Thursday, January 12, 2006

How could you do this to us???

the students asked.

We scheduled basketball try-outs for Friday the 13th.

And the Social Studies teacher is giving a quiz.

Outrageous!

*****

(But the state made an even BIGGER scheduling mistake... high-stakes tests on a religious holiday??? And yes, I know it is only January, but these are the tests on which a year's work will be judged...).

*****

Speaking of tests, this is the single most convincing article I've ever read on the problems with NCLB: an urban school with 86% of the kids passing the math test.... failing? And then you find out that if just one more kid had achieved a 3, the school would be successful. By the way - one of New York's teacher-bloggers works at the featured school.

*****

Speaking some more of tests, education, and equality, EssentialBlog has a fascinating piece on the value of test scores. A columnist interviewed the Minister of Education from Singapore about education in Singapore and in the United States; the Minister had things to say about both countries' educational systems:
Zakaria interviewed Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's Minster of Education, who observed, "We both have meritocracies. Yours is a talent meritocracy, ours is an exam meritocracy. There are some parts of the intellect that we are not able to test well - like creativity, curiosity, a sense of adventure, ambition. Most of all, America has a culture of learning that challenges conventional wisdom, even if it means challenging authority."

Shanmugaratnam's incisive criticism doesn't stop at Singapore's borders. He notes that as a whole, the United States' system is failing its kids, accurately describing what happens in our schools nationwide. "Unless you are comfortably middle class or richer, you get an education that is truly second-rate by any standards. Apart from issues of fairness, what this means is that you never really access the talent of poor, bright kids."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You provided a bad link for mysterymre.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I think nowadays most of the teachers teach to the test. Today in Houston, they voted to give the HISD teachers an up to $ 3,000.bonus on how well the school did and how well your students did on the TAAS test. What ever happened to good old teaching?

12:22 AM  

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