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OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers Revolt

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Posted: 01/14/2013 9:34 AM

OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers Revolt 


Opponents of the nation's relentless push for standardized testing in public schools have new champions in Seattle this week as teachers at one high school and now another have refused to issue such exams to their students, calling them a waste of "time and money" amid "dwindling school resources."


The entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this week or ever again. Garfield is the largest of thirteen high schools in the Seattle Public School (SPS) system.


In a press release, Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, said the test “produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources” during the weeks the test is administered.

On Friday, teachers at Ballard High School said they would join the boycott as well.

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Posted: 01/14/2013 9:56 AM

Re: OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers 


They need to do standardized tests for parents.

The problem is not the teachers, but the kids that our teachers are facing.  Scary stuff out there, folks.  Parents and kids are now blaming teachers for bad grades, not themselves.  

It would be amazing if kids were held accountable for their grades, as they once were. 
twocahn wrote: Opponents of the nation's relentless push for standardized testing in public schools have new champions in Seattle this week as teachers at one high school and now another have refused to issue such exams to their students, calling them a waste of "time and money" amid "dwindling school resources."


The entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this week or ever again. Garfield is the largest of thirteen high schools in the Seattle Public School (SPS) system.


In a press release, Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, said the test “produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources” during the weeks the test is administered.

On Friday, teachers at Ballard High School said they would join the boycott as well.

LINK

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Posted: 01/14/2013 10:06 AM

Re: OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers 


Are standardized tests indicative of what you actually need to know in the real world?  Probably not.

But what they do measure is whether you have the basic tools necessary to be able to compete in the real world. 

The education system as a whole is a mess for a number of reasons ... learning doesn't start/stop when you arrive/leave school each day.
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Posted: 01/14/2013 10:11 AM

Re: OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers 


I take a middle view on this. I loathe teacher's unions and believe a (for all intents and purposes) their monopoly is detrimental to teacher excellence (bad teachers are protected) and overall budgets (some older teachers have such great pay and benefits/pensions that more reasonable packages would allow schools to hire more of them or bring back programs like PE or shop classes).


On the other hand, the decline of two parent households makes life that much more difficult for teachers. If a single mom is so busy working to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table, she has less time/energy to read to her children and monitor their homework so that they are on-pace for their grade. I'm sure it's easier for a lot of worn out single parents to let their kids watch TV while they rest for a long day. Unfortunately, single-parent households have been a growing societal trend since the late 60's / 70's and it can't be fixed by throwing money at the problem (or at schools). There's really no easier way to put a child behind the eight-ball off the bat than bringing them into the world without two parents who are married. flushed

Running The Ball + Hard Hitting D + Excellent Special Teams = HUSKY FOOTBALL
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Posted: 01/14/2013 10:16 AM

Re: OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers 


You nailed it postal, too many parents are using school as a daycare and they fail to get involved with their childrens actual education until it is too late. Then, as you stated, they blame the teachers and the school system. Now granted our public school systems are in a world of hurt, but it starts at home and parents & students need to be accountable. 
Postal91 wrote: They need to do standardized tests for parents.

The problem is not the teachers, but the kids that our teachers are facing.  Scary stuff out there, folks.  Parents and kids are now blaming teachers for bad grades, not themselves.  

It would be amazing if kids were held accountable for their grades, as they once were. 
twocahn wrote: Opponents of the nation's relentless push for standardized testing in public schools have new champions in Seattle this week as teachers at one high school and now another have refused to issue such exams to their students, calling them a waste of "time and money" amid "dwindling school resources."


The entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this week or ever again. Garfield is the largest of thirteen high schools in the Seattle Public School (SPS) system.


In a press release, Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, said the test “produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources” during the weeks the test is administered.

On Friday, teachers at Ballard High School said they would join the boycott as well.

LINK

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Posted: 01/14/2013 10:17 AM

Re: OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers 



Postal91 wrote: They need to do standardized tests for parents.

The problem is not the teachers, but the kids that our teachers are facing.  Scary stuff out there, folks.  Parents and kids are now blaming teachers for bad grades, not themselves.  

It would be amazing if kids were held accountable for their grades, as they once were. 
twocahn wrote: Opponents of the nation's relentless push for standardized testing in public schools have new champions in Seattle this week as teachers at one high school and now another have refused to issue such exams to their students, calling them a waste of "time and money" amid "dwindling school resources."


The entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this week or ever again. Garfield is the largest of thirteen high schools in the Seattle Public School (SPS) system.


In a press release, Kris McBride, Garfield’s academic dean and testing coordinator, said the test “produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources” during the weeks the test is administered.

On Friday, teachers at Ballard High School said they would join the boycott as well.

LINK


I'm not speaking for any of the Seattle teachers; my comments are based upon generic observations of the system.

The reason standardized tests are "needed" is because grades have lost their validity.
There are layers of reasons for why that is true, but the point is that there are multiple agendas involved (and they necessarily negative, they just don't fit the same needs) and that it makes it so grades by themselves are not universally equal across teachers, schools, etc.

If every high school in America used the same curriculum for courses, that curriculum was well constructed, and the expectations for students for earning grades was exactly equal, and all teachers teaching the course taught the curriculum as intended, then we would be more able to compare grades across settings and to compare the results with real life outcomes to assess the validity of the content being taught.

Since none of those conditions exist within a single high school, much less across the country... grades lose their meaning.

Teachers object because time is already very limited and you are faced with the choice of either teaching "to the test" (if that is even possible) or hoping that their course content is accurately assessed by the test.  If you are a teacher given a chemistry curriculum, and you teach that curriculum very well, but the test used doesn't really match the curriculum -- that is frustrating because the school and students get graded down and the measure may not match what you have been told to teach.
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Posted: 01/14/2013 11:40 AM

Re: OT:Boycott of Standardized Tests Spreads,Seattle Teachers 


My teacher friends are sick of spending so much of their time preparing kids to take these tests.  They'd rather just teach them and not worry about it.  noidea
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Posted: 01/14/2013 11:48 AM

You are spot on. 


If a child has good parents that care about education then it doesn't matter so much where they grow up or how much money the family or school district has; the child will have a great chance to succeed.

Parents are a joke now in many underprivileged neighborhoods (and some good neighborhoods too). 

Fix parenting and you almost certainly solve the education problem.  But of course we can't fix parenting so we blame the teachers instead.  What a joke.

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Posted: 01/14/2013 11:54 AM

There are not many bad teachers - that is a lemming argument 


I'm sorry - there just are very, very few bad teachers.  That argument is a copout because we really can't address the super complex problem of the explosion of crap parents. 

Paraphrasing Matt Damon, with the garbage money teachers make, would you do that job if you weren't super motivated to do it?  I think not. 

A great benefit of teacher's unions (and police unions, etc) is to provide an ease in the administration of teacher's salaries and benefits.  Without it, could you imagine the clusterf*** that would ensue when each and every teacher negotiated their own salary?  You would have a disaster on your hands.  You think there's bad teacher's now?  Wait until cities decided to offer half of what teacher's make now.
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Posted: 01/14/2013 6:32 PM

How about this. 


Remove all standardize testing and base funding for schools on things like who needs books, who needs desks and who needs computers.  Why kids need to take tests that helps them in no way just to get their school district money is beyond me. 

Our Education system is terrible and needs to be controlled.  One system, one way, that's it.  Kids can't even go from K-12 without the system changing on them 5 times in the process.

"The majority of what you read on the internet is simply not true."  -- Abraham Lincoln
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Posted: 01/14/2013 9:27 PM

Big disagreement here 


As I've said before NO person paid by taxpayers should be unionized and have the right to strike. There are way too many problems associated with unionizing public employees, and way too little enforcement of illegal strike-actions. Employers in the private sector can lock workers out or refuse to negotiate with private unions. The guys pushing back in public disputes are taxpayers - you and me and everyone else. Even FDR thought public unions were not a good idea.

Cops do dangerous jobs 24/7 so I can see them making more but they need to realize that the avg. working Joe has to come up with the $$$ for their generous pay and bennies that they negotiate every so often.

Teachers cannot gripe IMO. I've heard all the arguments about summers but most teacher types I know just sit back from June-Aug. Add in the problems with seniority and resistance of organizations like the NEA to charter schools/vouchers and anything that hints at more accountability and you have another reason for no collective bargaining for teachers.

 

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