Monday, March 21, 2005

"NPR : Testing Scandal in Texas Schools"

This came out on NPR this morning. It focuses on the recent cheating scandal. I think that it's wrong to focus on these individual acts and NOT to focus on the system. While the story indeed implies something systemic is going on, no analysis is provided to the listener. -Angela

"NPR : Testing Scandal in Texas Schools"

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    1 comment:

    1. My first year of teaching I worked at a Blue Ribbon School. People came from all over the state to see how this school, whose population was almost entirely LEP and low SES, came to be rated exemplary on the TAAS. It was a sight to see--there were signs of student learning everywhere, and students were excited about learning. Teachers were given numerous opportunities to attend professional development workshops in the latest educational strategies, and spent many hours after school and on the weekends planning together. Why, then, in a school where so many good things were happening for kids, was there so much cheating on the TAAS by the teachers? Since I taught in a non-testing grade level, I was pulled out of my class on testing days to be a proctor, seemingly to avoid the appearance of wrongdoing. Yet in each classroom I saw the same kinds of practices by the teachers that were discussed on NPR.

      I would argue that these are NOT individual acts; it IS systemic. Sadly, when you (mis)use what should be a single diagnostic tool to determine the worth of an educator (or worse, attach money to it), this is what you often get: desperate acts of self-preservation.