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Old 02-28-2013, 05:11 AM   #46
donac
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NJ is all about testing and it is starting to feel like a business and not education. I am glad I only have a year until I retire.

For those people who children are getting ready for test you should know that the teachers are so hyped up about the testing is because is all about money. If the school does not measure up then there may be a loss of aid. If the teacher's done' measure up is could mean a loss of their incredment. But a teacher could do everything right but if one or 2 students have a problem that they bring into the classroom the testing may be a problem. We do what we can. We want everyone to pass but we have no control of them until they walk into the classroom.

My suggestion for parents. Make sure your son or daughter gets a good night sleep and a good breakfast. I tell my AP students that they should relax the night before their big test and maybe watch something funny to relax.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:43 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy2sams View Post
Bingo! I absolutely loathe multiple choice exams for this very reason. All they show in many cases is that students are good at eliminating possibilities and/or guessing.

I'm a 5th grade teacher, and our state has an unbelievable emphasis on standardized testing. I literally spend hours each week charting and graphing each of my students' progress on each standard being taught. This paperwork is presented each Friday morning during a grade-level meeting where I have to explain why Johnny, who is on an IEP and so hyperactive that he literally bounces in his chair all day, chose "B" as his favorite letter and thus scored a 40 on that week's assessment. I am required to follow a pacing calendar that allows 4 days of teaching followed by an assessment day. Sometimes there are 3-4 standards required to be taught in each subject within those 5 days. Any student making less than a 60 on the 5 question assessment is put into remediation the following week, which I am somehow supposed to squeeze into the 60 minutes I am allowed to teach a given subject during the day.

I have students who cannot multiply 2 * 3 without drawing pictures, but I am supposed to show mastery of three-digit by two-digit division in 4 days. As an added bonus, my teaching certificate number is attached to each child's state testing. Their test scores account for 50% of my total evaluation. It does not matter that Johnny's dad beats the crap out of Johnny's mom and Johnny on a daily basis. It does not matter that Susie hasn't eaten since her free lunch in the cafeteria the previous afternoon. It does not matter that Julie hates me and knows that a poor test score has absolutely no impact upon her future because she knows it has an impact on mine. It does not matter that I have 5 students on IEPs who have IEPs stating they need the modified state exams because my school, by law based upon school population, is only allowed to choose 2 students from the entire building to take the modified exam. Education is messed up!

I absolutely love teaching, but the legislation put forth by those who have never darkened a classroom door for any purpose other than to say that "anyone can teach" is driving good teachers out of the classroom. Until parents must take equal responsibility in their child's education and teachers are no longer forced to structure curriculum to the masses and the almighty test, I will be saddened and truly fearful for the futures of many of today's students.

Please excuse my rant.
THANK YOU for this post! as a parent of a 4th grader, I am OUTRAGED with everything going on in the classroom regarding testing. TEACHING the basics is on the back burner...TEACHING the tests, and how to properly take them, is front & center. After school each day, I find myself re-teaching my son the multiplication stuff form math, as well as how to properly write a short story in 3 paragraphs.....His class doesn;t even have social studies books! It's a big mess, and all boils down to testing......I feel for teachers, who didn;t sign up for all this BS! Private school is probably in our future.......Learning in public schoo is SO much different from just 10 years ago...
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:22 AM   #48
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Last year my dd10's teacher put so much pressure on them in 3rd grade I pulled her out a few days before the test for a little break. They teach the test from mid-December until April (whatever the day the take it) here... I hate it! The thing is my dd10 does awesome on these tests and in school in general. They still had her so worked up that if they didn't do well the teacher would be fired.. who does that to 8-9yr olds? My dd12 takes another type of these tests since she is in a lifeskills class.. she does NOT get the same as the other kids her age and she is video taped the entire time. She did her last week. Her teacher said she did good.. guess I'll find out next year not that I really care.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #49
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Dh, a high school teacher, was at a meeeting of teachers from all around the area last night.

The stories that were told are absolutely . One second grade teacher in a poor, urban neighborhood, was telling about her experience teaching reading. She's always made it a point to go out of her way to try to get the kids fired up about reading and to love books. She's got ties to some famous children's authors. Every year, she'd have one or two come in to talk to the kids. She bought copies of the books out of her own pockets for the authors to sign and give to the kids. She's had many, many of her students come back to her years later to tell her how much this changed their lives and made them into readers, when they got no encouragement in that direction at home. This year, with the newest set of state standards, she's been told by the administration she must stop this to spend more time on test prep.

A high school literature teacher related that he'd been told to stop wasting so much time on literature and start spending more time on test prep coaching.

A math teacher who is known locally for getting kids, girls in particular, to be more interested in studying math, was also told to stop doing the extras she'd been doing to focus on test prep coaching.

Dh teaches science. With the new state regs, all the kids must take his science class, which is pretty rigorous. He's trying to teach kids with an IQ of 75 about things like the latent heat of vaporization. Then he's evaluated on how well they do passing a test that they don't have a chance of passing. They don't have the math skills, the verbal skills or the cognitive function, and no amount of test prep is going to change that.

The whole thing is just so discouraging. I can't imagine why anyone would go into this profession. And I think it is going to have a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged schools. When you evaluate teachers based on how well the kids do on standardized tests, there is less than zero incentive to go work in these schools.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:44 AM   #50
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why in the world is a student with an IQ of 75 in a reg class room... My dd's is actually lower and is in a lifeskills setting and doesn't have to take the reg state tests.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenePA View Post
why in the world is a student with an IQ of 75 in a reg class room... My dd's is actually lower and is in a lifeskills setting and doesn't have to take the reg state tests.
Then consider yourself lucky and blessed. In NC, all students must be assessed on the standard course of study, regardless of their IQ or academic ability.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:12 AM   #52
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OP, if you truly think your daughter has a visual processing disorder, it is probably worth the $500 to have her tested.

It is a lot of money, but she needs to get on the right track now, before she gets to high school and college and starts getting lower grades because even though she knows the material the teachers will ding her for spelling. There is also the long term impact of her career. She won't be taken as seriously if she fills out a job application that is full of errors. Spellcheck is a wonderful thing, but there are still times you have to write things on the fly without the benefit of spellcheck.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:27 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy2sams View Post
Bingo! I absolutely loathe multiple choice exams for this very reason. All they show in many cases is that students are good at eliminating possibilities and/or guessing.

I'm a 5th grade teacher, and our state has an unbelievable emphasis on standardized testing. I literally spend hours each week charting and graphing each of my students' progress on each standard being taught. This paperwork is presented each Friday morning during a grade-level meeting where I have to explain why Johnny, who is on an IEP and so hyperactive that he literally bounces in his chair all day, chose "B" as his favorite letter and thus scored a 40 on that week's assessment. I am required to follow a pacing calendar that allows 4 days of teaching followed by an assessment day. Sometimes there are 3-4 standards required to be taught in each subject within those 5 days. Any student making less than a 60 on the 5 question assessment is put into remediation the following week, which I am somehow supposed to squeeze into the 60 minutes I am allowed to teach a given subject during the day.

I have students who cannot multiply 2 * 3 without drawing pictures, but I am supposed to show mastery of three-digit by two-digit division in 4 days. As an added bonus, my teaching certificate number is attached to each child's state testing. Their test scores account for 50% of my total evaluation. It does not matter that Johnny's dad beats the crap out of Johnny's mom and Johnny on a daily basis. It does not matter that Susie hasn't eaten since her free lunch in the cafeteria the previous afternoon. It does not matter that Julie hates me and knows that a poor test score has absolutely no impact upon her future because she knows it has an impact on mine. It does not matter that I have 5 students on IEPs who have IEPs stating they need the modified state exams because my school, by law based upon school population, is only allowed to choose 2 students from the entire building to take the modified exam. Education is messed up!

I absolutely love teaching, but the legislation put forth by those who have never darkened a classroom door for any purpose other than to say that "anyone can teach" is driving good teachers out of the classroom. Until parents must take equal responsibility in their child's education and teachers are no longer forced to structure curriculum to the masses and the almighty test, I will be saddened and truly fearful for the futures of many of today's students.

Please excuse my rant.
My dh is a middle school teacher, and we're sad about the state of public schools, too. It's a crying shame our educational system is on such a downward spiral.

i don't even know how it can be fixed at this point, but going back to holding students responsible for their work and test scores and having parents step up to the plate to be supportive of education and schools would be a good start.
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