Testing and WCC

Here are the two test results:

Testing and its Role in White Chalk Crime

There is a loud protest against the increased standardized testing our schools use to determine a teacher’s worth because it forces teachers to teach to the test rather than effectively teach. Those of us who know children know that learning does not happen when teaching is done in such a narrow fashion. Furthermore, we know that few children are motivated to do well on tests. As they mature, some realize this is their future and make an effort to test well. But younger children see tests as something to get over with so they can read their book while the others struggle to answer “those boring questions.” And the developed interest in testing to which I referred is only for college entrance tests as opposed to school driven testing.

So teaching to tests that students see as burdens is ineffective while denying the time for real teaching. The key to successful teaching is properly motivating the learner. The motivation to do well on these tests is minimal to non existent no matter what a teacher does. A teacher can make science exciting, but she is hard pressed to make a test exciting. Their value is far too abstract for a young mind. We are asking them to care about adult objectives, and we all know how well that goes over with children.

Learning happens when new ideas connect to learned information. Covering vast topics to get an answer correct rather than to connect it to prior knowledge defies all wisdom about how the brain learns. Perhaps a highly motivated child who wants to win a contest will cram his brain with facts. But tests to help the school administration figure out what to do simply provide no motivation for the average child.

However, to add to this, with these test scores tied to federal funds, pressure for high scores comes all the way from the top. Currently a test cheating scandal has erupted in the Atlanta Public Schools, with hundreds of administrators suspected. These scandal happen nationwide, but because of the cover White Chalk Crime provides, we rarely hear of them. Even the Atlanta scandal may not have ever surfaced if not for a determined activist who would not remain silent about the corruption in his district. Teachers with such courage, given the power that comes down on them, are scarce and thus news of cheating is even more scarce. But trust me it is prevalent.
Further, despite the damage that over testing is doing, most of the testing implemented is virtually ineffective at determining the quality of the teacher’s instruction. It allows EducRAT$ to stack classrooms of undesired teachers with low performing students in order to “prove” these teachers’ worthlessness. Further, it only measures where the child is at in a particular topic at that point in time as opposed to how much he has improved under that teacher’s tutelage.

The bottom line for testing and everything else in education is: if crooks are running the system, and they are, most of what they do is for their money and power agenda and little to none is for the benefit of the children. Therefore, suggesting alternative tests is futile since where there is a will to cheat the public, there is a way. Nevertheless, if we fantasize that the people reporting the scores are not inclined to cheat as they regularly do, there is a test that at least holds some validity. It successfully tests the teacher’s progress because it factors student achievement with individual IQ’s.

In other words, if Jonny has a low IQ but performs average or above, he is achieving very successfully. At the same time if Jonny has a very high IQ, and scores average, he is not achieving well. Scores derived with intelligence factored in can be attributed more directly to the teacher than mere achievement that may have nothing to do with a particular teacher. A teacher could have a class with highly intelligent children and turn out decent scores and be a failure, while she could have a class of intellectually challenged children and turn out not so great scores and be a huge success.

It just so happened that the district that concocted false charges against me to silence my ability to prove they were harming children actually used these more effective tests. One can look at the scores in each subject area and see how many students perform below THEIR ability and have valid data that shows that their instruction ranged from poor to excellent. To determine inferior instruction level overall, one adds the percentage points in the “below” potential category. There will be some points in that category because that particular topic may not have been taught yet. However, one can judge the quality of the teaching by judging the relative scores of teachers at the same grade level.

Attached you will find results from my teaching along with results from one of my principal’s favorites who could do no wrong. You will see that the honored teacher produced scores that were more than 200% worse than my scores. She had 370 percentage points in the below potential category, which was about three times the 121 percentage points I had in the below ability category. Also, if you look at the reading vocabulary, you will see that I had 30 points more in the above potential category for that subject alone. This was because in addition to being a reading specialist, I had extensive experience with brain based learning and had devised a very effective vocabulary program for my students. Of course, the district never asked me to share it with others despite using me on the gifted committee during my first year to show parents that I had indeed served the gifted children well in my classroom. Based on my success we convinced them that we no longer needed the pull-out gifted specialist. Then once they got parental agreement to hire only a consultant, they could not get rid of me fast enough! They had no intention to share what made my classroom work for these students as student success is not on the radar of these power mongers.

I included this piece on testing to point out two issues: there are tests that could judge teachers if judging teachers could be justified for the White Chalk Criminals running our schools; and EducRAT$ could not care less about quality teachers. Teachers like me, who will not keep quiet about the corruption, are quickly trashed and disposed of, while less effective teachers who play along to get along are honored.

Leaders who pretend extensive testing is beneficial are White Chalk Criminals. Testing is little more than smoke and mirrors to give the appearance that real education is taking place. Stating that the testing in place achieves accountability for teachers is mere propaganda.

 

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