Monday, November 2, 2009

Eight Reasons

We usually stay away from the usual updates on the schooling headlines. Race to the Top gets enough press in EdWeek and big media. But you should consider this question.

The Century Foundation asks, "Should teachers be judged by how well their students perform on standardized test?"

Take a moment and think about this: If you are a you think it's a fair or worthwhile to asses your pedagogical skills, your content knowledge, and your relationship with your students based on how well they do on standardized tests? Walk yourself around in that for a while. Go read about No Child Left Behind or the PSSAs. Think about being rewarded even more for teaching to the test. Watch the curriculum narrow more.

You got it. The Century Foundation answers the previous question of whether teachers should be rewarded for student standardized test scores in "Eight Reasons Not to Tie Teacher Pay to Standardized Test Results."
The U.S. Department of Education has determined that the answer is “yes.” In the proposed rules for the Race to the Top Fund—the federal program that is seeking to distribute $4.3 billion in aid to states that are implementing innovative and ambitious plans for increasing student achievement—Education Secretary Arne Duncan insists that in order to receive these funds, states should be ready evaluate and compensate teachers based in part on how well their students perform on standardized tests.
For all of Obama's talk last year that indicated he didn't like "bubble tests" he sure seems to be aligning himself with them more and more. Where is place-based education in this? Where is the possibility for rewards for teachers who create good lessons about what matters to their communities and develops real skills?

If you want to read all of the Eight Reasons click here for the .pdf.

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