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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:05 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Yes, lazy teachers. Lets get rid of them and all will be peachy keen. Only problem is, I don't really know any. Maybe one or two who are burned out and near retirement (out of a staff of 150).

How's this for fun? My first district only lets kids who get B in bio to take chem. consequently, they had a 99% pass rate the year before I worked there. Then my year, they dropped to 98%. They were reprimanded for failure to maintain or improve. I'm not kidding. They had multiple meetings where they analyzed data and discussed how to improve. The icing? It was only 1 or two kids who made the difference. I sat in one one of the meetings because they wanted all of science to see how they were collaborating on an improvement plan. I had trouble sitting there with a straight face. It felt like the Twilight Zone.



Ahh yes. My school didn't meet AYP, because we didn't have enough special ed kids meet in Math. We analyzed the data and it was about 3 kids. We weren't terribly worried about it, because 1 moved over the summer. Without her score, we knew we'd be above the right percentage.

We also applied for a waiver to not have to deal with AYP due to our high performing district, but because IL as a state hasn't done enough with the new federal teacher evaluation system, no waivers were given in IL.


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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Yuuup. We have a waiver because they caved on evals. 50% of our eval is now scaled from student test scores. The icing on THAT is the fact that this year is the roll out for a new interactive state test in science. Math went through that last year and scores state wide were crepe. New standards, new tests, and new evals. Yippee?

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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:30 pm 
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chiveggie wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
Any special education teachers around to comment on this?


4. To qualify for special education, I have to show a kid is discrepant from their peers. I use scores on standardized tests to show they can't read as well as their same aged classmates. The term "discrepant" is highly open to interpretation so different schools use very different measures of this. The other way you qualify for Special Ed is to show that a kid has been getting a lot of help and it is only that amount of help that is enabling the kid to somewhat keep up with their classmates. Then magically this kid that I had to jump through hoops to show wasn't able to read as well as his/her classmates, is suddenly supposed to read as well as his classmates on the NCLB test. HUH? If they could meet state standards they wouldn't be in special ed!!! I have a 6th grader reading at a 2nd grade level, yet I have to give her a week's worth of tests every spring at the 6th grade level and then our school can get penalized that she isn't on par. Really fun once my paycheck depends on her progress. Believe me, I'll be putting in to switch to being a gifted teacher if they base our pay on our kids' test scores.



This is a tangent, but I feel that this paragraph is a misrepresentation of a structured evaluation process during which a student is evaluated by a team of specialists.


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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:49 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Yes, lazy teachers. Lets get rid of them and all will be peachy keen. Only problem is, I don't really know any. Maybe one or two who are burned out and near retirement (out of a staff of 150).

How's this for fun? My first district only lets kids who get B in bio to take chem. consequently, they had a 99% pass rate the year before I worked there. Then my year, they dropped to 98%. They were reprimanded for failure to maintain or improve. I'm not kidding. They had multiple meetings where they analyzed data and discussed how to improve. The icing? It was only 1 or two kids who made the difference. I sat in one one of the meetings because they wanted all of science to see how they were collaborating on an improvement plan. I had trouble sitting there with a straight face. It felt like the Twilight Zone.


Not to be snarky (okay, well, maybe a little snarky) but isn't this a lovely example of what's wrong with the system in general? If the people in charge don't understand what constitutes a reasonable improvement or reasonable rating, how can things hope to improve? And it being including the entire science department makes it even worse; shouldn't science teachers understand stats, outliers, normal distributions, population sizes, etc. enough to point out those obvious flaws? Geez.


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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:57 pm 
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bekki wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
Yes, lazy teachers. Lets get rid of them and all will be peachy keen. Only problem is, I don't really know any. Maybe one or two who are burned out and near retirement (out of a staff of 150).

How's this for fun? My first district only lets kids who get B in bio to take chem. consequently, they had a 99% pass rate the year before I worked there. Then my year, they dropped to 98%. They were reprimanded for failure to maintain or improve. I'm not kidding. They had multiple meetings where they analyzed data and discussed how to improve. The icing? It was only 1 or two kids who made the difference. I sat in one one of the meetings because they wanted all of science to see how they were collaborating on an improvement plan. I had trouble sitting there with a straight face. It felt like the Twilight Zone.


Not to be snarky (okay, well, maybe a little snarky) but isn't this a lovely example of what's wrong with the system in general? If the people in charge don't understand what constitutes a reasonable improvement or reasonable rating, how can things hope to improve? And it being including the entire science department makes it even worse; shouldn't science teachers understand stats, outliers, normal distributions, population sizes, etc. enough to point out those obvious flaws? Geez.


Based on my own experience with stuff like this, I would assume that most of the science teachers did understand it, but that there was no point in pointing it out, since a lot of funding is dependent on getting the numbers to where they're supposed to be, no matter how nonsensical the requirements are, and a bunch of teachers at one department in one school can't change a federal mandate.


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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Of the TEACHERS understood it was crepe. But we were pretty sure some of the admin were totally serious. Federal mandates didn't force that crepe that admin rained down on them.

As my mom just pointed out: the federal government is requiring the state to penalize teachers for test scores in exchange for a waiver that acknowledges that the test score standards are currently unobtainable.

I've been too pissed off about it to look at it that objectively.

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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:58 pm 
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I hadn't heard about Louisiana's new voucher program, but I was wondering how schools that don't teach science are going to pass all the testing that NCLB puts in place?

Quote:
Thanks to a new law privatizing public education in Louisiana, Bible-based curriculum can now indoctrinate young, pliant minds with the good news of the Lard—all on the state taxpayers' dime.

Under Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help poor and middle-class students from the state's notoriously terrible public schools receive a private education. While the governor's plan sounds great in the glittery parlance of the state's PR machine, the program is rife with accountability problems that actually haven't been solved by the new standards the Louisiana Department of Education adopted two weeks ago.

For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who's taken to Change.org to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19 that teach or champion creationist nonscience and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.


http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/ ... ax-dollars

Students will learn that dinos and humans coexisted (and probably be laughed off the internet).

And some really shitty "facts" about slavery and the Native population.
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God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ."—America: Land That I Love, Teacher ed., A Beka Book, 1994

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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:41 pm 
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Science isn't a critical subject. Funding mostly depends on math and English. This is why many elementary schools no longer teach science and social studies as actual subjects, but do a half asparagus integration with math and reading. In theory, this could be ok, or even great, but in practice that instructional time gets pulled for test prep and remediation.

More clearly, AYP (annual yearly progress) depends only on math and reading. However, within subjects, there are standards and the same bizarrely unobtainable goals.

eTA. I think the A Beka curriculum is the same one that likes to talk about all the good things the KKK did. You know, because visiting sick kids and taking poor white people turkeys on Thanksgiving totally makes up for lynchings and cross burnings and the torture of human beings with the gall to have a different skin color. God didn't make them, I guess?

A Beka is one of the most widely used curriculums by more fundie homeschoolers and private schools.

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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:44 am 
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I so want to get into this conversation. I taught, Kindergarten and 1st grade in inner city southern schools and overseas, and i loved it but was so frustrated that for a while i was working on an EdD. I actually am a housewife now, but i still feel so strongly about this. I struggle with it as a parent and a teacher/person who cares about educating our society's children.

In my community, a small city (ab 16,000, but the largest in the county) in northern CA, the charter schools are all over the map, one k-8 waldorf school is excellent, but takes 20 kindergarten students a year, i know a family who are waiting for their 2nd grader to make it into the school from the waiting list. There are others, some good for what they are, some, well, i shudder. There is also no real home school here- where we live doesn't mean there is a default elementary school (although for middle and high it does). And because of the set money that the charters get, as well as the massive cuts for the public system here, the public schools are massively underfunded. I believe in public schooling, and i want my child to be a part of it, and i even want to teach in them, but what i have seen here is not the kind of education that i want for my child. I am by no means a waldorf parent, but i see no creative outlets, no fostering of inquistivity or relationships in the local (actually most) public schools. And i don't blame the teachers- i have been there, i know how the top down system and punitive nature of the current system has tied their hands into knots.

I feel strongly that we need a bottom up system- teachers need to be trusted not only by the government, but by parents to really run schools. Admins should be there to assist teachers, not the other way around. And teachers should be charged with doing whatever they need to do to make sure the children's needs are met so they can be freed to learn and learn to learn.

ok, now i will try to catch up and read the rest of this thread! I got so excited, i just had to post.


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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:14 am 
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chiveggie wrote:

Yes 100% of the kids have to be average or above average. Guess they missed the day in stats class where the word "average" was defined. You can't have everyone above average.

This drives me INSANE!! I teach secondary school (high school) kids in the UK, and we are constantly being told all kids must be average or better. What??
lavawitch wrote:
Yes, lazy teachers. Lets get rid of them and all will be peachy keen. Only problem is, I don't really know any. Maybe one or two who are burned out and near retirement (out of a staff of 150).

This. I have been teaching for nearly 25 years and could count the number of truly lazy teachers I have met on the fingers of one hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Charter Schools and Resegregation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:51 pm 
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celyn wrote:
chiveggie wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
Any special education teachers around to comment on this?


4. To qualify for special education, I have to show a kid is discrepant from their peers. I use scores on standardized tests to show they can't read as well as their same aged classmates. The term "discrepant" is highly open to interpretation so different schools use very different measures of this. The other way you qualify for Special Ed is to show that a kid has been getting a lot of help and it is only that amount of help that is enabling the kid to somewhat keep up with their classmates. Then magically this kid that I had to jump through hoops to show wasn't able to read as well as his/her classmates, is suddenly supposed to read as well as his classmates on the NCLB test. HUH? If they could meet state standards they wouldn't be in special ed!!! I have a 6th grader reading at a 2nd grade level, yet I have to give her a week's worth of tests every spring at the 6th grade level and then our school can get penalized that she isn't on par. Really fun once my paycheck depends on her progress. Believe me, I'll be putting in to switch to being a gifted teacher if they base our pay on our kids' test scores.



This is a tangent, but I feel that this paragraph is a misrepresentation of a structured evaluation process during which a student is evaluated by a team of specialists.


Yes I overly simplified it, but deciding if a student qualifies for special education at school is open to interpretation. An outside evaluator may determine a kid has a disability, although in my experience, I have yet to see an outside eval that didn't result in a diagnosis of dyslexia and dysgraphia regardless of the kid's test scores, so I don't have much faith in the local neuropsych parents in my district go to.... For example in my district. We used to define "discrepant" in terms of local norms. We tested every child in the district and it was determined anyone under the 16th percentile compared to the kids in our own district on the reading tests could fit the criteria for discrepant under the IDEA definition of a learning disability. Two years ago, the administrators changed our criteria. We now use national norms. We also only look at kids that are below the 10th percentile nationally as possible kids to qualify as having a learning disability. Parents were livid over the change, but the inclusionary criteria only lists "discrepant to peers" which each district can choose to interpret however they would like, so our administrators held firm. Our administrator is also of the belief that any kids below second grade shouldn't get IEPs because "they haven't had enough time to be taught anything so how can they be discrepant" even though "developmental delay" is a category that we are legally allowed to use for just such cases.


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