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  1. #61
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    Feb. 24, 2004
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    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    Teachers should be doing formative assessments to ascertain if the students are learning what they think they have taught, not leaving it to the end result to check up on themselves.

    Summative assessments are made to assess a variety of grade-level standards, not just time management. Would you be able to honestly say that a student lacked content knowledge because they have terrible time management skills? I have no problem giving low marks or "not completed" or whatever else when it accurately reflects the situation- I don't think that inflating egos increases self-esteem or life skills in the loong run. I do think that a system where a bunch of scores are averaged and curved and expect that to reflect a student's "English" or "Math" mark.

    I'm thankful that we don't give %s at my school, and that transdisciplinary skills like metacognition, application of knowledge, accepting responsibility, cooperating, and a variety of research skills are not only taught, but assessed and evaluated on report cards alongside more traditional strands.
    ~please recycle~



  2. #62
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    Mar. 28, 2003
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    Hunterdon County, NJ
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    I taught English at the high school level for 7 years and at the college level for going on 8 years.

    What I saw in high school was the exchange of writing and actual thinking for doing well on standardized tests. There's no requirement to teach essay writing, for example, to Freshmen and Sophomores; they focus on the test instead.

    Schools get money/ funding/ press based on the test scores, so until that changes the tests will be emphasized. Teachers are expected to put up with whatever requirements are placed on them as a result of grants received, so as not to endanger the money. Bill Gates' Project Opening Doors gave money to my school. The idea was that minority students not tracked as gifted would have the opportunity to take AP classes. I loved the idea, but the off-contract, after school and weekend time required by teachers was ridiculous. My $500 "bonus" was equal to $1.47 an hour for the time they wanted me to put in. Another teacher had a student who could barely speak English placed in her AP course. When she asked the director about this, she was told "then stay after school and teach that student English!"

    Administration, IME, gives lip service to Academic Rigor and raised standards, but they don't want to hear about failing students or hear complaints about the grade you gave the kid who refuses to work. I often saw teachers with incredibly low standards (I knew one guy with ONE gradable assignment per marking period) breeze through professional hoops and get promoted to VP, principal, and , in one district, superintendent.

    It's a sad, sad state of affairs because there are no checks and balances in place for administrators. I've seen administrators flat out bully teachers who were doing their jobs. One group tried to get a teacher who had high standards (but wasn't young, thin, or sexy) to quit a year before she got tenure, citing her "inability to fit in with her peers" even though she volunteered for everything she could. I was so happy to talk her through that tough time; now she's tenured in that school system, but has to put up with a terrible administration made up of an old boys' club who can barely string a sentence together between them.


    Now I teach at community college and see the results of the poor standards in high schools in about 1/4 of my students. I teach them to write an essay in 15 weeks and it's a rocky road for some, but they get through it.
    Last edited by RunningwaterWBs; Feb. 23, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
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  3. #63
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    Oct. 20, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathtray View Post
    I'm thankful that we don't give %s at my school, and that transdisciplinary skills like metacognition, application of knowledge, accepting responsibility, cooperating, and a variety of research skills are not only taught, but assessed and evaluated on report cards alongside more traditional strands.
    How are they assessed and evaluated?



  4. #64
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    Oct. 20, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    ALL of the talk is about how to "find a way" make more kids pass, despite lower skills.

    We looked at data for the grading committee meeting, and the main focus seemed to be why do some teachers (me!) have so many F's, and are not like the majority where 95% of the kids are passing.
    Would the parents, teachers, and administrators be satisfied with a majority of the students passing with a D-?



  5. #65
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    Feb. 24, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Yabbut by the time you got to the Ivy, you were in the top 6-15% of all students who applied for admission. Slack may be cut for the bottom-most of those undergrads. But I assure you, they didn't get much slack cut if they got to those top ranks. Most of the Ivy kids I taught had fine work ethics and "knew how to go to school" as well as what it was for.

    Now does the average Harvard freshman know more, less or different than he did, 30 years ago? Is the top 6% less-well-educated now than it was then? That would be hard to measure, but I'd guess not.
    Oh, I disagree with the idea that all students that go to an Ivy League school are exceptional students. I've gone through the process here in excellent schools in an excellent program and watched how the process works. One can be accepted to Harvard, you example, because his/her parents went there, because his family his money, because of affirmative action/quotas - all manner of things that do not relate to more than normal good academics. The education standard is not better in an Ivy League school - the focus is more on contacts than on academics. They do not fail students because, not because the students are so good, but because they don't want to fail them. It's a bad system actually.

    As for the current state of edcuation - I again disagree with the majority. My kids got an excellent public school education. Had they not, I would have moved them over to private school which was my plan until the schools were just so good. Our district has a wide variety of programs in the various high schools so you can select the ones that fit your student. We chose IB in high school (which Glenn Beck just criticised yesterday as he read the mission statement - it is liberal and the reading list is bizarre, but it's a good program where you are challenged in all subjects.)We have universal high school where students learn their way. We have schools that focus on a strong AP program - and more. Our elementary school focused on writing. Our middle school thistory eacher had ta test where he kids the kids were required fill in all of the countries in the world along with their capitols in seventh grade, but even more imporantly they had to understand the politics.
    My kids got an excellent edcuation here, and my nephew and niece are getting an education similar in quality in Alabama. Great public education is there but you may have to look for it. I don't know any students whose education is not superior to the education of past decades.



  6. #66
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    I do wish the educators and critics of higher education on this forum would take the time and make the effort to edit their posts.



  7. #67
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    @ Coyoteco. Folks are admitted to the Ivies (and other colleges) for non-academic reasons... but that's In Part. Whether you are talking about legacy cases (family are alums), "development" cases (really rich family and the college wants access to that fortune), or even applying while being non-white, gay, poor or an athlete, that's one piece of the admissions piece. Now how big is it? It think it varies a whole lot.

    I think it is hard to flunk out of an Ivy. But I don't see how the possibility of getting kicked out of Harvard for academic failure makes the institution more elite. Conversely, I don't see how an elite institution that makes some money from tuition gains much by being the place that practices weeding out of its admitted students.

    Some graduate programs *do* admit more than they are prepared to have finish and practice the weeding out. But that usually has a financial basis that serves the department/university. I'm not sure it actually makes those who survive and finish "that much better." After all, the differences among the folks admitted to an elite program (grad or undergrad) are small if the program was over-subscribed in the first place.

    As to good/bad public education? Some of it is defensible and some is not. The enormous disparities in the quality of schools that correlate with local wealth or poverty sucks.big.dick. And by the way, that's why affirmative action and need-blind admissions are necessary. All of us hate the "halo effect"-- you are born well-off and stay that way, or not. At least colleges try to undo the systemic inequalities built into public education before that.
    The armchair saddler
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  8. #68
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Man, I need to figure out how to snip quotes.
    runningwater"It's a sad, sad state of affairs because there are no checks and balances in place for administrators. I've seen administrators flat out bully teachers who were doing their jobs. One group tried to get a teacher who had high standards (but wasn't young, thin, or sexy) to quit a year before she got tenure, citing her "inability to fit in with her peers" even though she volunteered for everything she could. I was so happy to talk her through that tough time; now she's tenured in that school system, but has to put up with a terrible administration made up of an old boys' club who can barely string a sentence together between them."

    This is exactly what has been going on in our district--not the young, sexy part, but going after the high standards part. There is a lot of TALK about rigor/relevance, high standards, the upper level of Bloom's taxonomy, whatever the latest is called. The problem is, the grading and requirements of the district don't reflect that. We are doing yet ANOTHER program to teach this amazing new concept! Get kids to think on their own, work at a higher level, etc. The problem is, unless they are assessed at this level (after teaching it) what's the point?

    The admin. and personnel dept. are, again, harassing any teacher that gets a complaint, and that all goes back to having higher grades and less homework. I am helping another teacher, too, and go after the union--the president is a sneaky, two-faced SOB. I replied to him yesterday about something like this and CC'd it to her and the union rep., mentioning something like he was NOT represented last year, and maybe it will take a lawsuit to stop the bullying. She replied that, of course, she had done all she was supposed to do and I was not privy to all information. I and a whole bunch of people were privy to every written document and meeting notes because we were given them. It's hard enough with problem parents, but problem admin., and no union support is . . . insane.

    Another good teacher I talked to the other day put it this way. We want to do this for the children. We want to teach them skills and responsibility. Other people get into teaching so they can get an admin. job, or get into the district office.

    alicen "Would the parents, teachers, and administrators be satisfied with a majority of the students passing with a D-?" I wasn't clear. The majority of students in most of our classes are getting by with a C or above, though technically a D is still passing. A lot of teachers bump everything up to a D to cover themselves because F's start the harassment process.


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  9. #69
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    Feb. 24, 2005
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    2,268

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    @ Coyoteco. Folks are admitted to the Ivies (and other colleges) for non-academic reasons... but that's In Part. Whether you are talking about legacy cases (family are alums), "development" cases (really rich family and the college wants access to that fortune), or even applying while being non-white, gay, poor or an athlete, that's one piece of the admissions piece. Now how big is it? It think it varies a whole lot.

    I think it is hard to flunk out of an Ivy. But I don't see how the possibility of getting kicked out of Harvard for academic failure makes the institution more elite. Conversely, I don't see how an elite institution that makes some money from tuition gains much by being the place that practices weeding out of its admitted students.

    Some graduate programs *do* admit more than they are prepared to have finish and practice the weeding out. But that usually has a financial basis that serves the department/university. I'm not sure it actually makes those who survive and finish "that much better." After all, the differences among the folks admitted to an elite program (grad or undergrad) are small if the program was over-subscribed in the first place.

    As to good/bad public education? Some of it is defensible and some is not. The enormous disparities in the quality of schools that correlate with local wealth or poverty sucks.big.dick. And by the way, that's why affirmative action and need-blind admissions are necessary. All of us hate the "halo effect"-- you are born well-off and stay that way, or not. At least colleges try to undo the systemic inequalities built into public education before that.
    "Elite" ? I'd have to have a definition of that. I didn't say that Harvard was a terrible school. I've had many Harvard educated colleagues and they were good at profession. I've seen Harvard educated people who were quite unlearned, too. The same as anywhere else. Another way to get into Harvard is to be good in a certain sport -I've known many of those people who were good at some sport - women's rugby comes to mind who were even sub-par academically. I'm just saying the Ivy League Schools are no better and no worse than other colleges - but they do not flunk out failing students and that is a flaw in their system imo.

    As for the inequity of schools, it it true. More than that there is an inequity in many teachers' committment to a given student because of the teachers perception of a parent. I have tons of stories on this. The only remedy for thise imbalance in the education system is vouchers. Vouchers are the equalizer. A couple of inequities in recent years just broke my heart: one was when Obama immediately upon his 2009 inauguration stopped the voucher system that was in place for Washington DC and cause those kids to have to go back to failing schools.



  10. #70
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    Feb. 24, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    @ Coyoteco. Folks are admitted to the Ivies (and other colleges) for non-academic reasons... but that's In Part. Whether you are talking about legacy cases (family are alums), "development" cases (really rich family and the college wants access to that fortune), or even applying while being non-white, gay, poor or an athlete, that's one piece of the admissions piece. Now how big is it? It think it varies a whole lot.

    I think it is hard to flunk out of an Ivy. But I don't see how the possibility of getting kicked out of Harvard for academic failure makes the institution more elite. Conversely, I don't see how an elite institution that makes some money from tuition gains much by being the place that practices weeding out of its admitted students.

    Some graduate programs *do* admit more than they are prepared to have finish and practice the weeding out. But that usually has a financial basis that serves the department/university. I'm not sure it actually makes those who survive and finish "that much better." After all, the differences among the folks admitted to an elite program (grad or undergrad) are small if the program was over-subscribed in the first place.

    As to good/bad public education? Some of it is defensible and some is not. The enormous disparities in the quality of schools that correlate with local wealth or poverty sucks.big.dick. And by the way, that's why affirmative action and need-blind admissions are necessary. All of us hate the "halo effect"-- you are born well-off and stay that way, or not. At least colleges try to undo the systemic inequalities built into public education before that.
    Oh, and what you call the halo effect has not been my observation or my life. America was "classless" and afforded the best opportunity in the world for change of economic status. I put that in the past tense because progressives seemed to have won, and along with that win is the creation of a class-based society and exploitation of lower socioeconomic individuals and families, not simply to their detriment, but to their destruction.



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