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Get teachers away from testing

Published: Tue, April 17, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Get teachers away from testing

Are state proficiencies fool- ing parents and taxpayers?

Having the schools responsible to administer, collect and turn in tests to grading centers is naive.

The state proficiency test should include handwritten words or numbers. The writing skills can be seen and read, and it also avoids just guessing a block to fill in. And changing hand-written answers is harder to forge, if that is happening.

Tests should be UPS delivered just prior to testing. Each test should be different in question order or wording, but basically the same. The grading could be done away from tested schools.

A better way is transporting fifth-, eighth-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to a large local library. Have teachers present for safety and discipline but not involved in testing. The tests would be mailed from the library to a grading center.

Ray Carroll, Diamond


11loaf(100 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The problem is we have a lack of educators in our schools today. Babysitters are not up to the task.

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2peacelover(797 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

In Finland, students aren't required to go to school until they are 7, there are no mandated standardized tests except for one that all high school seniors take at the end of high school, there are no rankings, competitions, or charter schools, all schools are publicly funded, and Finnish children rank off the charts year after year in the PISA tests which are given to 15-year-olds in over 40 global venues. (the U.S. ranks somewhere in the middle year after year). 93% of students graduate high school in Finland, compared to 75% in the U.S. Teachers are required to have masters' degrees and are highly respected such as a doctor or lawyer or engineer would be. You might think there are no immigrants and society there is homogeneous, but that isn't true, they have many immigrants from Russia, Kosovo, Eastern Europe, etc. The schools' motto is "do whatever it takes". If a child doesn't know the language, they are provided with a tutor to get him up to speed. It is unheard of for a Finnish child to show up at school hungry or homeless. Schools provide food, medical care, counseling, and transportation for students. Even free health care if need be. Parents get government- subsidized day care. Mothers can take up to 3 years in maternity leave. I can just hear a lot of folks rolling their eyes and thinking "nanny state, nanny state". well you can't argue with success and Finnish students rank among the top in the world consistently. I'm not saying everything they do there would work here, but I do find it interesting that they don't require any standardized testing. They (shudder) let the teachers do the evaluating! I really believe all GWB's "no child left behind" testing nonsense was an attempt to find a way for students to fail, and in turn, blame it on the teachers, for, if a student fails, who else is most convenient to blame but the teacher? Also it is a thinly veiled attempt to downgrade or eliminate teachers' unions altogether. (interesting, too, that Finland has a very powerful teachers' union).

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31loaf(100 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago


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4lajoci(452 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Testing never was about improving schools or achieving educational excellence through reform. It was simply a way for politicians to USE schools as a political football, as well as to create a convenient dilemma for voters every time they go to the polls.

Don't you see the perfect Catch-22 that testing sets up?

It goes like this: If, as the evidence from testing shows, the schools are doing the job and kids are achieving, why should I vote for any levy, since they're getting the job done with what they have? If schools are achieving success, better leave well-enough alone and vote "No!" on those pesky levies.

On the other hand, if the schools are failing, according to the evidence gathered from testing, why should I vote for a levy, since that would be, in effect, throwing good money after bad? Sure they have problems, as evidenced by poor test scores, but I won't allow them to throw more of my money at the problem. My "No!" vote will, hopefully, send them the message that they'd better get their house in order if they expect me to favor increased funding.

Thus, a perfect Catch-22!

Joseph Heller would be proud!

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