trying to score the test

The results of California’s standardized tests are out (click here for a report on your local school) and I don’t know whether to be encouraged or outraged. Scores are up, but seem (to the untrained eye at least) to just track socio-economic status. Now 46 schools face federal sanctions because their students aren’t “proficient.” (The exact definition of that term is still ellusive.)

See the article in today’s LA Times.

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One Response to “trying to score the test”

  1. Andrew Says:

    My wife is a teacher, and she is currently spending school time [against her principles] on remediation in English and mathematics in preparation for standardized tests.

    This is in addition for two weeks of remediation given to poor performers in early August, just prior to the recent start of school. If the 3rd graders and the 6th graders don’t score at a certain level, the entire elementary school system will be “flagged” as a problem school.

    The problem is teaching to the test and not to the state standards. There is a Public Law in our state that sets forth the minimum amounts of time to be spent on teaching specific subjects for each grade level. However, teachers are not accountable to adminstrations for what they teach; likewise, administrators do not attempt to prod their teachers to follow the state standards.

    It leads me to wonder why the administrators are there in the first place! Why have a principal if you don’t have to answer to anyone? It’s as though we are paying top salaries to principals to act as P.R. people for the schools–they are paid to pacify parents rather than to lead their teachers.

    By the way, I home school our ten-year-old son. You shouldn’t have to ask why.

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