Free your mind and think.

21 05 2013


Testing, 1-2-3…

13 05 2013


You are very best?

10 05 2013


I want to try this, but I’d probably get fired.

23 04 2013


Teach to the tests…

24 01 2013


Qualities not measured by most tests…

8 01 2013



HuffPo: Teacher In Guangxi, China Promises To Wear Sexy French Maid Outfit If Students Raise Grades

15 11 2012

I tried the same strategy, and it was far less effective.

– dEV

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Teacher In Guangxi, China Promises To Wear Sexy French Maid Outfit If Students Raise Grades

Posted: 11/06/2012 5:47 pm EST Updated: 11/06/2012 5:48 pm EST

A currently unidentified teacher in China’s Guangxi province is making waves after photos of her surfaced online leading class in a sexy French maid outfit with black cat ears.

According to a Guangxi Television report, the image was the result of a promise the teacher made to her students in a creative means of student motivation: she would dress up as a sexy French maid if her students placed at the top — among other classes in the same grade — on the upcoming monthly exam. The students completed the task, so the teacher kept her promise.

The images were removed from Weibo, China’s Twitter, after it garnered 5,000 or so shares, but not before it received widespread praise and criticism.

Some commented that the educator should be named the “2012 National Model Teacher of the Year” or considered among “China’s Top 10 Most Remarkable People,” Guangxi TV reports. While the teacher’s staunch supporters vouched for her integrity for honoring a commitment and thinking creatively to motivate students, her critics called the move a distraction from the seriousness of the classroom, with one asking, “What if her original promise was to go nude? Would she keep that promise, too?”

The Guangxi teacher’s move doesn’t stray too far from that of Indiana computer teacher Tara Borgonah. The Hershey Elementary teacher had, in the past, dressed up like Hannah Montana to motivate her students, and most recently kept her promise to dye her hair purple if 95 percent of third, fourth and fifth graders passed their typing test. All of her 325 students passed, the Journal and Courier reports.

Borgonah didn’t seem to receive quite the criticism garnered by the Guangxi teacher. Hershey Principal Linda Fields called Borgonah and a fellow teacher “amazing.”

“They will do anything to motivate children,” Fields told the Journal and Courier. “Not many people would go that far.”

(Full Story)

PFT: Ex-NFL player Cedrick Wilson indicted for test-taking fraud

1 11 2012

I recall Cedrick Wilson’s tenure in the NFL playing for the Niners and Steelers. I remember it because he became somewhat of a running gag with myself and my roommates. He was always an interesting player to watch, as he had a knack for putting up pretty decent numbers until doing something stupid. He’d do stuff like catch three or four passes and make you think, “Cedrick’s having a pretty good game,” but then muff a punt and give the ball away, or get a penalty that would kill a drive.

As it turns out, Cedrick Wilson is every bit the moron I imagined him to be. Not only did he think that he’d have a shot at a teaching career after (allegedly) beating up his girlfriend and having his NFL career cut short as a result, but figured he could get away with paying someone to take his teaching certification test for him.

When I hear of stories like this, I can’t help but wonder when Cedrick’s problems really began. If I were to guess, he probably got away with a lot both in high school and in college. I’m sure he’s had sycophants and handlers all his life that have made sure that he’s made the grades, stayed out of trouble, and made sure that the regular rules don’t apply to him. Well, eventually life catches up with you and the real world sets in. And that’s all the more reason to teach our students that character is important, and they need learn how to be self-reliant and capable adults.

– dEV

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Ex-NFL player Cedrick Wilson indicted for test-taking fraud

Posted by Michael David Smith on October 30, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

Former 49ers and Steelers receiver Cedrick Wilson has been indicted on fraud charges for paying someone to take a teacher-certification test for him.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that Wilson wanted to become a high school teacher and coach in Memphis, but according to prosecutors, Wilson didn’t take the standardized test that teachers are required to take in Tennessee. Instead, Wilson hired someone to take the test for him.

Wilson has been charged with wire fraud and Social Security fraud. Prosecutors say Wilson gave the test-taker his Social Security number as part of the plan for the test-taker to pose as Wilson.

The person hired by Wilson to take the test was part of a large standardized test cheating ring. Four people have already pleaded guilty to involvement in the cheating ring, and Wilson is one of 14 others who have been indicted.

A sixth-round draft pick out of Tennessee in 2001, Wilson played for the 49ers for four years and then signed with the Steelers in 2005 and played three years in Pittsburgh. In his best season, 2004, Wilson had 47 catches for 641 yards and three touchdowns.

The Steelers cut Wilson in March of 2008, just hours after he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend in a Pittsburgh restaurant.

(Original Story)

CommonDreams: Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

14 09 2012

I don’t totally buy it myself, but it’s an interesting read!

– dEV

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Published on Monday, April 11, 2011 by

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.

“Imagine,” said a public school teacher in New York City, who asked that I not use his name, “going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job. Up until very recently, the principal of a school was something like the conductor of an orchestra: a person who had deep experience and knowledge of the part and place of every member and every instrument. In the past 10 years we’ve had the emergence of both [Mayor] Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Academyand Eli Broad’s Superintendents Academy, both created exclusively to produce instant principals and superintendents who model themselves after CEOs. How is this kind of thing even legal? How are such ‘academies’ accredited? What quality of leader needs a ‘leadership academy’? What kind of society would allow such people to run their children’s schools? The high-stakes tests may be worthless as pedagogy but they are a brilliant mechanism for undermining the school systems, instilling fear and creating a rationale for corporate takeover. There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financers and speculators and billionaires.”

Teachers, under assault from every direction, are fleeing the profession. Even before the “reform” blitzkrieg we were losing half of all teachers within five years after they started work—and these were people who spent years in school and many thousands of dollars to become teachers. How does the country expect to retain dignified, trained professionals under the hostility of current conditions? I suspect that the hedge fund managers behind our charter schools system—whose primary concern is certainly not with education—are delighted to replace real teachers with nonunionized, poorly trained instructors. To truly teach is to instill the values and knowledge which promote the common good and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia. The utilitarian, corporate ideology embraced by the system of standardized tests and leadership academies has no time for the nuances and moral ambiguities inherent in a liberal arts education. Corporatism is about the cult of the self. It is about personal enrichment and profit as the sole aim of human existence. And those who do not conform are pushed aside.

“It is extremely dispiriting to realize that you are in effect lying to these kids by insinuating that this diet of corporate reading programs and standardized tests are preparing them for anything,” said this teacher, who feared he would suffer reprisals from school administrators if they knew he was speaking out. “It is even more dispiriting to know that your livelihood depends increasingly on maintaining this lie. You have to ask yourself why are hedge fund managers suddenly so interested in the education of the urban poor? The main purpose of the testing craze is not to grade the students but to grade the teacher.”

(Full Story)

MSNBC: As exams move online, students spend more time testing

7 07 2012
By Sarah Garland, The Hechinger Report

In the Appoquinimink school district in central Delaware, students now take three, and sometimes four, versions of the state math and reading tests online each year. In the near future, this may become the norm in schools across the country, as computers allow states to give standardized tests multiple times a year.

Giving students more tests is something the online test developers are encouraging. They say teachers will be able to receive results immediately, which can help them change their teaching methods if students are not mastering the material. But so far in Delaware, one of the early adopters of computer-based testing, the scores are not always helpful, educators say.

The state sends schools two scores showing how students did overall in reading and math. “I wish we got more information than just a number,” said Don Davis, principal of Brick Mill Elementary in the Appoquinimink district.

That’s why Townsend Elementary School, in the next town over, has continued to give its students another set of tests, on top of the state-required standardized tests. Four years ago, the school began using a computer-based test known as theMeasures of Academic Progress (MAP), administered by the Northwest Evaluation Association. The test, taken three times a year, gives teachers detailed reports on how students are doing in specific areas of reading, like comprehension. The reports can also group students within a class based on their ability in certain skills.

Teachers at Townsend unanimously voted to continue giving students the MAP, because the Delaware state test does not yet provide such fine-grained data. As a result, students at the school now take as many as seven standardized tests a year on the computer.

It’s a lot, but it’s worth it, teachers and the Townsend principal, Charles Sheppard, say. “We want to know where they are,” he said. Educators at the school are hoping the state test will eventually be as helpful as MAP, so that they can cut down on the number of tests.

But Emily Gale and Emma Patricco, both fourth-graders at Townsend, said they don’t mind the frequent testing. “You can push your score higher,” Emma said.

Indeed, between fall and spring, Delaware’s students have seen big gains in their test scores—partly because they’re learning throughout the year, and partly because they’re becoming more familiar with the test format, educators say.

In particular, “elementary-school students have shown us very large growth in scale scores” over the course of a year under the new system, said Michael Stetter, director of accountability resources for the state education department.

(Full Story)