MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Saturday, August 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Fog/Mist
Collapse Photo Bar

Chicago Teachers Strike

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby david cohen » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:26 pm

There are so many variables to student testing performance, it's mind boggling. I had this discussion with my 15 yr old daughter who is pretty adept at taking standardized tests, and she brought out a good (and scary) point:

Middle and high school students would have no problem targeting a teacher and "throwing" their own test scores just to screw the "unpopular" teacher. I called her on this and believe me, she spelled it out clear as day. There are significant numbers of kids who don't give a shit about school and wouldn't bat an eyelash.
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby rabble » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:30 pm

Bland wrote:
johnfajardohenry wrote:Every other employee in the US has their performance evaluated regularly. Usually at least yearly.
Let's pretend this is true.

I stopped reading most of john's stuff so I missed that cute little thing. I wonder what he means by "employees." I worked in the private sector for about twenty years, in three careers and around a dozen employers and the only times I got evaluations were when they were getting ready to downsize and wanted a paper trail.

Didn't get regular scheduled evaluations till I got to public sector.

On the subject of using students' test scores to evaluate students: we already have a problem with graduates whose only real skill is how to take a test. And now we're thinking about evaluating teachers based on how well their students take a test. hunh.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6020
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:34 pm

Evaluating teachers based on student test scores would make sense only if the only factor determining a student's performance was their teacher. Since the reality is that parenting decisions, economic conditions, social interactions among students, medical conditions, and a host of other factors are actually at play, placing all the blame for low performance on teachers makes absolutely no sense.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:46 pm

david cohen wrote:There are so many variables to student testing performance, it's mind boggling. I had this discussion with my 15 yr old daughter who is pretty adept at taking standardized tests, and she brought out a good (and scary) point:

Middle and high school students would have no problem targeting a teacher and "throwing" their own test scores just to screw the "unpopular" teacher. I called her on this and believe me, she spelled it out clear as day. There are significant numbers of kids who don't give a shit about school and wouldn't bat an eyelash.



wouldn't the fact that a whole class of students were willing to collaborate to throw a test and screw a teacher over be a good sign that the teacher might not be that good at reaching his or her students in the first place, and maybe shouldn't be teaching?

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Evaluating teachers based on student test scores would make sense only if the only factor determining a student's performance was their teacher. Since the reality is that parenting decisions, economic conditions, social interactions among students, medical conditions, and a host of other factors are actually at play, placing all the blame for low performance on teachers makes absolutely no sense.


Absolving them of all responsibility makes no sense either. On the other hand using the average improvements for a teachers students (when comparing a student's results only against his or her prior results) would seem to be a reasonable measure to review when used with other evaluation tools.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:53 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Absolving them of all responsibility makes no sense either.
Who wants to do that?
How does "standardized tests are not a valid means of determining teaching ability" = "teachers have no responsibility to perform their job well?"
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:55 pm

"teachers have no responsibility to perform their job well?"


Because even though it is patently false it's the given in the equation the right wing has chosen to implant in the brains of it's pride-driven, angry base. There's no combating it. It's a structural part of the bubble.
fisticuffs
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7787
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Slightly outside of Madison

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:12 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:Absolving them of all responsibility makes no sense either.
Who wants to do that?
How does "standardized tests are not a valid means of determining teaching ability" = "teachers have no responsibility to perform their job well?"


So what is your solution? If we don't use standardized testing (and I agree there are issues with the current method for using them as I understand it), how do you ensure that teachers perform their job well? It's all well to say X doesn't work well, but it seems to me its more effective that anything currently being done to evaluate teachers.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:16 pm

So what is your solution?


That assumes there is a problem with a glut of awful teachers. I don't think there is. There's continued training, certification and review for teachers already. The problem is mom and dad are working 3 jobs so Mitt Romney can say "I built it!" and that the school budget gets tighter and tighter every year.
fisticuffs
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7787
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Slightly outside of Madison

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:24 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:So what is your solution?
What fisti said, to which I would add, let professional educators evaluate their performance (which I believe we've always done too.)

What we shouldn't do is something which not only has no proven benefit, but actively limits the time teachers can spend doing their real job, which is educating, not test-training.

I will throw this out there, however: Tenure has to go. Talk about a nonsensical policy.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:13 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
So what is your solution?


That assumes there is a problem with a glut of awful teachers. I don't think there is.


Two problems I see with that statement.

#1 What percent of "awful teachers" is acceptable? Is there a reason the goal should be anything above 0%?

#2 Evaluations are not a tool solely to determine who gets fired, but are also a tool to determine where an employee needs help/guidance.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:What we shouldn't do is something which not only has no proven benefit, but actively limits the time teachers can spend doing their real job, which is educating, not test-training.

I will throw this out there, however: Tenure has to go. Talk about a nonsensical policy.


Have there actually been any tests to prove or disprove that standardized testing doesn't work? I get that it has no proven benefit, but is that because no one has actually been able to implement standardized testing to rate the student improvements, or because it doesn't actually work? (I'm seriously asking)

I agree training to the test is stupid and a waste of time (and also makes the test some what pointless). I don't know how you get around that tendency other than just telling teachers and school districts not to do it.

Tenure as a policy was originally designed to protect a teacher's academic freedom from being squashed by a schools board/trustees/donors. That makes sense and is still good policy. On the other hand, teachers shouldn't be protected from firing for cause just because they've been working at a school for X amount of years. Nor do I think should should layoffs be based on time served rather than ability.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Detritus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:15 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I will throw this out there, however: Tenure has to go. Talk about a nonsensical policy.

Tenure at the K-12 level is not the same as tenure in higher education. Are you aware of that, Professor?
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2352
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:21 pm

Detritus wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I will throw this out there, however: Tenure has to go. Talk about a nonsensical policy.

Tenure at the K-12 level is not the same as tenure in higher education. Are you aware of that, Professor?
Perhaps I am unenlightened. Why don't you tell me the real skinny on what teacher tenure means and I'll tell you if I stand by my statement. No point in arguing with phantoms.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby Detritus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:00 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Detritus wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I will throw this out there, however: Tenure has to go. Talk about a nonsensical policy.

Tenure at the K-12 level is not the same as tenure in higher education. Are you aware of that, Professor?
Perhaps I am unenlightened. Why don't you tell me the real skinny on what teacher tenure means and I'll tell you if I stand by my statement. No point in arguing with phantoms.

You want us to debate the removal of tenure for K-12 teachers but you don't want to define it? Talk about arguing with phantoms....
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2352
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby david cohen » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:50 pm

Francis, in a class of 26 kids, it would take what, 12 or so, to throw a test and screw a teacher. Let's face it, there are some tough teachers who are also great teachers but maybe some kids resent being pushed to do their best.
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Re: Chicago Teachers Strike

Postby SlayerDave » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:58 pm

david cohen wrote:Francis, in a class of 26 kids, it would take what, 12 or so, to throw a test and screw a teacher. Let's face it, there are some tough teachers who are also great teachers but maybe some kids resent being pushed to do their best.


Surely the sample size would be bigger than one class of 26?

Also, if we're smart enough to notice patterns of teachers cheating on standardized tests,http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0705/America-s-biggest-teacher-and-principal-cheating-scandal-unfolds-in-Atlanta surely we can devise a formula to detect anomalous student performance, right?
SlayerDave
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:45 pm

PreviousNext

Return to National Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar