The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 63
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,650

    Default School Testing

    The entire faculty of a New York public school says testing has taken over education.

    Eighteen days of testing in six weeks. That's insane.

    For those of you who have private school kids, you know all about the ERBs. It's a half day or so test that is used for admission and also to measure achievement It is taken every year.

    Why can't public schools use the ERB or a similar test?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_5087127.html
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Location
    Rock Chalk!
    Posts
    3,090

    Default

    Dont' get me started. Oops, already am. Our state (Kansas) decided in December to have an in-state group do the testing for our state. This spring. We all assumed we would be going with the one that has been piloted and is ready to go. Nope. They tried to throw something together. I think they hired folks from the Obama care website to do it. Originally, we were getting results "in the fall" from our spring tests. Within the first week, the state said that there were so many problems with the test interface that all schools will be accredited. Now, it's even optional if we do them or not. It's a building level decision in my district.

    We do give a nationally normed test (similar to ERB) three times a year. It gives us a lot of useful information.

    FWIW, most of the tests I've given (or been part of) in my 20 years of education take six class periods not six days. The longest test we did as a part of regular public education had three sections that were supposed to take 60 minutes. Since our classes back then were 45 minutes, we allowed 4 days of class for that. Kids cant' sit and test for a full day.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,830

    Default

    Was just trying to make my plans for my 8th-graders for April and May when I realized oops, this week is ELA testing, and this week is math testing, and this week is science testing, so this three week unit is now going to be six weeks minimum. Not counting the two sets of half day/superintendent conference days in that period so that we can go score tests.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    8,772

    Default Apples and oranges

    The purpose of the ERB is to evaluate students.

    The purpose of most standardized testing in public schools is to evaluate teachers.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Location
    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    3,722

    Default

    I have no problem with testing. I have a huge problem with Colorado being completely hung up on a state wide test that only measures our children against other CO kids, not nationally. I have a huge problem when kids are taught to test, not taught to learn. I think it is ridiculous when an essentially meaningless test carries so much importance that even the school lunch menu has to take test days in to account.

    ETA: I loved testing in school. I was a great test taker, even scoring perfect on ITBS in 6th grade. So I am slightly biased. I think it is great to be able to see where you rank nationally. But don't ask me to do homework!
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,437

    Default

    Don't think so, nhrw.

    Eh. I hear a LOT of complaining about testing. We used to do the state testing for about a week in the spring. And then, three times a year for about two periods they do a testing that gives us some kind of norms in math and LA. The state testing results eventually give us some feedback as to where students are when rated against other students versus grades. The other testing gives immediate feedback as to some of their abilities.

    The teachers I know who do a good job are fine with this. The teachers who are skating and don't have their kids do anything bitterly complain about it. I shared a class with a "fun" teacher who passes all of his kids. My grades correlated almost 100% with the testing results. The kids in his class, half were below standards in testing (and my grades) but every single one of them got passing grades in his class, mostly A's and B's.

    I like it. If I can get the feedback and get the kids to see it, then we can start somewhere. The problem is so many kids think they are "A" or "B" students, but in reality are "C" or "D" and the testing is some data to give accurate feedback. Grades have become so inflated now we need some measure of where kids actually are in their learning in relation to other students.

    Because we are switching to common core, we dropped the testing this year and are doing a practice test, which I'm guessing is along the lines of ERB. I think the common core testing is a step forward IF we can get the computers to actually be able to do it, because kids have to explain answers to show if they really know it versus multiple guesses. But, because we have no real testing which no on will look at this year, there's no on checking to see if the teaching is getting done and the kids have no measure of where they should be.

    We need some kind of testing to ensure some level of equality between all students, otherwise some kids who can't write a sentence or answer a question can get the same grades as a good who can write well thought out higher level essays and no one knows what's going on. Kids may be "bad testers" and have bad test days, but in the end, the learning mostly shows through in the testing and it's fairly accurate. We need this as a touchstone.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    The purpose of the ERB is to evaluate students.

    The purpose of most standardized testing in public schools is to evaluate teachers.
    Absolutely. Which is why I don't take the, MCAS in our case, seriously...despite the pressure from the school to put pressure on my kids. The schools system tries to get them all stressed about it, for obvious reasons. I tell my kids to do the best they can, but don't take it personally, don't lose sleep, don't study extra for that particular test, etc... they do just fine. Trying to measure teachers through standardized testing like this makes on sense at all, most of the results depend on factors outside of the teacher's control. It's all BS and I won't have it cause my kids any angst.

    I do resent the classroom time spent priming kids to do well on that testing, which has little to do with them or how well they are learning for real.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,437

    Default

    But, Canaqua, in the end, if you are a good teacher, it will tell somewhat in testing, no matter what the factors. It sure should not be the only factor in evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher, but if your kids are testing lower than every other teacher every time despite being in the same group, something is going on.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,633

    Default

    My biggest problem with testing as an educator is the amount of classroom time we lose to testing. It's out of control-- we literally lose weeks of instruction time.

    Otherwise, I could care less.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,693

    Default

    It takes 6 weeks to complete the 6-7-8th grade tests in 4 subjects (math, science, reading, writing) that are required by the NCLB Act (thanks Bush! way to keep it going Obama!) that are now being replaced by Common Core (yay....maybe..not) tests (we'll be taking the "Smarter Balanced" test..now known as the "butter test" in our building).

    Our tests are on-line versions, and that means we cycle 450+ students through 2 labs of 30 computers. It sucks. And takes forever. And totally disrupts our school.

    I hate that our state will now be using these as a measure of my evaluation. I teach ELA--so I get nailed twice. But...what about the band teacher? PE? Art? History? No tests...so how are they evaluated on the SBtest?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,993

    Default

    Sounds like just more Big Government Bigger Spending BS to me.
    Proud Member of the "I Don't Do Facebook" Clique


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,633

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    I hate that our state will now be using these as a measure of my evaluation. I teach ELA--so I get nailed twice. But...what about the band teacher? PE? Art? History? No tests...so how are they evaluated on the SBtest?
    What I hate is that our test scores are about to become part of our salary. I teach science-- my students take EOCs and their scores will be factored into my pay and raises. That doesn't worry me... but it burns me up that teachers who teach courses without EOCs will have their salaries based on a totally different subjective evaluation scale.

    My school district is deep-seated in cronyism and cheap to boot. There is no doubt in my mind that they will cut my salary if my test score growth slips even the slightest fraction of a percent. Yet I know certain administrator-favorite non-EOC teachers will fly right up the pay scale regardless of whether or not they actually DO anything.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,437

    Default

    Really? They're tying test scores into salary? How can they even do that? And, as Calvin said, how do the teachers who don't get tested get paid. THAT is not fair. I think that the scores have some use in evaluating to help teachers get better, but this is completely why the NEA is against it. There is no way to actually be fair.

    I SO agree it's not fair to teachers who teach core subjects. Others need to be held accountable. We have done state testing that involved history. This year we dropped it, so the 8th grade history teachers have decided they "don't need" to teach the whole curriculum because no one is checking. The Civil War isn't important, right?

    As the kids tell me, "You get paid the same as the PE teacher? That's not fair."



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    But, Canaqua, in the end, if you are a good teacher, it will tell somewhat in testing, no matter what the factors. It sure should not be the only factor in evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher, but if your kids are testing lower than every other teacher every time despite being in the same group, something is going on.
    Sure. Don't get me wrong, I know a good teacher can affect a lot of things, test scores included. I've had a few phenomenal teachers in my life and so have my kids, they make HUGE difference. I don't think, though, that state testing is a fair way to evaluate teachers, they don't get to choose which kids are in their classroom or how much support those kids get at home and are sometimes fighting an uphill battle.

    To be open, and give perspective, I live in an upper middle class town with a great school system. The MCAS stuff is a PITA and takes time away from real teaching tasks. The school system is very concerned right now with their ranking in Mass, we're always in the top 20, which is no small feat, since this state is generally regarded as having some of the best public school systems in the country. But, they are jockeying for position in Mass, which in the media is often based on MCAS scores. I don't like the weeks and weeks spent on test prep and won't pressure my kids on it. They pull their weight...one always tested "advanced" in everything, the other is "proficient" in everything and "advanced" in science. Good enough. Sure, they should reflect well on the efforts of their teachers on testing, but their real job is to get educated themselves...I think they are doing the former, my concern is more with the latter.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,633

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Really? They're tying test scores into salary? How can they even do that? And, as Calvin said, how do the teachers who don't get tested get paid. THAT is not fair. I think that the scores have some use in evaluating to help teachers get better, but this is completely why the NEA is against it. There is no way to actually be fair.

    I SO agree it's not fair to teachers who teach core subjects. Others need to be held accountable. We have done state testing that involved history. This year we dropped it, so the 8th grade history teachers have decided they "don't need" to teach the whole curriculum because no one is checking. The Civil War isn't important, right?

    As the kids tell me, "You get paid the same as the PE teacher? That's not fair."
    It's called "differentiated pay" and while it's a good idea in concept, it's not fair. We're all supposedly evaluated on the same scale, except my test scores and test score growth will be factored into my evaluation. The non-EOC teachers will have some sort of crummy rubric that is supposed to be substituted for test scores. Then there will be school-wide benchmarks (both testing and non-testing related) that need to be met for all of us to get a bonus.

    But on the plus side, with the new differentiated teacher pay scale, I will get a piddly bonus for teaching a "core" EOC-tested subject. Ironically, that bonus is less than the amount they are cutting from our pay due to redistributing the local/county taxpayer funds to provide all these bonuses.

    It's ridiculous, although I'm trying not to get too worried about it yet. The way things work around here, they'll talk talk talk about this, then probably shoot the differentiated pay plan down at the 11th hour.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,437

    Default

    I totally agree, Canaqua, with all of the factors. Testing results should NOT be used to pay raises at all, since Texarkana says. This is a big thing with our union. They CAN look at test scores, but ONLY to help improve teaching, nothing like pay raises! Argh! And, it is only ONE factor in many.

    As with anything, these are used for good and evil. My concern and agreement with the testing is that it at least gives us some common ground to stand on to see where we are compared to everyone else. For example, Texas used to do so well and was lauded for all of their high testing, until it was discovered how much they cheated. Trying to keep it honest and useful is the hard part, but I do think it's necessary so we have some sort of semi-accurate gauge.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,633

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    This is a big thing with our union. They CAN look at test scores, but ONLY to help improve teaching, nothing like pay raises! Argh! And, it is only ONE factor in many.

    As with anything, these are used for good and evil. My concern and agreement with the testing is that it at least gives us some common ground to stand on to see where we are compared to everyone else. For example, Texas used to do so well and was lauded for all of their high testing, until it was discovered how much they cheated. Trying to keep it honest and useful is the hard part, but I do think it's necessary so we have some sort of semi-accurate gauge.
    Tennessee = at will state. No unions. Both good and bad. In this instance, probably bad.

    I also used to teach science in Texas. Don't even get me started on that testing process!!!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Texarkana View Post
    It's called "differentiated pay" and while it's a good idea in concept, it's not fair. We're all supposedly evaluated on the same scale, except my test scores and test score growth will be factored into my evaluation. The non-EOC teachers will have some sort of crummy rubric that is supposed to be substituted for test scores. Then there will be school-wide benchmarks (both testing and non-testing related) that need to be met for all of us to get a bonus.

    But on the plus side, with the new differentiated teacher pay scale, I will get a piddly bonus for teaching a "core" EOC-tested subject. Ironically, that bonus is less than the amount they are cutting from our pay due to redistributing the local/county taxpayer funds.

    It's ridiculous, although I'm trying not to get too worried about it yet. The way things work around here, they'll talk talk talk about this, then probably shoot the differentiated pay plan down at the 11th hour.
    Wow. A mess. So, how to get it shot down. Tie in administrator pay to testing success. He he. They won't touch that with a ten foot pole.

    And, I brought to my administrator the whole issue with the grading problem AND showed him the correlation to test results and told him it's his job to do something about it. His answer? Yeah, our test scores went down. His action? Nothing.

    And THIS is why unions are necessary. The cheating the system gets worse and worse and worse.

    Weren't they allowed to teach creationism as science in Texas? Another reason we need national standards.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,633

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Wow. A mess. So, how to get it shot down. Tie in administrator pay to testing success. He he. They won't touch that with a ten foot pole.

    ...

    Weren't they allowed to teach creationism as science in Texas? Another reason we need national standards.
    LOL There actually is an administrator differentiated plan, too... although I didn't look too closely at it. I kind of figure around here, no matter what the plan says, the cronyism will win.

    Creationism wasn't a standard by the time I got there, but teachers in my school taught it! While I was there, the state board of education did change the standards to, er, "diminish" the historical importance of slavery and the civil rights movement. *head desk* Not like Tennessee is any better, though!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    2,639

    Default

    The tests in MD are called "SOL." it's standards of learning, but of course that's not what i think when i hear it.
    Gravity works, and the laws of physics are a bitch.

    Member: Rabid Garden Snail Clique


    3 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. DNA Testing and Testing for Parentage? {Long story}
    By GypsyGold in forum Off Course
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Jan. 25, 2014, 10:50 AM
  2. Graduate School - School Psychology
    By UniversityRider in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Nov. 22, 2012, 10:33 AM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: Jan. 22, 2011, 01:07 PM
  4. Replies: 43
    Last Post: Aug. 19, 2010, 01:47 PM
  5. Spinoff of Vet School - Vet Tech School then Vet School?
    By horse_on_course in forum Off Course
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jul. 27, 2009, 10:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness