In high-need schools, resources not directly related to testing are eliminated: High schools are also forced to focus on preparing students for tests, and that leads to a narrowing of what we can accomplish in our classrooms.
We have very little say in what is happening to public education. In case you do not already see what is happening, I want to warn you of what to expect from the students who will be arriving in your classroom, even if you teach in a highly selective institution.
And I heard nothing of value. My teaching was not evaluated on the basis of how well my students did, but I felt I had a responsibility to prepare them for the examination in a way that could result in their obtaining college credit.
Recognizing this, those of us in public schools do what we can to work on those higher-order skills, but we are limited. Those who have imposed the mindless and destructive patterns of misuse of tests to drive policy in K—12 education are already moving to impose it on higher education, at least in the case of the departments and schools of education that prepare teachers: My students did well on those questions because we practiced bad writing.
By Kenneth Bernstein You are a college professor. Class sizes exceeded forty students—in elementary school. A teacher cannot possibly give that many students the individualized attention they need to improve their writing.
While it is true that the US Department of Education is now issuing waivers on some of the provisions of the law to certain states, those states must agree to other provisions that will have as deleterious an effect on real student learning as did No Child Left Behind—we have already seen that in public schools, most notably in high schools.
I would like to believe that I prepared them to think more critically and to present cogent arguments, but I could not simultaneously prepare them to do well on that portion of the test and teach them to write in a fashion that would properly serve them at higher levels of education. He offered the following: Now you are seeing the results in the students arriving at your institutions.
If a student hits the points on the rubric, he or she gets the points for that rubric. I have just retired as a high school teacher. Even the most distinguished and honored among us have trouble getting our voices heard in the discussion about educational policy.
Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.
Troubling Assessments My primary course as a teacher was government, and for the last seven years that included three or four out of six sections of Advanced Placement AP US Government and Politics.
Thus, students arriving in our high school lacked experience and knowledge about how to do the kinds of writing that are expected at higher levels of education.
I had too many students. If strictures like these can be imposed on schools and colleges of education, the time will be short before similar kinds of measure are imposed on other schools, including liberal arts, engineering, business, and conceivably even professional schools like medicine and law.
Many of us are leaving sooner than we had planned because the policies already in effect and those now being implemented mean that we are increasingly restricted in how and what we teach.
In my final year, with four sections of Advanced Placement, I had AP students as well as an additional forty-six students in my other two classes. If you teach either in a medical school or in programs that offer courses required as part of the pre-med curriculum, do you want the fatality rates of patients treated by the doctors whom you have taught to be used to judge your performance?
For much of the content I would give students summary information, sufficient to answer multiple-choice questions and to get some of the points on rubrics for the free response questions. I have some bad news for you.
I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending noneducators disrespect my colleagues and profession. Research grants are one example; the scholarships and loans used by students to attend your institution are another. From what I saw from the free response questions I read, too many students in AP courses were not getting depth in their learning and lacked both the content knowledge and the ability to use what content knowledge they had.
We entered teaching because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of the students who passed through our classrooms.You are a college professor. I have just retired as a high school teacher. I have some bad news for you. In case you do not already see what is happening, I want to warn you of what to expect from the students who will be arriving in your classroom, even if you teach in a highly selective institution.
As a middle-school language arts teacher for 36 years, Jane Feber’s innovative approach to language arts instruction has earned her several awards, including the Gladys Prior Award for Teaching Excellence in and the Teacher of the Year for Florida Council of Teachers of English.Download