Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NYC has it all wrong, again

Publishing a teacher's name without correct data is plain wrong. And NYC has it all wrong with its latest assault on teachers and the teacher union. We saw what is happening to Walker in Wisconsin with this tactic. It's the wrong battle. Tweed speaks about Professional Development, but that does not exist, but more on that another time.

A point that keeps getting missed in this formula are those high stakes multiple choice tests. These tests are being made by a company that is not associated with schools or teaching. They are made by publishing companies interested in profits and not in education. This is how it works. The tests are made without teacher or school input. That means teachers create a curriculum map and syllabus and lesson plans for their classes. The test company is not aware or consulting these laborious tasks by the teacher when they construct the test that will evaluate the teacher's classes. During my early years of teaching the teachers collectively constructed assessment tools that would be used at the end of the semester to evaluate the learning of their students. We were aware of what we wanted to teach and we assessed that which was taught. We are finding a disconnect between the class and the test now. Imagine you are having work done on your house. You have an idea of what you want done and your contractor has another idea. Obviously this won't work. It doesn't work in schools either. After the teachers administer these tests, the tests are sent back to the company which then grades them and sends reports back to the school. These tests are then destroyed because they are proprietary. When a question of the test contents or results are raised, it goes unanswered because the tests have been destroyed. In the past we have taken the tests and boxed them for storage in school vaults for access when needed. After seven years they are destroyed. I have kept student folders till after graduation and my scholars webpages from 1993 still exist publicly on the web. The question is why do these companies insist on such quick destruction of important student documents that determine so many things and need to be reviewed often for class placement and even college admission. These companies claim they own the rights of the content and don't want competitors to get access. Yet, the NYC DOE doesn't find any problem in publishing a teacher's name based on this data which is no longer available and is either old or incorrect. The teacher has no way of contesting these tests since they are dust in the wind. Sounds like a witch hunt and is. This is the mindset as witnessed when I heard a retired principal state that she finds these reports inroads into the Union. That is what this is all about, Union busting and not the education of our students.

Once again NYC doesn't get it and continues down the wrong path in our schools.

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