Sunday, January 18, 2015

It is Time to Say Enough Testing by Susan Schwartz




  1. I am thrilled that the discussions are  out there... it is better than not shining a light on the tool they used to evalaute the teachers out of their profession.
    And I see  teachers getting active an djoining iwth parents to opt out
    BUT, that said, isn't it time teachers  COUTNTED THE NARRATIVE ABOUT TESTING... IN THE PUBLIC FORUM... IN THE MEDIA.... who will be the one to SAY "ENOUGH!" and say it LOUD ENOUGH for the people to get it.
     That is why I wrote this, but then, who am I,  always spitting in the wind.
    Susan


    It is so fascinating to read the endless discussions about testing, after being the cohort in 1995 &6 for the Pew National Standards Harvard research called "THE 8 PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING" which said, unequivocally (as a PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING which are used by ALL EFFECTIVE TEACHERS):
    that AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT and GENUINE EVALUATION was FOR THE USE of the classroom teacher-practioner, in order that plans could be made to meet the needs of each emergent learner.
    Notice all the words about LEARNING, not teaching.


  1. Teaching and testing became the narrative and the mantra of Duncan and clones, so that the schools could be labeled 'failing' and the oligarchs who owned the media could 'fix them."
    So here we are, decades later and still pointing out what EVERY TEACHER KNOWS that the classroom teacher NEEDS TO KNOW what each student has mastered and what still needs to be re-taught.
    We grunts on the line, with those 30 to 40 kids, do use quizzes and tests, but we also use performance assessment — in some content where SKILLS (the actual application of critical analysis) are APPLIED, like in writing & speaking!
    Performance is the key. in writing, music and art. I used portfolio and a weekly letter which the kids wrote TO ME (about their reading) from Sept. to June.
    It was a no-brainer for anyone to see the improved writing. Kids who entered grade 7 barely able to write 100 coherent words, with correct punctuation and spelling, wrote 1000 to 3000 words in organized paragraphs, using lyrical and efficient language and giving references which they had learned, AND COULD NOW APPLY. 
    Perhaps, that is why, without a single test, my students were able to score 10th in the state, when the ELA writing exam was finally introduced… and 3/4 of NYC kids failed.
    Perhaps, my performance assessment was unique, but I doubt it.
    We know, by now, that the manic testing was engineered to evaluate schools so they would fail, and the teachers would be fired, and then the schools could be 'fixed"…by transforming them into 'charter schools,' on the public dime.
    Isn't it time we stopped talking to the choir about this, and did something…. like stand up to the business people who are taking over our profession and say: ENOUGH! Je suis une TEACHER…. and I have had enough of your propaganda….get out of my practice, unless YOU plan to stand in this room and 'teach' these kids!

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