schools when the failing schools need it more.)

    Let me reiterate. I'm not disagreeing with you. I was way happier when I was teaching higher levels and the state tests were already out of the way. I'm just saying that linking pay to these silly tests is only going to lead to people gaming the system. Maybe I'll open a consulting firm and teach teachers for a percentage of their soon to be millions of dollars in bonuses.

    Wait, what? The bonus is 600 bucks? God, let them keep it.

    (When my school went from a D to a B, each teacher got a check for about $630.)

    •  Our "beating the odds" charter schools (8+ / 0-)

      In Minnesota, where we have had charter schools and universal choice for 20+ years, we like to beat our chest about "beating the odds" charter schools.

      The biggest most fabulous charter school does have good math and reading sores for tough, tough populations, and I give them credit. However, they literally get 0% on the science test.  What else gets sacrificed in order to improve on two areas?

      When you focus solely on financial improvement in educational goals you limit true human potential. ---Paraphrased from W.E.B. DuBois

      •  "literally 0%" ? What does that even mean? (0+ / 0-)

        What school are you talking about , and what does "0%" even mean?     None of there students got a single answer right on the science tests?    None of their students are better than anyone else anywhere?

        Your  claims sound objective, but I want to check them out.

        0% is a pretty low bar.  

        What is the name of this school, and where are these statistics shown?

        Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

        by bobtmn on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 05:11:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  600 bucks? BullShit!! (1+ / 0-)
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      progressivist

      Merit pay narrows the curriculum and forces teachers to teach to the test. Children's comprehensive educational experiences suffer as a result. Merit pay is FUBAR....

      Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

      by semioticjim on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 08:15:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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