Buchanan pushes for education reform
Original post made on Mar 2, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 1, 2013, 11:42 AM
on Mar 2, 2013 at 8:03 am
The problem with Joan's thoughts and with some California educators is there ALREADY ARE REPORTING REQUIREMENT ON THE BOOKS. The California Child Abuse Reporting Law is found in Penal Code Sections 11165-11174.3. See also Web Link
For Mr. Faraghan to say "It's hard to understand that it hasn't been required," is astonishing. It's no wonder that abuses occur with this degree of ignorance on the part of some.
on Mar 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm
I am always nervous about using test scores. There are so many holes. What about teachers who teach the arts? computer science? robotics? P.E.? Are they off the testing "hook" -- even though their disciplines are VERY important? Which tests will you use -- SAT? ACT? STAR? The new "Smarter Balance" test ... that has NEVER been nationally calibrated? What about the cheating scandals that have gripped students ... and let's be honest ... teachers? Are there other more authentic ways to measure that students are indeed learning? Are there ways to account for -- and ameliorate -- the main factor in determining student performance -- specifically, poverty?
As a veteran teacher of 27 wonderful years in the classroom, I am committed to ensuring the quality of instruction all students receive at every grade level in every school. I am decidedly not convinced that testing is the most effective measure of high quality education. Testing may be convenient, but it is inadequate -- woefully inadequate.
And, while I'm at it, has anyone been monitoring how profitable test publishers, test tutors, and test prep centers have become? Does it occur to anyone beside me that an entire industry has sprung up ... on the backs of our children?
At the high school level, we are witnessing what one administrator admitted to me is an "epidemic" of anxiety and depression among adolescents. One source? The relentless measurement of students' academic trajectories. Young people are being so continually prepared for tests that they can barely learn or think! That cannot be what our school improvement movement intended. (Just ask Diane Ravitch, one of th founders of the movement who has since recanted!)
Yes, I am a teacher. No, I am not an apologist for poor teaching. I am asking for more nuanced, more imaginative, and more humane ways to account for our students' progress or lack of progress. We may have to give up a modicum of efficiency in favor of the truth ... in all its messy complexity.
Our students and, yes, our teachers deserve nothing less.
on Mar 4, 2013 at 8:57 am
Thank you Ms Giles for your comments. School is a business and getting into college is a business. These kids want to be kids as long as possible and should be. They do not need the added stress that is starting in elementary school regarding their futures.
Has anyone asked the students who they think are good teachers? No, and they will not due to the union. It is silly not to ask students what they think. Some will give thoughtful, caring replies, others will be immature, but an overall picture will be revealed.