Posted: 11 November 2014
On 4 November 2014, in Missouri, we had several constitutional amendments to pass or refute. Amendment 3 dealt with a state-wide educational mandate that would allow the state government to apply standards, via standardized testing, across the state in order to provide educational uniformity among students pre-K – 12. It also provided for requiring accountability for learning to the teachers, and restricted tenure as well as requiring uniform standards to teacher accreditation. Further, it allowed for the termination of incompetent teachers.
It failed to pass by close to ~80% against and ~20% for.
You should review two earlier posts at this time. One starts with an article posted by Yahoo News, which demonstrates the low level of journalism as well as how poor and substandard the educational system is, my comments at the end are important to both of these posts, and the other is the earlier posted White Paper to the Missouri Senate on Education and Entrepreneurship.
Standardized testing as toxic to education is one of the greatest politico-union hoaxes ever perpetrated on a long-suffering taxpayer. Pay close attention to the FACTS.
The first thing that y’all need to know is that standardized testing was and is an irrefutable fact of the lecture-response form of teaching. Lecture-response is universal throughout the pre-K – 12 American Educational System. Read the White Paper for more. The second thing that you need to know is that there are two forms of textbooks for pre-K – 12. The next time that you see your child, look closely at her textbook.
Open it, look at the publisher’s page, and it probably has a Chicago publisher listed as the publishing company. That is correct, wherever you are in the U.S.A., the odds are that the publisher of your kids’ textbook is the same as everywhere else in the U.S.A., and the publisher is in Chicago. Yupper, everyone HAS THE SAME TEXT BOOK! Now, look at the content.
The book is broken down into modules, sections, and chapters that coincide with the school year. So much for “lesson plans”, when the textbook is designed with internal lesson plans. Oh? Look carefully at the questions at the end of each piece.
Keep in mind, now, that the entire country uses THE SAME TEXTBOOK.
Now, the next time that you attend a P.T.A. meeting, ask to look at THE TEACHER’S textbook. Same publisher and ALMOST the same contents. Look closely at the parts of the book immediately AFTER the questions in your kids’ book.
Do not be shocked. In the teacher’s copy, not only are all of those questions answered, but there are whole paragraphs with what the teacher should be concentrating on, with what questions to ask to guide the students to the correct answer, AND there are suggested TEST QUESTIONS! Where do you think teachers get their test questions?
Yupper, ALL TEACHERS GET THEIR TESTS FROM THE QUESTIONS IN THE SAME TEACHERS’ EDITION OF THE SAME TEXTBOOK! THERE IS ONLY STANDARDIZED TESTING!
So why the argument against standardized testing when no matter where you are, the teachers MUST “teach to the (same) test”?
The state will only use the same questions to make up the test in the first place; so no matter what, they MUST ‘teach to the test’! Could it be that it takes the granting of the actual grade AWAY from the teacher? Does it mean no more tokens, no more pets, and no more free passes to “minorities”? Does it mean that there will be a true LEVEL playing field, that FAVORITISM will now be ELIMINATED?
AND, does it mean that incompetent teachers will be exposed for what they are and now vulnerable to replacement with competent teachers?
Now, a little history lesson: until The Johnson Administration and its “Great Society”, New York City had one of the best public school systems in the U.S.A. The New York Public School System REQUIRED standardized testing at several grades until it was, magically by judicial decree, made racist, and therefore discriminatory. Until The Johnson Administration, the teachers were NOT unionized, tenure was limited, and a teacher did NOT need a Master’s Degree, to teach or to get tenure. Teachers and students did not fear for their lives in any of the schools in New York City in 1960. Parents were involved, teachers were involved, and except for a very few, students were involved.
During The Clinton Administration, Hilly-Billy wanted Congress to forgive student debt and allow grants for university students taking teaching degrees. What they found out, once the people got involved, was that for every teaching position, there were 2 ½ accredited and licensed teachers!
Why so many people with teaching licenses, compared to so few jobs?
Class size in the 1950’s, when kids learned to read, write, and do arithmetic, was between 25 and 35. Now the teachers complain about a class size of 15 and our dropout rate is higher now than it was in 1960.
Teachers were not required to have an M.Ed. within 10 years of getting their license, or be fired. Why, when if you look at the teachers’ textbook in grades pre-K – 8, is not an Associates’ Degree adequate? Why shouldn’t there be standardized testing and teacher accountability? Keeping in mind, of course, that STANDARDIZED TESTING is already in place and will remain in place for as long as the lecture & response teaching methodology exists.
Who actually benefits from the current situation? Student? Parent? Teacher?