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View Diary: Save Our Schools March - who we are, part 1. (54 comments)

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  •  feel free to repeat your argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limeyswife, Mostel26, mapamp

    but you are wrong that they are the only way to determine what students have learned.  There is a wealth of research, in this country and elsewhere, that demonstrates otherwise.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:26:22 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not wrong (0+ / 0-)

      How do I as an independent party understand if the education provided by your school district is worth the millions of dollars taxpayers are shelling out for it?

      Of course teachers and school districts are going to tell me "Yup, we provide a world class education!". What tool can I use to verify that this is actually true other than testing by a neutral third party?

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:38:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  lots of ways you simply refuse to accept (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, mapamp

        that's your choice

        but just because you refuse to accept them does not mean they don't exist.

        We've had this discussion before.

        Feel free to have the last word in this exchange.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:41:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          but you are wrong that they are the only way to determine what students have learned.  There is a wealth of research, in this country and elsewhere, that demonstrates otherwise.

          but just because you refuse to accept them does not mean they don't exist.

          So this is what we are reduced to, handwaving away the problem by airily referring to unspecified "research" and claiming that the problem is that I refuse to uncritically accept your claims on faith.

          That might work here in this friendly forum (or not), but the rest of the world demands results and some kind of justification as to what they are getting for their millions of dollars in property, sales, and federal income taxes.

          If you have an alternative vision of a regime for how we can evaluate whether a particular teacher/school district is or is not doing a good job, I'm all ears. Post it. But all I've heard for months has been why NCLB and testing regimes are flawed and are the worst thing in the world. In the process, you leave us taxpayers who are footing the bill with just "trust us". I don't trust anyone, nor should I be required to do so for a critical area such as whether my tax money is being used to effectively educate the next generation of students.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 08:00:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are tons of books/articles (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mapamp

            On using observation and portfolio based assessment as a MORE valid measure of performance than standardized tests.  I don't want to contribute to a threadjack, but you can research those topics to see what Ken is mentioning.  

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

              ...and portfolio based assessment by who, and using what standards? School departments cannot be trusted in this regard, just like any entity cannot be trusted to evaluate its own performance. The answer will always be "Yup, everything is great!".

              Additionally, these methods simply cannot evaluate whether actual information is actually being imparted to the students' minds. Only testing (of some kind or other) can demonstrate if students actually know the material. A teacher can produce a great portfolio, get great evaluations from administration, but the students still may not know the material!

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:11:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Also (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mapamp

            Go to you local public high school for a day. Contact your local board and ask if you can go in and see what your tax dollars are funding. Talk to students, talk to teachers, talk to admin, talk to parents.

            •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

              And the answer I will get from all of these people no matter what school district it is, even the worst district in the country, is "Yup! Your tax dollars hard at work! We provide high quality education here!" regardless of whether it is true or not.

              Administrators and teachers are incentivized to lie about how good their school system is.

              Students and (many) parents are incapable of understanding whether they are receiving a quality education or not.

              None of these players are capable of providing an unbiased and accurate opinion of whether the school system is performing or not performing.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:24:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So how many are not working hard? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mapamp

                What is your guess on this?

                Administrators and teachers are incentivized to lie about how good their school system is.

                What percentage of school systems do you believe are not working hard to teach students?

                •  Who knows? (1+ / 0-)
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                  Mostel26

                  How am I supposed to know? Without data, I can't even hazard a guess. Which is precisely the problem.

                  Also, I don't care how hard they are working. What I care about is whether they are producing results. I'd rather hire a lazy expert who produces results than a dogged hard worker who just can't seem to get it done.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 10:57:45 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But you're ignoring (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mapamp, edresearcher
                    1. The tests already show that America is at the top of all measures when one disaggregates the data for poverty. Our suburban schools are on par with any other nation's scores.
                    1. Worker productivity in this country has exploded over the past few decades. This has been done with the graduates of our school systems.
                    1. Our nation produced a disproportionately high number of Nobel Prize winners without using high stakes standardized tests to evaluate school systems.
                    1. How do you account for home factors vs. school factors that influence achievement judging the instructional content delivery of teachers?

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