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View Diary: Rich Kid, Poor Kid - Who gets the education? (36 comments)

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  •  Biggest problem: How else to measure progress? (1+ / 0-)
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    Cassandra Waites

    I worked briefly in public schools - ick! Still from what I saw there, the only way anyone can come up with a way to measure acquisition of basic skills is to test for them. It sucks, but how else can the Powers That Be know that a kid can do basic (fill in subject matter here)?

    I'm not a fan of standardised testing, but it does meet one goal - it shows how well students can do the basics. OK, well, that's what it should show. Unfortunately, it also shows how well teachers teach the test and how poor (financially) the kids are.

    I do wish there was a better way.

    Disclaimer: I teach at an adult education center. Most of our learners are there to get their GEDs. They earn those GEDs by learning basic skills in math and language (FSM forbid they should also learn some science, history, etc., but on the GED, those things are are really no more than reading comprehension rather than knowledge of the subjects). We can be fairly certain, when someone gets that GED, that the person can read, understand what s/he reads to at least a minimal extent, and do basic math (both the mechanical part and the comprehension - aka word problems - part). The GED is designed in part to measure what employers want - basic competency in a few basic areas.

    Disclaimer Part Deux: The state, which funds us, holds us responsible for our learners making gains (increases in grade level equivalent). We hold the students responsible for learning. I teach the lowest levels - some of my learners will never be getting their GEDs. Nonetheless, I am held responsible for teaching them to read (decode, for some of them), understand how money works (some of them), and do whole number operations. If I can't help them learn to read as well as add, subtract, multiply, and divide (including word problems, which is what you DO with those skills), why am I there?

    In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

    by SciMathGuy on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 05:25:15 AM PDT

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