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Seattle teachers boycott standardized testing


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#1    jugoso

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:53 PM


Opponents of the nation's relentless push for standardized testing in public schools have new champions in Seattle this week as teachers at one high school and now another have refused to issue such exams to their students, calling them a waste of "time and money" amid "dwindling school resources."

The entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this week or ever again. Garfield is the largest of thirteen high schools in the Seattle Public School (SPS) system.

In a press release, Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, said the test “produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources” during the weeks the test is administered.

On Friday, teachers at Ballard High School said they would join the boycott as well.

Full Article:   http://www.commondre...ne/2013/01/12-2

Good on ´em!! :tu:


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#2    and then

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

YEAH!!!  Who needs any accountability or a metric to see if public school teachers are doing what they are being paid for?!  I'm sure that now the SPS will rush in with their own system of testing and accountability.  :whistle:

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#3    Hasina

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

'It's all the kids fault! They just don't want to learn.' -actual thing a teacher said to me once.

What's the exact problem with the tests other then money and resources?

Edited by Hasina, 15 January 2013 - 08:41 PM.

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#4    jugoso

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:36 PM


While there can be no doubt our schools need important changes in order to meet the needs of all children, the truth about standardized tests is that they are a better indicator of a student’s zip code than a student’s aptitude. That’s because the wealthier, and predominately whiter, districts score better on tests. This is not a reflection of the intelligence of wealthier, mostly white students verses that of lower-income students of color, but of the advantages that wealthier children have—books in the home, parents with more time to read to them, private tutoring, access to test-prep agencies, coming to school healthy, well-fed and more focused, to name a few.

For these reasons, the achievement gap is better described as an opportunity gap.

As University of Washington education professor Wayne Au has written, “Looking back to its origins in the eugenics moment, standardized testing provided…ideological cover for the social, economic and education inequalities the test themselves help maintain.”

Moreover, the recent experience of high-stakes testing in New York City—long considered the national model for improving student achievement by making test scores the cornerstone of school accountability—demonstrates just how broken a thermometer such test scores really are. With the late July release of the state test results for 2010, New York’s claims of making “historic gains” for children came crashing down. Results from the newly adjusted test showed the proficiency rate in English fell from 69 percent last year down to 42 percent, while only 54 percent reached grade level in math, down from 82 percent. These wild fluctuations in scores reveal standardized testing as a profoundly inaccurate measure of student learning.

http://seattleducati...demic-progress/


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#5    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:33 PM

View Postand then, on 15 January 2013 - 08:39 PM, said:

YEAH!!!  Who needs any accountability or a metric to see if public school teachers are doing what they are being paid for?!  I'm sure that now the SPS will rush in with their own system of testing and accountability.  :whistle:
Standardised testing linked to pay means one thing and one thing alone - teaching to the test.
Now ... if there was a standardised SYLLABUS like we have in Australia linked to CTJ (Consistency of Teacher Judgement) oversight, then you're going to get children taught the same thing and ensuring that they're being assessed and taught in a unified manner. CTJ in Oz works thus: teacher's assessment is reviewed by colleagues, then by teachers at another school. It means work for the Contract/Supply Teachers, and that everyone is seeing how everyone else is doing.
If you need to put something on a snazzy spreadsheet so the public can see what's going on, that's fine - you show the number of As, Bs, etc each class, each school and each district generate.

Naturally that means the ***king Bell Curve needs to be done away with otherwise, every school will have 10% of it's population getting As no matter how bright or thick the student body is.


#6    J. K.

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:24 AM

View PostHasina, on 15 January 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

'It's all the kids fault! They just don't want to learn.' -actual thing a teacher said to me once.

What's the exact problem with the tests other then money and resources?

It is the student's responsibility and choice to learn.  You can't force a student to learn anything, unless you use brainwashing techniques.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#7    Hasina

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:20 AM

View PostJ. K., on 16 January 2013 - 12:24 AM, said:



It is the student's responsibility and choice to learn.  You can't force a student to learn anything, unless you use brainwashing techniques.
You present the information, tell them to learn it, then test them, if they fail, they stay in that grade until they pass, this is the reason we have public education, so we can educate children. You don't put a child into school and just hope they're learning, you keep them there till they do, because that's the bloody reason they're in school.

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#8    J. K.

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:35 AM

View PostHasina, on 16 January 2013 - 01:20 AM, said:

You present the information, tell them to learn it, then test them, if they fail, they stay in that grade until they pass, this is the reason we have public education, so we can educate children. You don't put a child into school and just hope they're learning, you keep them there till they do, because that's the bloody reason they're in school.

I agree with you.  Unfortunately, teachers are not empowered to make those decisions.  Parents don't like to see their children held back and be removed from their age group.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#9    FurthurBB

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:02 AM

View Postjugoso, on 15 January 2013 - 07:53 PM, said:


Opponents of the nation's relentless push for standardized testing in public schools have new champions in Seattle this week as teachers at one high school and now another have refused to issue such exams to their students, calling them a waste of "time and money" amid "dwindling school resources."
The entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this week or ever again. Garfield is the largest of thirteen high schools in the Seattle Public School (SPS) system.
In a press release, Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, said the test “produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources” during the weeks the test is administered.
On Friday, teachers at Ballard High School said they would join the boycott as well.
Full Article:   http://www.commondre...ne/2013/01/12-2
Good on ´em!! :tu:

The school district I live in stopped giving those tests to high school students five years ago.  Oh and as far as accountability and measuring standards goes, the high school is in the top 2% in the nation and few parents are complaining, except the ones who think they should spend more money on sports.


#10    FurthurBB

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:08 AM

View PostJ. K., on 16 January 2013 - 01:35 AM, said:

I agree with you.  Unfortunately, teachers are not empowered to make those decisions.  Parents don't like to see their children held back and be removed from their age group.

I am not sure what parents expect from schools anymore.  They put up every possible road block to their children's education and then are upset that those same children are not getting a good education and looking for someone to blame.


#11    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:34 AM

View PostJ. K., on 16 January 2013 - 12:24 AM, said:

It is the student's responsibility and choice to learn.  You can't force a student to learn anything, unless you use brainwashing techniques.
wait ... you're saying you can't brainwash the kids anymore? Well that's just prime ... :(


#12    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:36 AM

View PostHasina, on 16 January 2013 - 01:20 AM, said:

You present the information, tell them to learn it, then test them, if they fail, they stay in that grade until they pass, this is the reason we have public education, so we can educate children. You don't put a child into school and just hope they're learning, you keep them there till they do, because that's the bloody reason they're in school.
It's in how you present the information.
This year, for example, I'm teaching a unit on the solar system. To do so, we're having a class sleepover at school and stargazing.
I could just rote them on My Very Earnest Mother Just Says Unusual Nursery rhymes ;)


#13    burkorobe

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:25 AM

I'm sure that now the SPS will rush in with their own system of testing and accountability.


#14    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:27 AM

View Postburkorobe, on 16 January 2013 - 04:25 AM, said:

I'm sure that now the SPS will rush in with their own system of testing and accountability.
of course, you have to be accountable to your stockholders - in this case the parents - however them using their own system of testing and accountability is exactly what education needs because, frankly, unless you have taught and within the last five to ten years you have no idea what the state of education is, and what is required to teach children and what they need to learn.


#15    jugoso

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

In the public statement below, more than 130 educators, researchers and childhood advocates, including some of the most well-respected figures in the field of education, pledged support for the boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test initiated by the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, calling the action a “blow against the overuse and misuse of standardized tests.”

http://rethinkingsch....wordpress.com/

A boycott against a mandated standardized test at Garfield High School in Seattle, first initiated two weeks ago, has now received support from prominent national educators and—despite threats from school administrators and state officials—has spread to other schools across the city.

http://www.commondre...ne/2013/01/22-3

"Freedom is free of the need to feel free.
Free your mind and you ass will follow.
The kingdom of heaven is within"
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