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View Diary: "I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists." (113 comments)

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  •  If Students "Passed" The High Stakes Test (42+ / 0-)

    All of these corporations feasting on them would make no money. All of the players, with the exception of teachers and administrators, have strong incentives to create tests that students will fail. This is a disaster.

    Not just process -- but also failure -- is the product.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:08:21 AM PDT

    •  I teach anatomy and physiology in college (11+ / 0-)

      I have been in despair for years, really; it seems liked my students keep getting dumber every year.

      I got a little dose of reality recently.  I was talking about the urinary system and about how an enlarged prostate was a problem for aging males.

      Two of my students who were already working as vocational nurses started comparing notes about how difficult it was to catheterize patients with prostate cancer.

      I have never had to catheterize anybody, and hopefully I never will.

      I only hope that something that I teach my students will be as useful as the technique involved in catheterizing a man with prostate cancer.    I wish I could give them extra credit, or something, for that.

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

      by MadScientist on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:11:39 PM PDT

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    •  Maybe look into this first (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Midwest Meg, Sparhawk

      before making such a harsh statement. Measurement companies are not "feasting" on students and there is no desire to see students fail- there is no benefit in student failure. These high stakes tests are designed by teachers and are scored by former teachers or scholars with MA's and PhD's. There is a tremendous respect for students,teachers,administrators and parents. The process is supportive. The product is a standardized measurement tool.

      •  wrong on most of this (14+ / 0-)

        most of the essays on non-AP tests can be scored by anyone with a college degree even if they know nothing about the topic - you should read Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry by Todd Farley

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:13:11 PM PDT

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        •  I will find that book. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          It is true that the minimum requirement is that a potential employee have a basic 4 year college degree, but that isn't necessarily the type of person being selected.
          I can't go into details about the measurement process, but I can say that in my experience, the large measurement companies (at least one in particular) are full of very professional supervisors and directors who care about the students,teachers and parents of the states that they serve. The employees are vigorously trained, focused and supportive to students in their work. The work is done with accuracy, great care and awareness of how the scores make an impact on students.
          Consider that the measurement process may not be what you think it is. Farley is just one person, but I'll check out his book.

          •  that was not Todd Farley's experience (8+ / 0-)

            and I can also tell you that the quality of multiple choice questions on Maryland's High School Assessments, at least in Government, sucked.  There were questions with more than one correct answer and questions with no correct answer, and that never changed over all years I saw it.

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:43:17 PM PDT

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            •  I remember the MSPAP in the 90's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karma for All, qofdisks

              which was the MD standardized test prior to the current one.  Our third grade students did poorly on a portion of the test dealing with map reading skills.  We were dumbfounded by the test results because those were skills that had been thoroughly taught and the students had done well on teacher created assessments.  We came to find out that the reason the students did poorly was because the test used the word "legend" and the teacher had used the word "key" while teaching map skills (it may have been the other way around).  The students didn't know the meaning of the word on the test so they didn't answer the questions.  Students cannot ask "what does 'legend' mean?" and get an answer.  Teachers cannot offer any help at all.  They can only say "Read it again, do your best" when a student asks a question.  So the kids really knew the information but they didn't demonstrate it on the test because of the way the questions were worded.  Teachers cannot view the tests until the morning they are given.  These tests might have a purpose but they shouldn't be the be all and end all of everything we do.

              “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

              by musiclady on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:45:15 AM PDT

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              •  I worked with MSPAP for 3 years (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Karma for All

                at Kettering Middle School, 1995-96 through 97-98.

                One thing I remember is that it required the use of skills across domains.  It was a performance assessment.

                One problem some of our students had.  If their measurements were wrong and they knew it, rather than use their actual measurements their further work would be on what they knew should have been their measurements, which would lower their scores.

                There were no stakes for students on MSPAP, only for schools.

                "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

                by teacherken on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:55:54 AM PDT

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                •  I began my teaching career in that part or PG Co. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  teacherken, Karma for All

                  in 1976.  I was in one of Kettering's feeders.  I got riffed in the big budget cut of 1982.

                  That being said--my oldest child enjoyed the MSPAP.  However she was frustrated during one performance task which involved a cooperative group.  One kid didn't do his measurement properly and the group had to start over.  No one got to the writing part of the task.  She was so mad about that.  There were a lot of issues with the implementation of that test but it was far superior to the MSA.

                  “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                  by musiclady on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:12:12 AM PDT

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      •  Here is how measurement companies accelerate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Karma for All

        the weakening of the academic world: in both links, the comments often contain even more useful information to gauge what is occurring.

        http://www.wiredacademic.com/...

        http://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/...

        The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

        by Ignacio Magaloni on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:47:23 PM PDT

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      •  scoring (0+ / 0-)

        I've worked for a measurement company for 3 "seasons" and I saw no evidence of bias though I found a few scoring rubrics odd.

        •  some of the questions themselves are biased (3+ / 0-)

          and that has happened at least once in the free response questions on the exam for the AP course I took

          in this case the bias gave advantage to Mormons and kids from Utah, because it required knowledge of a case they would all have covered but others might well have not -  there is no fixed list of Supreme Court cases on which students might be tested, which makes preparing for the AP test a bit of a crap shoot.

          "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

          by teacherken on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:54:41 AM PDT

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