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View Diary: Scapegoating Teachers? (78 comments)

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  •  Standardized tests... (0+ / 0-)

    ...are a good metric.

    A well designed test can measure how much math, reading, history, or science a kid has learned.  The AP tests are a good example.

    The scores can be adjusted for the well-known socioeconomic factors that affect test scores to give us a measure of effectiveness.  Teacher with tougher kids get a lower bar.

    Peer review is too political.  Student reviews aren't useful because they are a popularity contest.

    Standardized tests give is non-fuzzy assessments that can be compared over time and across districts.

    •  Standardized tests a "good metric"? (0+ / 0-)

      All a standardized test can evaluate is how well a person can memorize data, not how effective a teacher is. In my mind, a truly effective teacher provides the data, but also the method of using that data outside the classroom. An effective teacher also makes learning fun and instills a love of learning into a student. These things can't be measured with a "standardized test."

      "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

      by LynneK on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 04:59:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it can be measured! (0+ / 0-)

        If a teacher "makes learning fun and instills a love of learning" then her students will learn more Reading, History, and Mathematics.

        They will therefore score higher on the tests.

        •  Not necessarily... (0+ / 0-)

          some of the brightest students don't perform well on standardized tests. I've known many exellent students, who didn't score well on the standardized tests in school. Many of these students were the brightest in their classes, but if you judged them solely on their performance on these tests, you would think that they were mediocre students, at best. Learning does not equal higher scores on standardized tests.

          "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

          by LynneK on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 08:59:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If these students... (0+ / 0-)

            ...did not do well on tests, how did you know that they were bright?

            •  They were excellent students... (0+ / 0-)

              They made all A's...they just didn't do well on standardized tests. Standardized tests don't allow for critical thinking, or applying what you've learned to areas outside the subject in question.

              "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

              by LynneK on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:48:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Is it possible... (0+ / 0-)

                ...that the "A" grades were incorrectly showing them as knowledgeable, and the tests were correctly showing that they hadn't actually mastered the material?

                The "A" grade is given by the school, which has in interest in making things look good.  The test is objective, and given to all the kids across all the schools, so it can't play favorites.

                It is much more likely that these kids got "As" from soft graders, and the test reflected the reality.

                •  Definately... (0+ / 0-)

                  They weren't really "good" students, they just managed to get "soft graders" all through school and on into college, where they graduated Magna Cum Laude. Standardized tests don't measure anything other than a person's ability to fill in little bubbles with a number 2 pencil.

                  "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

                  by LynneK on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:48:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Even if... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...there are isolated cases of kids who can't be measured by tests, on average the test is the best measure we have.

                    By the time the kid has gone to college, it will be too late to reward the good teacher who helped him.

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