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Not content to want to destroy the profession of teaching by emphasizing union busting charter schools, and after Washington state got its "Race to the Bottom" funding pulled because it wouldn't tie the evaluations of its teachers to the standardized tests, President Obama and Arne Duncan have a new way to break the spirits of teachers and destroy the profession:

Now they're going after the Colleges of Education that train and prepare teachers.

Jump below the Chee-to for more

Now, improving Colleges of Education on the whole is a good thing. Many new teachers say they felt unprepared their first year. And as a whole, most teachers will tell you teacher training can be improved.

Teaching is a profession. That means professional training: For example, doctors have an extensive internship and residency program before students become doctors. Teachers have been wanting such things for years. Lawyers have to sit for the Bar Exam. Right now, state certification tests, while adequate, could also be improved.

But the Obama administration, and Arne Duncan, who has never spent an hour in front of a classroom, who has never had any teacher training, who has never had any training in child development, has other ideas. Their idea of successful teacher training:

To ensure that every state evaluates its teacher education programs by several key metrics, such as how many graduates land teaching jobs, how long they stay in the profession and whether they boost their students’ scores on standardized tests.
So this is the sum of what a teacher will be:
Value-Added formula for Florida Teacher Evaluations
Teach the test. Nothing more, nothing less.

DESPITE studies funded by the Department of Education itself that show Value-Added evaluation models tied to test scores are highly ineffective and WRONG most of the time.

Not to mention the fact that fully 70% of teachers do not teach a tested subject. Like Music teachers, Art teachers, and so on. And yet they too are linked to test scores.

Nevertheless, White House Policy Director Cecilia Munoz has said the White House doesn't care.

At all.

Despite such complications, Muñoz made clear in a call with reporters on Thursday that Obama wants student test scores, or other measures of student growth, to figure heavily into states’ evaluations of teacher prep programs.

“This is something the president has a real sense of urgency about,” she said. “What happens in the classroom matters. It doesn’t just matter — it’s the whole ballgame.” So using student outcomes to evaluate teacher preparation programs “is really fundamental to making sure we’re successful,” Muñoz said. “We believe that’s a concept … whose time has come.”

It's the POVERTY, stupid
No, they don't care that poverty is the root cause of lower test scores--which have never been higher, by the way.

And then there's the "how long they stay on the job" category.

Really.

But longtime educators questioned the validity of the administration’s proposed metrics. How long teachers remain in the profession, for instance, depends heavily on their work assignments, the support they get from their principals, their interactions with parents and their own life events, such as whether they have children, said Michael Morehead, dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Education. “There’s no logical or rational reason why retention rates would even be a factor” in evaluating whether teacher training programs are effective, Morehead said.
Again, this is what you get when non-educators make education policy.
Some real data about the champions of education "reform"
Get their asses in front of a classroom and experience what we experience.
We will not sit idly by and watch ANYONE, Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, destroy public education and the teaching profession.
Vote for me for a Netroots Nation Scholarship so I can carry this message to Detroit and beyond.

Originally posted to zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Indianapolis Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Teachers Lounge.

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  •  Like the song says.... (301+ / 0-)
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    Portia Elm, marleycat, sunny skies, claude, RFK Lives, allie4fairness, Tool, zerelda, Egalitare, SpecialKinFlag, sphealey, temptxan, prettymeadow, HedwigKos, Sam Hill, jobu, leonard145b, Sylv, Unitary Moonbat, Texas Lefty, CalBearMom, Lost and Found, The Jester, skywriter, MufsMom, slowbutsure, terrybuck, TracieLynn, on the cusp, ask, Lily O Lady, houyhnhnm, tofumagoo, disrael, Choco8, DRo, aznavy, Deward Hastings, ontheleftcoast, Russ Jarmusch, Burned, Jim R, Windowpane, middleagedhousewife, gooderservice, SherwoodB, Skyye, Dave in Northridge, Barbara Marquardt, Roadbed Guy, Jakkalbessie, Liberal Mole, cotterperson, glendaw271, akeitz, owlbear1, Unknown Quantity, Azazello, ladybug53, notrouble, OjaiValleyCali, quill, churchylafemme, Jazzenterprises, cpresley, I Lurked For Years, buckstop, samanthab, MJ via Chicago, mslat27, P E Outlier, bsmechanic, albrt, HCKAD, Laurel in CA, Lady Libertine, JamieG from Md, Jim P, Jackson L Haveck, bobswern, freakofsociety, jhancock, Laura Wnderer, Egg, Alumbrados, pioneer111, Moravan, psnyder, badger, marina, myeye, Mr Robert, OregonOak, madgranny, jessical, IndieGuy, Sun Tzu, weck, Pat K California, wasatch, NoMoreLies, Involuntary Exile, camlbacker, Desert Rose, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, flowerfarmer, cocinero, Rogneid, AoT, AaronInSanDiego, CityLightsLover, newpioneer, mookins, RudiB, maggiejean, p gorden lippy, emal, Calvino Partigiani, m00finsan, kbman, Brecht, Friend of the court, vahana, Shockwave, tardis10, NWTerriD, jbsoul, MrJayTee, pdxteacher, JayRaye, Sunspots, wu ming, David54, ninkasi23, VTCC73, triv33, Susan from 29, BeerNotWar, Kingsmeg, tegrat, dkmich, grimjc, mofembot, asym, thomask, flitedocnm, randomfacts, DuzT, Simplify, gramofsam1, chimene, elfling, travelerxxx, maregug, Hayate Yagami, Al Fondy, Hillbilly Dem, jrooth, democracy inaction, onionjim, DeadHead, copymark, radical simplicity, rbird, Mike RinRI, poco, Superskepticalman, Yang Guang, Susipsych, Mother Mags, Black Max, petulans, Assaf, pcl07, One Pissed Off Liberal, martini, sidnora, salmo, cskendrick, northsylvania, Tommye, kevinpdx, BlueDragon, Teiresias70, sillia, CarolinW, CA Nana, Jollie Ollie Orange, bara, magnetics, ptanow, cville townie, hbk, AverageJoe42, K S LaVida, Yosef 52, monkeybrainpolitics, northerntier, BOHICA, peachcreek, banjolele, slatsg, Lujane, yellowdogsal, SouthernLiberalinMD, llbear, goodpractice, kd4dean, yoduuuh do or do not, Gurnt, Pablo Bocanegra, Tom Anderson, artisan, mickT, Wisdumb, where4art, Tommymac, eztempo, LeftHandedMan, eru, expatjourno, BMScott, spunhard, angel d, SolarMom, Mostel26, PurpleMyst, bookgirl, Chrislove, wader, 420 forever, SixSixSix, JanL, PrometheusUnbound, Jarrayy, Dave925, rexxnyc, Plox, Smoh, Alice Venturi, sethtriggs, Words In Action, ffour, Ray Blake, fumie, chuckvw, George3, jhb90277, StageStop, angry hopeful liberal, lotlizard, pgm 01, Meteor Blades, MikePhoenix, NonnyO, pfiore8, caul, tom 47, Kit RMP, seeking justice, ChemBob, sngmama, wintergreen8694, CitizenOfEarth, kharma, jadt65, MKinTN, fba1a, glitterlust, Matilda, elpacifico66, remembrance, multilee, skepticalcitizen, pixxer, wordwraith, Joe Hill PDX, IL clb, GreatLakeSailor, jludwig, Subversive, wyldraven, twigg, BadBoyScientist, dutch 163, Indiana Bob, aliasalias, Zorba the Greek, javelina, Team Leftie, reasonshouldrule, floridagal, Gwennedd, Wife of Bath, Funkygal, joe shikspack, enhydra lutris, ifthethunderdontgetya, theskepticarena, YucatanMan, divineorder

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 09:26:11 PM PDT

    •  Check your messages (47+ / 0-)

      Several years ago in CA, they decided ALL teachers needed to pass an algebra test.  So a preschool, special needs teacher I know lost her job.  She  had untreated dyslexia and for some reason, that makes algebra hard.  Not sure why, but it is also true for relatives who have dyslexia.

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:07:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not wild about testing (22+ / 0-)

        But, if we want to be treated like professionals, then we should be able to pass an algebra test. Good god. I'm sorry about the your friend, but educators should ALL have basic skills.

        •  I posted this down thread but it is relevant. (92+ / 0-)

          I can score 100% on a written essay, write a fantastic research paper, and teacher children on multiple levels but can hardly do a single algebra problem. All I need for my profession is how to plot a graph and calculate a percentage. If I had to take an algebra test to keep my position I would fail & be fired in spite of my vast pedagogical knowledge & experience in other places. Math is important but there is a reason why math teachers do not teach English & English teachers do not teach math. I would recommend reading Howard Gardner & his research on multiple intelligences.

          By your logic every math or science teacher should be able to write a point by point critique using MLA, proper sentence structure, grammar rules, spelling, format,TAG lines, a proper thesis statement back with evidentiary support, with a logical paragraph structure with a proper argument in the body & have a conclusion that restates your argument without reintroducing a quote and ending on a note of finality in order to teach
          2+2 = 4.

          Does that make sense?

          “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

          by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:51:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am on my phone & spell check does (14+ / 0-)

            some weird things. Don't mean to under cut my argument with typos.

            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

            by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:24:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It absolutely makes sense (12+ / 0-)

            My point is that shouldn't ALL educators be proficient at a basic level--which basic algebra is--in all areas? I'm not suggesting all teachers be able to do calc, but algebra. I also think all teachers should be able to write a coherent, organized essay. Why is this too much to ask from our EDUCATORS? I've been in the classroom for twenty years at the middle and high school levels, and I cringe at some of the dumbasses they've let in as teachers. When I hear a teacher bemoaning a subject area--any subject area--I think to myself, "What a great example you're setting."

            •  No. Each grade level let alone each subject (26+ / 0-)

              requires different pedagogical knowledge & behavior management skills. I don't ask a brain surgeon to perform heart surgery because as a DR they should be proficient in every specialized skill.

              “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

              by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:23:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A brain surgeon... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aimeehs, Farugia, RightHeaded

                ...knows basic functionality on the heart (and most other medical matters) and could probably pass a test in it at any point in their career.

                (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 04:52:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The real question is does the Brain Surgeon know (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dave925, Tool, caul, Matilda

                  algebra, because apparently you can't be a professional without knowing algebra.

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:38:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aimeehs, craiger, Kevskos, Farugia, RightHeaded

                    They do.

                    (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 05:43:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  speaking as a brain surgeon? Or just someone (7+ / 0-)

                      with general certainty about stuff?  

                      I think any algebra I once knew has been pretty well eroded by 20 years of teaching college-level humanities; but I guess I need to tell all those students to give back their credits...

                      •  You aren't a school teacher (6+ / 0-)

                        And if brain surgeons get numbers wrong people die. They know algebra.

                        I stand by the concept that any K-12 teacher should have basic familiarity with most subjects their students take.

                        (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 06:35:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I teach music (6+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          sethtriggs, zenbassoon, Tool, NonnyO, caul, jludwig

                          and while I'm pretty sure I have a decent background in the other subjects my elementary students take,  I know that many of my colleagues know nothing about my content area.  

                          “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 27, 2014 at 06:49:55 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Out of curiosity? (5+ / 0-)

                            What do you think the math department knows about your content area?

                            I think there might be an opportunity for a summit. Because as a "mathematician"/engineer who knows a whole lot about music theory without necessarily being able to play an instrument, I think that a music teacher ought to know a lot more about math than, say, the ceramics teacher.

                            I've worked enough on things like MP3 players and car audio to know that music is where arts and sciences collide. And when I say that, I mean the math behind the music makes basic algebra look like child's play.

                            "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

                            by craiger on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:15:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I teach music in an elementary school. (5+ / 0-)

                            Point being--the math department consists of elementary ed. majors.   I know we have some staff members that took band or chorus in high school and they read music.  I worked with one colleague who played trombone in the Redskins band.  Other than that, few actually read music.  

                            Art teachers use math a lot--particularly geometry.  They also use math in determining proportions when mixing ingredients.

                            I agree that music theory is very math oriented.  It's often college level theory classes that cause some music majors to change their majors.  It's hard stuff.  I'm a theory geek and love the stuff.  It contains mathematical processes with an aesthetic component.

                            “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 Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 05:46:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                            Anyone who is a musician is also a mathematian.  :-)

                          •  Music is not a core competency we expect (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            acornweb, Sparhawk

                            of all educated people.

                          •  This is true. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            reasonshouldrule, Tool

                            I was addressing the statement that all teachers should be competent in all of the subjects that the students are expected to learn.  General music is required of all of our elementary students.

                            “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 Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 04:06:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Seems like a straw man (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            reasonshouldrule
                            I was addressing the statement that all teachers should be competent in all of the subjects that the students are expected to learn.
                            Who made that statement?

                            If nothing else, that is obviously not going to work for languages.

                          •  Someone upthread made that statement. (0+ / 0-)

                            Somewhere in all the discussion about algebra.

                            “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 Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:20:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If music is not a core competency we expect (6+ / 0-)

                            then we have abandoned pedagogical principles that are hundreds of years old. In the Middle Ages the basic courses - the trivium - were grammar, logic, and rhetoric. These were preparatory to the quadrivium - arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The lack of respect for music in our system of education is a sign of civilization decline. Anyone who knows nothing of music is an uneducated person. And those who focus only on standardized testing are automatons who are sucking the life out of education. I left the profession decades ago and I would never return to public schools again.

                          •  In the Middle Ages the trivium and quadrivium were (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            for gentlemen who were educated for class reasons.

                            Today education is a basic life tool.

                            I have no problem with students who have already mastered the basics going on to enrichment subjects like music.  However, right now ridiculous numbers of students are leaving high school without decent math or English skills.  For such students music education is an unnecessary luxury that take time away from the truly critical.

                          •  Music is not an "enrichment subject" (0+ / 0-)

                            Music has been identified as being a core curriculum course, even in the odious No Child Left Behind.

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:26:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well-said! And I agree completely with your post. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Sadly, that's true. The Liberal Arts Education (0+ / 0-)

                            Is a thing of the past, more's the pity.  What's wrong with being a well-educated, well-rounded individual with a basic working knowledge of many subjects.  It doesn't keep one from specializing in whatever area their interests lie.

                            I count myself lucky that my high school days were constructed so that I graduated with 4 English, 4 math (including Algebra and Geometry and Business Math), 4 Science, 4 History (including US and Civics), 2 Business classes, 4 music and 1 each: Home Ec, Family Life, Art and business manager of the year book.  

                            When I went to college I continued the pattern of taking 1 of each "solid" class each year.  Finally, I decided on Accounting, not because I loved it, but because it challenged me.  I have yet to speak to anyone  younger than 40 who carried this kind of workload in college.  Sure some things I haven't used since but I have an understanding of how they work just the same.  If I needed to use them a quick brush-up over a couple of weekends would bring me up to speed.  I don't understand the defense of lacking skills for anyone, but especially teachers.

                          •  I strongly support a well rounded education for (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            those who can master the basics.

                            But I don't support taking time away from reading, writing, and arithmetic for students who are not at grade level in those subjects.

                          •  I strongly support a well rounded education for... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tool

                               You believe students should be denied history, music, art, and science if they are not at grade level in reading, writing and arithmetic.
                               I think your ideas about basic education is wrong.

                                Why would any student bother with reading if the book wasn't interesting? Reading is the skill which gets you into the good stuff like history and science.  But no one will develop the reading fluency without the desire to find out what is in the book.
                            No one will can be bothered to learn to write until she believes she has something to say.

                                    In American society, we let illiterate people vote: we better be teaching US History and civics to students functioning below grade level in reading, writing and arithmetic if we want to keep our democracy.

                          •  You're lucky, there are no music classes in K-6 (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MaryAskew, Tool

                            in my state.  I wish there were, because creative writing and music both improve students grasp of math and science.

                        •  Neither are you. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          itsbenj, caul

                          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                          by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:16:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  All Doctors Know Algebra? - ROTFLMAO (6+ / 0-)

                          Sparhawk's quaint assertion that MD's all know algebra is risible.  I know from personal experience that many, many MD's working at a word-famous research hospital are not math-literate.  (BTW: You've heard of the school with this hospital because they have a successful football team ;)

                          I was working as a research assistant for a Dr who did research and saw patients.  I was his chief instrument engineer & number-cruncher for his research.  He was the only MD I knew who knew anything about physics, electronics, calculus or statistics.  Most of his colleagues - aside from epidemiologists - sent their numbers to bio-statisticians for number-crunching but not my boss.
                          He once told me an amusing anecdote - that some docs did some trials and the staff statistician returned the results that there was a NEGATIVE correlation between the two factors of interest when a positive correlation was expected.  The Doctors spent a couple of weeks trying to explain this response with all sorts of crazy new biological processes and finally just before submitting the paper, asked the statistician to double check his numbers so they got them right in the paper. OOPS! Turns out there was a sign error. It was a positive correlation!   Imagine if they didn't ask for a double check it would have gone to publication.

                          Yeah.  All brain surgeons know algebra ... and Dentists all personally know the tooth fairy.

                          -- illegitimi non carborundum

                          by BadBoyScientist on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:14:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tool

                            I was about to post something similar to that amusing claim about all brain surgeons knowing algebra.  Like you, I know plenty of doctors (well, all of them I've known over the years) who don't know--or have forgotten--all the math they learned in school.

                        •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tool

                          You're claiming Houses in Motion is  not a school teacher?  Do you not count teaching at the college level teaching?

                          Furthermore, I think you're confusing a general knowledge of math with algebra, and that's really not quite correct.  For everything you can do with algebra, you can also do with other forms of math.

                          I do see you're talking K-12, and I would agree with you partially.  However, high school teachers who teach history, social studies, languages, art, music or many other subjects, algebra isn't necessary to deal with those subjects.

                          •  The debate gets funnier below. I'm not actually (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tool

                            ready to go to the wall on the question of what K-12 teachers in different disciplines should be expected to teach/know of each other's fields, because I think its more appropriate to leave that question to K-12 teachers, many of whom have weighed in here (as against the posters who just, you know, KNOW stuff).  However, I now discover that I'm not competent to teach college-level literature either, because statistics.  Actually, because the internet, and Popular Mechanics from 1901.  I think it was Voltaire who said "a little learning is a dangerous thing"...

                      •  It's like riding a bike (0+ / 0-)

                        At least for me, it came back really quickly when I needed it.  

                        We want to build cyber magicians!

                        by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:51:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  It's a pretty sad commentary on the humanities (0+ / 0-)

                        if you can get through 20 years of college level treatment of them with no algebra.

                        A lot of the most interesting work in the humanities makes heavy use of math.  For example, mathematical analyses of the likely authorship of Shakespeare's plays goes back at least as far as 1901 (http://en.wikisource.org/...).  If you don't know enough statistics to understand this and later papers you are not qualified to comment on the authorship of Shakespeare's plays.

                        •  the statement "a lot of the most interesting work (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MaryAskew, Tool

                          in the humanities makes heavy use of math" pretty much disqualifies you for further consideration.  Ever taught a Shakespeare class?  The students would just be so pumped if you spent the term looking at mathematical analyses of likely authorship....  

                          •  Well, if you spend the term on that one subject (0+ / 0-)

                            then obviously no.

                            But if your students can't handle the math to understand the statistical arguments about attributing the plays then your admissions standards are way too low.

                          •  so...this thread is so large now that you may have (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MaryAskew, Tool, reasonshouldrule

                            stated your own credentials somewhere above, and forgive me if I can't find that now.  But you seem to have a fairly odd sense of what higher-ed literature instruction actually looks like, across the US, at schools with very high admission standards indeed as well as those with more middling standards.   What percentage of class-time in a typical Shakespeare class do you imagine is spent, at most highly-selective schools, on teaching the math to understand the statistical arguments about authorship attribution in Shakespeare?   We don't have to guess--I can tell you that the answer is very little indeed.  Now we can argue about whether that is "sad" or not, but the profession does what it does.  You could also survey the last, say, hundred articles and books on Shakespeare from established presses and see how many of them are concerned with that kind of mathematical analysis, or indeed the entire question of disputed authorship.   There are people who find that question really, really, interesting; some of them are actually in the profession of teaching Shakespeare, though not many.  

                            Now, linguistics is a different story, esp theoretical linguistics.  My BA back in the 80s was in Russian literature and language, and there were definitely plenty of Russian lit professors (especially of a structuralist/semiotics bent) who grooved on statistical-linguistic analysis of their texts.  Maybe you could find some cheer in the world of Russian literature professors.

                            To be clear, I think mathematical literacy is great, and every higher-ed school I've ever been aware of has had some mechanism for promoting it.  Just not through the teaching of literature...    

                          •  I would hope none (0+ / 0-)
                            What percentage of class-time in a typical Shakespeare class do you imagine is spent, at most highly-selective schools, on teaching the math to understand the statistical arguments about authorship attribution in Shakespeare?
                            Any student who gets into college should already know this level of math.
                            You could also survey the last, say, hundred articles and books on Shakespeare from established presses and see how many of them are concerned with that kind of mathematical analysis, or indeed the entire question of disputed authorship.   There are people who find that question really, really, interesting; some of them are actually in the profession of teaching Shakespeare, though not many.  
                            I would assume the majority of the work on Shakespeare is not about the authorship of the plays.

                            However, if you are going to study Shakespeare I don't see how you can totally avoid the question of who wrote the plays and if you are going to touch on that I don't see how you can skip the mathematical arguments.  You should be able to handle this in 20 minutes of class time and one reading... because the students should already have all of the math skills they need to understand the arguments.

                            To be clear, I think mathematical literacy is great, and every higher-ed school I've ever been aware of has had some mechanism for promoting it.  Just not through the teaching of literature...  
                            That's unfortunate.  For example, poetry is deeply mathematical.  There is a reason that mathematicians like the Reverend Dodgson wrote poetry.
                          •  Mathematics is also deeply poetic, so I can (0+ / 0-)

                            assume you're equally outraged that my colleagues in the Mathematics department aren't teaching William Carlos Williams.   Join with me as we march down the hall and put a stop to that...

                            And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear,
                            you shout and no one seems to hear---
                            and when the band you're in starts playing different tunes,
                            I'll see you on the dark side of the moon...

                            Btw, contrary to widely-held belief, that lyric was NOT written by David Gilmour and Roger Waters, in reference to their former bandmember Syd Barrett, because it was actually written by the 5th Earl of Dumbledore in the 17th century, as I can demonstrate through this simple quadratic equation...  

                          •  btw, on the authorship question itself? Let me (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MaryAskew, Tool

                            google that for you:

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...  -- my bold:

                            "The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Anti-Stratfordians—a collective term for adherents of the various alternative-authorship theories—say that Shakespeare of Stratford was a front to shield the identity of the real author or authors, who for some reason did not want or could not accept public credit.[1] Although the idea has attracted much public interest,[2][a] all but a few Shakespeare scholars and literary historians consider it a fringe belief and for the most part acknowledge it only to rebut or disparage the claims.[3]"  

                            I would encourage you to read that entry, and any linked footnotes you care to pursue.  Then  we can debate our relative competence to teach Shakespeare...

                          •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MaryAskew, Tool

                            Of all the Shakespeare scholars in the world, there is only a small minority who still argue that Shakespeare did not write his plays.  And that is because, after all the evidence we have so far is considered, there is virtually no real evidence to suggest someone else wrote his plays.

                          •  Thanks. I agree that the preponderance of (0+ / 0-)

                            evidence is that Shakespeare wrote his plays.

                            That said, given the amount of time that has passed and the lack of documentary evidence I think that any significant future evidence of this will be based on mathematical textual analysis, either showing that all of his attributed works were written by the same person and that there are no works by any of the other candidates that match them or that some or all of Shakespeare's works seem to match the writing style of one or more other historical figures.

                          •  Yes, math and linguistics (0+ / 0-)

                            will be the methods used.  However, they've already used statistics and a linguistic study of the earl of Oxford, Marlowe, and Kidd (and a couple of others, but I've forgotten which ones), and they came up empty.

                            Some handwriting analysis has also been done on Shakespeare's original folios with no evidence that showed he didn't write those.

                            It's always interesting to study these things (even though lots of people's eyes glaze over when you talk about literary/historical issues).  :-)

                        •  Math in SHakespeare plays? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MaryAskew, Tool

                          No, and no.  My dissertation was on the development of Standard English, and I used statistics as a matter of course.  But statistics and algebra are not the same mathematical processes.  In your own example, a topic which I studied in my Ph.D. program, no algebra is used, and the math used is much simpler (generally speaking, a simple word count).  Everyone who does advanced studies needs statistics.  But not algebra.

                    •  If... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Amycat, Tool

                      they learned algebra more than 20 years ago, they would not be able to pass one of today's standardized tests. Being able to solve (that is, get the final, correct solution) an algebra problem is not the point any more.  With some practice, I could do dozens of problems and get the correct answer.   The way I learned it gets the right answer.  It doesn't matter.  You have to know the current method, step by step.
                      An older adult failing one of today's math tests is NOT proof they do not know how to do algebra. I cannot over-emphasize that.
                      Punctuation usage has also changed in the last few decades, so an older adult would also find it difficult to pass the standardized, multiple choice tests required of today's students.
                      This is also why these students have such a hard time adjusting to college -- even more than my generation.

                  •  at least college algebra is required to graduate (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aimeehs, craiger, acornweb

                    At least it was at the cheap state school where I got my degree.  If someone is college graduate, they should be able to do algebra.

                    Common core is going to be starting kids on algebra younger than its traditionally be taught as well so teachers that did not previously need to be fluent in it will have to be in order to teach it.

                    We want to build cyber magicians!

                    by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:50:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The ONLY math class I had to take in college was (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      acornweb

                      College Algebra.

                      Pissed off everyone I knew who wasn't a music education major.

                      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:54:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  algebra is not a high bar (6+ / 0-)

                      It's fascinating to me how "algebra" is so loathed and feared, when it is basically nothing more than an 8th grade or 9th grade skill that is used to solve simple problems for a lifetime: like how much oil to mix with how much gas for a weed trimmer. Or how many ounces of sugar with how many cups of water to make how many pints of hummingbird food.

                      As I have read through many of the comments here, it is clear that many are still scarred and reliving nightmares about solving three equations in three unknowns by the determinant method. Of course, no one does that daily. But I also remember back in the day, folks bitching and moaning about "story problems". Dammit, LIFE is a story problem. If you can't sit down with a piece of paper and figure out how many feet of cable you need to run the line from your house out to the barn, the whole purpose of educating you was for naught.

                      THAT is what algebra is. Don't make it more mysterious than it has to be. No one is asking you to derive the formula for the quadratic equation. Just demonstrate as an adult that you can understand proportions and differences. It's really basic shit.

                      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

                      by craiger on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:30:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I kinda agree. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MaryAskew, Metric Only

                        But this also raises the issue of math being notorious for posing problems in a manner of such a convoluted nature that after discerning the actual thrust of the question the student has run out of fucks to give and cannot answer it.

                        Most people can do algebra if you trick them into thinking they're not doing math.

                        -- illegitimi non carborundum

                        by BadBoyScientist on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:19:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My 6 year old grandson can write story problems (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MaryAskew, Metric Only

                          His teacher calls him "the math guy."  It makes up for his struggle to write with the family benign tremor making his hands shake.  He won't pass the standardized test for first grade unless his teacher can prove he is failing, so he can get special dispensation to accommodate his physical disability.  What???

                          Yup, you heard me right.  Is this about TRYING to fail first graders?  Sometimes it would seem to be so.

                    •  Yowza! Have standards slipped that low? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      acornweb

                      I was expected to pass calculus to graduate.

                      Same requirement applied to everyone, including people majoring in Poli Sci and even English.

                  •  depends what it means to "know algebra" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    catwho, acornweb

                    If I am generous and give the benefit of the doubt to many of the commenters in this thread, I suspect that when they read that they ought to "know algebra", they immediately assume that there is about to be a test in which they will have to solve a system of three equations in three unknowns by the determinant method. And they revert to a fetal position with or without possibly first whining about the unfairness of it all.

                    Which is bullshit.

                    If you have a recipe that makes six servings and you can successfully make 10 servings, when the measurements are given in imperial units of teaspoons and so forth, you have successfully passed the intent of learning "algebra" in the American educational system.

                    And if you can't do that, then you're not a functional adult, and you've failed "algebra", but no one cares.

                    "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

                    by craiger on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:06:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Absolutely yes they know algebra. (0+ / 0-)

                    They cannot advance to the medical field without a BA or BS that includes CALCULUS ONE and you cannot get there without College Algebra! That would be a pre-med degree. We need teachers to be fully educated with special emphasis on their intended field JUST LIKE ALL OTHER PROFESSIONALS.

                    I for one support the idea that teachers deserve more respect and to be treated as professionals, however it really undermines that idea that they cannot pass basic algebra that I took in seventh grade! This is one of the most foundational skills of any good education.

                    •  Having passed algebra in college is not knowing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tool

                      algebra.

                      Getting a passing grade, or even having it as a part of calculus, which I failed miserably at even contemplating because I didn't follow steps real well when passing algebra with flying colors, but that's another story.

                      My point is that passing something as a requirement for your degree is the requirement for having a degree. Maintaining that capability is not required of a professional unless it is directly applicable to their work.

                      I could not pass an algebra test right now.

                      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                      by k9disc on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:50:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I couldn't pass an algebra test right now either (0+ / 0-)

                        however if I brushed up for 2 evenings or over a weekend, I could pass it.  So unless it was a pop quiz, I think anyone should have been able to brush up and get a passing grade.

                        •  It would take me more than a couple days, and (0+ / 0-)

                          even then, I could know it and not be able to pass a test due to forgotten steps and general practice with numbers.

                          My point is that passing something as a requirement for your degree is the requirement for having a degree. Maintaining that capability is not required of a professional unless it is directly applicable to their work.
                          If you have done the work, passed the class as per your requirements for your degree, you're done, as far as I'm concerned.

                          Otherwise I'm going to have to insist that all professionals have a commanding grasp on important periods and trends of history. Because you can't be a professional if you can't place your work in context and predict or avoid historical pitfalls.

                          You passed American History, so you have to know about the Gilded Age, the Progressive movement, the Red Scare, Reconstruction...

                          Don't you see where that causes problems. I passed college algebra. If my job as a dog trainer doesn't require algebra, why must I show continued aptitude for that discipline when the humanities or history are not required for people to retain or demonstrate for base level competence in technical fields?

                          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                          by k9disc on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:13:22 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  If he graduated with a basic college degree (0+ / 0-)

                    I'll bet he does.  Although he probably took algebra in high school as I and every other HS grad in my family did.

                •  does the brain surgeon know which battle was (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  caul, aliasalias

                  the worst defeat for Napolean's army?

                  if the brain surgeon answers Waterloo their answer is incorrect, lowering their score on the SOL, which possibly causes them to fail the SOL which denies them a high school diploma that derails their ability to get into a competitive university and makes it unlikely they will make it to Med School.

                  Correct answer is in the next post.

                  This question was actually on the Virginia SOL.

                  •  the correct answer is....(drum roll please) (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nailbanger, NonnyO, caul, Tool, IL clb

                    The Battle of Russia in June 1812.

                    Now explain to me what the correlation is between knowning the right answer to this trick question and

                    a) qualifying to recieve a high school diploma
                    b) being an effective adult citizen of Va in 2014
                    c) being effective in any professional job in 2014 *

                    * any job, that is, other than writing trick questions for scam tests

                  •  Please document your claim that this question (0+ / 0-)

                    is on Virginia SOL.

                    Actual questions on the SOL are here: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/...

                    I felt the were quite good and they did not include any silly trick questions like this one.

                    •  the question was on when my daughter was in school (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tool, MaryAskew

                      she now has a Master's degree and finishing her first year teaching first grade.

                      I don't remember the exact year and I don't remember what grade she was in.

                      What struck me about the incident was the following. The  question was actually asked around the school to various teachers including the history teacher. All persons asked failed to identify the correct answer including the history teacher.

                      In fact, I picked up on the interesting trend and started asking people at work and at church and relatives in idle conversation. We only ran into one person- one single person who correctly answered the question. That was my father who is an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics with a fascination for history.

                      There were actually four answers. I only remember the two.

                      My point is that this is just one specific example of the arbitrary nature of these tests and the lack of any demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work.

                      Yet we are willing to use these type of questions, site unseen, with no vetting to determine the future of children, teachers and whole school systems.

                      •  In short, you cannot document this claim (0+ / 0-)

                        I suggest you look at the actual questions on the test.

                        Any complaints about them?

                        •  in short, you can't document the legitimacy (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MaryAskew, Tool

                          of the test questions

                          •  What does that even mean? (0+ / 0-)

                            Mind explaining how you "document the legitimacy" of test questions?

                            I can more or less document their authenticity - I doubt the Virginia DOE is posting fake tests on their web site.

                            But what do you even mean by "legitimacy" in this context?

                          •  so we agree there is no way to document that (0+ / 0-)

                            the questions correlate in any meaningful way to a demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work.

                            Yet we are willing to use these type of questions, site unseen, with no vetting to determine the future of children, teachers and whole school systems.

                          •  You've got a point (0+ / 0-)
                            so we agree there is no way to document that the questions correlate in any meaningful way to a demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work.
                            Of course, that means that there is also no way to document that knowing these subjects "correlate[s] in any meaningful way to a demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work".
                            Yet we are willing to use these type of questions, site unseen, with no vetting to determine the future of children, teachers and whole school systems.
                            I guess you are right.  But doesn't that equally apply to the billions of dollars we spend on educating our children in these subjects?

                            Can we then also agree that until we can determine what things students need to know that "correlate[s] in any meaningful way to a demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work" that we should stop spending this money and instead should hire minimum wage child minders for the smaller children and send the older kids (say 12 or 13 year olds) to work in factories or on farms?

                            On the other hand, if we do discover that there are some things that we are confident "correlate in any meaningful way to a demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work" so we can justify spending money on education then I don't see why we can't write tests in these subjects (which, after all, we all agree knowledge of is critically important, because it "correlate[s] in [a] meaningful way to a demonstrable connection to competence or achievement in society, civic life or professional work") then we can use those questions "to determine the future of children, teachers and whole school systems".

                •  I work with brain and other surgeons (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tool

                  Particularly as one develops a very specific body of knowledge to a highly specialized degree, most are unable to function well, or even in a basic manner, in another, if related field.  I would never ask my cardiologist to evaluate me psychologically, even if he did psych rotations during residency.  Simple - don't use it, you lose it.

                  Asking an excellent special ed teacher to pass an algebra test is ludicrous.  Many non-STEM professionals would not be able to do so.

                  •  Not saying that they should have to pass a test. (0+ / 0-)

                    However they should have it on their transcript from college!!! They should never be given a degree without College Algebra period. That should be a minimum for any college degree. In my field the minimum was Calc One. In Computer Science degree at my alma mater the minimum was Calc Three and Differential Equations. And that is why I changed my degree -- Calc Two nailed me!

                    •  Passing it is one thing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tool

                      Many pass the class, but never use it again in the format developed.  Most people use some form of basic algebra in daily life.  Placing signs, numbers and letters on a page just confused them.  I've taken my three semesters of calc one of differentials, and a great deal of engineering math courses.  How much do I use now?  Very little.  Could I take a test in any of those courses today and pass?  Possible calc 1 and 2.  Possibly.  Similarly asking a special ed teacher to pass a test in something they haven't done in 15-20 years is unreasonable.

              •  Algebra is not heart surgery (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                acornweb

                It's the mathematical equivalent of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

                Oh, and by the way, I expect both my brain surgeon and my heart surgeon to be able to do algebra too.

              •  Sorry, Tool, but when the standards for getting (0+ / 0-)

                an elementary teaching degree after 5 years of college include passing a 9th grade math and 10th grade English test, I find it appalling that any elementary school teacher would argue against that.  

                Do you seriously believe that a 6th grade teacher, for example, shouldn't be able to pass a 9th grade math test?  A 10th grade English test?

                Yet, in my state at the time when such a change occurred, countless teachers were furious, arguing that knowing "how" to teach was what was most important.

                Unfortunately, too many of them weren't actually particularly good at teaching, either.

                Consider this...what if you're a poor speller teaching history to 6th graders and you write misspelled words in your comments in response to the students' history papers?  What lessons do you think you are teaching them then???  And how would that make you a good teacher?  

                Remember...neither teaching nor learning are done in a vacuum.  

              •  To continue the doctor analogy ... (0+ / 0-)

                maybe we need fewer specialists and more all around general practitioners with people (children) skills?

                If a brain surgeon gets caught up in a disaster, I'll bet he/she could splint arms and stop bleeding right along with the Physician's Assistant.

                Can a teacher receive their basic degree without passing math classes, English classes, at least one history, and X number of science classes?

                •  Are we willing to pay for it? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tool

                  Teachers are required to have an MA or MS.  They will pay upwards of $80k for that degree.  Many starting salaries are in the $30-40k range.  Teachers have to put up with abuse and/or second-guessing from students and parents and administrators.  Many students are more concerned about their phones, gaming consoles or other forms of entertainment.  They are jaded about their prospects in society today as they hear of the failing American dream and the fall of the middle class.

                  I admire those that go into this field knowing this in advance.

            •  No-- speaking as an avowed math geek. (15+ / 0-)

              My other half is non-technical, and can't do algebra, and can't tell bits from bytes from hertz-- but is patient and reads and follows directions, and is therefore the reason we have internet at home.

              The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

              by magnetics on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:46:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  No! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tool

              I doubt that my wonderful English teacher even knew what algebra was. He lived in a world of his own, and shared his gifts with us.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:48:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Total agreement (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DrEngineer1979

              with what you said.  I am dyslexic...which explained why I had trouble in the 50's with some math...HOWEVER, I graduated from Purdue on the Dean's List, with a major in Social Studies, a major in History, a minor in English AND 36 hours in education courses, that DID prepare us to become teachers.  Teachers must go to college for their education; that means certain math skills are needed to get into college, and that would include algebra, as colleges require a college algebra course for ALL students..or they used to.  Calc is not needed for all..  I started teaching in 1960, and left the classroom in the late 90's...did NOT retire because there were times I was not allowed to teach because I was pregnant..  I have supervised student teachers and I have been appalled at the ignorance of solid basic skills and the lack of communication skills.  I normally taught high school and helped develop what is now known as the middle school and that concept, back in the 60's.

              On the flip side, college courses can't always prepare new teachers for the shock of some classrooms, when you have parents who have done no parenting and expect the school to 'catch their child up', or  the realization that many children come to school hungry, dirty, lacking sleep from having parents fight all night.  The issues today include the fear of having a child accuse a teacher of something out of spite.  This happened in Tampa a while back and a teacher was ruined even though the 2 nasty little middle school girls admitted he hadn't touched them in band but they were mad at him.  I have told men teachers where I was a department head that they were NOT to have any female student alone in the classroom; if they needed to talk to them, or do some tutoring, make sure there were other students there, or have another teacher help out.  

              There are some good things about CC; one of the things is that many families move and their children can be far behind or far ahead because there is no common core of things students should have at a certain point.  We would get students in from Florida or Alabama and they would be a full year behind the students in a rural area where I taught in Michigan.  I moved from Indiana (where my children were in public school under a federally mandated desegregation court plan) to Deer Park and Pasadena, Texas.  My boys were almost a year ahead of the students and were bored out of their skulls!  The following year I took a teaching job in the barrios of San Antonio, and my boys went to schools in San Antonio, TX.  There they had a stronger education.  There should NOT have been that much of a difference.  

            •  Professional effectiveness (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DrEngineer1979

              If you've been at the middle and high school level for twenty years, isn't it about time you graduated?   Just kidding, of course, but surely, in your experience, you have seen  -  and perhaps taught with  -  people who were well-grounded in many subjects….but couldn't teach worth a damn.    Not everyone, regardless of their education, intelligence, or personality, is effective in teaching  -  any more than any doctor, lawyer, or basketball player is effective in what they try to do.  

            •  Why????????? (0+ / 0-)

              Why should a teacher who doesnt teach Algebra be required to know Algebra? Its not part of his or her job.

            •  No, it doesn't make sense (0+ / 0-)

              Tell me where an Art teacher or Music teacher would NEED to know algebra?  Cause I'm just not getting your logic.  

              I'm not a teacher, but if I were (I'd be in Art or Music) and my job was dependent on doing an algebra question on a test,  I'd be fired too!  Why?  Because I took Basic Algebra when I was in the SIXTH GRADE!  That's 1973!!  And so by your logic, I should lose my job because I failed to retain that which I NEVER had to use in my every day life.  How stupid of me!!  My brain should've known better than to make room for any NEW things it might need to learn.  Oops!  My bad!!  

              If you can't dazzle 'em with brains, baffle 'em with bullshit!

              by GirlSwimmingInASeaOfRed on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:22:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  EVERY 5th GRADER HAS TO DO THAT NOW! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, aimeehs, gnosticator, acornweb

            It is not out of the bounds of reason for their fucking teachers to have to do it too.

            Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

            by PsychoSavannah on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:25:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes it is. (8+ / 0-)

              What are your credentials in terms of education and pedagogical practices?

               “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

              “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

              by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:00:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, man. Knowing how to communicate (5+ / 0-)

                clearly is the number one skill everyone should have.  And a teacher who will not learn it is the most dangerous of all.

                Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

                by PsychoSavannah on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:46:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Buzzword Bingo (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                acornweb

                I worked almost 25 years in big-biz high-tech. It was way back in the 90s when we devised the game of Buzzword Bingo. Literally, we made up bingo cards with management buzzwords like "empower" and "synergy" and "leverage". We would play the cards amongst ourselves during routine weekly meetings.

                It was like a drinking game before there were drinking games.

                I saw parallels through my friends in the military, as they escalated their own unique vernacular. Everyone tries to glamorize and legitimize their profession with jargon.

                The last couple of years, the plague has arrived in education. When I hear the words "pedagogy", "pedagogical", and all other forms, I put my head in my hands and cry out, "Mrs craiger! What are you educators doing?! You have become the military! You have become big business! You are playing with buzzwords, and I do declare fucking BINGO!"

                "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

                by craiger on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:34:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  PsychoSavannah hit nail on the head (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Beelzebubs Brass Bs, acornweb

                if a 5th grader should have to know algebra, then you can do it too.

                you are exaggerating and it's not helpful to this argument.

                it's ridiculous to say that those in liberal arts can't do algebra. I am an english major and I had to complete calculus, which i did, to graduate.

              •  Einstein was not stupid enough to believe that (0+ / 0-)
                “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
                This is a fake quote.  See http://en.wikiquote.org/....

                And, if you had paid enough attention in your history class when Einstein was discussed, you would have known instantly that this quote was totally out of character.  I read it, said "That's got to be bull shit", and found out it was fake in 10 seconds of Google searching.

          •  Algebra is a basic human competency (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, catwho, gnosticator, acornweb

            If you can't do algebra then you are not qualified to graduate from high school or to be a teacher.

            Among other problems, you won't understand the formula for teacher evaluations below and then you will spout silliness like complaining that it does not take into account student poverty when it clearly does.

            By your logic every math or science teacher should be able to write a point by point critique using MLA, proper sentence structure, grammar rules, spelling, format,TAG lines, a proper thesis statement back with evidentiary support, with a logical paragraph structure with a proper argument in the body & have a conclusion that restates your argument without reintroducing a quote and ending on a note of finality in order to teach
            2+2 = 4.
            No.  Using MLA, TAG lines, and "hav[ing] a conclusion that restates your argument without reintroducing a quote and ending on a note of finality" are not a basic human competency.  The rest of what you describe is basic expository writing and every teacher should be able to do that.  Among other things, they should all be able to write student evaluations like that.

            I do think it makes sense to compromise this for language teachers - when you have a native speaker of a foreign language teaching that language you may need to compromise on English skills.  However, they should be able to handle all of the structure issues and to produce reasonably comprehensible grammar and good spelling with the help of a spell checker.  

            •  Requirement to Earn a Degree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tool

              BBB - while an individual may have been required to take the course and pass it to earn their degree, they may have not used it in testing form after employment began.  As an engineer I have taken a number of courses with foundations in calculus, statistics and linear algebra.  Would I be able to take the same tests today.  Not a chance.  I have used very little of it since leaving school.  Algebra I use constantly.  But do I use childhood psychology materials from a course taken?  Not likely.  (Except for perhaps some of the adult children I have managed through the years.)
              A special ed teacher may have taken an algebra course their freshman year, but have not used the material in teaching these challenging students, and never will use it in teaching them, outside of its rudimentary forms.  Judging her teaching qualifications based on knowledge of unused information is ludicrous.  Develop a core set for her specific required skills.

          •  This is true... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias, Tool

            we don't require Dentists to know how to reconstruct a knee; we don't require our Orthopedic surgeons to know how to do a root canal.  Teachers can be exemplary in certain fields but not others.  Use their strengths to the children's advantage.

            The most un-convincable man is the one whose paycheck depends on remaining unconvinced. -- H. L. Mencken

            by kharma on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:03:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no (3+ / 0-)

              if the kids are required to know algebra, then so should every teacher. period. we are talking basic algebra.

              teachers ostensibly graduated from college right? well, they had to complete way past algebra in most universities to graduate from their liberal arts degree.

              this line of argument is the most asinine I've seen yet on this topic.

              there should be baseline testing. how else do boards of ed know where things stand and how to fix problematic areas?

              •  This is where you are wrong. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias, MaryAskew

                You are so wrong it hurts my brain. I passed algebra the same way many education majors did - by cramming & memorizing the formulas & steps to solve for X. I have not used a formula in 10 years for anything in my life or profession. I would have to relearn the skill all over again to have a basic comprehension of it.

                You however are not even acknowledging the massive diversity within the education, let alone the special education field. There are times with special needs students where learning academics becomes not only a moot point but aversive & we have to focus on behavioral & ADL goals. In what universe do I have to understand algebra to be able to calculate a percentage & plot a graph. Writing clear instructions, goals & understanding how to make the learner I am teaching reach as many independent goals as possible is far more important than if I can solve for X.

                Each grade level, let alone subject requires different skill sets to teach. I would argue that having an extensive background in music is a far more practical skill because of the way music can be transitioned across subjects & skills. I can teach social skills, math, language skills, behavioral skills, play skills, reading skills, & have learned across different functioning levels participate in group activities with music. I can't do that with algebra.

                Let's say you go through 4 years of under grad, attain a masters in education and are hired as an English teacher. Instead of being based on your teaching ability & knowledge in your content area you are evaluated & then dismissed because you failed a math test in which you have not practiced those skills in 7 years. Is that fair? Is that valid? I don't understand how you could be making this argument when many common sense rationales have been presented to you. From educators.

                “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:14:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How can you possible evaluate the claims in (0+ / 0-)
                  You however are not even acknowledging the massive diversity within the education, let alone the special education field. There are times with special needs students where learning academics becomes not only a moot point but aversive & we have to focus on behavioral & ADL goals. In what universe do I have to understand algebra to be able to calculate a percentage & plot a graph. Writing clear instructions, goals & understanding how to make the learner I am teaching reach as many independent goals as possible is far more important than if I can solve for X.
                  a paper on the results of testing an educational technique if you do not understand the statistics used to evaluate the results?
                  You are so wrong it hurts my brain. I passed algebra the same way many education majors did - by cramming & memorizing the formulas & steps to solve for X. I have not used a formula in 10 years for anything in my life or profession. I would have to relearn the skill all over again to have a basic comprehension of it.
                  When I read things like this I am more and more convinced that we need basic competency testing for all teachers when they enter the profession and every 5 - 10 years of their professional life.  If that means a bunch of teachers drop out so be it - we'll need to pay more and hire teachers with at least the capability to pass high school exit exams.

                  I wonder if this apparently appallingly poor educational level of many teachers is one reason why so many teachers oppose standardized testing.

                  •  Hello there (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MaryAskew

                    When I read things like this I am more and more convinced that we need basic competency testing for all teachers when they enter the

                    profession and every 5 - 10 years of their professional life.  If that means a bunch of teachers drop out so be it - we'll need to pay more and hire teachers with at least the capability to pass high school exit exams
                    .

                    To you Rahm & Michelle Rhee. What an asinine argument. "Basic skills" triumph over classroom management, experience, & attaining further mastery in your subject focus.

                    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                    by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:46:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes... because teachers should have at least the (0+ / 0-)

                      same level of basic knowledge that we require from an 18 year old to graduate from high school.

                      Just out of curiosity, if you don't think that is necessary then do you think teachers should be required to be at least high school graduates?  If so, why?

                      •  Look. Maybe you have no real idea (0+ / 0-)

                        what goes into teaching or how an individual becomes a teacher so I will explain this to you.

                        First you have to complete four years of under grad as an education major.

                        Second you have to then (if you do not want to go the churn & burn route) obtain a masters degree in a specialization.

                        You can skip grad school & go into teaching but then your employment is contingent upon you being enrolled in a masters program.

                        Third you then have to be annually reviewed by the administration of you school & subjected to monthly performance evaluations.

                        If you garner a U during any time during an evaluation you can be dismissed by your school. No appeal.

                        You the have to work three years & garner a rating of S Or effective in order to at the end of your third year to obtain tenure. Even if you make it to the third year you can still be denied tenure over any arbitrary means.

                        If you get tenure you are still subjected to learning walks, professional developments, formal evaluations, & must consistently be able to formulate & have lesson plans on hand.

                        So let's review. It takes 4 - 7 years to become a teacher. You do not have any job security until your 3rd or 4th year of actual teaching & your performance is evaluated on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, & yearly basis where your employment can be determined based on test scores from a rest you had no part in designing & most often was not made by those with pedagogical knowledge.

                        But cause a teacher can't demonstrate an algebra problem that should be enough for dismissal? Kindly pay the 60 - 100k in student loans we have to take out to make a 45k - 50k starting salary.  

                        “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                        by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 05:36:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So you can get through an education major (0+ / 0-)

                          without knowing high school math?

                          How, exactly, do you learn to evaluate the statistics in papers on education?

                          How do you calculate how many measurements you must make of a student's performance to get a statistically reliable result?

                          How do you learn to evaluate the statistics behind standardized tests?

                          How do you understand the math in an equation like this one?

                          Or is your opposition to it based on your lack of understanding of it because you are essentially innumerate?

                          But cause a teacher can't demonstrate an algebra problem that should be enough for dismissal? Kindly pay the 60 - 100k in student loans we have to take out to make a 45k - 50k starting salary.  
                          We don't pay back students' loans for them because they chose careers they were not qualified for.
                          •  I've measured students skills using (0+ / 0-)

                            percentages, graphs. & date for years. It is rather simple to do & does not require advanced statistics. You know what is more effective? When along with those numbers & date is a child's narrative which objectively describe their weaknesses. Now I have to ask. Do you teach or is your opinion based on a general feeling of how things should be ?

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 05:59:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Date = data. (0+ / 0-)

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:00:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How many student test scores do you need to have (0+ / 0-)

                            a 95% chance of giving the student a numeric grade with a range of 65 - 100 within 5 points of the grade s/he actually deserves?

                            Do you know how to answer that question?

                            I've measured students skills using (0+ / 0-)
                            percentages, graphs. & date for years. It is rather simple to do & does not require advanced statistics.
                            You are right.  It requires elementary statistics.   Things like standard error, standard deviation, and equations like

                            SE=σ/sqrt(n)

                            I don't think you can understand those things if you can't do algebra.

                            But let me guess - you don't bother... you just average the scores, maybe throw out an outlier or two, jigger based on your gut feel for the student's performance, and then give a numeric grade?

                          •  I work with special needs children. None of that (0+ / 0-)

                            is applicable. I base all my interventions and decisions based purely on data and what is observable.

                            You did not address any of my questions nor other points. I believe I am finished with this conversation.

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:17:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And how do you know how many data points you (0+ / 0-)

                            need to draw a reliable conclusion?

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                            because ABA and schools that use ABA have developed clear and concise rules for determining mastery and success. Once a skill is mastered then it is retained through generalization and repetition while teaching a new skill with a determined rate of reinforcement, error-less prompting, and fading. But of course having inadequate knowledge of "basic" skills makes me unable to perform and I should be fired.  

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:45:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes... definitely... because you clearly are (0+ / 0-)

                            unable to understand measurement basics like how many measurements of your students' capabilities you need to make to be confident in your result.

                          •  And your qualifications to make that determination (0+ / 0-)

                            are what? Right now you are just some guy yelling on a street corner. I'm sure the children I have taught to have essential life skills and the ability to function in as independently as possible would disagree as well as their parents. Perhaps when you write more than one diary in this community and demonstrate your extensive knowledge in behavioral science and teaching I will take what you say seriously. Right now - not so much.  

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:33:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My qualification is I passed high school math and (0+ / 0-)

                            still remember standard deviations, standard errors, and significance tests.

                            That qualifies me to tell you that your mathematical capabilities are insufficient for any professional position, just as my ability to read, write, and spell proper English would qualify me to tell you you were unqualified if you were unable to write a coherent English paragraph.

                          •  Hah. In other words you are just some crazy guy (0+ / 0-)

                            yelling on a street corner who has never spent an hour in a class room. Have a good life.

                            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                            by Tool on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:44:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  BBB - Sir, you are an ass (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tool

                            You share the same problem as do Obama, Rhee, Duncan and King - an overdeveloped pride in your own education.  You demonstrate very effectively the ability to judge what you do not comprehend - the varied ways the individuals learn.  A teacher has to adapt to the personalities and circumstance of the individual, to a certain degree that is not measured using statistics.  Human psychology is at best at inexact science due to the complexity of our human experience.  Trying to pin it down with statistics is ludicrous.  A teacher practices that inexact science on a daily basis.  Are they perfect.  Never.  If parents all too often don't understand their own children, teachers are going to have an even more challenging time of it.

                            I am being judgmental of you due to your unreasonable stance.  Please go and pedagogue yourself.

              •  And if the students have to do push ups and run (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MaryAskew, Metric Only

                then the teachers should be able to do the same!

                I am actually on the side of helping teachers of all subjects and at all levels become more comfortable with math.   I think that Math is one of the most marvelous inventions of humanity which touches every single thing we do - and it is especially appealing to little children.  If more of our K-4 level teachers were comfortable with math fewer of our college students would have math anxiety.

                But firing people for failing a test is beyond stupid.  Get her up to speed on it so she can pass the test.

                OTOH:  People on both sides are spouting nonsense at such an accelerated pace we'll soon find out if we live in an infinite Universe - for no finite Universe could have the capacity to hold such crap!

                -- illegitimi non carborundum

                by BadBoyScientist on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think push ups and running are high school (0+ / 0-)

                  graduation requirements.

                  But firing people for failing a test is beyond stupid.  Get her up to speed on it so she can pass the test.
                  And if the teacher can't or won't get up to speed and pass the test then what?

                  BTW, why do you assume that the teacher who can't do math is female?  Shades of Barbie "Math is hard!"?

                  •  Wow BBB so defensive and offensive (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tool

                    here's the answer to your sexism question: and I quote:

                    "Several years ago in CA, they decided ALL teachers needed to pass an algebra test.  So a preschool, special needs teacher I know lost her job.  She  had untreated dyslexia and for some reason, that makes algebra hard.  Not sure why, but it is also true for relatives who have dyslexia."

                    She lost her job...
                    She had untreated dyslexia.

                    Because the original example was stated as a woman, so EVERYONE assumed it was a woman.

          •  I don't mean to be argumentative . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MyOwnReality

            but every high school graduate should be able to do all of those things, so yes, I think math teachers and English teachers should be able to demonstrate all of the skills you mention.  I don't necessarily think math teachers need to be able to extemporize on arborial imagery in Macbeth or recite from memory the poetry of Octavio Paz, but they should be sufficiently versed in logic, rhetoric and grammar to write word problems that serve as models of appropriate use of the language and show competency at the level of professional discourse.  They need to instill the importance of grammar, rhetoric and logic to their students, even in math and science classes.

            Similarly, English teachers should know enough math and science to model an empirical understanding of the world around them, which would include Algebra at a minimum, if not trig and calculus.  It should include a basic understanding of Newton's laws, what Darwin actually said about the survival of the fittest, and some inkling about the cognitive and chemical components of attraction, not just the romantic ideal of love.

            High School students are not going to believe any of these subjects are important to their success if half of their teachers continually argue that they are successful adults without understanding the fundamentals of what students are being told are critical skills by the other half of their teachers.  There is a level of literacy, numeracy and philosophical understanding that we need all adults to have or at least aspire to, and teachers need to model adult level cognition and knowledge in the classroom.  Too many students already confuse "this will take some effort to learn" with "I can't do this."  Often attitude is more important than aptitude, and most of the successful people I've talked with about it agree that there is more to be gained from practicing the things that we have to stretch ourselves to accomplish than there is by repeating the things that we have already mastered.

            These are entirely separate issues from whether the common core is an appropriate vehicle for reaching the desired end state, and I agree that having people with no experience (or minimal experience) as educators directing people who have devoted their careers to the discipline seems asinine.

          •  For some reason (0+ / 0-)

            I can't rec this, so consider yourself rec'd X 10.  My brain is logical, and my writing skills are excellent.  Here comes the "but."  But I cannot fathom math beyond what makes sense in my world, which means anything beyond geometry and solid geometry.  Algebra was totally meaningless to me and still is. I have never needed it in my college days or in my adult life.  To lose me because I don't have a mathematical brain would be a huge waste.

            I had a boyfriend who got A+ in chemistry and physics but couldn't write a short coherent paragraph.  Should he have been penalized for his lopsided brain?  NO!!  Neither of us should be.

             My son is good at both math and English, and I often told him to be grateful for his balanced brain. But he could not learn a foreign language.  My daughter is fluent in Spanish.

            We all have strengths and weaknesses in our learning abilities, and, as long as we stick to our strengths, we are assets to the teaching profession----or whatever profession we embrace.

          •  Why so defensive? (3+ / 0-)

            What you mentioned as "requirements" is pretty much putting words in someones' mouth which they didn't say.  There is a far cry between "basic skills" and your list, at least in my opinion.  I agree by the way, that all certified teachers should possess basic skills.  As for the dyslexic teacher, there should have been a note in her file the excused her from passing the algebra test due to her disability, which by the way, dyslexia IS a recognized disability.  Just as students get special tests to fit their special needs, so should teachers.

            I'm a bit disturbed by the over the top rhetoric of this article.  Actually, public education has been on the ropes since the No Child Left Behind era so the President is not "destroying education."  As a grandparent, I'm appalled at teaching to the test, but I'm also appalled that A students at our High School take the local 2 year college's COMPASS placement test and have to take remedial tests in English, basic math, and basic science.  The teachers give the grades so what's up with that?

            I've worked for several years in Elementary schools in Utah and Idaho, helping one on one with K-3 students who need extra help.  I've seen children hungry and tired, dirty and frightened, trying to learn in school while worrying about adult worries such as a dad out of work (or a single mother), a parent about to be deported, or a divorce, or a quick move to a cheaper home.  Kids can't cope with our lives today in this economy.  I doubt a teacher's union would help them.  

            I'm actually for unions and against charter schools because they seem to be poorly handled and many have opened and closed in a year or two.  First and foremost I'm for tax funding for smaller classes, better textbooks and decent wages and training for teachers, all very unpopular in my red state at this time.  I'm for cutting excesses in administration to balance the budget.  

            And I'm for support and care for children who are trying to go to school while proving the statistics which show that children suffer the most during a weak or broken economy.  Let's do what we can to make learning easier for them.  Our 6 year old has 3 hours of homework a night.  This is too much for a 6 year old.  He does well in testing but he is over stressed emotionally.  It's impossible to watch him struggling and know that everything is not perfect in schools, and yet stonewall whenever changes are suggested.  

            They are, of course, not all going to be good ideas, but let's brainstorm and try to improve the plan, not just scream bloody murder about how nobody knows anything except professional teachers.  Parents, college educated people in other professions, and people who study the problems, ALL have something useful to add.  This should not be pointing fingers, it should be a serious dialogue about the issues and problems and evaluation of solutions.

          •  Thank-you, "Tool" for stating (0+ / 0-)

            the truth and making it understandable for even the most mathematically oriented person. I, too am more challenged in math, but can write a fantastic research paper, earn a 100% on an essay and teach children on multiple levels. I earned an 800 (perfect) score on the English and Writing part of the old SAT, and only a 650 on the math segment. Despite that, I earned an MSEd and was able to get through more than a few difficult statistics courses. I then went on for my PhD. I do not use algebra now, although with a little brush up, I would probably do very well. However, like any language (and math is a language) if you don't use it, you lose it. Why would a preschool special needs teacher need to know algebra? These teachers need some very specialized skills to teach that population. Knowing algebra is not one of those skills.

        •  Algebra for a PRESCHOOL special needs... (84+ / 0-)

          teacher?  I am an engineer who actually taught algebra to my kids by second grade and even I think it is a ridiculous requirement.

          We are all intelligent in our own ways.  I have always liked the quote (wrongly) attributed to Einstein that goes something like, "If we measure a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go through its entire life thinking it is stupid".  Measue people in how they do the job they were hired to do.  

          I preschool special needs teacher needs to have the ability to teach a child to believe in themselves, feel good about themselves and to be able to convince the child to be comfortable trying new things.  They need to be able to assess the child and make recomendations for the child's further development and none of those things are predicated on their ability to do algebra.  That would be like measuring my ability to calculate the minimum time and temperature for a metal tempering process by how well I could paint a replica of the Mona Lisa.  Sure, it is an ability that I would be proud of and it may impress people but it would have absolutely nothing to do with what I was hired for.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:57:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mona Lisa (10+ / 0-)

            Equals basic algebra? If we want teachers to be seen as professionals, then we must demand higher standards for them.

            Everyone does have his or her own strengths and weaknesses. It doesn't mean we shouldn't want competence from our teachers. I've worked with too many over my twenty-year career who should have been excluded based on their lack of intellectual curiosity, if nothing else. Their mediocrity has harmed countless kids, but oh, my, did they have winning personalities! It is a problem in public education, and I've done what I've been able to from within to correct the problem. I've also made sure my own children were never in their courses.

            •  Relevancy matters (17+ / 0-)

              Mona Lisa and algebra are equally relevant to a preschool special needs teacher.  They're on a par with piloting an airplane, fixing a car, filleting a chicken, knowing the kings of England in order, and a whole range of other skills that somebody might have but just don't matter in this context. A professional pilot doesn't need to know how to filet a chicken; a professional mechanic doesn't need to know how to fly a plan.  If I were looking for a preschool for a special needs kid, I'd worry about algebra as much as I'd worry about the kings of England.  As in zilch.  But damn I would want the professional teacher to be able to relate to the kids, and deal with their disabilities, because that's really relevant.

              •  "TSA officials would not speculate on rumors that (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tool, K S LaVida, NonnyO, caul

                the crash was caused by the pilot's errors in fileting a chicken; but a Delta spokesman strenuously denied that this was a factor.  'All of our pilots have at least 3 years mandatory training in culinary school--this comes just after the 4 years at an accredited art institute...'

              •  A good preschool teacher (0+ / 0-)

                still needs to be able to model how numbers are one way that we understand the world around us.  There are some schools and methods that believe that such an understanding from the earliest ages makes success in math much more likely at later ages.  You can teach a child that there is math that they will learn when they are older that explains why the world works in a certain way long, before they are ready to take on the specific equations for the phenomenon.  You can explain why calculus is important to a pre-schooler using examples they would understand, like running a bath but forgetting to put the stopper in.

                The anticipation from knowing that there are things out there that other people know that they don't is a powerful motivator for young children, especially at the preschool age.  If a child hears an adult they respect minimize the importance of a subject, they will model that behavior in order to be like the adult.  They will internalize the attitude and may never cognitively evaluate why they think math or spelling is hard, when the fact is that they don't want the world to be mathematical because that would make their pre-school teacher, Miss Kimberly, uncomfortable.  Students from Miss Julie's class might become math stars just because it would disappoint her if they didn't become good at it.  Even years later, those early interactions affect what students believe about themselves, their abilities and what skills they can and should acquire.  

                A teacher who doesn't feel competent in math is not likely to instill a fascination with numbers in their students, so, yes, an understanding of adult level math is necessary in a good preschool teacher.

            •  In my defense, I did say "replica"... (13+ / 0-)

              Please explain how "basic algebra" applies to a preschool special needs teacher's competence level.  I guess it is plausable that she will be teaching a four year old autistic mathmatical sevant and in doing so, need to prepare them for advanced algebra in kindergarten...

              Relevency matters.  That is the issue with common core and standardized testing in general.  It measures aptitude in slices rather than as a whole.  Could you imagine only getting football players based on their 40 yard dash times?  Let's say you put a pass/fail limit at four point eight seconds.  You would get some really good receivers and some really good corners and running backs but your line may be a problem.  We all have different roles and different abilities and to measure us all by the same metric is not only wrong but ineffective.  It is lazy.  It takes away the responsibility to actually measure the complexity of the job and or lesson requirements and monitor progress based on unique criteria which is hard.  It requires critical thought.  

              Blanket requirements that are for everyone with no thought to individual circumstances is the true communism-esque, government take-over system that so many conservatives want to go on and on about.  It is lumping everybody into the same basket and saying it does not matter because we are all supposed to be equal.  We are all supposed to shoulder the same burden and if you cannot harvest as much wheat as your neighbor then you should be punished for not pulling your weight.  Firing teachers based on irrelevent metrics is no different because it assumes that we should all meet these same arbitrary minimum standards whether they are applicable to your job or not.  It is not communism but rather government sanctioned totalitarianism at its core.

              "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

              by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:53:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. So special ed teachers don't really need (0+ / 0-)

                to know anything?  Do you understand that many special ed classes are ungraded and the teacher will have to help their students with many subjects at many different grade levels.  They need MORE competency, not less!!

                Parent of two boys with learning disabilities and a girl with serious lack of reading comprehension, and 6 grand children with special needs but high IQs.

                •  I guess your name is fitting... (0+ / 0-)

                  let's see,  you some how got:

                  Wow. So special ed teachers don't really need to know anything?
                  out of:
                  We all have different roles and different abilities and to measure us all by the same metric is not only wrong but ineffective.  It is lazy.  It takes away the responsibility to actually measure the complexity of the job and or lesson requirements and monitor progress based on unique criteria which is hard.  It requires critical thought.  
                  Keep in mind, this teacher taught four-year-olds with special needs and was fired because she could not do algebra well enough to pass their test.  She was not fired because she could not make an accurate assessment of a childs aptitude and special needs.  She was not fired because she could not adaquately perform the tasks she was hired to do but based entirely on an arbitrary standard in which had little if any relevency to her job.  When the teacher has to help four year olds with "many subjects at many different grade levels.", algebra for pre-schoolers is probably not on the core competency assessment.

                  It is your choice to have the reality in which you want to perceive but please do not try to force your version of reality into twisting words and putting them into my mouth.

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:19:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Yes! Make them jump through irrelevant hoops! (10+ / 0-)

              Just to prve they are smart or "intellectually curious."

              All the calculus teachers should pass a test in toddler psychology! And basic drawing with charcoal. And music composition. And P.E.!

              It shouldn't MATTER what subject the person is teaching. Everyone should know something about everything!

              Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

              by expatjourno on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:14:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think the point is that we don't want stupid (4+ / 0-)

                people teaching our kids.

                Basic college algebra is required to get pretty much any 4 year degree, so it's already expected that teachers know it.

                We want to build cyber magicians!

                by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:55:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem is how you define "Stupid"... (6+ / 0-)

                  Not sure what you do for a living but odds are, I cannot do it as well as you do.  Odds are, you cannot do my job as well as I can.  I have what many people consider a genius IQ.  I am a member of Mensa.  That and about five bucks will get me a regular coffee at Starbucks.  It means nothing.

                  Basic algebra may be taught in middle school and again in high school and then again in college and with some diligence and often some help from a tutor, it can be passed and then immediately forgotten.  It is not relevent to the job requirements.  I have a special aptitude for spacial relationships.  I can see images and rotate them in my mind and then lay them out differently at what is considered a fairly high level of accuracy.  I do this effortlessly.  It is just the way my brain works.  Should I compare everyone else to that standard because it benefits me?  

                  I cannot read music.  I cannot play any instrument.  Would it be fair to measure the aptitude of musicians based on their ability to solve spacial relationship problems?  Should we all have to take various portions of each aptitude and pass them in order to get any job?  If I get tested on my ability to read music in my job right now, I am going to get fired.  This is even though I am sure I learned about musical notes in music class way back in elementary school.  Does that make me stupid?  Does it make a music teacher stupid because he or she cannot conceptualize complex drawings in their head and lay them out differently on paper?

                  There is no such thing as stupid but rather different areas of competence.  There are special needs that prevent some people from reaching their potential as well but they are not stupid.  Judge a fish by its ability to swim rather than how it climbs trees.

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:11:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Teachers of small children MUST be generalists (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MyOwnReality

                    They don't need to operate at the highest levels of any particular knowledge discipline other than child development, but they become one of the two or three most important models of what it means to be an adult that a child has.  If that model does not exhibit the importance of some discipline, the child will follow suit.  You can get away with being a math professor without knowing grammar, but not a preschool teacher.  You can get away with not knowing algebra as a copy editor in the professional world, but not as a preschool teacher.  Not because you'll teach the mechanics of grammar and algebra, but because you are responsible for instilling a desire to understand the world at a deeper level, and you don't know what skills a young child will need to believe is important so that they are free to fall in love with it and explore it deeply.  

                    Most children are too dependent on the adults in its world to be able to seek out models other than the ones in front of them, so teachers for the youngest ages must be able to easily switch back and forth between telling stories, explaining the anatomy of bugs, turning a water gun battle into an introductory physics lesson, extemporizing a song about the neighborhood, or illustrating a nursery rhyme on the white board.  Being a preschool teacher is harder than most grade levels because the interaction level is high and you don't always have the luxury of defining the lesson of the moment ahead of time.  You need to be able to move between the different modes of thought your charges may be exploring at any moment so that you don't stifle the next Einstein, McCartney, Locke or Colbert.

                •  No, it isn't. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  caul
                  Basic college algebra is required to get pretty much any 4 year degree...
                  Nope. Not true.

                  Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                  by expatjourno on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:45:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's pretty depressing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    expatjourno

                    BTW, I never knew there was such a thing as "College algebra".

                    I've always thought algebra was something you learned in 7th or 8th grade.

                    •  And forgot a year or two later! (0+ / 0-)

                      I actually loved math and took some college-level calculus for fun. But a lot of people forget it right after the last exam.

                      Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                      by expatjourno on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:40:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Dyslexic=stupid? It's a good thing you weren't (0+ / 0-)

                  the one teaching the special ed classes.

              •  Not sure about your schools but in our schools (0+ / 0-)

                Many teachers are not specialists in the subjects they teach.  Maybe it works that way in big cities but out here in the real world teachers who want jobs can teach in any classes that are open with a master's in education.

                "All the calculus teachers should pass a test in toddler psychology! And basic drawing with charcoal. And music composition. And P.E.!"

                Nice hyperbole, but actually just off topic and silly.  Proof many of the responses are so defensive/offensive as to be non-responsive.  Apparently teachers are not calm and rational about education.

                •  Elementary Generalists (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, even here in the 'big city', NY, elementary teachers are generalists as well.  Particularly in the lower grades they will not be teaching algebra, at least not in the same way it is tested at the middle and high school levels.  Expecting someone to solve raw equations that hasn't used that body of knowledge in years is unreasonable.

                •  Not the least bit off-topic or silly. (0+ / 0-)

                  The subjects I mentioned are as irrelevant to the teaching of algebra as the teaching of algebra is irrelevant to the teaching of English, music, art or P.E.

                  Nor is algebra any more important to a student's happiness or success in life that the other subjects I mentioned.

                  Apparently you are not so calm and rational yourself.

                  Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                  by expatjourno on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:44:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Algebra for all! No professional can be without (8+ / 0-)

              algebra skills.

              This is a terrible argument. Tool is all over this, IMO.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:39:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  An elementary logic class would make more sense (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              caul

              You can't teach critical thinking skills if you don't have them.

              We want to build cyber magicians!

              by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:54:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I've been out of school for over 30 years now (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MaryAskew

              In those thirty years, there has only been 1 time where knowing how to do algebra has come in handy.  Even then it was not necessary for me to know how to do it.  I could have figured out what I wanted to know from a different method.  Yes it would have taken a bit longer through trial and error, but it could still be done.  

              There are certain things that are taught in school which have no real purpose in most peoples adult lives.  History was my biggest pet peeve in high school.  It still is especially now that with the advent of the internet, anything you want to know is just a few mouse clicks and keystrokes away.  

              To this day I don't know why everything I was taught in history class revolved around various wars.  I would have rather been learning about ancient cultures like the Egyptians, Mayas, Aztec, Mongolians, or the Celtics( other cultures fascinate me).   But no.  Instead you had to know names dates and places of various wars and specific battles that mostly have little to no bearing on my day to day life.  Why is that?

              I would think that civics classes should be brought back into our school systems, as it's appalling that so few people know how our government (is supposed to) works.  Basic skills for running a home, child rearing, managing a check book and credit should also be taught in school.  Critical thinking and problem solving skills have also gone out the window in recent decades.  That stuff is at least useful in an everyday life.

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:13:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've been out of school for over 30 years now (0+ / 0-)

                      The reason your history teachers concentrated on battles and wars was that they were in the set of history teachers who loved "The Boys, Their Toys and Great Men" history.  It is always who won and never about who died.  Their capacity to bore normal people has led many,many people, including you, to think that any need history is a mouse click away. Names and dates, sure: But, History is a lot more than names and dates.
                Your teachers likely could not explain the campaign for women's suffrage or the labor movement in the USA or who the Bonus Marchers were.

                    It isn't that the internet can't be helpful but you have to know enough to formulate questions. If you don't, you end up googling questions like "Was Lincoln a racist?" rather than "Why did we need a 13th Amendment after  the Emancipation Proclamation was issued?"

                I agree with you: we need to bring back Civics classes!
                     

          •  Basic algebra is not hard (0+ / 0-)

            It's not.

            I was shocked how much I remembered the last time I poked at a middle school level math test.

            While we don't expect a math teacher to be able to diagram a sentence, they should still be able to recognize the difference between a noun and a verb.  

            Just as an English teacher ought to be able to tell the difference between X^2 and 2X.

            The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

            by catwho on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:35:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with testing being used to evaluate (51+ / 0-)

          teachers is that the teachers aren't the ones taking the test.

          Plain and simple.  As a teacher, I have no control over what a student decides to do once he gets that pencil in his hand.  There are no incentives for students to do well on state standardized tests other than the school losing funding which means nothing to a third grader.  Likewise there are no consequences to the student who does poorly on the same test.  I've watched kids who just couldn't sit still bubble in answers to make designs,  play with their pencils, etc. instead of actually taking the test seriously because they hated taking the test. Test security rules prohibit me from saying much of anything to a student during the test.  How does this show my ability as a teacher?  I get so sick of the people who talk about accountability. I have no problem being held accountable for what I do.  There is a limit as to what I can force another human being to do, however, and student performance isn't always an indicator of how I've done my job--unless it is consistent poor performance on the part of all my students--something I've rarely, if ever, seen and something that isn't necessarily shown by a standardized test.

          “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 27, 2014 at 10:03:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When I randomly bubbled in standardized (11+ / 0-)

            tests it was always because the teacher was abusive toward students and I wanted to make them look as bad as possible.

            "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

            by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:53:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And that's why we need (5+ / 0-)

              SOME valid metric for evaluating teachers. An abusive teacher should never have been there to start with. In this case if more kids randomly bubbled in, their test scores would have a negative effect on her job retention.

              •  It doesn't take an abusive teacher for kids to (14+ / 0-)

                respond like that.  Some kids just don't care for teachers who are strict and hold them to high expectations. One kid's favorite teacher can be another kid's nightmare and vice versa.

                “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 27, 2014 at 03:42:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Abusive teachers like to claim they're just (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gnosticator, samanthab, acornweb

                  "strict".  Their fellow teachers and far too many parents buy it, and buy into the idea that dozens of students every year just happen to lie about this one "strict" teacher, despite getting along famously with many other teachers.

                  That's enabling.  It happens far too often.  Kids get verbally, emotionally, and sometimes physically abused as a result.

                  "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                  by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:20:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree that those teachers exist. However (0+ / 0-)

                    there are also many students who refuse to be responsible for their learning and blame the teacher.  There are also kids who simply dislike certain subjects and don't perform well in them because they don't want to do the work.  I've seen that a lot as well.  

                    “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 Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 04:29:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  The sweet siren song of numbers (14+ / 0-)

                Just because it's numeric, does not make it valid.

                Height, for example, is also numeric and objective.

                The tests we give now are not designed to evaluate teachers. It may be possible to design such an exam, but no one has one right now.

                Just to draw back on your own experience... do you think your 11th grade english or math teacher should have been judged based on your SAT score?

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:24:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ummm? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sethtriggs, JesseCW, Sparhawk, acornweb

                  I dunno. But poor teachers do need to be ID'd and removed. And all to often that was not the case. I do not believe that value added scores are the (total) answer. But the teaching profession (and I am a part of that) didn't produce a reliable evaluation for their critics.  And nature- especially the political kind- abhors a vacuum. Thus we have the zeal to simply quantify a very complex situation.

                  •  I have been watching scores among teachers (6+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musiclady, emal, JesseCW, chuckvw, IL clb, Tonedevil

                    at my daughter's school. The elementary school numbers are noise. The class that aced math in 2nd grade tanked it in 4th; the class that aced 4th tanked 3rd. The kids for the most part had the same teachers and same experiences.

                    It's known that the test scores will go down depending upon the number of snow days, the relative positioning of spring break, and whether or not there was a murder within a two mile radius of the school. In addition, the kid whose family is getting a divorce, the kid whose mom is very sick, the kid who herself was sick, the kid who moved in only a couple months ago - those kids all have their own issues that are not necessarily under the teacher's control.

                    Lots of teachers do leave the profession. Many are pushed out by administrators. Others are formally fired, but there are a lot of resignations. There are means to evaluate and remediate teachers, and each state and for that matter each district has a little different legal and procedural framework for doing so.

                    "Value add" is a total misnomer. No one is testing the kids on the same material at the beginning and end of the year and seeing what they have learned. Further, if you were to do that - deliberately ask kids to take a test at the beginning of the year that you expect them to fail - that is something that actively causes harm to students.

                    Test scores are a double-edged sword. Not only might they force an administrator to remove a good teacher who is doing a great job with challenging students, but they could also force an administrator to keep a teacher who is not so great but who has students who happen to work hard and have access to tutoring outside the classroom.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:12:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Is that just one teacher? N/T (0+ / 0-)
                      •  One teacher per grade, 6 grades (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Tonedevil, acornweb

                        and I'm familiar with about 10 classes worth of data. For most of that time the same teachers were in place teaching the same grades.

                        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                        by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:42:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ugh, 7 grades, K-6. (0+ / 0-)

                          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                          by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:42:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So it's one teacher each grade? (0+ / 0-)

                            Very small school. That data sounds really whacked.

                          •  It's actually about as careful an experiment (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            IL clb, emal, Tonedevil

                            as you can do. The kids get as similar an education as can be had - in a larger school, you have all kinds of differences because the kids had different teachers in earlier grades.

                            The reality is that elementary schools, when done right, are running classes of about 25. Those are perilously small numbers for this kind of analysis. K-3 they have been trying to run at 20 with the California Class Size Reduction incentives. That means each kid is 5%. So you can be horrified that say 20% are "below basic"... but that's 4 kids, 4 kids that each have their own story.

                            A great read, if you're interested in numbers and statistics about VAM (and also budgets) is http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com . Lots of great stuff to think about there, and in the large picture.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:06:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Beelzebubs Brass Bs

                            "The class that aced math in 2nd grade tanked it in 4th; the class that aced 4th tanked 3rd. The kids for the most part had the same teachers and same experiences."

                            The same homogenous kids, have wildly changing achievement scores indifferent grades? Sone variable is causing those swings. Teachers, curriculum, something. The kids are not, en mass, achieving less or more on a whim.

                          •  The topics are different of course (0+ / 0-)

                            Life happens to the kids too.

                            Kids that sailed along with math in 2nd grade are maybe struggling with language and are flummoxed by the word problems on the 4th grade exams. Kids that struggled in 3rd get the lightbulb moment in 4th, or maybe finally started doing the work because they're older, or because they finally got their own room and a quiet place to work.

                            There's no magic that says if you're Advanced in 2nd that you get to stay at that level forever. That's what this is all about, yes?

                            It can also be that the disruptive kid moved away making the class more manageable or that the teacher happens to have a better rapport.

                            And it can be whim. Sometimes the kids bubble in answers and turn in the test ten minutes later.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:46:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

                            "The class that aced math in 2nd grade tanked it in 4th; the class that aced 4th tanked 3rd. The kids for the most part had the same teachers and same experiences." Actually they do. They do not suddenly become poor students in one grade and then rebound again the next (again an individual may do that due to some extreme circumstances, but not classes as a whole).

                            I guess in this case a very small class size could be the difference (if that difference is actually statistically significant?) which would make it an outlier. But without data there is no way to tell.

                          •  A classroom is made up of individuals (0+ / 0-)

                            and these kids are quite young and buffeted by forces around them, including both their family situations and the other kids in the class.

                            In this case, we are talking about a class size of roughly 20 in a Title 1 school.

                            Also, our perceptions can be guided by what are in reality very small changes. In California, the kids are ranked into 5 bands, and the cutoff scores for the bands are not determined until after the raw scores are in. The kid that scored 10 points into Proficient last year who missed two more questions and ended up as Basic this year looks bad, but statistically, it's not a significant change in outcome. If this happens to 5 kids, it looks like a big change, though, even though perhaps 5 other kids went from the bottom of the Basic ranking to the top of it.

                            Big changes can be masked too. The kid that ranked Advanced last year in math with a perfect score and ranked Advanced this year with the lowest possible raw score doesn't count as a drop. The kid who came in Far Below Basic but made tremendous ground with a substantially stronger foundation might still score in one of the bottom two ranks. These exams are not really designed to show student growth in numbers less than a multi-hundred student population.

                            But nevertheless, the correct assumption isn't that your 3rd grader scoring advanced would score advanced in 4th grade in a neutral situation. A better assumption is that the third grader wouldn't know any 4th grade math without the teacher and the year in 4th grade, and so every addition of knowledge above 0 is because of the discipline of the classroom and the teacher.

                            But then, there are some kids who care about doing well in school and some who don't. The kids have a choice in the matter too, and some of them overcome bad teachers and some of them disregard the efforts of good teachers.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:42:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But again (0+ / 0-)

                            one of two things occurred here. either a very unusual set of external and internal variables combined for a perfect storm to cause sudden swings in class achievement for a homogeneous group- which by definition makes this result an outlier and not indicative of anything. Or a high performing cohort had sudden swings due to some isolated instructional variable. Again, homogeneous cohorts do not, on their own, go up and down the ladder like that.

                            And this:

                            "A better assumption is that the third grader wouldn't know any 4th grade math without the teacher and the year in 4th grade, and so every addition of knowledge above 0 is because of the discipline of the classroom and the teacher."

                            would mean that with proper instruction the kid continues growth in achievement.

                          •  What makes you so sure it is unusual? (0+ / 0-)

                            Are you working from data or intuition?

                            The data of a substantial percentage of teachers moving from the top group to the bottom group and vice-versa using VAM scores within 2-3 years is real and shown over large data sets.

                            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                            by elfling on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:02:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sent you a PM, just a subject line n/t (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Disregard my other comment n/t (0+ / 0-)
                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            I meant a homogeneous group of kids changing suddenly is not innate to their academic achievement.

                    •  Perhaps if you applied some of that math (0+ / 0-)

                      we are talking about upthread you could determine how likely this is.

                      at my daughter's school. The elementary school numbers are noise. The class that aced math in 2nd grade tanked it in 4th; the class that aced 4th tanked 3rd. The kids for the most part had the same teachers and same experiences.
                      Well, first question is how big the classes were and how many standard deviations the differences in performance were.

                      For example, if you have 30 students in a class and the difference in performance between two different classes in 4th grade was .25 standard deviations then I would agree - noise.  But if it was 2 standard deviations then it may have been many things, but it was highly unlikely to have been noise.

                      It's known that the test scores will go down depending upon the number of snow days, the relative positioning of spring break, and whether or not there was a murder within a two mile radius of the school.
                      All of those issues should apply to every class, so would be filtered out of the individual teacher's assessment by the adjustment for overall school performance in the formula in the diary.
                      In addition, the kid whose family is getting a divorce, the kid whose mom is very sick, the kid who herself was sick, the kid who moved in only a couple months ago - those kids all have their own issues that are not necessarily under the teacher's control.
                      Yes, but with 30 kids it seems unlikely that those issues would vary tremendously between classes unless something else changed that only affected some classes but not others.
                      •  In this case, the classes are closer to 20 kids. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MaryAskew

                        Knowing each teacher well, and seeing the test score data ... the data does not match what I see coming out of the classrooms, and further, you'd get dramatically different results depending upon what year you looked.

                        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                        by elfling on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:51:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  That is what administrators are for! (0+ / 0-)
                    But poor teachers do need to be ID'd and removed. And all to often that was not the case.
                    Witch-hunting teachers because overpaid admins aren't doing their job competently is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

                    Start evaluating admins, weed out the poor ones, and let the good ones take care of the "bad" teachers.

                    •  Rinse, repeat (0+ / 0-)

                      I agree. But the admins will not do it without support. And evaluations give them the data to support their actions. I dolt thick VA is a perfect metric, but as I said upthread, "we" let the teacher/school eval issue get copied by politicians and businesses.

                      •  VAM scores are not necessary (0+ / 0-)

                        Good administrators know who they need to remove and scores don't help. They could even hinder - 'why are you getting rid of Mr. X when he has "better scores" than Mr. Y?'

                        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                        by elfling on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:00:03 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Shit rolls downhill, and yes, admins get (0+ / 0-)

                      evaluated.

                      But on shitty stuff like suspensions and stuff. A lot of them have it as bad as teachers.

                      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                      by zenbassoon on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:29:21 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I think all my teachers were directly responsible (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elfling

                  for my scores in my college prep testing. (1958)  I tested so high that I had a full ride scholarship through a doctorate in any subject I chose.  My teachers were dedicated single women for the most part, with two men and two married women from 4th grade through graduation.  My teachers made learning fun and found ways to wake me from day dreaming and provoke me out of my procrastination.  I was not an easy student but they kept at it, and I became an accountant as well as a writer and poet.  I'm eternally grateful for their tenacity.

                •  The sweet siren song of numbers (0+ / 0-)

                         Amen.

              •  It's easy. Cameras in the classroom. (0+ / 0-)

                "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:19:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And who is going to monitor them? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, acornweb

                  And judge them? To what criteria? It gets complicated.

                  •  It's not complicated. Parents get a log (0+ / 0-)

                    in for their kids class and they can watch/listen to the feed live.

                    No more than five years, a couple hundred thousand abusive teachers hit the bricks.  The "just watch this dumb movie" crap stops.  Teachers who think "do these pages while I read a book and refuse to answer questions" will have to face a witness they can't claim is " a failed student lying about" them.

                    "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                    by JesseCW on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 05:43:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I suspect academic freedom will just as quickly be (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mister T, IL clb, Tonedevil, acornweb

                      a thing of the past, resulting in an equal or higher number of good teachers hitting the bricks as well.

                      Your solution is as bad as the current situation.

                      •  Academic freedom does not apply until university (0+ / 0-)

                        Teachers of even high school subjects are supposed to teach the subject, not engage in free ranging academic inquiry.

                        Academic freedom is the belief that the freedom of inquiry by faculty members is essential to the mission of the academy as well as the principles of academia, and that scholars should have freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts (including those that are inconvenient to external political groups or to authorities) without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment. - http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                        This doesn't apply to teaching high school kids math, science, English, history, etc.
                        •  Oh, that's ridiculous. A quick google of (0+ / 0-)

                          "academic freedom k12" turns up many, many documents from K12 districts that explicitly discuss academic freedom in the K12 schools.

                          Not a wikipedia entry, that doesn't even rule out academic freedom for K12 -- actual K12 districts, discussing the application of academic freedom in their classrooms.

                          Try again.

                    •  And there is a monetary cost (0+ / 0-)

                      to outfit around 24K classrooms with cameras and a server to host/stream the video? That 'aint gonna' happen.

                    •  Parents evaluating is fine but... (0+ / 0-)

                      They shouldn't have a child in the class they are evaluating and their finds should go to the admin. for final decisions.  Findings by the admin. should go to the school board with names removed.

                    •  What about the parents who release dumb (0+ / 0-)

                      student videos on YouTube compiling all the stupid things kids do?

                      Bullying isn't just students....

          •  I have to agree with you and also thank you (0+ / 0-)

            for your rational explanation of the problem with testing as evaluation for teachers.  Having helped in K-3 during testing I agree.  Today's children are used to entertainment while testing as well as while learning. Quizzes are often given via computer with sound effects and cartoons. Standardized tests fall way short of the way children learn, thanks to Sesame Street etc. I can't knock anything that encourages learning but the tests need to take that into account.  

            An easily distracted child can't focus and keep moving during a long test in which the teacher can't say anything to anyone.
            A low scoring reader often can't read the story problems or the directions for answering.  Some children can oral test twice as high as they score on paper.  As someone commented, "everyone has their weaknesses" but there are no allowances for children with weaknesses in standardized testing and therein lies the crux of the matter with testing as the answer for anything except what was the child able to answer on the test.

             

        •  Algebra should not be considered (19+ / 0-)

          a basic skill.  Seriously.  99% of the population has ne need for that shit.

          "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

          by CJB on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:05:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is a basic skill (18+ / 0-)

            That doesn't mean preschool teachers should lose their jobs if they can't do it.  But the proposition seems worth thinking about, if the best we can say for the queen of the sciences is "that shit", and student's attitudes toward science and mathematics are formed from a very early age.  Little kids pick up a lot, and one of the things they may very will pick up -- from teachers who learned to hate and fear mathematics, instead of treating it like another liberal art, because they were sorted on a frankly abusive scale designed to emphasize the narrowest (or purest) kind of mathematical talent -- is that it is useless crap of no use in daily life.  Very little except eating and acquiring and avoiding violence are needful in daily life.  Mathematics education, like all education, is a gift.  A shame your experiences have led you to contempt.

            As a practical matter, consider the kind of society we'd have if a generation grew up without the ability to analyze a system of differential equations or think analytically about probability or consider the space defined by imaginary numbers.  Whether or not you are lucky enough to get to do that kind of work for your day job, the fact the dude or dudette in charge had to at least get through diffeq means that they understand, when the engineer says "this bridge will end up like galloping gertie" or they have to listen.  

            But that's just the practical side.  Mathematics is a window on the world, one of the best we have.  And like poetry, you may not use it in your day job, but your life is richer for it.  

            ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

            by jessical on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:48:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bunk (31+ / 0-)

              I haven't known a single thing about algebra since my sophomore year in high school. To be frank, I'm not even sure what algebra is. I have two college degrees, got the highest score in my college on the graduate record exam, and was voted outstanding senior. I have had writing and photography published all over the world, organized countless events and projects, and helping win numerous political campaigns.

              I could not do the first problem in Algebra 101.

              Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

              by anastasia p on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:56:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I took each Algebra, I and II, twice. (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tool, RudiB, chimene, zenbassoon, k9disc, sethtriggs

                Once during the school year and once during the summer. But I got straight As in plane geometry.

                It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

                by Desert Rose on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:04:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  what something is good for... (7+ / 0-)

                ...is up to you.  Not what others say about you.

                It makes you no less a person or competent in the world, to not know something.  There are many areas each of us doesn't know about, would be lost in, and many of them are very beautiful and interesting.  But the loss is yours (or mine), not some inherent failure of the subject matter.

                ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                by jessical on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:41:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It makes as much sense to force 90% of (12+ / 0-)

                  kids to learn algebra as it would to force them to learn to  create their own algorithms.

                  Judging a preschool teacher on his algebra skills makes less sense than judging a heart surgeon on her auto repair skills.

                  "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                  by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:07:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  basic skills need to be adequate (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  flitedocnm, zenbassoon

                  to meet and successfully perform the requirements of the job.  

                  I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                  by dkmich on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:25:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is the DUMBEST IDEA I HAVE EVER HEARD!!! (2+ / 0-)

                    And that is what is wrong with America today! To be an informed, functional adult you should have basic skills in all areas of eduction including reading, writing, math, and science!!! And the minimum in math is ALGEBRA. I have worked construction most of my life but took some detours through lumberyard management and others. Everywhere I worked, I needed algebra and geometry. Once you have the basics down, then and only then can you start to specialize into your area of interest.

                    IF WE HAD AN EDUCATED POPULACE  WE MIGHT HAVE AN EDUCATED ELECTORATE AND THEN THE TEA PARTY WOULD NOT EXIST!!!

                    Yes, I worked with "carpenters" that did not know anything more than how to drive a nail, but they were useless! Most were replaced by the NAIL GUN!!! To function as a carpenter you need to know how to calculate run and rise in stairs, how to calculate rafter lengths, etc. and those require algebra and geometry (mostly triangles).

                    I really do not know how any ADULT can function without the basics of a college degree that should include basic math like ALGEBRA!!!

              •  You use algebra every day of your life. It is a (27+ / 0-)

                way to solve problems, nothing more or less. If you think you don't understand it or can't use it, you did not have a very good teacher. But we spend half of our lives finding "x" without even being aware that we are doing it.

                And it is a crying shame that it is taught as if it were a foreign language that needs to be memorized instead of the simple problem solving tool that we all use, even if we are unaware that we are doing so.

                •  Academic vs. practical math (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  goodpractice, BMScott, Susan from 29, Tool

                  The kind of algebra that's tested in school, and taught in school, is academic.  It's useful for professional mathematicians and it's easy to test.  But it's far removed from anyone's everday experience.

                  I for one can design complicated spreadsheets doing mathematical modeling of businesses, which I suspect involves algebra by your definition (cells are variables, of course).  And I have good expert credentials in my particular field of engineering.  But I probably couldn't pass a high school algebra test.  Because most of that is not part of everyday life.  And because I know what I know and know what I don't know, I let the math whizzes I know (and I know a lot of them) worry about the academic math.  I can apply it, and apply it in ways that most math whizzes couldn't.  

                  So while I do wish our math education were better (and I would have then been able to pass more tests, all those decades ago), what the educational establishment knows as algebra is as relevant to preschool education as chicken filleting is to an airplane pilot.

                  •  When I was taught Algebra in high school, it was (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    elfling, sethtriggs, Tool, aimeehs, acornweb

                    explained on a more practical basis, and that is probably what has made all the difference. The class I attended, and it was a experimental class, was conducted by an algebra textbook author and was designed to introduce us to algebra as a tool. This was in 1964.

                    I have since taken college level classes (late 1980s) that were wildly different in the way the instruction is given, more memorization and less understanding of the application of the formulas. I did well in the classes, but only because of the confidence and understanding I gained while a freshman in high school.

                  •  It teaches higher order thinking skills (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    acornweb

                    Which are much more important than vocational skills.

                    Most of what people need to learn for a job, they learn on the job.  The purpose of a good education is to make sure they are able to quickly pick up new skills.

                    We want to build cyber magicians!

                    by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:03:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You are so wrong, K S LaVida. (0+ / 0-)

                    No you should not have to test after being in the field, but my must have basic algebra as a requirement of a college degree! You know and use algebra all of the time because you learned it in high school or junior high. That is all we are saying is that teachers must have College Algebra to graduate with a degree!!! This is a life skill that helps in so many ways that people do not recognize. Algebra one in high school was our first introduction to logic in most cases and logical problem solving is derived from this type of knowledge. I just today was looking at a purchase from a deli counter and the price of an item looked wrong. Unfortunately the packaging only showed two variables but the saving grace for me was that I could SOLVE FOR THE MISSING VARIABLE TO CHECK WHAT I SAW AS THE PRICE PER POUND ON THE ITEM IN THE COUNTER! Nothing serious or life changing, but I would have been questioning in the back of my mind whether I had been ripped off for a while today without this basic skill. I am sixty years old and I have used algebra nearly every day of my life since seventh grade when I moved from basic math to algebra! ALGEBRA TEACHES LOGIC AND LOGIC IS A FOUNDATIONAL SKILL OF ANY EDUCATED PERSON.

                    •  College algebra is something else (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      CJB

                      I never took algebra in college.  I avoided academic math; it was not my field.  I am however very numerate.  With no college math and only a bare minimum of high school math, I have been able to do complex business and technical work.  The stuff they do in school is there to break the spirit of all but the hardest-core math geeks, not to help people with practical skills.  So today I wrote this formula in Exce:
                      =IF(CH37>0,CH37*$O175*$E175+SUM(BW37:CG37)/11*$O175*$F175,"")
                      Now I suppose that's algebra, but it's not the stuff you need to pass a test in school.  And while it is highly relevant to my work, it is utterly irrelevant to a preschool teacher. For the preschool teacher, algebra, or what you  might call being an "educated person", is merely an initiation ritual, a kind of in-group hazing.  If you had to go through a frat initiation, then by gum the incoming freshmen aren't going to get a free ride either, rules or no rules.

              •  Great (0+ / 0-)

                If you decide to get a job as a teacher, studying to pass a basic algebra test should be no problem with your list of other accomplishments.

                (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 04:54:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  For whatever it's worth (5+ / 0-)

                today, algebra is expected to be passed in 8th or 9th grade, and it is required for high school graduation in California and I think most states.

                The skills we expect of kids today have gotten quite a bit more challenging.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:15:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Algebra isn't the point per se. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                acornweb, Beelzebubs Brass Bs

                If you can do algebra, it shows that you can think in terms of abstractions.  I couldn't remember any algebra right now at gun point.  But give me a few days to reacquaint myself with it, and I could do a credible job, even 50 years after my last algebra class.   So much of education is like that:  who actually "needs" to know about the Euphrates, about the chemical makeup of water, about the subjunctive verb in Spanish? If learning and the capacity to think are based solely on what we think we need and what we will certainly forget, then we're no longer talking about education.

              •  wow (0+ / 0-)

                and those writings were published using technology that is based on math.

                wow.

                the willful ignorance of this thread, to make point, is amazing.

              •  Either you're lying or your college was seriously (0+ / 0-)

                bad.

                I haven't known a single thing about algebra since my sophomore year in high school. To be frank, I'm not even sure what algebra is. I have two college degrees, got the highest score in my college on the graduate record exam,
                Here's ETS on the math section of the GRE - https://www.ets.org/...
                The following content descriptions may assist students in preparing for the test. The percents given are estimates; actual percents will vary somewhat from one edition of the test to another.

                CALCULUS — 50%

                Material learned in the usual sequence of elementary calculus courses — differential and integral calculus of one and of several variables — includes calculus-based applications and connections with coordinate geometry, trigonometry, differential equations and other branches of mathematics.

                ALGEBRA — 25%

                Elementary algebra: basic algebraic techniques and manipulations acquired in high school and used throughout mathematics
                Linear algebra: matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, vector spaces, linear transformations, characteristic polynomials and eigenvalues and eigenvectors
                Abstract algebra and number theory: elementary topics from group theory, theory of rings and modules, field theory and number theory
                ADDITIONAL TOPICS — 25%

                Introductory real analysis: sequences and series of numbers and functions, continuity, differentiability and integrability, and elementary topology of R and Rn
                Discrete mathematics: logic, set theory, combinatorics, graph theory and algorithms
                Other topics: general topology, geometry, complex variables, probability and statistics, and numerical analysis

                And you got your school's highest score without knowing anything about algebra?
                •  Ah... that's the math subject test (0+ / 0-)

                  Here's the general test -  https://www.ets.org/...

                  The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:

                  understand quantitative information
                  interpret and analyze quantitative information
                  solve problems using mathematical models
                  apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data interpretation
                  includes real-life scenarios

                  You still need algebra.
            •  Please read Howard Gardner. & his research (21+ / 0-)

              on multiple intelligences. Having spent 3 years specifically in a special needs preschool I can attest that knowing algebraic expressions in no way impacted the success of the students I worked with. Math is important but each person had their strengths & weaknesses. To say that we all need to be proficient in a given skill demonstrates a lack of understanding in pedagogy & the different skill sets we need to make students succeed.

              Let's have all the math teachers teach English & all the preschool teachers teach college. Make sense?  

              “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

              by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:05:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  of course it makes sense (8+ / 0-)

                As I said in the comment, or tried to say (and said badly) -- math is taught in a way that rewards a fairly narrow band of talent and ignores the styles of thinking and approaches which don't stand and deliver in the culture of the discipline.  Which is, in many ways -- to my way of thinking anyway -- foolish and abusive.

                But it does seem to me that we make much of different styles of learning to lick our wounds when the available formal instruction pees on people like us, whatever "like us" may mean.  Probably a lot of people would still be like the commenters above, who describe math as useless.  But a whole lot more people could access it if we taught it differently.  

                ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                by jessical on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:45:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are wrong. Good thing you don't do career (8+ / 0-)

                  counseling.  

                  Everyone is not created equal, and what their talents and interests are, not Bill Gates need for worker clones, is what should determine their career path and goals.  

                  This is all about money.  When the teachers, kids, and parents can give Obama as much money as Bill Gates, then they'll have a voice.     Obama, Duncan and Gates stuck the schools with MS training model, which subsequently failed in MS and was discontinued by MS.   This is about corporate greed just like everything else the politicians do.      

                  I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                  by dkmich on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:33:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You didn't really read what I said, did you? (7+ / 0-)

                    Mathematics is a liberal art -- a very old liberal art -- and a part of the kit of things a person can take from an education, a lens with which to understand the world.  You may not like it and you will probably do just fine without it.  But to me a basic skill  is  about being a person on the planet and trying to understand our time here and the nature of the place.  

                    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                    by jessical on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:43:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  no you are wrong (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    acornweb, jessical

                    if kids are asked to do algebra, teachers should be able to do what they are doing, or be able to quickly look it up and do it.

                    same with every parent in america.

                    the fact that you are saying this idiocy about K-12 teachers not needing basic math skills is proof of the failed american education system.

                  •  And this is why a high school deploma is useless. (0+ / 0-)

                    Now we have college degrees that are useless! If the science guys are required to do English Composition and also take American Lit and/or English Lit to graduate, then why can someone graduate with a College degree without College Algebra? All of the above are BASIC SKILLS OF AN EDUCATED PERSON! And this is not too much to ask of our teaching colleges!!! No wonder my kids were SMARTER than most of their teachers in k-12 grades! I demanded that they take those basic courses in high school. And I tutored them as well while I made sure that they were doing the homework!

                    I graduated high school in 1971 at seventeen years old. I finally got to go to college at 48yo and earned both a BS and an MS in Information Science and Technology. I raised two children in between and they both are educated functioning adults, but too many I know of their age are basically illiterate!!! This is what is wrong with education today!!! The best thing we could do is look up and implement the Curriculum of Catholic schools from 1925!!! That would give us an icredible education system and a high school degree would get you a skilled job! I knew a machinist turned farmer who was twenty years older than me who had a high school degree from a Catholic High School and he made me feel dumb at times!

                  •  dkmich: Bill Gates is retired. He has no need (0+ / 0-)

                    for workers or clones.  Your comment shows a strong bias.

              •  I've read and utilized Gardner (9+ / 0-)

                for years as a teacher. I'm also not suggesting preschool teachers use algebra in their job--although they probably do without realizing it.

                I AM asserting that all teachers should demonstrate a level of knowledge above what your average Joe has because they are all in business of EDUCATION. I guess I believe in well-rounded teachers as it will let them relate to a wide variety of students. If I'm only a literary snob, how can I relate to kids who are math or science snobs? I want educators to be the cream of the crop, not the mediocre. Can one test assess that? Hell no. But I don't want my own kids in the classroom of a dolt, either.

                •  The problem is with your definition of (12+ / 0-)

                  well-rounded and the criteria you are ascribing to it. As an educator I can implement advanced behavior treatments, write IEP's, perform functional behavioral assessments, create lessons that differentiate across grade levels & functioning levels of typical & special needs children, address visual learner, kinetic learners, & other modalities through practices. I can perform logic problems & have no problem doing basic math & geometry. I can create history lesson or do basic chemistry experiments & have the children explore the concepts on different levels.

                  Know what I can't do? I can't do basic algebra.

                  I agree teachers should be well rounded but the criteria that that one skill should discount all the others is flawed.

                  “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                  by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:15:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Right on the money. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tool

                    http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

                    by DAISHI on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:23:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I totally get what you're saying (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BMScott, emal, Tool, aimeehs, acornweb

                    I agree with 99 percent of it. I'm not even truly advocating for a test to be the deciding factor in teacher training/licensure. What I am in favor of, 100%, is a revamping of teacher prep programs. I'm tired of working, at the middle and high school levels, with teachers and administrators who are dumb as a box of rocks. It speaks poorly of those of us in the profession, who are dedicated and competent.

                  •  how did you graduate from college? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    acornweb

                    my undergrad english major required algebra through calculus.

                    are you able to look it up to remember how to do the basic algebra?

                  •  How can you do geometry? (0+ / 0-)

                    No school that I have ever heard of lets you jump to geometry without an algebra class first! And how do you define basic math? The triumvirate of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are the foundations of teaching logic and logical problem solving! Those all should be completed in high school if you are going to college FOR ANY DEGREE! Just like Biology is a minimum for a high school degree, the triumvirate of biology, chemistry, and physics should be taken in high school for college bound students! AND I DON'T MEAN SKIPPING OUT OF BIOLOGY FOR BIBLICAL REASONS!!!

                    Any adult should be able to take a three variable situation and when given values of two variables should be able to solve for the third variable and get it correct. That is basic algebra! Any adult should be aware of what a number raised to a higher power means. Every adult should be aware of what binary numbers are -- maybe not work with them, but know they exist and why! Same for logarithms. We don't use different based numbers daily, but a basic education should let you know that they are possible and sometimes useful in other fields!

                    •  By the way.... (0+ / 0-)

                      Sister Mary Margaret would have taken a yard stick to my knuckles if she popped a question in class at me and I could not answer those questions in EIGHTH GRADE back in the sixties! And we had to learn Latin as well.

              •  There is absolutely no evidence for MI (0+ / 0-)

                As en educator that myth has bugged me for years. And we keep perpetuating it. GRRRR.

              •  And this is why teachers need to have basic (0+ / 0-)

                mathematical skills...

                Please read Howard Gardner. & his research (21+ / 0-)
                on multiple intelligences.
                Because if you did, you would have seen that Gardner basically presented a feel good theory with no empirical evidence for its correctness.

                It's nice to think that everyone can excel at something so all of our children can be above average, but real life does not seem to work that way.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                The theory has been widely criticized by mainstream psychology for its lack of empirical evidence, and its dependence on subjective judgement
                Some criticisms arise from the fact that Gardner has not provided a test of his multiple intelligences.
                OUCHY!  If he didn't have a test then how did he determine the accuracy of his claim that there were 8 different intelligences rather than just different expressions of a single g factor?  Simple answer: He didn't.
                According to a 2006 study many of Gardner's "intelligences" correlate with the g factor, supporting the idea of a single dominant type of intelligence. According to the study, each of the domains proposed by Gardner involved a blend of g, of cognitive abilities other than g, and, in some cases, of non-cognitive abilities or of personality characteristics.[33]
                To date there have been no published studies that offer evidence of the validity of the multiple intelligences. In 1994 Sternberg reported finding no empirical studies. In 2000 Allix reported finding no empirical validating studies, and at that time Gardner and Connell conceded that there was "little hard evidence for MI theory" (2000, p. 292). In 2004 Sternberg and Grigerenko stated that there were no validating studies for multiple intelligences, and in 2004 Gardner asserted that he would be "delighted were such evidence to accrue",[35] and admitted that "MI theory has few enthusiasts among psychometricians or others of a traditional psychological background" because they require "psychometric or experimental evidence that allows one to prove the existence of the several intelligences."
                Math is hard, but the logical thinking it trains you in teaches you how to reject feel good bullshit.

                Oh... and as for the use of Gardner's theories in education....

                In spite of its lack of general acceptance in the psychological community, Gardner's theory has been adopted by many schools, where it is often used to underpin discussion about learning styles,[46] and hundreds of books have been written about its applications in education.[47] Gardner himself has said he is "uneasy" with the way his theory has been used in education.[48]
                I hope your general lack of basic mathematical skills has not resulted in your applying this MI nonsense in your teaching.
            •  How many people, successful citizens, use Algebra (9+ / 0-)

              as a basic skill in their lives on a daily basis?  How many jobs require utilization of algebraic equations and computations on a regular basis?  Does your job do so?  Mine, my family members', my friends', and the overwhelming majority of my co-workers' jobs don't and never have.  Computers and calculators seem to take care of those infrequent occasions when those functions are needed, quite nicely, quickly and efficiently.  Our contributions to solving those problems needing that type of math is pretty much non-existent.   Unless I am re-incarnated as a math or science specialist in my next life, I doubt that I ever will require basic knowledge of Algebra to be quite successful in life.

              How many of our elected officials could pass an Algebra (or any other) state standards test in Math, Science, Social Studies, and Reading?  If they cannot even comprehend the concepts of climate change, economic equity, and the need for basic health care coverage for all people, how the heck can they command even a glimmer of understanding of Algebraic and other higher-leveler critical thinking skills?

              Perhaps our society's definition of a "basic" skill needs to undergo a drastic re-evaluation.

              •  I don't use algebra, but I use geometry (6+ / 0-)

                all the time!

                “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 27, 2014 at 11:36:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  actually (11+ / 0-)

                I am a C/C++ programming in extremely practical contexts, so I do use math daily, but not terribly interesting math for the most part.   The basics of algebra are a given necessity.   I'd like to do modeling, but that would be money and time I don't have for a graduate degree.  In modeling I use mathematica and matlab a lot.  Neither of those tools obviates a necessity for understanding.  Indeed, they are very fine tools for figuring out how systems which are mindboggingly tedious to think about will behave.  But for me the relationship between math and dinner is pretty direct.  As I am an aging trans woman of uncertain social skill, it isn't like I have the option of a job in retail, even if I wanted one (and I've been desperate enough! But you either want the specialized skill set or the human package is something you want out of your building, stat).

                Maybe I shouldn't have said "basic skill" -- though algebra and trig are pretty darn basic, problems you encounter as soon as you render a problem quantitative.   My position is that even if it takes you 10 times as long to work the problem, we should teach people to be happy with their process and detail oriented enough to keep it square to the end, instead of washing them out and making them hate math.   If we did that, many of the more sophisticated relationships in applied mathematics would be open to more people.  And it really is a cool window on the world, a world defined in large part by the stability of systems of differential change.

                ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                by jessical on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:56:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  my, that sounds interesting: (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zenbassoon, jessical, awcomeon
                  problems you encounter as soon as you render a problem quantitative
                  that is something I NEVER encountered in a higher-than-arithmetic math class. Just rote trick-solving (algebra) (which was fun, but I think I have a head for images & some kinds of patterns)

                  Trig proofs were sort of nonsensical... copying out the steps they were showing you, by rote again. (that was trig, yes?)

                  Geometry was kinda fun because you got to actually draw things out  & measure angles & stuff.

                  Calculus. OY! I tried that in college. Made a very stupid mistake & took both tries from the same (cute, cute accent) instructor. I could follow what he was doing on the board, while he was doing it, but on my own? Don't make me laugh. My DH understands it and thinks it's important and can do it, but can't explain to me really what it's for (or my brain can't even hold the explanation, much less how to do it!)

                  A couple of years ago we got the home-schooled anti-academics kid through the first half of a college Algebra I textbook, but he balked terminally because, while he could figure out the tricksy-s, he also couldn't see the point. Drove his father batty (Dad is a woodworker and builds stuff all the time; uses algebra & geometry if not daily, then weekly for practical stuff.)

                  "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

                  by chimene on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:03:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  In a sense, many of use very basic algebra (5+ / 0-)

                all the time.

                Time rate distance problems and the like.

                The vast majority of us really just don't use much learned past pre-algebra, though.

                "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:09:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I = prt (5+ / 0-)

                When it comes to finances, you WILL have problems if you don't understand that piece of "basic algebra."

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:45:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Higher order thinking skills are important (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                acornweb

                Algebra isn't important.  Developing the higher order thinking skills that allow one to think algebraically are.

                We want to build cyber magicians!

                by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:13:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But developmentally, those skills do not develop (0+ / 0-)

                  until around 7th-8th grade at the earliest.

                  You can't teach algebra any earlier and be successful.

                  "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                  by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:18:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then why is it taught earlier in other countries? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    acornweb

                    By essentially treating basic arithmetic as pre-pre-algebra kids can be eased into algebraic thinking at earlier ages.  

                     

                    We want to build cyber magicians!

                    by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:46:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Hell, it was taught earlier 100 years ago in the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    acornweb

                    US.

                    I found a 7th grade math exam from 1910 on the net somewhere and it was a shocker.  I'll see if I can find it again.  I don't think there's any question that educational standards in the US have atrophied while other developed nations have improved theirs.

                    We want to build cyber magicians!

                    by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:48:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  My seven-year-old son was solving single-variable (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    acornweb

                    algebra problems in his head while I drove him home 35 miles in the dark. I brought it up to keep him occupied and me awake.

                    Also easily picked up exponents and roots, although we had to stick with relatively simple numbers since we didn't have a calculator for him to use. He understood positive/negative roots, absolute value, inequalities, and could prove it through solving basic equations - again, in his head.

                    He hasn't gone on to do anything with math, though. He's a performer, and a very talented one.

                  •  But developmentally, those skills do not develop.. (0+ / 0-)

                       I know a retired elementary teacher who taught algebra to first to fourth graders very successfully.

                    And, to some degree, she was successful with a middle aged woman who loathed algebra her entire life.

                •  I learned (0+ / 0-)

                  I=PRT long before algebra.  I think it was in 6th grade, and, if that's algebra, it's the only useful thing I ever learned about the subject.  Haven't had to solve a quadratic equation in my life---outside of algebra class.

              •  I use it every single day (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority, acornweb

                Not in my job, but in the kitchen, adjusting the calorie and nutritional counts of recipes, or changing the resulting serving sizes.

                Anyone who has gone on a serious diet that includes scanning the nutrition facts box has probably done some basic algebra whether they realized it or not.

                Example: The serving portion for a bag of frozen veggies is 2.5 for some dumb reason.  I usually split it into four portions.  That means I have to translate that 2.5 servings into four servings, and reduce the calories, fat, and protein/carbs for each serving size appropriately.  

                How is that done? Basic 8th grade algebra.

                The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

                by catwho on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:40:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  interesting you wrote this using technology (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                acornweb

                that is based on math.

              •  I would have just "liked" this commnet, (0+ / 0-)

                but 24 hours have elapsed and I can't.  It means enough to me to leave a comment to tell you that I wholeheartedly concur, awcomeon.  I concur completely, deeply and with a ton more cowbell.

                "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

                by CJB on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:41:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  As an public accountant, I used algebra equations (0+ / 0-)

                I created to find the answers to how much interest someone was paying on a loan, or conversely how long a loan at certain interest would run, or having only monthly payment figures and a pay off date, I could figure the original principal  etc.

                Solving for X was simple or complicated, depending on what other info, I had.  Applying the "rule of eights" used by banks to find interest owed, to the penny was another use for algebra.  

                Simply put, any time you need a figure and don't have it, you can presumably find it by applying what you have into an algebraic equation and solving it.  I've taught so many posting clerks and secretaries how to do elementary algebra, I wish I had a dollar for each one.  Some wrote me to thank me for skills which landed them a higher paying, more responsible job.  I consider it a necessary life skill.

            •  Statistics yes, algebra no (8+ / 0-)

              I have a background in science and spent most of my career in education. Basic algebra concepts are useful (understanding the concept of an unknown and simple formulas) but people have no need to factor a polynomial, let alone analyzing a system of differential equations.

              Being able to think analytically about probability is a basic skill for teachers and many others, as well as a conceptual understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics.

            •  The tiny minority of people who simply (7+ / 0-)

              love devoting themselves to mathematics have conned most of the rest of us into granting them sinecures teaching students to hate learning.

              The majority of kids come out of high school algebra with less love of learning than they went in with.  It doesn't open broad new vistas, it bores them and frustrates them and leads them to see the entire public education system as a pointless babysitting exercise they have to suffer through until the can escape and get to real life.

              Pretending that engineers would be unable to learn it if the majority of kids weren't forced to suffer through it, pretending that the narrowly-focused math obsessed oddities offer special insight in the human condition that mere mortals lack?

              Pretending that forcing kids to muddle through quadratics will somehow improve their critical thinking skills?

              The evidence simply doesn't bear it out.  

              "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

              by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:01:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BMScott, elfling, aimeehs, lotlizard, acornweb

                It's pretty badly taught.  But you make my arguments out as straw men pretty quickly.  Very very few people get to do pure mathematics, and even fewer have raw talent for it.  The whole educational system is keyed to using math to cultivate the very few, and using it to wash out the dilligent who can get through the application and a little bit of proof but who aspire to other goals.  So the survivors hold it out as a bloody badge, and a beautiful discipline is lost to most people.

                I would guess most folks disagree, but what if it wasn't taught muddle through style with a high stakes test halfway through to wash out the bad 'uns?  What if you had all the time you needed, and the only requirement was that you get through it?  Or we took into account the fact that math is detailed and hard, especially for the first round of exposure to a subject (and perhaps the second) and took it out of the grading system until people had their feet under them?  What if we taught the basic algebra and trig skills as a piece, not strung out over years of high school?

                Not everyone needs it, but everyone deserves a chance at it, a fair chance, not deeply tainted by disgust at something which we've used in our struggle to understand the world for the last three thousand years.  

                Mileage varies.

                ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                by jessical on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:57:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Naked prejudice. Don’t think so? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elfling, OrganicChemist, aimeehs

                Try substituting English literature for mathematics.  Or biology.  Or almost any other subject.  Mutatis mutandis one can make pretty much the same arguments.

                By all means complain about poor teaching; mathematics is often poorly taught in the primary and secondary grades.  There are also good cases to be made for changing the requirements.  E.g., for a great many students — quite possibly most — some basic statistics would be more useful than anything else beyond basic algebra.  But your language suggests a more fundamental objection that should be unacceptable to anyone who thinks that there’s more to a real education than job training.

              •  hmmm embracing ignorance is so 1930s (0+ / 0-)
            •  We'll just have to (4+ / 0-)

              agree to disagree on this one.  Nothing in my life is enhanced by me, personally, knowing anything about algebra.  

              "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

              by CJB on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:44:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Imagine what society would be like if (4+ / 0-)

              a generation of society grew up without any understanding of history, communication, or critical thinking skills. Whether or not you are lucky enough to get to do that kind of work for your day job, the fact the dude or dudette in charge had to at least get through History 101 means that they understand, when the politicians and business people says,"less taxes and less regulation will make the United States wealthy."

              And we're getting a chance to see this right now.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:47:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's required to get any 4 year degree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            acornweb

            Most of what you learn in college you have no need for.  It's there to prove you know how to think and how to learn.

            We want to build cyber magicians!

            by VelvetElvis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:58:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have a four year degree. (0+ / 0-)

              I took algebra.  It was a waste of my time.

              "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

              by CJB on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:43:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And, if I may bastardize slightly: (0+ / 0-)

              "Most of what you learn is there to prove you know how ... to learn." is EXACTLY what is wrong with our entire educational system.  EXACTLY.

              "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

              by CJB on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:47:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  really? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            acornweb

            and you are piping in here on an education related diary and 19 people recommended this comment?

            i thought democrats had the smart people.

            so then we should just stop teaching algebra, and everything else after algebra (trigonometry, calculus, etc) because you don't have any use for it in your job or your life?

            you do realize everything in technology is based on math right? your mobile phone is based on math. your computer. etc.

            wow.

            •  Ah yes, (0+ / 0-)

              assume that anyone who doesn't agree with you is stupid...  

              "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

              by CJB on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:38:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  fair enough (0+ / 0-)

                my comment could have been  fine without the "smart people" comment....

                i noticed however that you avoided the question.

                society has no need for math? and you say this while using a computer to write it? wow.

                •  Saying (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MaryAskew

                  "algebra is a waste of time" does not translate into "society doesn't need math."  I did not say "society doesn't need math."  You made that up.

                  "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

                  by CJB on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  the extrapolation seemed obvious (0+ / 0-)

                    so then algebra is NOT a "waste of time" to society and you support teachers understanding the same basic math that K-6 students are asked to understand. and which these teachers once knew to get a college degree....

                    I'm glad we now agree on that (except you have little use for it in your daily life)... got it.

                    i realized i let emotions enter my writing. i don't like when i get personal or snarky. sorry about that.

                    the thing on this topic that gets me is: it seems that some people put logic on hold in order to defend their issue or constituency, in this case teachers....

                    teachers complaining about standardized testing boggles my mind. i ask myself how this can be?

                    how else do policy makers determine baseline for students and teachers?

                    sounds job protectionist to me over education of the kids and that makes me mad.

                    •  Actually, no, we don't agree. (0+ / 0-)

                      Nor do we need to.  

                      Be well.  Do good.  carry on.

                      "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

                      by CJB on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:18:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  The extrapolation seemed obvious (0+ / 0-)

                       Defending standardized testing boggles my mind.
                       The testing industry grows richer and richer simply because we won't give all kids the resources that private schools give their students: The most significant one being low student/teacher ratios.

                          There is a reason that the wealthy send their kids to private schools: low student/teacher ratios enable more learning regardless of the child's natural aptitude. It is a huge educational advantage to have teachers who have enough time with their pupils especially when the child is struggling.

                         Policy makers who avoid this reality are not competent to make decisions about public education.

                      •  non sequitur (0+ / 0-)

                        but the comment about teacher/student ratio is 100% valid. I think public schools should adopt the alternative teaching methods that work and flush direct instruction once and for all, especially at poor schools. follow the student would solve SO many problems. like Montessori.

                        I support teachers unions but these arguments against testing are wrong...

                        what's your solution for poor/failing schools? besides changing our fucked up society run by billionaires who want serfs. we need smart people to stop the run amok billionaires.

        •  I was a professional too (14+ / 0-)

          I was a systems administrator specializing in networks and security.

          According to your logic, I should be able to pass a test on database technology, or troubleshoot your pc issues just to call myself a professional.

          Being a professional doesn't mean you have to know everything from every possible specialty of your profession.

          It would be interesting if the math teachers had to pass a music or history test.

        •  Why is David Boise (8+ / 0-)

          such a successful and well regarded lawyer? He has dyslexia, doesn't read fluently and has trouble recalling details. Cf. http://dyslexia.yale.edu/...

          There is not a single test for success in the legal profession, or in the teaching profession. Empathy for each student is infinitely more important than math skill, unless perhaps you are a math teacher, in which case I hope you possess both! BTW, I have taught algebra and think its generally important. But if a student has trouble with it, she is not doomed. I've had many students who are math phobes and who are nonetheless quite successful. If would not have helped their chances for success if I had beaten them up for their struggles with algebra.

          Did you ver notice how har it is totype accurately on an iPad?

          by RudiB on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:31:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now they're telling us that successful teaching (8+ / 0-)

            is about forming relationships with students.  That takes time and those who teach 2 years to pad their resumes only to move on to bigger and better things are not concerned with relationships.

            “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 27, 2014 at 11:38:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, relationships are important (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiclady, zenbassoon, elfling

              whether you are a sub (as I once was) or a regular (which I also was). When I subbed, I knew that I had about as much time to find rapport with my audience as a walk-on performer in a comedy club. Twenty seconds to make them laugh, or I'll die a long agonizing death.

              It was sometimes, "Let me show you a trick." Or, a puzzle. Or, "Let's play a game" which would become the basis for a discussion in which youh voice about an important topic was the main point.

              Working with the same kids all year affords the opportunity for deeper relationships to develop. But we have to be quite intentional about it. And if we just have a day, make it a day to be remembered.

              Did you ver notice how har it is totype accurately on an iPad?

              by RudiB on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:40:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  basic skills relevant to what??? (6+ / 0-)

          basic skills for a plumber are totally different than basic skills for an electrician.    basic skills for pre-k thru 5 are totally different than basic skills for middle or high school.  

          We should ALL have a basic understanding of what constitutes basic skills for what.

          I will not vote for Hillary. What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

          by dkmich on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:19:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry but that is why we are looking to basic core (0+ / 0-)

            Unfortunately that is being implemented totally wrong, but the idea behind it is foundational.

            Every grade of elementary school should be building the base for the next grade and we should all as a nation be on the same progression, however they twisted basic core to be TOO EXACTING and put in a bunch of garbage to boot. That does not invalidate the idea that schools should build skill sets that grow through the life of the education to the first degree we get ie a high school degree.

            And yes we should have a universal set of basic requirements for ALL COLLEGE DEGREES! No one should get a four year degree without College Algebra or Pre Calc at a minimum. Sorry but anything less is WATERING DOWN THE VALUE OF ALL DEGREES and is destroying education!

        •  Its more important to have continuing education (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon, sethtriggs

          for teachers and students than any one right of passage test.

          Now the comparative scoring doesn't bother me. If you are a gamer you realize that even online games now have competitive scoring which can lead to your placement or rejection with groups that evaluate your stats.

          You can always improve your stats by learning how to do things better and you can certainly evaluate according to a bell curve which takes into account poverty, or number of students in a class or any other criteria.

          I'll grant you that good teachers can motivate students to accomplish more than a minimum score but why can't a minimum score be used to call attention to special needs for teachers as well as students and allow teachers a choice of solutions that are based on their particular situation.

          If teachers are in a school where poverty is an issue and things like nutrition are influencing results then that school has special needs and should get help. We wouldn't expect a child that can't walk to perform well at gymnastics but special Olympics make it possible for everyone to be a winner.

          I support the president in recognizing there is a problem and insisting we do something about it no excuses. I'm attracted to people who are good at making decisions. If they happen to make the right one so much the better.

          That's how I think testing ought to work. It ought to measure weigh and judge whether you have been taught how to learn, like the self actualizing class mentioned in the diary, rather than what you have been taught to repeat back by rote.

          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

          by rktect on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:31:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Algebra is NOT a basic skill. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon, sethtriggs

          I was a history teacher. Proficiency in algebra had NOTHING to do with my classroom interaction. There was no need for me to know a single thing about it, other than algebra's roots in Greek and Arabic culture. The requirement is absurd and should be removed immediately.

          Read a preview of Volume One of my book here.

          by Yosef 52 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:50:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Algebra is not a basic skill (0+ / 0-)

          It's not natural to daily life. Asking one person to do algebra is like asking another to write a 40 page paper in Chicago Style on the life of George Washington with 30 citations.

          http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

          by DAISHI on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:19:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is orthogonal to the discussion but (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JanL, sethtriggs, sngmama, Sylv

          one wonders how many legislators and school board members could pass an algebra test.

          I have no problem with it being a requirement going forward, given that algebra is now a requirement for high school graduation. (It wasn't when I was a student.) I'm not sure it benefits kids or schools to impose it on teachers that are already teaching and doing their jobs well. And I say that as someone fluent in algebra who uses it all the time.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:20:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry I disagree, there is no reason why a teacher (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MaryAskew

          who will never have to teach algebra in class should be made to retain his/her knowledge of it. I took algebra, but without a refresher course I could never teach it, its not what my major was, and is not the subject I teach, I teach history. Your way of thinking, the Algebra teacher would have to know history, and believe me its more than 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Many probably don't know much about the real history behind the movie 300, and you expect a math teacher to teach my class, and me, his?

        •  Algebra (0+ / 0-)

          When I was in school, I started Algebra a year early, the '60's version of advanced placement. I don't recall a math related class that I didn't ace.  On my college entrance exams, my composite score was 99% with my best score in math.
          Fast forward 45 years, after completing a college degree and years working in Information Technology. I decided to try to get qualified to be a teacher.  The first step was passing the same test seniors take to graduate high school.  I failed the math portion not once, not twice, but three times.
          Why?  When I was in school, getting the right answer was the goal.  The only time the 'how' mattered was when you didn't get the right answer and the teacher would check the students' 'work' to see where they starting getting off track.  Now, only the 'how' matters.  And wow, how today's students are taught to solve algebra problems is entirely different from the way I was taught.  
          I should have seen it coming when my third grader, who was born when I was 38, came home with math problems and I could not decipher what she was doing.  
          On today's tests, the correct answer is irrelevant.  The test questions seldom get that far. Test questions, all multiple choice, always, are about separate steps, not the solution. That is why teachers have to teach to the test. It is more like a choreographer teaching steps in which each student must memorize the correct steps in the correct order and without skipping steps.
          Gone are the days when a student could skip steps on paper because they had an natural way to solve some parts in their head.  Students today have to be in lock-step to pass all the standardized tests.  No wonder critical thinking is a lost art. It is not only not encouraged, but it is actively discouraged.  Is this the way to raise a generation who will become innovative, imaginative, problem-solving (problems never encountered before) adults?
          I think our education system has veered off in the wrong direction and only experienced classroom teachers, child development experts, and child psychologists can help us back to a truly educated population.
          If I am completely off track, please enlighten me because I am terrified about our country's future.

        •  Passing an algebra test (0+ / 0-)

          I have a Ph.D. in English and spent years teaching MBA students how to write along with cultural differences in international communication.  I'm pretty sure I couldn't pass an algebra test (though I can do statistics).  And I don't see why I should have to either.  Nor why a high school teacher of English or foreign language should have to.

          Yes, I can see why elementary school teachers should have a basic understanding of algebra since some young children start algebra fairly early.  But not teachers who teach a distinct discipline, such as language or literature, history, art, etc.

        •  94% of Americans are Math-PHOBIC! (0+ / 0-)

          My wife was an elementary school teacher, and a damned good one!  I once saw the title phrase of this reply as the lede on the back cover of a book she was reading on the subject of teaching math.  "That's CRAZY!", I said when I saw that, "94%??!!  It CAN'T be THAT high!"

          "Oh, yes, it can," my brilliant (although math-phobic) wife replied (she's in publishing now, and any time the staff is confronted with a math problem, EVERYBODY in the office raises their hand, points to themselves and shouts, "ENGLISH MAJOR!"), "You just don't believe that because you're an Engineer, and you and everyone you work with are among that other 6%."

          Mockingbird - I suspect that you, too, are a 6%-er.

          In my life, I have tried to learn something from EVERYBODY I meet (some only provide negative lessons, but, hey - they're important, too.)  We live in an era of almost insane specialization, where one can make a very good living by knowing more than the next guy about something most people have never even heard of.  I work as a support engineer for an industrial electronics firm, and I spend my days helping people use a product that I understand DEEPLY to do jobs that I often know NOTHING about.

          So, why would you think that in order to teach someone about "A", I must also be well versed in "B"?  Logically, it doesn't follow.

          OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

          by mstaggerlee on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:02:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Dylexia (4+ / 0-)

        She may have the flavor of dyslexia that mixes the numbers up.

        I have trouble with that and I halfway like Math.

        "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

        by Stude Dude on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:23:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dyscalculia (0+ / 0-)

          This would be the form you're looking for - it's not as successfully understood, diagnosed, and treated as dyslexia, in part because it's somewhat less common.

          My best friend has dyscalculia, and although she can pass college maths courses with difficulty, it is a source of much frustration for her. But, curiously enough, it has minimal impact on her current job (bank teller).

          My father-in-law has dyslexia, and was a psychologist until his retirement. My sister-in-law has a learning disability similar to dyspraxia, and is a (very successful) teacher. As far out of school as both are, I feel reasonably confident that neither could pass a college-level algebra exam, but both have the maths skills required to have succeeded in their chosen careers.

      •  The flip side of testing ... (9+ / 0-)

        When I was in graduate school to become a counselor/therapist I had to take a class in statistics.  I am not good at math, so I was intimidated by it.  The teacher was a nice fellow, but a lousy teacher.

        I got an "A" in the class -- all while never grasping any understanding whatsoever about the subject matter.  The reason?  I think it is just that I have a certain skill that was very useful in school:  

        I'm good at taking tests. I have a good feel for them.  I tend to understand the mindset that goes into making tests.  I really think that in a fair number of cases I could take a test on a subject I've had no preparation for, and do better than some people who have worked hard preparing for it, but who don't have the "test-taking" skill.

        Sometimes all a test measures is how good a person is at taking tests.

        And guess what?  I'm considered a really, really excellent therapist, and I have never once used statistics in any of my counselling jobs.

        •  This scares the Heck out of me! (0+ / 0-)

          Do you as a therapist prescribe meds??????

          You cannot possibly read and understand the PDR without a foundation in stats!!! If you are prescribing anti-psychotics, You must know the relative risks of each medication and the statistical probability of each person having a bad reaction based upon their history to be effective! Otherwise you are taking blind shots in a barrel and cheating your patients!

          •  No, I don't. It's not in my qualification ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MaryAskew, Metric Only

            ... nor do I actually have much interest in it being.  That's why I didn't become a psychiatrist.  (I guess I'm old fashioned and still believe there's some benefit to actually talking and working on issues that way.)  I have some general level of knowledge about medications, but when the issue of clients possibly needing them comes up,  I would refer to people who are qualified and licensed in that area.

        •  The flip side of testing..... (0+ / 0-)

              Exactly.

      •  The order in which symbols are written in algebra (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, sethtriggs, samanthab

        is not arbitrary.  If your dyslexic perception starts to rearrange things, it could make trouble.

        Math is highly visual.  I do lots of math, and (by chance) I also read lots of poetry.  I can keep a poem in my head, but not a page of math.  I am not talking about simple algebra, but what used to be called 'higher mathematics'-- such as one needs for electromagnetic theory and quantum mechanics.

        Everything in math bears a specific logical relation to everything else.  Keeping it on a page before you, and seeing it in the right order, is a huge help in working through it.

        Of course there have been prodigies like Euler, who could do elaborate calculations in their heads (uber-calculus type stuff, far beyond anything in arithmetic like long division.)   But Euler could also recite whole of Virgil's Aeneid in Latin, and could remember the page number on which any given passage appeared, in his childhood copy of that poem.

        The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

        by magnetics on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:43:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Someone who does not teach algebra... (0+ / 0-)

        ... should not have to test for it.

        Where is the common sense in any of this?

        When I entered college at age 41 I complained to my new adviser that I didn't think it should be required to take PE - not at my age, or with my English major declared.  I said if someone wanted life experiences for credit they could look at my scrapbook of dancing experience in community and summer theatre since dancing was one of the PE options.  "I'm here to educate my brain, after all, not my body."  He looked over my resume, list of interests, and said it looked like my experience and interests might qualify me for the honors program, in which case I would not be required to take PE.  "Great - sign me up!"  "All you have to do is maintain a 3.2 GPA or higher and you'll stay in the honors program and never have to take PE."  I was on the Dean's List every quarter and always at the magna cum laude or summa cum laude level for GPA.

        I can do basic math, keep ledger books, do statistics, averages, etc., that I learned at various jobs.  I long ago forgot everything I ever learned in Algebra I in high school.  I never used it.  I also never used the bookkeeping I learned in high school.

        Point being, if something is not used post-college years, there's no real need to test for it again.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:16:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dyslexia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Metric Only

        Dyslexia makes algebra hard because algebra is the art of expressing mathematical concepts with formulas that use letters instead of numbers.  Reversing "a" and "b" or "x" and "y" in an algebra formula would in most cases lead to a completely incorrect mathematical answer.  To make matters worse, students usually need to memorize the basic formulas, which would be hard for someone who is dyslexic since they likely are not "seeing" the correct formula in the first place.

      •  I see no need in all teachers passing everything (0+ / 0-)

        They must have basic math skills period but not algebra! Algebra teachers need algebra. Algebra teachers don't have to be able to play musical instruments. Band and orchestra teachers need to play instruments. I'd rather have a teacher who is really good in HIS OR HER FIELD than someone who is just so so.

      •  So how is your friend's algebra phobia related to (0+ / 0-)

        this post?  I am looking for what Obama did so I can write and ask him not to do it, and all I can find is a quite reasonable and well expressed quantitative way to deal with tests.  
        IF you object to teachers and their students having to pass tests, you really should explain how you will evaluate them.

      •  Teaching Elementary is a crappy thankless job (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Metric Only

        That is underpaid and poorly supported, and now they are making it even worse.

    •  Thanks for the excellent work, Zen_bas. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm an engineer and I love math and mathematical models, but this teacher evaluation crap is past appalling.

      The anecdote about students finding and doing their day's assignment, absent the teacher, is also way past cool!

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:33:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you fail to realize is the truth (0+ / 0-)

      It's been decided that our populace is too well educated.
      So, extensive efforts have been undertaken to ensure that does not continue.

      For, an ill educated populace is trivial to control, the well educated populace nearly impossible to control.

  •  in 1974, I changed from an ed degree to (28+ / 0-)

    music performance, because funding for the arts in public schools was disappearing, except for bands, which were needed for football games.  I was a string player.  The Education School at the State school I went to was known for teaching crowd control.  I did not see a future in teaching for a creative person like myself.

    Not to mention the fact that fully 70% of teachers do not teach a tested subject. Like Music teachers, Art teachers, and so on. And yet they too are linked to test scores.
  •  Education schools omit the most important subjects (5+ / 0-)

    Classroom management.

    Teacher preparation by wearing appropriate clothing.

    Control of students.

    These are key subjects. My wife substitutes, after having taught for years. She is very good with classroom managment, which is the key to learning. She often replaces other subs, who often wear VERY inappropriate clothing - revealing clothing for women, overly casual clothing for men.

    50% of new teachers do not last 3 years, or something like that. Something wrong there.

  •  Not to be nitpicky but (20+ / 0-)
    But the Obama administration, and Arne Duncan, who has never spent an hour in front of a classroom, who has never had any teacher training, who has never had any training in child development, has other ideas.
    President Obama was a constitutional law professor at one point at the University of Chicago.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:12:50 AM PDT

  •  Well done (22+ / 0-)

    For some reason my I phone will not let me do recommends on diaries but I wanted you to know how much I appreciated this.   It will be at least until 5 pm and more likely 6 before I am on a computer. Will be driving most of day.  Will try to give recognition when I can

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:16:14 AM PDT

  •  Equations defining teachers remind me of a joke (20+ / 0-)

    about how to write an equation to mathematically define a cow.  

    A complete mathematical definition of a cow is entirely possible.  First you assume a perfectly spherical cow. . . .

  •  Education is just another way to turn a $ today (32+ / 0-)

    Same goes for health care, corrections, "national security," and other formerly public goods.  Teaching our kids is governed by the same imperatives that govern the manufacture and sale of cars.  One party expressly acknowledges that fact, while the other acts that way while pretending otherwise.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:16:55 AM PDT

  •  I disagree in part (14+ / 0-)

    based on watching a very close friend go through a prestigious Ed School program and then do some teaching. The actual teachers were a mixed bag tackling an extremely tough job under tight constraints. You hate to see the corporate wolves go after them, even though there was room for improvement. The Ed School, however, had much more freedom of operation and used it very poorly. The classes were a mixture of self-indulgent tangents and drills in moronic buzz-words. There was almost nothing on the key techniques involved in actual day-to-day teaching.
    I'd much rather see the reformers go after the Ed Schools than after the teachers and their unions. With just a bit of pressure, the curriculum could be made useful. Something as simple as dramatically upping the requirement for class-management courses and for practice teaching with quick evaluation feedback would help a lot. The cost would only be to drop some of the bullshit courses, which would make the whole thing more appealing.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:22:57 AM PDT

    •  As I argue, and as teachers argue, Ed schools need (16+ / 0-)

      more practice teaching, more management courses and practice, and such.

      What the administration wants is test scores test scores and more test scores.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:25:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And how in the world does one (6+ / 0-)

        evaluate an ed school based on the whether students stay in the teaching business?

        I've don't like to call things stupid, but I have to make an exception here.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:53:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  EXACTLY. You want to improve an ed school, (9+ / 0-)

          make it more like med school or law school.

          You don't use the stupid stuff Arne is proposing.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

          by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:55:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Law schools are generally recognized as (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zenbassoon, Sparhawk, poco

            horribly bad.  I'm not sure how bad education schools are, but hopefully they are not such disasters that they could be improved by making them more like law schools.

            •  You need more time (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenbassoon, ladybug53, JesseCW

              In education, you need more time in classrooms. You need more practical experience implementing curriculum.  

              I would say that the level of work in my Teaching program was not what I would have expected for grad level at an expensive private university.  

              I was not, however, disappointed in the things that we learned in the class.  We learned many very practical things in class.

              Think about it as any discipline.  You may earn a degree.  You may pass tests.  When you are in your field, however, you will still be learning which things you learned are actually going to be applicable in your job setting.  You will look up formulas if that is called for.   You will learn the tricks of the trade, and the more nuanced parts of the craft, after you get hired. You will have managers, administrators, and co-workers from who you will learn the things you didn't learn in school.  

              In the field, you get down to the real life, frank discussions about what it takes to survive and thrive in your profession.  

              Given that teacher training is grouped into K-8, and 9-12 (in my state.  there may be other formats for the certification in other states), if you train for elementary education, you are going to experience a vast array of possibilities as you go into the field of teaching.  

              Really, you don't want that fresh faced, energetic kid.  You want someone who has taught long enough that they have experienced a lot of different educational problems and successes.  

              Streichholzschächtelchen

              by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:41:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I learned to use a Whaley gradebook (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon, Tool, otto, ladybug53, sethtriggs

        not through any of the teacher-ed classes I took, but because one of the instructors in one of those classes took pity on the fact that we aspirants were about to go into our student teaching semesters without the foggiest knowledge of how to run a classroom on a day-to-day basis. List the state standards from memory? Oh, hell yeah, we could that - and could seriously analyze some data while critiquing pedagogical theory, too. But maintaining an efficient record-keeping system of attendance and grades for 150+ students? Nope, not part of the curriculum at my "highly regarded" ed school.

    •  ok thatis fair criticism, and one that has been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon

      used regarding med and law schools too. The way we train and educate at all levels is something we should always be looking at, but throwing out training altogether is just a way to further devalue teaching and an excuse to pay them less.

  •  Number One Reason why I retired outside the USA (15+ / 0-)

    with pre-school children was that I could not afford private schools on my savings. With my children attending school in ASEAN, we don't have to worry about this testing disease. Yes, they will face college entrance exams out here, but only when they are 18 years old, and they can skip the SAT.

    I received an excellent public school education in Virginia. I have no idea why the federal and state governments are ruining such a good system. Any possibility I can come up with is rather insulting, so I will not bore you with my opinions.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:41:28 AM PDT

  •  I realize that this comment will be attacked but.. (16+ / 0-)

    The new metrics for teacher's colleges aren't necessarily anti-teacher at all. If they are anything like the new metrics being proposed, for example, for Law Schools, they are meant to give prospective students at the teacher's college a little advance information about how valuable their credential is going to be compared to how much they are paying for it.

    The emphasis on how many student teachers become teachers, and how long they stay in the profession, is critically important if a "teaching certificate" isn't to become a new bubble in the exploding student debt economy.

    •  Have you ever taught? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, SpecialKinFlag, AoT, ladybug53

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:50:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BUT--you can't really use the "how long they stay" (8+ / 0-)

      metric when it comes to teachers. As I've shown, there are just too many variables which CANNOT be quantified.

      And what next? Are they going to force leaving teachers to fill out a form writing in every last tiny detail about why they're leaving?

      Seriously?

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:51:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was an autoworker, (8+ / 0-)

        you would not believe the number of teachers who left their position to become a factory worker.  A couple of the people I worked with were my teachers at one point in time.  It made it awkward for me to decide if I should call them by their surname (Mr/Mrs____) or if I should call them by their given name like I did the rest of my co-workers.  

        One woman who was a former teacher, said she left the profession because the kids were too violent. She had gotten in the middle of a fight with two teenage boys by trying to break it up, only to get hit and injured herself.  

        Another left because teacher pay was too low and surviving on it was hard to do.

        Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

        by prettymeadow on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:18:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites, aimai, zenbassoon

        If 75% of people that go to a particular education school aren't in education 3 years later, it implies that going to that school is a waste of money.

        (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 10:29:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or it implies that the local school districts (7+ / 0-)

          may not pay enough or be bad places to work.  I would say that the majority of our teachers come from the University of MD which is our local state school.   So the majority of teachers who leave are most likely going to be graduates of the University of Maryland.  The choice to leave could have very little to do with their training and more to do with their work environment.  The two largest districts in Maryland are adjacent to each other and to DC.  One of the districts has trouble filling all of their teaching positions and has had to import teachers from the Philippines.  The other has multiple applicants for every position and has to turn applicants away. The first district has a higher rate of teacher turnover than the second one yet both get most of their teachers from UMD.  The discrepancies between the two districts have a lot to do with management, salaries, demographics --all of which make one district a more attractive place to work and one an unattractive place to work.  Teacher turnover has little to do with the teacher training programs in most cases here.

          “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 27, 2014 at 10:53:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zenbassoon
            Teacher turnover has little to do with the teacher training programs in most cases here.
            It doesn't matter the reason. If most people who attend an education training institution aren't in education for long after they graduate (for any reason at all), then attending the institution is probably a waste of money. The fact that it isn't the institution's "fault" doesn't make attending any better of a prospect.

            (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 11:02:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Applicability standard? (6+ / 0-)

              Do you have some arbitrary applicability standard?

              Is there some algorithm you want to use to determine whether or not a particular college program has some sort of absolute value to the economy and culture?  

              I'd guess that English Major would score far below your standard.  

              Compare degrees across disciplines.  There are a lot of new teachers every year.  FInd an industry that produces as many industry specific graduates for a specific job title as teaching schools do.  If you find a similar job title specific degree, then tell me what the retention rate is.  

              What you have to do, if you're going to make this argument work, is to show that it is significantly different than any other degree that is so specifically designed to only be applied to one job title.  

              The reason i say this is because it's absurd.  

              It's an absurd idea, because as you no doubt understand, when you go to college, you are not necessarily in a job training program.  

              A teaching degree is useful in a variety of ways.  You may not even be involved in education at all.  

              I have a teaching degree, and I've taught science at chess at non profits that past 14 years.  I'd be classified, however, as someone who "left" teaching after three years.

              Streichholzschächtelchen

              by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:21:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But teacher training *is* a job training program. (6+ / 0-)

                I'm not arguing about the importance of a liberal arts education here. But its a real and growing problem for students that they are being induced to take out massive student loans for programs--from law to online courses--that don't actually have a good track record for placement or in fields that don't have a good history of retention.  The Obama administration is working hard to close the loopholes that previous administrations have left that enable online schools to avoid being accountable to their students for the actual value of the diploma. I see this metric as another example of this drive to enable teaching students as consumers to make wise choices about where they spend their dollars.

                •  So (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, zenbassoon

                  If I say many teachers leave teaching within five years, how is that not reflective on the situation in the schools?  

                  I'm saying that it's silly to take something like teacher training in a college in exactly the same manner as you would compare how many people remain "in science" with their chemistry degree.  

                  One degree is suited for one job title for the teaching school, but one degree could be suited for hundreds of job titles if the idea is that you stay "in science."

                  The comparison is imbalanced.  FIgure out a way to compare the same type of degree system, and then we could determine whether or not the number of years someone is a "teacher" is really that different professions.  

                  There is a claim being made that this number of years is unique to teaching.  It requires verification of its importance.

                  Streichholzschächtelchen

                  by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:52:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think this too is part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

                    The schools are not going to improve as long as there are enough technically qualified students being churned out of educational institutions at a rate sufficient to replace them.

                    If there is a teacher shortage suddenly, and school systems are forced to start examining why, they might finally learn that the track they've taken is abusing their teachers and that prospective education students are wising up.

                    (Unfortunately, my experience with many students of education has been that it feels like a calling to them.  They will still go through an educational program despite the horror stories of teacher abuse and despite the fact that they will last an average of three years.  They love kids and teaching kids so much that they honestly believe it will be different for them.)

                     

                    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

                    by catwho on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:57:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  It doesn't follow (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, zenbassoon, BMScott

              Based on the local report from musiclady, it would be more accurate to state that the waste of money is in pursuing a job locally.  If the institution prepares them well for a job in teaching, and teachers in the next state over are satisfied with their jobs, then it's not attending the institution that's a waste of money, it's pursuing a job in the local market.

    •  The OCD obsession with measuring and counting (13+ / 0-)

      Trying to reduce everything to a single number, in order to "boost productivity" in service to the Almighty Dollar. That happens in other businesses as well, without regard to the outcomes . . . but it has no place at all in education.

      But it makes money for the testing companies. And that, after all, serves the Almighty Dollar.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:53:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think exit surveys would offer some (10+ / 0-)

      helpful information.  Why do they leave?  In my 38 years of teaching elementary music, I've seen three causes to teachers leaving:  having a baby and choosing to stay home, relocation, and job demands/working conditions (including not being able to survive on the salary).   I've worked with only a few who actually left the profession.  Two chose to stay home with their kids.  One was a military spouse who relocated with her husband.  Two chose to leave our high poverty school and teach in private schools.  Five were teachers with less than 5 years experience who simply burnt out.  They were not prepared for the 60 hour workweeks and the lack of respect so they left the profession.

      What is fascinating to me is that so many of the reformers would prefer a lot of teacher turnover--teach 2 years and leave.  There is research that shows that high rates of turnover have a negative impact on student achievement.  Why do they favor this?  Greed pure and simple.  Teachers never go far on the pay scale and they don't collect pensions.  

      “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 27, 2014 at 08:12:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with metrics (5+ / 0-)

      Not only in education but everywhere:
         Analyze the problem
         Figure out the difficulties
         Figure out the attributes that address the difficulties
             and correspond to better performance, success, ...
         Figure out metrics that shadow the attributes
         Publicize the metrics
         Others figure out how to improve the metrics
             without dealing with the problems
         Reward high values of the metrics
            rather than success with the attributes
            or resolution of the difficulties
         Notice that there are still problems
         Repeat

    •  That might be valid, but the problem here is (6+ / 0-)

      using flawed test scores as part of that. It would be like blaming Harvard Med because doctors at Sloan Kettering have not found a cure for certain cancers and most of the patients still die. So ultimately let's let grads with no training in medicine at all take a crack at treating these patients. This is what is being done in education.

  •  If we fired every DR who had patients die on the (12+ / 0-)

    operating table or in the ER we wouldn't have many dr's or those who are afraid to even take up the profession since they can be dismissed for something beyond their control. Yet we want to fire teachers for their students failing a test. There could (most likely is) issues with poverty/truancy/unstable living situation/undiagnosed learning barriers and a thousand things that can go into a reason a child performed badly on a state test. Geez they could simply had not eaten breakfast but we want to tie teacher salary/employment to unpredictable circumstances. Only way this makes sense if your goal is to privatize the profession, destroy teaching unions, create disincentives for people to become teachers and reward for profit companies over educators that have to study for 6 years & then work for 3 years to obtain basic professional protections.  

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:49:16 AM PDT

  •  Obama needs a push from us (12+ / 0-)

    Otherwise, as with the odious "chained CPI," and the bank bailouts, he will take the center-right path, the path the profit-masters whisper in his ear.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:55:59 AM PDT

    •  More like a shove. Like Arne Duncan out the door. (18+ / 0-)

      But unlike Chained CPI, over half the party, including the base, is behind this. Hell, even DFA is for corporate scabs like Teach for A While.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stop the madness. The banks were bailed out by (4+ / 3-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, ladybug53, sviscusi, sethtriggs
      Hidden by:
      Brown Thrasher, JayRaye, DeadHead

      Bush.  CPI was part of last years proposal and was not included because Boehner reneged on the deal. I spent hours on this site arguing it would not be in the new proposal. Obama stated it was tied on tax increases and had been turned down. Some argued to just remove it from the then posted proposal. That proposal was part of White House record and could not be simply deleted. A new proposal had to be submitted. It was was not included.

      I agree Obama needs to hear from us on his education policy. This policy is seriously flawed and does not need to be attached to a delusional ODS rant. There needs to be a coordinated pushback with recommendations. It should be spearheaded by the teacher's union.

      I come from a family of generations of teachers and am staunch supporter of public education. Obama has been an educator and is believer in education. He is a product of public education. His approach is wrong but he is a believer. He can be shown the light and teachers should do it. He does not need to be approached as the enemy.

      •  He's going all in on test scores are everything. (15+ / 0-)

        That makes him the enemy.

        Children are NOT test scores.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:50:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Kids Are All Right (13+ / 0-)

          This whole idea of children as a faulty product that have to be fixed is a really bad way to start thinking about education.

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

          by bink on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:03:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree a little (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal, zenbassoon

            I do think that it is possible to "fix" a kid who is not learning, as long as it is not due to a diagnosable issue which impedes their cognitive abilities to a serious extent.  

            Pedagogy is not a naturally understood subject.  A kid doesn't understand immediately the best way to go about learning.  

            If we use testing for the proper reason, we can actually do something to "fix" kids.  

            Learning is an activity at which you can improve.  

            The problem is that testing is not used for the correct purpose.  It is used to make quality judgements.  

            Because districts respond to pressure from the state and federal governments, and districts also have to respond to their own local constituencies, kids who are very close to making a somewhat arbitrary line of success will be the ones who receive the most support.  They are the ones who will lift you over.  

            What makes me annoyed about it all is that these are very simple to identify problems that are just inherently a result of the processes they set up.

            Educational power brokers think this newest use of technology in education is awesome.  Just like they thought all the other new technologies were awesome. It's what they do.

            Streichholzschächtelchen

            by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:16:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Agree (7+ / 0-)

              But our current "education reform" policy seems to be driven by the idea that there is something wrong with our kids as a class.

              Namely, that they are not high-performing enough.

              What exactly that means, I am not sure, but to me at least it is obvious that this is the driving force here.

              My first question about all of this is the metrics: "What defines a high-performing kids?"

              My second  is, "Why do we need high-performing kids?"

              Humans are not algorithms that need to be subject to continual tuning for "performance optimization." This is ultimately dehumanizing and can lead to some very serious social and ultimately political problems.

              Authoritarian societies are obsessed with classifying and grading their citizenry with regard to their "quality." These leads to people in those societies feeling that certain classes of people are better than others -- after all, hasn't it been proved by our metrics and our science?

              I suspect that this leads, eventually, to abandoning things are are essential to a functioning democratic -- for example, the idea that human rights are universal and divorced from any qualities that are particular human might exhibit.

              And then ...

              What purpose does all of this high-performance serve?

              Is it to make sure that our country has adequately trained labor? This seems to be the idea. This in itself raises all sorts of interesting questions. What kind of labor? Under what contract? In return for what rewards?

              If you are Bill Gates, you want high-performance, complacent adults who will work without complaint for very low wages. In order to achieve this, you also have to do some additional social engineering, which appears to be the goal of all these "reform" movements:

              Specifically, you have to remove critical thinking from the educational program and get kids to think of themselves as the "subjects" of institutions like schools and jobs, rather than participants in them.

              I don't know.

              The whole education reform movement is flirting with some pretty dark ideas about the individual, classes of people, and how people participate in society.

              I understand why teachers are freaking out. I don't even have kids and I'm freaking out a bit because of the social engineering aspect of it.

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

              by bink on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:38:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  All of the things you say (6+ / 0-)

                They all exist in European social democracies.  Education is a highly class tinged experience in Germany.  

                I experienced this class difference as a high schooler  in 1986.  

                When I was in high school, I went to a university tracked Gymnaseum in Duisburg.  The entire time I was in that school, I only met a couple of kids who weren't in this school.  I never met those kids who all attended the vocational schools.  The only time I ever met them was because they were on a soccer team.  It was obvious in the way that everyone talked about these things that there was a clear distinction of class.   These kids were going to be police, fire fighters, plumbers, electricians...

                Whereas, the kids in my school were going to go on to become doctors, lawyers, and some of them would be teachers.  

                The decision for your future education is made at around 6th grade.  

                I don't support the way testing is used in the US, but I also am cautious of claiming that we can just be like the rest of the world, and we'll be good.  If we compare our success to some countries, we'll have to take into account that our entire high school population is measured against the university tracked students in another country.

                It is a very nuanced thing to compare educational systems across the borders of countries.  

                I know about Finland.  I've read those studies.  I don't dispute that the overall outcome is better.  What the issue of Finland doesn't take into consideration is that they have a far more financially equal society, and it respects the needs of the family without breaking the economy.  

                Streichholzschächtelchen

                by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:10:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  ODS is highly offensive. Please refrain from (13+ / 0-)

        using it in the future. Your point is lost the moment you used it.

        “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

        by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:01:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So Obama really does (4+ / 0-)

          not care a whit about children or education, and really does want to throw teachers under trains?

        •  What is offensives is a rant crediting Obama (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon, poco, GeauxGeauxGirl

          with bank bailouts and hyperbole about CPI. You know, Obama is the enemy. That is highly offensive. Testing children is bad policy period.

          •  You can take my advice and join the discussion (9+ / 0-)

            or you can use blanket insults like ODS & be ignored. Choice is yours. ODS is typically reserved for racist republicans who reflexively equate everything the president does as being Kenyan, Muslim, socialist, evil, fascist, totalitarian, law breaker. If you want to paint critics from the left with the same brush, good luck with that. I'm sure we will be able to have a productive conversation.  

            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

            by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:41:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Chained CPI was in his budget proposal (9+ / 0-)

            until he took so much heat he dropped it.

            That's reality.

            He whipped hard to get Democrats in line to vote for bank bailouts.

            That's reality too.

            If' you're only here to defend your liege, you're not here to elect more and better Democrats.

            He's never running for public office again.

            "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

            by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:37:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My liege? Puerile hyperbole. Yours, Rand Paul, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GeauxGeauxGirl

              Greenwald? Chained CPI was in the proposal in tandem with tax increases, which the republicans would never accept. It was a non starter but the CT's were flying on the site. Obama secretly wanted to get rid of Social Security. Your still railing.

              I support the president,however , I am very opposed to his educational policy.  You are thread jacking and you need to stop.

              •  The people who disagree with you do not, in the (4+ / 0-)

                main, substitute a different hero in place of yours.

                They substitute reason.

                Normalizing massive Social Security cuts isn't some genius ploy.  It lets the next Republican President say 'Even Obama agreed to these cuts'.

                Either an idiotic move, or one designed to harm SS.

                You cannot support a politician and oppose their policies.  All they are is their policies.  All they want from you is donations, votes, and volunteer hours.

                Which will you with hold to try to get the President to stop pursuing policies that harm students?

                "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:19:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is no plan for massive social security cuts (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GeauxGeauxGirl

                  Indeed at present Social Security payments are about to be substantively increased by raising the minimum wage.

                  I'm depending on it to live and I grant you it should be raised and not cut, but like the ACA,  food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, its part of a complicated system that supplements rather than replaces savings and investments which also need to be increased.

                  Creating an economy in which people are paid enough to live on and put some aside for their retirement is a key part of any long term strategy to eliminate poverty in elderly populations.

                  Personally I think a minimum wage should be tied to a maximum wage on a company by company basis so that if your executive CEO crings home the maximum wage for his company then the minimum wage needs to be at least 10% of that or the national minimum whichever is higher.

                  This would increase payroll taxes and social security while at the same time making it possible for more people to have a decent quality of life.

                  None of that matters of course unless we do something about climate change now. Otherwise none of us will have any social security in our retirement years.

                  Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                  by rktect on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:42:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Like I said a libertarian. You can support a (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GeauxGeauxGirl

                  politician and oppose  his policies. To say otherwise is   total nonsense. You are full of irrationality. Reason is not your forte. You don't trust politicians or the government. You will stay in a state of frustration. You are an anarcho-libertarian and you will never understand what the mission is here. You don't believe in voting, campaigning or donations by your own admission. You are here to agitate. You are not here to elect more and better democrats.

                  •  You are, who, exactly, to be saying such things? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Brown Thrasher

                    You should be embarrassed by this comment of yours, but you aren't, because I've seen similar coming from you before. Conversations with you ultimately devolve into you casting aspersions on those with whom you're disagreeing — people you've never even met, but somehow you know all about them.

                    Pure emotional BS, based on absolutely NOTHING but your own butthurt for having been shown to be completely WRONG.

                    Take a nap or something, ffs.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:10:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Don't leave out the part (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brown Thrasher, aliasalias

              where he didn't sign off on the part of the deal Barney Frank made with Hank Paulson that said that a substantial bailout of homeowners was a precondition of the bailout of banks.

              Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:38:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Like I said, Obama needs a push (5+ / 0-)

        Let us hope the "Trans-Pacific Partnership" dies a final death as well.

        What the heck is ODS, anyway? (Other than the old name for Moda Health?)

        Obama continued Bush's bank bailouts, full speed ahead. And extended the Bush tax cuts. The difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama can be convinced to abandon the center-right corporatist path. From time to time.

        And he needs to break from the corporatist education policy as well. He can do it.

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:04:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The cuts were kept for income $400,000 and below. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon

          That was the deal that worked for congress. The taxes were in effect for $500,00 and above.

           He believes in education and should be reasoned with. Without public education he wouldn't be where he is. He is not a corporatist. Ask any corporatist. He believes in capital and markets as does Krugman and Picketty. A wrongheaded approach leads to a wrongheaded conclusion. He's more Keynesian and should be approached as such. He can be shown that privatization and charter schools are against public education.

          ODS is jacking a thread about education and ranting about Obama the center right blah, blah blah......

          •  Sigh. He is not a Keynesian (12+ / 0-)

            or 1/3 of the stimulus would not have been tax breaks, the bush tax cuts would not have been extended & we would have had a 1.4 trillion dollar stimulus (as anyone who know their shit was screaming we needed) & we would have had a 4 trillion dollar infrastructure bank to revitalize the nation. Calling him a Keynesian because of mild supply side policies & an economic recovery in which 107% of all economic gains have gone to the 1% does not make it so. He has clearly adopted neo-liberal arguments & policies & has continually placed people in high level positions who depose those beliefs.  Why again were we talking about cutting social security instead of expanding it? Why were we in a time of economic downturn talking about cutting the scary deficit when Keynesian economics calls for for higher deficit spending during a recession?

            “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

            by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:20:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He most definitely is not supply side. Deal with (3+ / 0-)

              the process. Obama and Pelosi got that stimulus thru congress. Anything since has been blocked. Krugman said the stimulus should have been bigger, but he is not a politician. It had to go thru congress. Krugman has since realized that the stimulus stopped the US from going the way of Greece and that Obama is now blocked. No one is talking about cutting Social Security but you. Obama wanted infrastructure spending, but that along with jobs was blocked by the house. He has asked for spending how many times?

              •  By the way, the Bush tax cuts were extended as (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zenbassoon, GeauxGeauxGirl

                part of a deal to extend unemployment benefits for a couple  million people. If you remember.

                •  If I remember... (9+ / 0-)

                  I was one of those millions of unemployed people who had their benefits cut off & was hoping for the extension. I didn't however believe at the time that trading a few billion dollars  & a few months (not years) of temporary unemployment benefits was worth the hundreds of billions if not trillions given away to the 1% by extending their tax cuts.

                  "I'm the only one talking about cutting social security" Lolz. Why was chained CPI included not once, not twice, but three times in the presidents budget? Come on now. The only reason we didn't get chained CPI was because the republican base was to racist, stupid, reactionary & would reject anything Obama offered out of hand. It was not for his lack of trying.

                  We controlled both chambers of congress during the stimulus debate but somehow, somehow this was the very best we could get!! If he wanted change & real change than he would have had Joe Lieberman lose all his committee chairs if he threatened to vote against it & we would have had filibuster reform on day 1 & not five years into his presidency.  

                  “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

                  by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:25:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your arguments are specious and have nothing to (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    GeauxGeauxGirl

                    do with education. There were hundreds of pieces  legislation passed during that session. Obama asked for ten times what Pelosi originally proposed. If it hadn't been for people screaming Obama was a sellout because of the size of the stimulus and single payer we might not have lost the house. I personally am not going to let that happen this November. I am all about GOTV and countering anarcho-libertarian propaganda. Left my ass.

                    •  Ah, yes. (6+ / 0-)

                      All failures by the Democrats are the fault of the left.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:12:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The left is fine. It is infiltration by (0+ / 0-)

                        libertarians,who bare by no means left, that is the problem.  They hate Obama and have from day one. Read Greenwald. They are not  democrats and they are not progressives.

                        •  I'm sorry, but you implied that "screaming" about (6+ / 0-)

                          the inadequate stimulus and the disinclination of the democrats to begin the health care debate from a the leftmost possible position were responsible for losing the house.

                          That is blaming the left, not the libertarians, and it is quite specifically blaming the left for a catastrophe that was built from scratch by the same clowns who masterminded the previous 15 years of Democratic fails: Emmanuel, McAuliffe, Penn, and the usual gang of DLC idiots.

                          The Democrats lost the house in 2010 because the party completely failed to motivate turnout, not because critics from the left pointed out that the party's legislative agenda was going to make it difficult to motivate turnout. The voters who don't turn out are the sort who aren't paying close enough attention to even know about the critics from the left. All they know is, nobody is telling them anything that makes them think they have a good reason to rearrange their day so as to go stand in line somewhere -- maybe for a couple of hours -- and cast a ballot for some clown about whom they know nothing other than party affiliation.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:44:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  No point in fighting this one, Tool. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DeadHead, emal, Tool

                    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:39:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Because i said so! I said so! My saying so makes (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead, Brown Thrasher

                it true!

                Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:38:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You might want to explain that to the numerous (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal, Brown Thrasher, aliasalias

            Wall Street appointees that litter this administration that.

            Obama is a neoliberal -- and just in case you may misconstrue that with liberalism here's a definition:

            Neoliberalism is a label for economic liberalism whose advocates support economic liberalizations, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and enhancing the role of the private sector in modern society.
            And that's as good a definition as any for Obama's policies since ascending to the presidency.

            Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

            by The Dead Man on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:28:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Here here. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon
      •  NO, it needs to come from parents (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NWTerriD, ladybug53, quill, zenbassoon

        In each community, the parents need to be the ones who express objections to the testing.  

        Even if Obama didn't have any testing requirements, local districts would do it.  It's the nature of the ease of new technology.

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  HR for insult. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, Lost and Found, DeadHead, emal, Plox

        Don't call other Kossacks "delusional" for disagreement.

        Also don't use Bush-style monikers ("ODS"). It's equally as inflammatory as "Obamabot" & just as much a insult.

      •  HR (3+ / 0-)

        delusional ODS rant

        this is a personal insult

        God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

        by JayRaye on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:09:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not a teacher, but I have great respect for (7+ / 0-)

    those who do teach and do it well.  

    I've had both good and bad teachers to deal with in my younger days.  

    The good ones will make learning a tolerable, and if they are really good, a pleasurable and rewarding  experience.  As a result the student who has the excellent teacher is willing to do their best in class.  I had a teacher who couldn't spell to save his life, but he made learning fun and interesting.  Students loved him and the classes he taught (history/social studies).  

    The bad teachers I've come across were not necessarily bad people (though a few were), but they didn't have the ability to teach in an effective way.  One was an english teacher who spoke in a monotone voice which put most people in her class to sleep.  Another was more interested in showing sports reels (as sports was his first love) in biology class.  He would tell you to read chapters 4 and 5 and write a 3 page paper on what you had read at the beginning of class, then it was off to the sports reels.  I never learned anything in his class room.

    Kudos to all of the teachers out there who prepare your students for the next step on their journey of life.  

     

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by prettymeadow on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:58:19 AM PDT

    •  True. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, OGO

      There is nothing as valuable to society as a great teacher. And nothing as destructive as bad ones. The fact that our leaders are trying hard to figure out which are which should be applauded (even if we disagree on the actually methods deployed).

      •  There are far fewer "bad teachers" than the (7+ / 0-)

        politicians are letting on. The system isn't broken. See my graphic about poverty. That's not the teacher's fault.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:13:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who knows how many (4+ / 0-)

          bad teachers there are? Certainly it is not the majority, but each and every one of them is a threat to our kids. And teachers themselves should be on board with weeding them out. I only know what I saw in LA with the LAUSD teachers union (of which both of my parents were teacher representatives). And that union consistently did all it could to protect ALL teachers from any sort of accountability. If the teachers themselves had been out front in terms of weeding out the bad ones, perhaps these numerical methods would not now be being forced upon them. I had an awful teacher in elementary school, whose well-documented incompetence could simply not be acted upon due to the power of the union. That left an indelible impression upon me. And I'd say that millions of people have had similar experiences.

          •  I'm a teacher--a good one--and I agree (10+ / 0-)

            Defending bad teachers weakens schools, weakens morale among the good teachers, and weakens the unions.

            And I'll get flamed for this, but there is nothing wrong with holding schools of education to higher standards.

            Ed. degrees have been notoriously "easy" degrees filled with meaningless classes, a dirty secret of academia I've been aware of since I was an undergrad in the 1970s. I completed a B.A. in English and then an M.A., but, to be practical and get the teaching certificate for possible high school employment, I had to take something like 18 hours of education courses, all but one of which were utter froth. You did your little projects and took your little tests and got your As.

            My last semester, I was very very lucky to have a wonderful supervising professor for my student teaching experience. Dr. Alexander was an amazing teacher herself--and one of the few female professors of the era, and African-American in the Deep South to boot.

            I was also lucky that the teacher who I was assigned to shadow at a local high school was burned out and let me assume her full load. It was like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool. I had to teach my ass off. When I wasn't eating or sleeping, I was teaching or grading or prepping. One time, noticing that my peers weren't working as much in their assigned schools, I complained to my professor, whose response was a gentle, "I'm disappointed to hear that you feel this way. You're going to be a very good teacher, and you're having the best kind of experience to prepare you for that." I hung my head and shut up after that. She was right.

            Student teaching should come near the beginning of one's teacher training, not the end. I think some programs are now doing that. There should be much, much more hands on training. Teaching is a skill. We learn skills by doing, by having successes that we can build on and by making mistakes and having wise mentors to help us learn from those mistakes so that we don't repeat them.

            I'm all for doing whatever we can do to better prepare young teachers so that when they enter a classroom, they can truly teach.

             

            "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

            by cassandraX on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:12:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No one is arguing against that, but the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emal, cassandraX

              administration is keying too much on things like test scores rather than practice teaching and mentoring and management and all the stuff teachers need. Like I still do.

              "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

              by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:41:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  My wife's first degree was in education... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              docmidwest, cassandraX

              We were dating in college at the time. My friends were mostly engineer, scientist, pre-med types. We did a lot of talking about our classes. She came to feel that her first real college class wasn't until she got started in her first masters. Like you said, her basic ed courses were pretty much fluff. She did get some good stuff from her developmental psych courses, but she didn't find them particularly challenging. This was in one of the better schools in the state at that time. It was also before Praxis which I think took the first step toward making the profession more qualified and weeding out a lot of the riff-raff. I think it still has a ways to go, though. For Praxis II the passing rate for math content is frequently less than 60%. For basic principles of education it is usually 70% or lower. This is pretty abysmal since this is the exit exam for many in their college careers. Also, if you have seen the test or the sample questions, you know this certainly isn't of the level of a bar exam or a medical board.

              I wholly agree that there should be a student teaching component earlier in the career of a teacher's training. It should probably continue all the way through college and be pretty rigorous. Maybe something along the idea of a continuing residency for educators. I think it would dissuade many from continuing in that career field. I think many find out too late that they don't really want to do what they trained for during college when their student teaching component comes at the end of their training.

              After spending some time teaching, my wife went on to ed admin and child psychology. That is what she does today. She spends a lot of time working with schools, but also has a private practice. A big part of that every summer is testing recent college education graduates who can't pass their license qualifying exams. They want her to find a learning disability so they can get extra time or other accommodations so that they might have a better chance at passing. I have to say that I'm pretty much against accommodations for a professional exam unless they are for a specific physical disability. I really wouldn't want a surgeon who needed more time extra accommodations to finish his medical board. Also, as I said, most of these exams aren't really that demanding, anyways.

      •  And "bad teachers" usually weed themselves out (5+ / 0-)

        in the first year or two of teaching.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:13:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That may be, "usually". (5+ / 0-)

          But not always. Teachers themselves should be relentless about getting their worst performers FORCED out of the classroom. Relentless.

          •  The bad ones are the ones that can't handle it. (7+ / 0-)

            And they're easy to spot, if you have a competent administration.

            And remember, there's between two and five years where a teacher is probationary and can be fired as if they were an at will employee and they have fewer due process rights.

            So administration needs to step up as well.

            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:30:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My brother had a bad teacher (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ladybug53, zenbassoon

              in so far as you were graded on whether or not she liked you.  She didn't like my brother and failed him, not because he didn't do the assignments or pass the tests, but because my brother had gotten in a car accident with her son.  Neither of them came away with more than a few bruises and scratches, but it was enough for her to be extremely unfair.  

              A paper my brother had written was given an F.  We had another teacher read the paper and he said it was a solid B work paper.  As a result my brother had to go to a summer school english class at the local community college where he received an A for his work there.  

              Yes teachers need to be held accountable for bad behavior just as their students should be.  

              In a perfect world parents would be on board and help with the education of their children.  Not all parents are equipped  to do so however.  Many had trouble getting through school themselves(if they graduated at all)  Others are working multiple jobs and just don't have the time to sit down with their kids to make sure that homework gets done and gets done correctly.  Many parents have behavioral issues themselves which the kids pick up, like bad language and fighting.   And still others are so poor that they can't give their children the nutrition they need to keep their minds and bodies functioning at an optimum level.  

              There are so many issues out there that it is hard to know where to start on fixing the current problems that arise.  

              Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

              by prettymeadow on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:46:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  There are plenty of bad parents (6+ / 0-)

            Far more than there are bad teachers. Teaching isn't easy nor is it extremely lucrative. People act like getting to be a teacher is like being on the board of directors of a major corporation, instead it's a lot of hard, underpaid work IMO.

            Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

            by high uintas on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:40:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Point being? (4+ / 0-)

              We can't control who is a good parent. But teaching is a profession and a job. No one is entitled to be a teacher. If someone sucks at the job, they should be dismissed.

              •  Point being (8+ / 0-)

                The number of bad teachers is srsly over blown. They are the "New Black Panther Party" of the anti-union, anti-middle class, and "corporations work best" distractors.

                If our kids aren't doing as well as they should academically it's because we cut money from education constantly and focus on as narrow a path to a diploma as possible.

                Why are music and art programs being cut? Why do teachers get paid less than plumbers? More importantly, why do most of the teachers in the schools have second jobs at Walmart?

                Where are our priorities?

                disclaimer: Not a teacher, mr.u is a custodian at a Jr. High. He sees first hand the work that teachers do and the pressures on them.

                Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

                by high uintas on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:06:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  A relentless administrator can get rid of a bad (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, emal, zenbassoon, Mostel26

            teacher.  I've seen it done twice in my 38 year career.  If the admin. cares enough to document the poor performance, it can be done.  In my district, poor teachers are given a mentor in an effort to improve their performance.  They have a set amount of time to do so after which they exit the program due to improved performance or they are fired.  Most of those who don't improve simply retire or resign.  The fact is,  I've not seen many bad teachers in my career.  

            Sometimes there are personality conflicts between teachers and certain students which doesn't mean those teachers are bad.  I saw that when my kids were in high school.  Some students would have a really positive experience with one teacher while others would have a negative one and vice versa so I tend to discount the old parent grapevine where teachers are concerned.

            “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 27, 2014 at 10:17:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nah (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, zenbassoon

            That would create a horrific situation in the staff.  
            I guess the thing that would make that a very difficult thing to expect from teachers is that teachers almost never have the opportunity to observe other teachers in action.  

            Streichholzschächtelchen

            by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:20:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  True. Which is why teachers (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenbassoon, OrganicChemist

              should not be so defensive about the rooting out of their worst. The teaching profession has learned to be protective of all teachers, to band together against the firing of teachers. But some should be fired (and lose their credentials), and it shouldn't be so hard to do so. The rest of society have jobs that are at risk, and teachers should be no different.

              •  I know many here claim that you can fire a teacher (0+ / 0-)

                and it only takes a good administrator to do it. Teachers need due process and all the various protections that they have. I can agree with that, but I do wonder if the pendulum has swung too far in the favor of teachers with all of the appeals they have access to. You can read about all the "rubber rooms" in New York. I read a long analysis a while ago about the schools in Cleveland, Ohio. They had apparently never been able to fire anyone for some time. One case they cited indicated it cost over $200,000 in legal fees to finally get rid of the person. If it will cost $200,000 or more to fire a teacher if they and the union will exhaust all of the appeals available to them, then I can see why it isn't done more frequently.

                I guess in Cleveland, they have a bit more flexibility now after a recent negotiation, but I think more does need to be done. I'm sure the large city schools in my state are faced with similar issues.

                I'm a faculty member. I have tenure protections, too. I'll tell you a dirty secret, though. Even we protected faculty types wish something could be done about the "crazy-lazies" that sometimes our ranks. There are some that seem to go into a smooth glide path once they get their tenure and have some years under their belts. Certainly not a huge number, but enough to tick you off.

                •  In CA, even a tenured teacher has no less than (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emal, aliasalias

                  15 ways to get fired immediately without a long period of time or money.

                  That "$200,000 and three years to fire a teacher" is pretty much an urban legend.

                  Yes, you need to have documentation in order for a tenured teacher, but those are the rights a teacher earns with that. It shouldn't even be called "tenure". It should be called "due process". Because before tenure, you can be fired for a bad evaluation. Or for any number of things. For far less cause.

                  "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                  by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:58:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  However, in most places... (0+ / 0-)

                    It is way too easy for a teacher to get tenure. In some places it is two years or less. Certainly not 7 years of "publish or perish" like it is in academia. I'm not saying it needs to be like that, but certainly more rigorous than it is now. I think school districts have been way to averse of taking a strike to get those standards strengthened. I think tenure should be graduated. Maybe fire for anything for the first five years and then graduated protections for the next 10 or so until you get full tenure at 15. I think in some states tenure even transfers among school districts - I think there should always be some reevaluation period involved.

                    I would hope there would be a lot more than 15 ways to get instantly fired from a teaching job in California. I think there should be a lot of instances that would trigger a tenure review for a teacher - maybe a step where a teacher would lose some protections for a bit until they proved themselves again.

                    I think in many cases tenure in academia is too strong of a protection, also. Look at the embarrassment that Ward Churchill caused all of us. It took forever to get rid of him and he was a proven scam artist and plagiarist. There are still some academicians who believe he was wrongfully terminated.

                    There is due process and there is ridiculous process. I like the former, but not the latter.

    •  There are no bad teachers (0+ / 0-)

      -it's the parents' fault that the kids don't learn.
      -And you can't measure good or bad teaching anyway.
      -any sort of incentive for better teaching is intolerable.

      So let's oppose any attempt to promote accountability and actually make our schools better.

      sigh.

      Our governorship here in CT could be lost to the Republicans due to this issue...

      Which would help exactly nobody.

      I am a Democrat BECAUSE I am a progressive.

      by darboy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:41:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Children are not test scores. Period. (8+ / 0-)

        And you cannot evaluate a teacher based on a test score.

        Period.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:44:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, OGO, MGross, mockingbird1971

          Teachers have incentive to claim that their students are learning material even if they are not.

          Administrators have incentive to claim that their students are learning material even if they are not.

          This isn't a smear against those people: everyone including politicians has incentive to paint themselves in a positive light.

          Please let me know how the rest of us can evaluate whether the students are actually learning the material without test scores of some kind. Do I have to wait for failing SAT scores and college rejection letters to see that the school district's claims about properly preparing students are false?

          (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 10:49:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about this (6+ / 0-)

            I agree that assessments are necessary, but you have to agree that using the test results of the children to determine teacher salary and professional status is stupid, and would lead to problems of cheating, for instance, that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

            Streichholzschächtelchen

            by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:00:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Properly controlled tests can make cheating... (0+ / 0-)

              ...a non-factor.

              you have to agree that using the test results of the children to determine teacher salary and professional status is stupid,
              I'm not sure I know enough to have an opinion. But as an engineer, I'm all about the data. Teachers produce an end product (kids that understand certain concepts). If teachers can't measurably demonstrate that they are capable of producing that product, it's hard to make an argument that they are worth high pay or professional status.

              (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 11:10:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Human nature (7+ / 0-)

                Think about this scenario you're going to end up with.  You will have people who have their careers threatened by the performance of 7 year olds on a computerized test.  

                When you do your engineering, the product in the design can be easily made in the real world as long as all the materials are available, and it's a solid design.  

                When you teach elementary school, you do not get to choose the materials with which to create your end product.  

                This does not absolve bad teachers, but you are setting up a system with flaws that are inherent, and that will lead to inequality in the schools that have lower performing students.  Those schools will be continually rotating teachers out as they discover that they will not be able to remain in that career if they stay in that school.

                Let's say that you have a principal who does not accept you sending children to the office for behavioral reasons, and you are left with no choices but to accommodate a disruptive student.  Like, the kind of kid who throws chairs.  

                That is your superior who is causing you to be faced with a probability of punitive actions for for the test scores of six year olds.  How should you solve that?  What if you don't get the administrative support you need, and are not able to give the rest of the students the proper support?  

                You should be punished for that?  

                I don't think you really understand that level of complexity involved in using testing data as a punitive measure.  

                Eventually, only crappy teachers who can't stay on at other schools will be at your school.  

                Streichholzschächtelchen

                by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:31:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Testing should be based on the difference (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, mockingbird1971

                  Between two tests, before and after the teacher taught the students, and in comparison with teaching children of similar demographics.

                  Very few things can be tested perfectly, but we should try to test as accurately as practical.  Without testing there is no way to know what practices or people have better results.

                  In the business world great reliance on management judgement is used in interpreting data.  While using human judgement has its downsides, removing it entirely or largely is far worse than its downsides.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:37:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If the kids had a deep understanding of 4th (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sandblaster, BMScott, sethtriggs

                    grade math, they won't do that bad on the 5th grade standardized math test even if the teacher sucks out loud.

                    But the 6th grade teacher who gets stuck trying to teach half of 5th grade math curriculum to pick up the slack on top of teaching all the content she's suppose to be responsible for is going to be screwed.

                    "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                    by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:47:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That is why a before test & after test are needed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk

                      for a given teacher and class.

                      In most public schools, the administration, other teachers and many parents know who the really bad teachers are.  However, school policies can make it difficult for the administration to use their judgement in removing bad teachers from education.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:02:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's the 6th grade teacher who gets the worst (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BMScott

                        test results in this scenario, not the 5th grade teacher who dropped the ball.

                        "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                        by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:09:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  No (0+ / 0-)

                        Proper documentation of bad teaching is all that is needed to remove bad teachers from education. One doesn't need high-stakes standardized testing to get administrators to do their jobs properly.

                        •  If the burden of documenting a teacher is bad (0+ / 0-)

                          is high, administration will just not bother to remove the teacher - all the money wasted is not the administrators own personal money, and the students are not their own children.

                          If the teacher is not committing crimes, or inappropriate behavior and is showing up on time, filing necessary reports, etc., but is just ineffective at teaching students, how does this get documented sufficiently for removal without student testing being a part of the documentation?

                          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                          by nextstep on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:01:53 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Current model used in PA (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nextstep

                            This is quite thorough and allows any competent administrator a variety of ways to properly evaluate, improve, and (if needed) dismiss a staff member.  

                            PA 426

                          •  Except that administrators are held responsible (0+ / 0-)

                            for school test scores.   It is in their best interest to get rid of incompetent teachers.  Most of them actually care about the kids as well--at least the ones I've worked with.

                            “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 Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:47:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Observation. (0+ / 0-)

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:31:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  EDUCATION IS NOT BUSINESS!!!!! (7+ / 0-)

                    In a business, you get to throw out the bad batch of raw ingredients/materials and write it off.

                    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:47:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Poor public school systems tragically discard many (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk

                      thousands of students every year, and many of these school systems have done so for decades and these students have been written off by these public schools.

                      Most tragically many in government and in the public act as if they believe that better results are not possible.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:29:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  nextstep -- this is one of the most laughable (5+ / 0-)

                    comments i've read in a long time:

                    In the business world great reliance on management judgement is used in interpreting data.  While using human judgement has its downsides, removing it entirely or largely is far worse than its downsides.
                    you do remember the economic meltdown of 2008, don't you? -- & more importantly, the masters of the universe assholes who caused it -- & management's judgement (cough, cough) when it came to "interpreting data" . . . ?

                    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

                    by bluezen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:29:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Human organizations of all kind have failures (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk

                      and government failures can have truly massive consequences.

                      Even if you drive decisions based on numbers, there was human judgement on what numbers, how they would be gathered, interpretation of the data and what actions would be taken for different data, etc..

                      Mass starvation in the USSR and pre1980 China killed dozens of millions of people due to poor judgement by government.  US government failures include entering World War I, Vietnam war, the 2003 Iraq war, the US being one of the few countries that had a war to end slavery (it ended most everywhere else without war).  Any public school system where less than 50% of students get a high school degree on time is also a failure of government.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:23:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  well, i'll say this for ya -- you're pretty (0+ / 0-)

                        consistent with your rw talking points.

                        btw, you don't know jack about history. but that doesn't surprise me, either.

                        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

                        by bluezen on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:55:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Amazing that you think the Vietnam War and (0+ / 0-)

                          George Bush's Iraq war were examples of government working well, as well as public high schools with less than a 50% graduation rate.

                          Amazing that you think opposition to these two wars are right wing.  

                          You have tragically low standards for government.

                          Maybe you just think today is opposite day.

                          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                          by nextstep on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:07:56 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Teachers can measure student achievement (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                otto, emal, zenbassoon, Mostel26, sethtriggs

                in a variety of ways that can be more reliable than a standardized test.  Unfortunately the current thinking is that we cannot be trusted to do so.  That always gets me.  As a music teacher, I assess my students on a lot of performance based skills that cannot be measured through standardized tests.  Not all of them do well.  I use the results of those assessments to focus my instruction on the weaknesses shown in my students' performance.  Isn't that really what we should be using data for?

                “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 27, 2014 at 11:43:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Key words- formative v. summative nt (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zenbassoon

                  Streichholzschächtelchen

                  by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:44:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes. Summative assessments can be (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    otto, zenbassoon

                    performance based.  Many of mine are because that is the nature of the skills being taught.

                    “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 27, 2014 at 11:47:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  You can't be trusted (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nextstep

                  For the same reason I can't and no one else can be either when measuring their own performance.

                  A teacher's performance has to be measured and measurable by a third party. If that doesn't work, we're into alternative medicine and crystal territory.

                  Maybe I could be convinced that it isn't standardized tests, but help me understand a method to check if you are doing your job that doesn't involve you.

                  (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 11:56:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Or your administration, who have the same... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...incentives.

                    (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 11:57:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JesseCW, Mostel26, sethtriggs

                      "The Administration?"

                      Does this logic go for all situations in which a supervisor evaluates an employee?  

                      The Burger King Administration needs to protect itself, so...  

                      Streichholzschächtelchen

                      by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:08:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If Burger King employees don't do their jobs... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nextstep

                        ...the chain goes out of business or loses money. Burger King can tailor its evaluation systems to that premise (and who cares anyway; it's their money/business if they are wrong). Burger King corporation has both a serious incentive to fix the problem and the power to do so.

                        If teachers and school administration don't do their jobs, nothing happens other than kids get substandard education. Who has incentive and powers to fix these problems? Before standardized tests, a school administration could do a "good job" just by not having negative stories written about them in the local paper.

                        (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 12:18:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Education is not a business, and should not be (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          emal, Mostel26, BMScott, Plox, sethtriggs

                          run as such.

                          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                          by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:48:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Local voters have incentive and power (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          emal

                          If a community believes its schools produce sub-standard graduates as a function of the education program established by a school board they can feel free to elect a new board empowered to change the educational program.

                          •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nextstep

                            So "nothing" in other words.

                            And even assuming this fantasy is true, how do voters get good data about the performance of their district without standardized tests?

                            (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 06:41:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That has some merit at the high school level (0+ / 0-)

                            as one can look at graduation rates, college acceptances, employment directly after high school, etc.. if these are tracked.

                            However, this data is ineffective for middle school and elementary school evaluations.

                            Education is too important not to measure as best we practically can if it is working and what needs improvement.  

                            Those who do not find current testing acceptable need to focus on developing better practical testing, and showing with data why their testing approach is better.

                            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                            by nextstep on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            emal, aliasalias

                            Those who wish to continue current testing must show that it is practical and why a testing approach is valid before they continue to use it.

                            Education is too important to waste instructional time fussing over false measurement.

                          •  While you may prefer to put the burden on (0+ / 0-)

                            current testing to prove its worth, the burden of proof falls on advocates of change to make their case.

                            Until the case is made and accepted that something else will be done, the current system prevails.  

                            That's just how government "rolls."

                            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                            by nextstep on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:50:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The current testing is simply not valid (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            emal, aliasalias

                            and that alone is reason enough to end it. This topic has been beaten to death on here. Here a link to one of the definitive takedowns of high-stakes standardized testing.  

                            Great Diary on testing

                            If you still want to champion policy that is hurtful to students, teachers, and wastes budget money; feel free to do so. I know I'll have no problem identifying your future posts on education as coming from a person who supports educational human sacrifice on the stone alter of the false gods of accountability.

                          •  The case against testing has not been accepted (0+ / 0-)

                            by the core of senior Elected Democrats.

                            Not the Pres Obama, no Democratic Governor, I know of no Democratic mayor of a major city doing this.

                            If the case is so strong for no standardized testing, why have these elected Democrats not adopted this idea?

                            Standardized testing is extremely common with countries that are considered to have better education systems than the US.

                            I think the potential for better standardized testing being adopted is far better than no standardized testing.

                            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                            by nextstep on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:35:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I know of no one who advocates for NO testing (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mostel26, emal

                            What many advocate for is less testing and testing that is used to assess what kids know not testing kids to make personnel decisions, which experts  have said is unreliable given that those tests were not designed to measure teacher added value.

                            My democratic governor has advocated for common sense testing--not the insanity we currently have.

                            “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 Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:50:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  The teacher (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JesseCW, emal, zenbassoon, Mostel26, sethtriggs

                    Do you imagine somehow that a teacher is somehow an unsupervised rogue employee of the government?  

                    Teachers have bosses.

                    Whenever I've had a job, the supervisor has evaluated my job.  The supervisor has determined my level of quality.  

                    The school has a school administrator who supervises the teacher, and who has also been trained in school administration, and who has been hired by people who are about one step down from the directly elected officials.  Why do you believe that this individual is not trustworthy when it comes to evaluating the teacher?

                    It's been explained that teachers already are evaluated.  Let's also not forget that the community is heavily involved in judging the quality of teachers.  If you don't think that parents will go to a principal about a teacher they don't like, then you don't know about the supervisory powers of the elementary school parent.

                    Streichholzschächtelchen

                    by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:02:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)

                      Teachers' "bosses" have the same incentives teachers do: look good and don't piss anyone off.

                      In private business, there is the ultimate accountability of going out of business if chains of supervisory employees fail to evaluate or do their jobs. People doing a bad job means the company will cease to exist and everyone will be unemployed.

                      There is no similar accountability in public schools. Without testing, institutions can exist in which no one bothers to do their job (well at least) and there is no independent feedback system to destroy such institutions.

                      (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 12:23:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What part of teachers (5+ / 0-)

                        Can lose their jobs based on performance reviews do you not understand .

                        Teachers have lost, do lose, and will continue to lose their jobs based on their performance evaluations by their administrators.

                        What part of a test measures the following.

                        A student loses her father (passes unexpectedly from an MI) at the beginning of the school year. She struggles all school year with nightmares, anxiety and fear. Despite counseling in and out of school, this upper middle class formerly outgoing, confident and academically above average student now struggles in school the entire school year...and into the next.

                        Meanwhile in the same class, at the beginning of the school year a boy moves into the district. Currently lives in a homeless shelter with mother and older brother who is special needs (autistic). Very depressed and often exhausted at school. ...Despite counseling and an involved supportive parent, he struggles the entire school year with lack of motivation or even developing connections with his peers.

                        Same class, a bright boy recently diagnosed with ADHD -parents are divorcing. There are various restraining orders and CFS is involved. He is often emotionally impulsive and labile, often not sure which  caretaker he will be staying. He is often tired, struggling to keep focused at school and on task. Even the slightest non preferred academic challenge or unexpected change in routine results  in unpredictable outbursts ( ranging from refusal to do the task, to unconsolable crying or at the extreme bolting from the class or full blown 10 minute major temper tantrum ) that make every day a challenging adventure for the teacher and his classmates.

                        I could go on...discuss other students in the same class with other variables - yes these kids are all examples of how outside variables (beyond  their and the teacher's control) that occur regularly in kids lives that impact their performance, day to day and year to year. No test that those kids take will ever appropriately measure what those kids are getting from their nurturing teachers that provide the only consistency/stability in their young lives. No test results those kids take should negatively be used against them nor their teacher.

                        This isn't widgets these are kids with so many outside variables that impact their lives behind the 7 hours they may be at school with their teachers.

                        Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

                        by emal on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:25:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                          What part of teachers (0+ / 0-)
                          Can lose their jobs based on performance reviews do you not understand .
                          Teachers have lost, do lose, and will continue to lose their jobs based on their performance evaluations by their administrators.
                          Administration who themselves may be incapable of assessing whether learning is actually taking place or not, or who try to fire the teachers for some unrelated vendetta, or what have you.

                          An administrator's performance review is not independent of the institution and they may be incentivized to give good (or bad) reviews for other reasons than learning.

                          This behavior can happen in corporations too, but the discipline of the market keeps it in check. Poorly operated corporations lose money or go out of business. Poorly operated schools generally do not.

                          This isn't widgets these are kids with so many outside variables that impact their lives behind the 7 hours they may be at school with their teachers.
                          At the end of the day, though, they either learn math or reading or other subjects, or they do not. Private industry is concerned about results, not excuses. Schools need to be results oriented and the evaluation of such has to be done by an institution that isn't the school.

                          (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 02:42:29 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  THIS IS NOT PRIVATE INDUSTRY. (6+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            emal, bluezen, Mostel26, BMScott, Plox, sethtriggs

                            THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS.

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:50:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nextstep

                            Which makes this even more important.

                            If these kids don't learn, they will be economically crippled for life.

                            We must know through some mechanism out of the control of schools how they are really performing and we must quickly be able to modify or remove non-performing ones. Because it will be students denied entry to college and with lifelong earnings decreases who will suffer.

                            If you don't agree with standardized tests, fine, make another proposal.  But whatever mechanism you propose needs to be out of the control of teachers or school administrators.

                            (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 03:06:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  NO. That's like leaving doctor evaluations up to (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mostel26, BMScott, emal, Sparhawk

                            the janitor, instead of the Medical Licensing Board.

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:24:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fail (0+ / 0-)

                            It isn't.

                            You don't even need to know how to teach to know if teaching is effective or it isn't.

                            Just like you don't need to know anything about medicine to know if treatment is effective or it isn't.

                            In science, the only way to know if something is true is to test it.

                            (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 05:59:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But teaching kids is only part "science". (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            aliasalias

                            You CANNOT evaluate a teacher based on a kid's test score. I asked a question earlier:  I teach music. It's not tested with a standardized test. How am I evaluated then? Is MY job on the line if test scores don't "measure up"?

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:26:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And if the test is designed specifically (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            emal

                            for failure?

                            Like the New York tests are?  Where they KNEW 70% of the students would FAIL? BY DESIGN?

                            What then? Doesn't that INVALIDATE everything?

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:28:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You've shown just how heartless (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zenbassoon, Mostel26, BMScott

                            You really are by your last comment speaking about results being the only thing that matters. Bullshit.

                            For many of these kids it is freaking survival! These are survival instincts and coping mechanisms. Fight or flight.

                            Kids aren't just results. They are human beings, with hearts, minds,fears,worries, innocence, love...and hope. They need to be nurtured.
                            I hope that nothing tragically unexpected like the typical examples I shared ever happens to you or your loved ones.  

                            Enjoy your evening focusing on kids test results = only thing that matters. Gawd help us all in this society with that mentality ruining things for future generations.

                            Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

                            by emal on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:04:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            Those results are going to be what get kids into college or not.

                            Students' economic success and happiness depends in many cases on success in early education. Most kids who don't learn in school will be doomed to lives of economic mediocrity or worse.

                            That's the reality. That's what I mean when I say "results".

                            (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 03:09:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And grades and test scores aren't the only things (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            emal, Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs

                            which gets kids into college.  They undergo interviews and their other activities are looked at as well.  My oldest was extremely bright and had SAT scores in the national merit range.  My youngest was an average student who struggled.  He was the successful one in college and he was accepted at 4 decent schools.  Kids are more than test scores.  

                            “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 27, 2014 at 04:59:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  It doesn't understand working in a school......... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          emal

                          period.

                  •  Wow. So you are suggesting that teachers (7+ / 0-)

                    Have no interest in seeing their students succeed.  My district gives me standards that I am responsible for teaching.  I create assessments  to measure those standards.  I also use county created assessments.  I want my students to succeed and if they don't do well then I reexamine my practice.  Creating a fear based culture where I have to worry about losing salary or my job based on one assessment that I'm not even allowed to see beforehand creates a scenario where the student's well being becomes secondary to the teacher worrying about their job.  I'm not suggesting that student performance not be considered.  Rather I'm suggesting that the district should use multiple measures including portfolios.  It's just cheaper to reduce everything to a simple set of numbers that are unreliable in their assessment of the teacher'' actual job performance.

                    “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 27, 2014 at 12:41:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Who evaluates the district (0+ / 0-)

                      The district has the same incentive to look good as anyone else.

                      (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 02:18:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There are a number of statistics used to evaluate (7+ / 0-)

                        the district including graduation rates and standardized test scores among other things.  You will find that most teachers aren't necessarily against having a standardized test but that test is not a reliable instrument in measuring the impact that one teacher has had on a particular student.  Education is a collective activity and there are many teachers and specialists who impact childrens' learning in different ways.  It's just not as simple as the results on a test measuring only that teacher's impact.  Learning is cumulative.

                        “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 27, 2014 at 03:47:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

                          But here's the thing.

                          Where is the accountability? Who gets fired if those metrics aren't met? What mechanism is used to see that this occurs?

                          School administration gets fired? Students have the option to transfer to charter schools? Those options are not well received here.

                          So you tell me: what mechanism can be used to bring accountability to school districts that don't measure up?

                          (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 04:12:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  "Measure up"? To what? Why do non educators get (6+ / 0-)

                            to set education policy?

                            That's like Joe the Plumber setting out ethics rules for the American Medical Association

                            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:16:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There are a number of corrective policies (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zenbassoon, Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs

                            put in place. Typically the administration is the first to go.  It doesn't necessarily mean being fired though.  Typically the schools not meeting standard are the high poverty schools.  Often new admin and extra targeted resources (various academic support personnel, smaller classes etc) are put in place first.  We had one school that had been underachieving for years.  It had over 90% poverty rate and over 90% minority, largely non English speaking student body.  A new administration was brought in.  The school day was extended and the school year was extended by a month.  Teachers had to reapply for their positions at that school and many stayed.  They were paid proportionately for their longer day/year.   Funny thing.  That school showed the largest gain in student achievement as measured by test scores in the entire system of 200 schools.  When schools get the resources they need, they do better.  Teachers can be very effective with one group of students and not so much with another.  The goal is to make them better teachers.  I really don't understand why the rush is to simply fire people when, given the right support, they could be effective at what they 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 27, 2014 at 04:24:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh--by the way--my state isn't big into (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zenbassoon, Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs

                            charter schools.  As far as I know there are only a few and mostly in Baltimore City.  We've been ranked #1 or #2 the last few years--usually jostling for top place with Massachusetts.

                            “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 27, 2014 at 04:26:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  If a kid is too busy worrying about where (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emal, Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs

                his dinner is coming from, or if he's going to get shot, or if his dad is going to beat his mom senseless that night, or any number of other reasons, he ain't going to be worrying about doing schoolwork.

                And there ain't a DAMN thing a teacher can do about it.

                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:45:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

                  So it is impossible to evaluate teachers by any outcome-based metric? In essence, a teacher just gets up, does his/her spiel, and if the students don't learn, hey, not my problem right?

                  Teachers have no responsibility to rise above the problems you describe?

                  (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 02:53:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Portfolios, teacher-designed assessments-- (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    emal, BMScott, musiclady, sethtriggs

                    Teachers know their students better than Pearson.

                    To evaluate a teacher, look at how a teacher TEACHES, not how a student does on a test.

                    I'm a music teacher. Music isn't a tested subject. How then am I evaluated, eh?

                    Is it fair for MY job to be tied READING and MATH scores?  

                    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:08:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  See, that's why you know nothing about education. (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26, BMScott, emal, sethtriggs, aliasalias

                Because you're looking at things from an engineer POV, instead of an educational POV.

                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:25:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It has a common problem that way (0+ / 0-)

                  This creature has zero understanding of what takes place in a school on a daily basis so it mercilessly trolls education blogs. You've made your points in a valid and clear manner, I suggest letting that creature continue to howl at the wind.

              •  How do you plan to ensure that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emal, sethtriggs

                a kid doesn’t deliberately try to sabotage a teacher?  That kind of cheating doesn’t seem very amenable to control

                In any case, thinking of school as a kind of factory producing kids with certain understanding as end products is part of the problem.

            •  See Michelle Rhee. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mostel26, sethtriggs

              "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

              by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:44:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Teachers are taught to differentiate instruction (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal, Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs

            to meet the needs of each individual student.

            Why are the students then tested using the same test?

            The teachers themselves can design assessments that can do it.

            And more and more colleges are DROPPING the SAT and ACT.

            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:44:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re (0+ / 0-)
              Teachers are taught to differentiate instruction (1+ / 0-)
              to meet the needs of each individual student.
              Why are the students then tested using the same test?
              If you can't understand the answers to these questions, whew, we have some issues in education.

              Teachers are good and trained to teach to the individual kid, as it should be. Some kids are visual learners, some do better writing things down, still others learn better in groups.

              It is the teachers' job to learn the particular quirks of their students and to teach to their known strengths and weaknesses. This is not in doubt.

              However, all students are trying to get to the same place: mastery of the target subject material. We don't have a system where some students learn some kinds of math and some students don't. The goal is that all students master all material, even if the goal isn't achievable in practice. That's why the students take the same test.

              How the students are taught is the purview of the teacher and their expertise. What they are taught is not, nor is final evaluation of the students' progress.

              (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 03:51:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  HOW they are taught is HOW they should be (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs

                evaluated.

                A child with a tactile intelligence is not going to do well on a standardized test that relies on aural intelligence, capeche?

                And ANY kind of "standardized" test should only be a BENCHMARK, not the final end product to determine a teacher's fate.

                Let the test stop the bullets next time, then.

                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:59:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  If "results" are all you're concerned about, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26, BMScott, sethtriggs, aliasalias

                You should LOVE what the CEO of Netflix has in mind for public education--turn them all into schools like his "rocketship schools"--massive cube farms where the kids do nothing but sit in front of computers and do the same math and reading exercises geared solely to pass the test.  The "teacher" is just an afterthought, a minimum wage babysitter.

                Let the computers stop the bullets next time.

                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:05:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                  If it's shown via some reliable method that the proposed method results in better student performance, I'm all for it.

                  (-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 Apr 27, 2014 at 04:14:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  sparhawk -- wow. i wish you could've spent (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zenbassoon, Mostel26, BMScott, emal, sethtriggs

                some time in a fl classroom last week when the state's fcat test was administered. it was a disaster.

                computers were down for as long as 25 mins (in the school where my dtr teaches) forcing students to have to wait (& wait, & wait) to answer reading comprehension questions after reading a paragraph -- yeah, good luck with that!! -- many students couldn't finish their tests b/c of the delays & the fact that some of them are allowed (by law) additional time to take tests (something, btw, that charter & private schools aren't required to do b/c they can pick & choose their students) & the official testing-time window had closed. added to that, there weren't enuf computers (!) -- only 241 working computers for 1500 students (!!) -- & my dtr teaches in a very affluent school, too -- !!!

                einstein could've been these kids' teacher, but with all the computer fuckups even he wouldn't come out looking so hot after that fiasco.

                The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

                by bluezen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:49:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  "All students are trying?" (0+ / 0-)

                Give me a break.  

                No, all students aren't necessarily trying to master a subject.  

                I was a prime example of that.  If I didn't like the teacher or the subject being taught, I didn't bother learning the material presented.  As a result my grades ranged from A - F.  Not because I couldn't learn the subject, but because I didn't WANT to learn that particular subject for whatever reason.  Often it was due to either a personality clash, a disinterest in the subject matter(i.e. history based on wars), or ineffective teaching, that didn't accommodate the way I learn.  

                One teacher didn't actually teach the subject he was supposed to be teaching, another was abusive and mean, and yet another was so boring I couldn't concentrate on her monotone and what she was saying.  

                I also had a college algebra teacher who, as far as I was concerned, was totally inept as a college professor.  He would put a problem up on the board and attempt to solve it and get it wrong a half dozen or more times before he would solve it right.  I couldn't learn algebra with his method of teaching because by the time he got to the third wrong attempt, my eyes glazed over and I quit paying attention to what he was doing.  20 minutes later he would finally get it right, but I missed what he was doing by then and how to actually solve the problem.  

                Enter in GM and their education program.  GM had a library in the plant and staff on had to give you one on one training or tutoring in whatever you wanted to know.  They also held classes on various subjects like algebra, geometry, and computer programs like Excel.  The people who taught those classes were much better teachers than the professor I had had the misfortune of getting into  his college algebra class.  I was able to pick up algebra and geometry quickly in the manner in which they taught those subjects.  I will always be grateful for their help.  

                Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

                by prettymeadow on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:29:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Administrators need to do their jobs.. (5+ / 0-)

        instead of running for the next highest job. They don't do what needs to be done because they are always angling for popularity points to get out of the in-school jobs for the Upper Upper level jobs. It is not teachers who are ruining education, its ambition and careerism posing as "standards."

        Teachers are already accountable; to their departments, to their colleagues, to their students and parents and to their own profession. That is plenty of accountability, if you care to see it.

        Now, campaign to weed out administrators who only are climbing the salary and comfort ladder.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:36:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I'm sure that downgrading (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon, Mostel26, BMScott, aliasalias

        Colleges of Education because they don't get a high number of graduates into paid employment in this crap economy is a great way of improving teaching quality.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:44:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, it might actually be a good thing... (0+ / 0-)

          If the entrance and exit qualifications for those in colleges of education were dramatically raised. This would cut down and improve the supply which in and of itself would raise salaries as districts would have the need to compete for qualified educators and the educators that were available would be of higher quality.

          I've had the same discussions with my colleagues about the current oversupply of Ph.ds in many areas.

          •  IANAE (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            but there seem to me to be some mistaken assumptions here about what causes salaries to rise, especially in a government-funded profession:

            which in and of itself would raise salaries as districts would have the need to compete for qualified educators and the educators that were available would be of higher quality.
            It sounds like you're saying the universities should just keep cutting back on number of graduates indefinitely, shrinking their departments until they reach the level where they can guarantee that some reasonable percentage of graduates are employed each (academic) market cycle.

            But the employment of academics is based on funding for universities and colleges, which is based on governmental educational policy, first, and the willingness of private individuals and organizations to donate to universities, second.  Public funding for universities also depends not only on educational policy decisions, but also on the amount of taxes the government takes in, which, in its turn, is not only dependent on tax policy but also on the general health of the economy. Private donations also are affected by th general health of the economy and of the stock market.

            Thus, the availability of jobs is dependent on many factors not at all under universities' control, but rather under the control of politics and the general health of the economy. Given that it's inaccurate to suggest that the quality of a university or college is the only or even the primary driver of academic employment, I'm unsure what linking the evaluation of a college or university to number of successful hires is going to do other than degrade the quality of education across the board as the various universities, buffeted by a bad economy infested with rich hoarders and public policy that is demonstrably hostile to domestic non-security spending, shrink and shrink and shrink again in an effort to keep the percentage of graduates employed in their field high.

            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:43:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Doctoral students are incredibly expensive... (0+ / 0-)

              to educate. I think it is folly to keep churning out vast numbers of them when there is absolutely no way they will ever be gainfully employed in their field. I'm not wanting  to do crazy cuts to try to exactly match the need because a reasonable oversupply is what frequently generates new ideas and research in new and previously unconsidered areas. However, in some areas, the oversupply is so extreme that there is no sane reason to continue to produce the same numbers. The money spent on that unproductive endeavor could be much better used in other areas.

              I know several states have attempted to address this by limiting the number of candidates that are funded or to designate certain schools within the state where they will fund candidates as a school of excellence in that area. Unless the state legislature actually passes legislation directing this, many of the schools turn right around and direct scarce discretionary spending from other areas to continue to fund doctoral programs and candidates that the state has tried to limit by the redistribution of funding at the state level. This is done because the universities in question feel they will suffer a lack of prestige if they don't produce the same number of candidates in the same areas as everyone else. I consider that to be folly.

              I don't think I tried to tie university reputation or quality to the success of their candidates in the job market, although there is obviously some linkage there.

              •  I thought that was the original point-- (0+ / 0-)

                that the evaluation of the university's or college's quality was to be tied to the percentage of graduates hired in their field. Which strikes me as insanity, or maybe inanity, in this economic and political context.

                As far as PhDs go, there's a fundamental problem here which is too deep to be addressed in a "how many students should we fund?" kind of way. Because what's happened is that the assumptions on which public education of all kinds existed in this country, at least since World War II, have been altered. The new assumptions are such that would make (I think) most scholars blanch. But regardless of that, we clearly can't address any of these problems, including a so-called "glut" of Phds, without identifying and addressing the underlying assumptions on which they rest.

                What we're seeing here is one bud-tip on the end of one tendril of a vine that is spreading everywhere. Or in other words, one very small tertiary cause rendering an effect in the culture. Without looking at the primary causes, any social, cultural, or economic tinkering will likely either make things worse or have no discernible effects on this train wreck at all.

                Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:10:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  If you're talking about public school teachers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrganicChemist

            rather than academics, the problem with your argument is even more enhanced, as public schools rely pretty much entirely on government funding, which means that tax policy and education policy are the indubitable drivers of the amount of positions and salary levels and the quality or size of Colleges of Education have comparatively little effect.

            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:48:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  So you suggest................ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon

        ?

  •  If you have backup for your statements that (6+ / 0-)

    "studies funded by the Department of Education itself that show Value-Added evaluation models tied to test scores are highly ineffective and WRONG most of the time"

    and "70% of teachers do not teach a tested subject"

    that would be useful to provide.

    •  Links are in the Politico article. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quill, JesseCW

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:02:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NCLB requires standardized testing in grades 2 - 8 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, ladybug53, BMScott, sethtriggs

      and in grade 10 (I believe it's grade 10) in reading and math.  So figure all the other subjects and the earliest grades.   There are some systems who link music and art teachers' evaluations to test scores in other areas.  One ( I think it's TN) allows those teachers to choose the area.  So as a music teacher, I could choose to have my evaluation linked to 4th grade math scores, for example.  

      My large suburban DC school system did not sign on to Race to the Top.  We were one of two systems in MD who did not sign on.  As such, we do not use test scores but must use other student achievement measures.  Our district has decided that each teacher will work on two Student Learning Objectives as part of their evaluation.  This was approved by the state.  It beats test scores in that we can choose areas in which we really need to focus.   However, I'm finding that I am devoting more time to teaching toward the SLO at the expense of other areas.  

      “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 27, 2014 at 08:19:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, kids are tested mostly in math and reading (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, ladybug53, BMScott, sethtriggs

      they are not tested in art, social studies, science ( they are starting to ) music, gym , health, shop, home ec ( where it still exists ) so I can see how 70% figure makes sense. Further, lots of people in the schools, like guidance, social workers, psychologists, drug counselors, nurses, speech and OT/PT are not subject to value added evals because there's no way to do it. I have not been observed this year because no one knows how to observe therapy using the new rubrics. it can't be done. And the state has admitted as much.

  •  "how long they stay on the job" (9+ / 0-)

    Really?

    I thought the goal was to replace all career teachers with disposable teach-for-awhilers.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:15:06 AM PDT

  •  No suprise. Remember those comfortable shoes? (4+ / 0-)

    Oh, that was just to get elected?  I see.  He's a typical politician not just a President.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:17:44 AM PDT

  •  Teachers are under (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon, quill

    assault from many sides. This isn't helping either, I think.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:23:41 AM PDT

  •  That Florida formula is just priceless (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon, ladybug53, NWTerriD, Tool

    I foresee a day when it will be inscribed on amulets and obelisks and recited at sacrifices even though no one will have a clue what it actually means, in the idiocracy into which the education deformers are delivering us.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:28:54 AM PDT

  •  Undocumented assertions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VelvetElvis, Sparhawk

    Laughing at algebra,
    No criticism from non-teachers.

    I suppose this is a preaching to the choir diary. I just hope you  aren't so dismissive of analysis, math etc in your day jobs.

    Why on earth prospective students shouldn't be able to see stats on the kind of things proposed seems puzzling to me. There are way too many colleges that over-promise and under-deliver.

    Remember to kick it over.

    by sprogga on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:46:02 AM PDT

    •  Children are not test scores. Period. (12+ / 0-)

      Leave education to the educators.

      This isn't about "prospective students".

      This is about breaking teachers and turning the profession into minimum wage at will work.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:49:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can score 100% on a written (6+ / 0-)

      essay, write a fantastic research paper, and teacher children on multiple levels but can hardly do a single algebra problem. All I need for my profession is how to plot a graph and calculate a percentage. If I had to take an algebra test to keep my position I would fail & be fired in spite of my vast pedagogical knowledge & experience in other places. Math is important but there is a reason why math teachers do not teach English & English teachers do not teach math. I would recommend reading Howard Gardner & his research on multiple intelligences.

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:34:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the problem is... (0+ / 0-)

        that in many states, you teaching license allows you to teach anything to children up through a certain grade. I think in some states, an early childhood license allows you to teach up through sixth grade or higher. I'm sorry, but to say that any teacher should know basic algebra is really silly and somewhat condescending to those in your profession as far as I am concerned. I think I'll post more on my thoughts about this in a general comment below...

    •  Let's look at it this way (7+ / 0-)

      It is not that the assessments themselves are wrong, it's that they are being used for the wrong purpose.

      The reason we need to do frequent assessments is so that we can be more effective in teaching those children who need help.

      I've been involved in schools where the most important measure of a child's reading success through the year is reading for fluency and accuracy in a book of nonsense words.  We had to look at graphs of kids in three groups- benchmark, near, below.  

      In order to maintain funding, and to not be forcefully moved to other schools, the teachers and the school personnel are completely expected to be putting extra emphasis on raising those kids who are near benchmark.  The other kids above benchmark were great, but the ones far below were probably not going to be able to make up the deficit.  

      When we use testing for the wrong purposes, we make a mistake.  

      We need to be practical about this, and not be punitive.  If a school is failing, we need to look at far more than the school situation.  We need to take into consideration the entire context of where the school is.  

      Streichholzschächtelchen

      by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:27:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Six weeks for testing? And all those other weeks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal

        for test prep?

        What about music, social studies, science, art, PE, RECESS?

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:52:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The only assessment that is needed . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, sethtriggs

        is the economic class of the student's parents.  That is the only predictor of educational success.  

        We need to be practical about this, and not be punitive.  If a school is failing, we need to look at far more than the school situation.  We need to take into consideration the entire context of where the school is.
        In places like Illinois, schools that have a preponderance of students from working poor families are expected to perform at a level on par with wealthy north-shore schools.  Demanding an equality of outcomes within a society that fosters social and income inequality is punative.
  •  in my town, teachers and administrators I've (5+ / 0-)

    talked to like Common Core. They were excited about its prospects, and have done good work with it over this school year. I heard this talk as a reporter for two different newspapers over the last few years, including our own locally owned independent, Willits Weekly, which btw is just celebrating our 1st anniversary.

    I find it interesting, the contrast between what I hear on the ground and the angle that is constantly presented on Daily Kos.

    These are not anti-union teachers, by any means, although one of the voices does include the director of the progressive Willits Elementary Charter School, which was doing "inquiry-based" learning already. (doubt her progressive credentials? check her bio at the link.)

    The most recent teacher who talked to me about Common Core was excited to incorporate multiple Common Core standards into her 4th grade class's history play, which she wrote, which was awesome (see page 7 here).

    •  This is going to be a long comment, but you need (14+ / 0-)

      to know more facts, and you need to disseminate these:

      Common Core Facts - Compiled by Sandra Stotsky

      1. Who developed Common Core’s standards? Three private organizations in Washington DC: the National

      Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc.—all

      funded for this purpose by a fourth private organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

      2. Who selected the members of the Standards Development Work Groups? In the absence of official

      information, it seems that Achieve, Inc. and the Gates Foundation selected most of the key personnel to write the high school-level college-readiness standards.

      3. Who was represented on the Standards Development Work Groups that wrote the college-readiness

      standards? Chiefly test and curriculum developers from ACT, CB, Achieve, and NCEE.

      4. Who was not represented on the Standards Development Work Groups? High school English and

      mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood

      educators, and state or local school board members.

      5. Are records of their meetings available? No. These groups had no open meetings and have never provided access to any public comment or critiques they received.

      6. What were the qualifications of the people selected to write the grade-level standards? The “lead” writers for the grade-level ELA standards, David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, have never taught reading or English in K-12 or at the college level. Neither majored in English as undergraduates or has a doctorate in English. Neither has published serious work on K-12 curriculum and instruction. At the time, they were unknown to English and reading educators and to higher education faculty in rhetoric, speech, composition, or literary study. Two of the lead grade-level standards-writers in mathematics did have relevant academic credentials but no K-12 teaching experience. Jason Zimba was a physics professor at Bennington College at the time, while William McCallum was (and remains) a mathematics professor at the University of Arizona. The only member of this three-person team with K-12 teaching experience, Phil Daro, had majored in English as an undergraduate; he was also on the staff of NCEE. None had ever developed K-12 mathematics standards before.

      7. Who recommended these people as standards-writers, why, and how much were they paid?

      The organizations that funded and developed the standards will not tell the public.

      8. What was the ostensible purpose of the Validation Committee?NGA and CCSSO created their own

      Validation Committee in 2009 (25 members initially) to evaluate the soundness, rigor, and validity of the

      standards they were developing. They have never provided a rationale for those they chose to serve on the Validation Committee.

      9. Who were members of the Validation Committee? On it were one high school English teacher, one

      mathematician, no high school mathematics teachers, some testing experts and school administrators, and many mathematics educators (people with doctorates in mathematics education, or in an education school, or who work chiefly in teacher education, and who usually do NOT teach college mathematics courses). The one mathematician and the one ELA standards expert (Sandra Stotsky) on the Committee declined to sign off on the standards.

      10. What was the real purpose of the Validation Committee? To have members sign a letter by the end of May 2010 asserting that the not-yet-finalized standards were (1) reflective of the core knowledge and skills in ELA and mathematics that students need in order to be college- and career-ready; (2) appropriate in terms of their level of specificity and clarity; (3) comparable to the expectations of other leading nations; and (4) informed by available research or evidence.

      11. What are the chief deficiencies of Common Core’s standards?

      A. The standards are not internationally benchmarked.

      B. The standards are not research-based.

      C. The standards are not rigorous. They omit high school mathematics standards leading to STEM careers, stress writing over reading, reduce literary study in grades 6-12, use an unproven approach to teaching Euclidean geometry, defer completion of Algebra I to grade 9 or 10, are developmentally inappropriate in the primary grades, and use the high school English class for informational reading instruction.

      12. What reports comparing Common Core’s standards with Massachusetts’ standards were used to justify Massachusetts’ adoption of Common Core’s standards?

      A. A report by Achieve, Inc. that was funded by the Gates Foundation.

      B. A report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that was funded by the Gates Foundation.

      C. A report by WestEd that was commissioned by the Massachusetts Business Alliance in Education and

      funded by the Gates Foundation via the James B. Hunt Institute in North Carolina.

      D. Reports by Massachusetts Department of Education-appointed local/state reviewers.

      13. What conclusions did these reports draw? That there were no significant differences between Common Core’s standards and the Massachusetts mathematics and ELA standards.

      14. Why did Massachusetts adopt Common Core’s standards in July 2010? The state had been promised

      $250,000,000 in Race to the Top funds if it adopted Common Core’s standards.

      15. What are the major flaws in Common Core’s English language arts standards?

      A. Most of Common Core’s reading standards are content-free skills.

      B. Common Core’s ELA standards stress writing more than reading at every grade level.

      C. Common Core’s writing standards are developmentally inappropriate at many grade levels and lack

      coordination with its reading standards.

      D. Common Core expects English teachers to spend at least half of their reading instructional time at every

      grade level on informational texts.

      E. Common Core reduces opportunities for students to develop critical thinking.

      F. Common Core’s standards are not “fewer, clearer, and deeper;” they often bundle several objectives into one statement and call it one standard.

      References

      Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky. (September 2012). How Common Core’s ELA standards place college readiness at risk. http://pioneerinstitute.org/...

      R. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky (September 2013). Lowering the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare High School Students for STEM. http://pioneerinstitute.org/...

      Sandra Stotsky is Professor Emerita of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, where she held the 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality. She is credited with developing one of the country’s strongest sets of academic standards for K-12 students as well as the strongest academic standards and licensure tests for prospective teachers while serving as Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999-2003. She has also written several in-depth analyses of the problems in Common Core’s English language arts standards. She is the author The Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can Do (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2012).

      Three Simple Arguments Against Common Core – Mark Naison

      https://www.facebook.com/...

      Opposition to Common Core – PegWithPen blogpost

      https://www.facebook.com/...

      The Trouble with the Common Core - Editors of Rethinking Schools

      https://www.facebook.com/...

      The Problems with the Common Core - by Stan Karp

      (This is a revised version of a talk on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) delivered in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 20, 2013.)

      http://www.rethinkingschools.org/...

      Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors - Anthony Cody

      http://blogs.edweek.org/...

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:55:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, teachers are a diverse lot (5+ / 0-)

      and opinions on CC are far from unanimous. Like any other public policy, there are both negatives and positives associated with it. Sometimes we only present here the negative arguments, and refuse to admit to the positives. Saying that the Obama administration cares nothing about children or wants to "throw teachers under the train" is sometimes easier than really delving into an issue.

      •  It's the tying everything to testing--and it's (6+ / 0-)

        only ELA and Math, to the exclusion of everything else. Read about what the CEO of Netflix wants education to be.

        Massive cube farms where teachers are merely babysitters while the kids are plugged into computers only doing proscribed reading and math exercises to pass the standardized test.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:05:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fine, but why is it that you can't (7+ / 0-)

          just disagree with President Obama on the best course of action here, instead of saying that he does not care about education or children other than his own? Do you actually believe that he's some evil guy who cares nothing about children? Why can't you folks just disagree with the administration, vehemently perhaps, without getting into the gutter with statements like "they want to destroy the profession of teaching" or accusations that Obama is throwing teachers under a train? A bit over-the-top, no?

          •  When Obama starts insisting (7+ / 0-)

            that his children's school follow all the same policies -- standards, testing, etc. -- that he is imposing on the public schools, then I'll believe he's trying to do the best thing for kids.

            Until then, I'll keep pushing for educational policy that emphasizes the things private schools like his children's school brag about in their promotional materials:

            *smaller class sizes (Sidwell Friends has something on the order of twice as many adults per kid as my school -- and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have as many or as severe special needs as my school has, so parity for my school would probably require tripling the size of the staff)

            *creativity

            *integrative and experiential learning

            *lots of arts and other enrichment, and

            *the ability of teachers to practice what they know to be excellent teaching

            as well as the things the brochures don't brag about because they are taken for granted:

            *students whose basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and emotional stability are being met

            *academic support outside of school that reinforces what happens at school

            The hypocrisy is nauseating.

            "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

            by NWTerriD on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:33:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I suppose people like you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenbassoon, GeauxGeauxGirl

              would prefer that Obama sends his daughters to public schools in Washington DC just to make a point. You'd really respect that.

              •  I wouldn't. President Obama has never (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zenbassoon, emal

                attended Public School and neither have his children.

                He comes from a family that believes Public Schools are for plebes, not people who matter.  His personal choices make clear he holds to the same beliefs.

                Were he to try to pose as if those were not his beliefs now, it would just look like cheap pandering.

                i

                "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:57:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The comment above doesn't say that. (8+ / 0-)

                The comment above says that Obama has not sent his children to a school that follows the policies he endorses. I grew up in DC. I knew people that went to Sidwell Friends. Unless it's changed a lot, students aren't constrained by these bullshit standards. To look at their website, in fact, they are proud of a recent visit by a local poet: https://www.sidwell.edu/
                That sounds like time that would have been put to preparing kids for testing if Obama stood by his own standards.

              •  People "like me" in what way? (7+ / 0-)

                I don't prefer that, but I'm sure there are people who are "like me" in some way -- maybe in that they have two eyes and two hands, maybe they are female, maybe they are short or middle-aged -- who would prefer that.

                In case the points of my comment were not clear to you, I will simplify them:

                1. The schools that those who run our country view as "good schools" -- the ones populated by the children of people who can afford to send their children to whatever school they want -- have certain attributes, such as small class sizes, arts and enrichment, etc. If we want to improve public school education, perhaps we should consider making public schools more like those schools, rather than making them less and less like those schools with every passing year.

                2. President Obama seems to agree that those "good school" attributes provide a quality education for the students there, since that is where he chose to send his children. If he agrees with that, why is he forcing policies on the public schools that are diametrically opposed to the ones he chooses for his own daughters?

                "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

                by NWTerriD on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:31:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Great point. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2, zenbassoon, BMScott

        I don't agree with the President's education policy but I do believe that he thinks it is a viable solution to education reform.

        While we argue, our kids suffer as they become guinea pigs for the next winner take all education plan.

    •  Every teacher I know likes Common Core. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VelvetElvis

      They do admit that it takes a bit of adjustment from their previous programs but in the end it will be well worth it.

      The anti- Common Core folk sound an awful lot like the fact free folk who are against vaccinations and GMOs with very little scientific evidence and a lot of links to shady websites.

      •  This tired shit from you again? Conflating (11+ / 0-)

        everyone you disagree with w/antivaxxers?

        Frankly, this is starting to border on an HR'able insult.  Disagreeing with you on whether Common Core is a good educational policy or whether massive increases in herbicide use are desirable has NOTHING to do with people rejecting settled science and threatening the lives of thousands of children.

        This is up there with the clown the other day who tried to equate supporters of net neutrality with the Khmer Rouge.

        It may not be Going Godwin in degree, but it is Going Godwin in kind.

        "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

        by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:00:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Put up or shut up. (1+ / 2-)
          Recommended by:
          VelvetElvis
          Hidden by:
          P E Outlier, cville townie

          Show me the REAL science on Common Core, GMOs, and Vaccinations.

          Until then I'll lump you in with the looney conspiracy theorists.

          •  You're going to double down on the claim (5+ / 0-)

            that all of those who disagree with you on Common Core = Anti-Vaxxers?

            "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

            by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:07:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Indeed. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VelvetElvis

              And you're just going to make crazy assertions without any evidence. Put up or shut up.

              I have as little tolerance for the nuts on the left as the nuts on the right. Prove to me that the nuts on the left actually can think critically. I can't wait.

              •  I have little tolerance for bullying clowns (6+ / 0-)

                who try to conflate issues of settled science with whatever right-wing pro-corporate cause they're promoting this week.

                Throughout this diary, time and again you've been shown evidence.

                Offering none of your own by way of rebuttal, you've ranted that opposition to Common Core precisely equals opposition proven life-saving vaccines.

                You haven't got any argument to advance - you've just got a particularly nasty and utterly baseless line of ad hominem drawn directly from the Cass Sunstein playbook.

                There is no commonality between Common Core and vaccines.  Common Core will not save lives, it doesn't have years of extensive and thorough objective field trials behind it, it isn't (and never will be) widely accepted in hundreds of first world nations with their own rigorous standards of evaluation.

                There is no commonality between the two despite your hideously ugly efforts to conflate them rather than advance an argument.

                You've got nothing but a "Baby Godwin" to offer.  

                "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:16:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Overheated Rhetoric is Not Crtical Thinking (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, emal, quill, slatsg, DeadHead

                First, you argue that critics of Common Core are wrong because you personally know teachers who are for it (after "a bit of adjustment").  In this case, you have merely offered anecdotal evidence which is hardly persuasive. You then escalate the argument with over the top rhetoric attacking the critics (and not their arguments), again without providing meaningful evidence of any kind, by asserting:

                "The anti- Common Core folk sound an awful lot like the fact free folk who are against vaccinations and GMOs with very little scientific evidence and a lot of links to shady websites"

                JesseCW challenged your comparison with this:

                "Disagreeing with you on whether Common Core is good educational policy or whether massive increases in herbicide use are desirable has NOTHING to do with people rejecting settled science and threatening the lives of thousands of children."

                Your response doesn't respond to the challenge, but rather attempts to shift the burden of proof to the challenger:

                "Put up or shut up.  Show me the REAL science on Common Core, GMOs, and Vaccinations.  Until then I'll lump you in with the looney conspiracy theorists."

                JesseCW responded to your non-response:

                "You're going to double down on the claim that all of those who disagree with you on Common Core = Anti-Vaxxers?"

                Your counter-argument to this is:

                "Indeed.  And you're just going to make crazy assertions without any evidence. Put up or shut up.  I have as little tolerance for the nuts on the left as the nuts on the right. Prove to me that the nuts on the left actually can think critically. I can't wait."

                It seems that you made an assertion, were challenged on it, and couldn't respond with a reasoned argument, so you reiterated your attack on all critics of Common Core, asserting they are the same as "looney conspiracy theorists".  Given the exchange of views above, I don't think JesseCW or other "nuts on the left" are required to prove that they can think critically.

                However, you might want to think about your own abilities in regards to critical thinking and logical reasoning.

                These Republican gluttons of priviledge are cold men ... They want a return of the Wall Street economic dictatorship -- Harry Truman

                by Laborguy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:04:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hey, the diarist and Jesse made the claim (0+ / 0-)

                  they need to show that Common Core is not the correct course.

                  Put up. Use those critical thinking talents of yours to find me some data.

                  •  No ... it's not me who has to "put up" ... (4+ / 0-)

                    you're the one who initially claimed that critics of Common Core were the same as Anti-Vaxxers.  When challenged, you did not provide any evidence to your assertion.  Your attempt to shift the burden of argument and evidence to others would seem to indicate you have no evidence, hence no argument.  Stop digging the hole deeper and start thinking about why you responses are so unpersuasive to anyone reading them.

                    These Republican gluttons of priviledge are cold men ... They want a return of the Wall Street economic dictatorship -- Harry Truman

                    by Laborguy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:11:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here goes. :) (0+ / 0-)

                      An anti-vaxxer will often argue their case based on a not too reputable website.

                      An anti Common Core argument is often based on a not too reputable website.

                      Show me a link to a reputable website discrediting Common Core with findings based on science. The burden indeed is on you.

                      This ought to be fun.

                      •  An idiot will often argue that any facts he'd (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Laborguy

                        like to ignore come for a "not too reputable website", regardless of the reputation of the site linked or the origin of the content being linked to.

                        No actual support for this claimed lack of reputability is usually forthcoming.

                         

                        "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

                        by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:15:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You just don't get it ... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DeadHead, aliasalias

                        You made the initial assertion comparing Common Cause critics to anti-vaxxers.  The burden of providing evidence to support your claim is on YOU.  It's not up to me to prove you wrong.

                        Said evidence?

                        "An anti-vaxxer will often argue their case based on a not too reputable website.

                        An anti Common Core argument is often based on a not too reputable website."

                        Which anti-Common Core argument(s)?  Which not too reputable website(s)?  Again, you make claims without providing a trace of objective evidence to support your claim.

                        I am not here to argue Common Cause pro or con.  I actually would consider a logically reasoned rebuttal to Common Cause critics if you could provide one.  You haven't.  Your whole argument is based on a totally unsupported, over the top collective ad hominine attack against Common Cause critics to discredit them (and not their arguments).  

                        Sorry, but that's not an argument.  That's demagoguery and everyone can see it for what it is.

                        I suspect you're going to have the last word, no matter what I say.  Have at it, but I really don't have any more time to waste with you on this.  I would rather spend my limited time learning something relevant and useful re: Common Cause, pro or con.  I don't have the time or inclination to provide you with "fun" or getting into some silly "shouting match" about Common Cause critics in order to make you feel better about being yourself.  

                        Some parting advice.  Stop posting things for the sake of your ego and start thinking about how to make your arguments in a logical reasoned way.  Try it and people might actually start to take your points seriously.

                        These Republican gluttons of priviledge are cold men ... They want a return of the Wall Street economic dictatorship -- Harry Truman

                        by Laborguy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:56:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  When your kindergarteners come home crying (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, slatsg, DeadHead, Mostel26

        because they can't do the test, talk to me then.

        When their self esteem is shattered because they think they're failures because they didn't get a high enough score on the test, and that fact is pasted all over the school for everyone to see on the "data walls" talk to me then.

        I don't know what la-la land you live in, but in the real world, the world of POVERTY, of schools that are falling apart and have no music, art, PE, or even recess because of budget cuts and overtesting, we see the REAL impact of CC$$.  

        We see the true intent.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:59:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  my town is not "la-la land" (0+ / 0-)

          the teachers I talk to teach poor kids, they teach kids who know spoken English at best, kids from homes where parents do and deal crank, and homes where parents keep their kids home to help trim weed in the fall, the director of the elementary charter school has taught in even poorer areas, including rural Nicaragua.

          You're suggesting I take your long list of links and tell the teachers in the classrooms their experience is wrong because of these links? No.

          Common Core has nothing to do with the budget cuts in music, art PE, etc., at least not in CA.  Budget cuts came years before. My town, despite poverty, worked hard to keep more music /arts / sports in curriculum thanks to fundraising drives and volunteers.

          Along with introduction of Common Core in CA, actually, comes more money from state "local control" education funds; not saying they're connected, they're not, but if you went around telling teachers here Common Core means budget cuts, they would laugh at you: Our school district is getting big money (relatively) in local control funds due to high percentage of English learners and free lunch qualifiers.

          Reality at least in my town. Ignore it if you like. Not saying criticism is unwarranted, or even that teachers know everything about what Common Core will do: just saying - to say it again - I think it's interesting to compare the reality teachers on the ground in my town are experiencing and reporting, compared to what is posted here at dKos.

          •  When those kids who can barely speak English (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            samanthab, aliasalias

            are expected to do exactly the same as the richest kids in the state who are in all the best schools with all the best resources, and their scores come back time and time again FAIL, it doesn't matter WHO teaches them.

            THAT is Common Core.

            Teach to the test, and ONLY the test.

            Scripted lessons.

            NO field trips.

            NO classroom autonomy for explorative discussions.

            ALL test prep. ALL. The. Time.

            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 07:33:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  OK, time to pull out one of my favorite (13+ / 0-)

    quotes of all time from Science (the magazine):

    A prominent historian, policy-maker, and public intellectual, Ravitch long aligned herself with conservative school critics but has had a change of heart. The Death and Life of the Great American School System is part memoir, explaining her shifting position on market solutions to educational problems, and part jeremiad, warning readers about the ill effects of "No Child Left Behind" (2002), landmark federal legislation endorsed by Kennedy liberals and George W. Bush Republicans alike. With the appointment of Arne Duncan as the Secretary of Education, the Obama Administration has swallowed whole the prevailing ideology about the salutary influence of markets and choice, originally concocted by libertarians, neoconservatives, and Republicans.
    Ouch!!
  •  It would be nice if the following could be added (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon, NWTerriD, BMScott

    to the school environment (I'm a fan of the Finnish way of schooling):

       Integrating students who are disruptive in normal classrooms is harming the learning experience for those who want to learn.  Also children can be mean towards students that have issues like cerebral palsy or other challenges and those kids absolutely need protection from harassment and bullying as do all students.  Classroom monitors would be useful in stopping bullying before it starts.  Also video taping behaviors of the students may make them think twice about bad behaviors.

    I would propose using a special education teaching environment for those children who need extra help with school work as well as behavioral issues.  All kids deserve an education, but to be realistic, not all kids have the same capacity to learn.  

    Also quit using grades as a measure of school advancement.  Kids should be put with kids who are at their same level of learning.  That would mean possibly having a mixed bag of ages in a classroom, but it would also allow those students who excel to not be held back, and those students who are having trouble with a concept could get the help they need without being shoved into the next level where they will continue to fall behind their classmates.

    My step-mothers nephew is a good example of a student who excels, but has been held back.  He was teaching/mentoring high schoolers on how to do algebra at the ripe old age of 8. He is currently lucky enough to be in a private school setting that is also allowing him to take college courses at Stanford and another university because he is even too far advanced for the private school he is attending in some areas like math and science.  

    On the other end of the spectrum, my neighbor was being a special education assistant for a young boy who can't speak, see, write, or communicate, or as far as I know, learn much of anything.  I'm not sure that being in a school environment is helping him at all as he is made to sit at a desk  at the back of a room and just be still.  Thats it.  No assignments for this kid as it would be pointless.  

    In Finland, teachers are given the respect and pay they deserve, just like any other college educated professional.  

    None of the teacher bashing that occurs in this country is doing anyone any good at all and least of all the students who depend on their teachers to guide them.    

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by prettymeadow on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:58:02 AM PDT

    •  More importantly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon

      Also video taping behaviors of the  teachers may make them think twice about bad behaviors

      "If anybody is wondering about Tom’s qualifications, Tom is the only member of both the cable television and the wireless industry hall of fame. So he’s like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom.” President Obama

      by JesseCW on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:02:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's right-wing tendencies (10+ / 0-)

    just keep popping out of that closet...

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:24:20 AM PDT

    •  I'm laying some of this at the feet of parents (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, zenbassoon, BMScott, sethtriggs

      I live in Seattle, and even here where we have had schools opt out of testing, the discussions among parents often leads to discussing the data points at the school their kids will attend.

      We are a very liberal city, but the discussions can become all about the data.

      If your school is not successful in terms of academic progress, then your school stands to undergo frequent changes in leadership, and frequent changes at the teacher level.  

      Technology is part of the motivating factor, as well.  

      Think about the ease with which we do testing now.  It's due to the technology we have available.  

      When we have technology like that, it is very easy to imagine that it will change education.  

      This has been true with all forms of mass technology.  Radio, TV, Computers...  

      When those other technologies were newer, they were looked at by policy leaders and law makers as things that would make teaching much simpler, and more reliable.  

      We saw that they make a difference, but that they are just tools to use to initiate fundamentally sound teaching ideas.  

      The reason I lay some of this at the feet of the parents is that there is actually a great demand in communities for information about the quality of the nearby schools.  

      I am not talking about those families who do not have the required knowledge and skills to about seeking out the educational quality comparisons.  Unfortunately, those populations exist, and they are underserved.  

      I am talking about the middle class families which have to make a great investment in order to move into a district.  There is a demand for ways to compare schools.  Whether the demand is motivated by concern for the future success of their child, but also as a means of protecting their home investment, the demand is very strong.  

      Each level of administration is held to some standards by those above them, and they all have to find a way to demonstrate that they are succeeding, because that is what is perceived to be needed by Americans who are putting their kids in schools.

      Streichholzschächtelchen

      by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:59:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If some of the best teachers are leaving (7+ / 0-)

    They could be leaving for higher paying jobs
    and because of cuts in funding for education.

    They could also be leaving because of unwarranted criticism from right-wing politicians.

    Perhaps the law should consider replacing politicians if teachers are unsuccessful or leave the profession

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:26:38 AM PDT

    •  Or because they're well paid... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon

      ...and have generous pensions that permit them to retire early at a healthy percentage of that salary, permitting them some options that many other people don't have.  I'd like to know the higher paying jobs teachers are leaving for, that's for sure.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:31:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Math and science teachers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        otto, zenbassoon, BMScott

        Have opportunities to earn much more money working in their fields. I've known several teachers who left teaching for higher paying jobs. Most enter teaching knowing they'll make less money but are willing to sacrifice that extra salary to make a contribution to the next generation.

        How hard will it be to recruit those talented educators in the future with politicians complaining about teacher salaries and tax money allotted for public education?

        Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

        by Kayakbiker on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:02:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I always say (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon, Kayakbiker

          If you put your kids in summer camps, you get MFA's when you enroll them in arts camps, and you get college kids when you enroll them in science camps.  

          It's just too easy to make more money elsewhere.  

          Streichholzschächtelchen

          by otto on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:04:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You think a biology teacher can make more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon

          money doing biology?

          You think a math teacher can make more money doing math?

          Huh.

          That'll come as a surprise to some of the math and biology PhDs in this town who can't find work in their fields.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:30:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  PhDs don't compete in the same job market (0+ / 0-)

            As someone with a BS degree

            Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

            by Kayakbiker on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:29:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's true. (0+ / 0-)

              A PhD in some sort of biology can expect to start out at 35 to 45K (in a "postdoc" position, ie., an entry-level job), while a BS is going to earn something like 20-30K to start. (A "plum" job in a midwestern university research environment, with a B.S. and a year of experience will pay right around 30K, with decent benefits.) And after 5 years, that BS is going to be earning 25-40K. And that BS is probably never going to earn more than 45K, and is more likely to be making something in the high 30s.

              But that's assuming said BS can find any job at all, because they are not abundant.

              As for a BS in mathematics -- what, is that some kind of joke?

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:54:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Most of the teachers I know get burned out (4+ / 0-)
      <