Monday, July 19, 2010

Keep on Pushing On

My fellow bloggers and I have been sounding the alarm for years that the NYS math and ELA tests were too damn easy, and have gotten easier every year since Mayor4Life wrested mayoral control from the voters two terms ago. The reason they were getting easier is obvious--it made everyone look good. The problem, of course, is that the "gains" were all phony. The state has almost admitted as much, acknowledging that a score of 3--or proficient--doesn't translate into success on the Regents exams.

So what will the state do? De-emphasize testing and allocate more money to resources to help bring students up to speed? Ditch the unproven curricula used in both math and English for more proven methods? Offer remedial help to those students who scored threes but who teachers clearly identify as struggling?

Surely you jest. All that will happen is that the state is going to make the tests--wait for it---harder.

That's right. If the tests were flawed, we obviously have no choice but to make them harder in the future! That way, students who've been told that they're proficient can now be told that they're barely literate! That's the DOE way.

If you've been pushing for 8 years, as BloomKlein have, on a door that says "Pull", chances are that pushing harder in the same direction will not yield better results. But that's what the state and the city want. Unrelenting testing has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, so they're going to do more of it, and push even harder.

Where will the blame for this disaster fall? Squarely on teachers, naturally. The same data that Mayor4Life took credit for when he was running for (stealing) his third term will now be used to 'prove' that teachers have not been doing their jobs.

It could be worse, of course. Just because the same people who've run the tests for the last 8 years are at it again isn't going to do any harm. I mean, even though the tests will be harder, it's not like these tests are going to be used to evaluate us or anything. Right, Mulgrew?


California Teacher said...

You have to read Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry by Todd Farley. I just finished it this weekend. It is hilarious... very satirical, but also scathing and horrifying. I'm on a personal mission that as many educators read it as possible!! I think it's a good weapon in the stand against all this ridiculous testing.

BronxEnglish said...

Every word you wrote: true. Every word from BloomKlein: untrue.
Yin. Yang. We. are. screwed.

Anonymous said...

You are correct and teachers will suffer no tenure, firings, however principals like the one at the Columbia Middle School where the little girl drowned will be kept in place to provide whatever numbers Bloomberg and Klein want.

Anonymous said...

NCLB + RttT + new teacher's evaluation + harder state Exams = job termination!

Pension benefits eliminated, due process eliminated, tenure eliminated, and social justice will be a thing of the past.

Randi thank you for the 2005 contract and allowing mayoral contract. Thank you for having Gates at the Seattle convention so he can ridicule the teaching position.

Mulgrew thank you for not supporting Thompson when we had a chance of getting BloomKlein out. Thank you for allowing Bloomberg to be elected so that contract negotiation can go through an impasse, which was planned! Thank you for accepting Gates money to screw us in the METS initiative of the new teachers' evaluation process because Randi and you are out to screw the members. Since the test will be harder for students to pass (which I find highly suspicious since now we have a new teachers evaluation) more teachers will be fired within 60 days of receiving two ineffective observation ratings from incompetent principals who have never stepped foot in a classroom.

I think I've given enough f***ing thanks to those who will receive two pension checks upon their retirement while the majority of us will lose their only one pension.

God I'm stick to my stomach with the abuse and the politics!