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View Diary: Atlanta cheating scandal highlights dangers of high-stakes testing (146 comments)

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  •  Technical question (0+ / 0-)

    My major question for correlating all of the variables you suggest is to how one can gather all of the needed data for a proper breakdown. Here are some things that impact student achievement, scores on standardized tests, etc.

    1)    Home problems. Mom and dad are fighting. Recent major life event (divorce, death in family, etc.)
    2)    Health issues. Did the kid come to school that day with a fever?  Abscessed molar? Are they getting proper nutrition for brain development? Did they get a full night’s sleep? Mental health issue?
    3)    Do they have some type of learning disability that is undiagnosed and/or not being treated properly by the school system, parents, or doctors?
    4)    Personal issues. Did they recently go through a breakup? Are they being bullied? Are they seated near a student with whom they have conflicts?
    5)    Are they giving a valid effort on each and every item on a standardized test? Many students intentionally “throw” these exams for a variety of reasons. This even happens on AP exams that students are required to take.

    I’m sure I missed a good number of other variables that are both a) beyond my control as a teacher and b) highly impactful of performance on tests.
    If one could analyze these variables as part of student standardized test achievement, I might begin to see the value in rating my teaching based on their test scores.
    Also, one needs to devise a system in which standardized testing does not carve out an overly burdensome amount of time from instruction in a 180 day school year in which I see students for 45 minutes a day.  

    •  A few things to consider. (0+ / 0-)

      First and foremost, the uses everybody is kvetching about are teacher/school oriented, so...

      detailed individual data is probably not that important for this purpose.  

      Let's see --- local demographic data, information re: kids in school lunch program, truancy, etc. could probably go a very long way in refining the outcome.

      And a little intelligence.  Tests designed to to find out if kids are getting the basics are not sufficient for evaluating teachers and schools.  They are, at best, warning flags.  Actual investigation is required.

      But -- let's face it.  If you and teacher B teach the same grade (or subject) at the same school and teacher B's kids routinely go on to Harvard while your kids go on to server up fries and shakes, it ought to raise a question.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:13:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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