Teacher Testing: Long Overdue

Discussion in 'Education' started by Adam's Apple, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Testing Teachers
    By Linda Chavez,Townhall
    July 26, 2006

    If you were ever one of those students who wished you could be the one grading your teacher instead of the other way around, the federal government may be about to grant your wish, vicariously anyway. This week, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has threatened to give failing grades to some states for not testing teachers adequately.

    Under the No Child Left Behind Act (2002), which was passed with bipartisan support, all states were given until August to demonstrate that teachers in their school systems were "highly qualified" in core teaching areas. But several states are so far behind in meeting these standards that they could lose federal funding.

    "I want states to know that Congress and the president mean business on the law," Spellings told The New York Times in a recent interview. Spellings was criticized by some education reformers last year for taking a go-slow approach in forcing school systems to meet the NCLB requirements, but the only complaints now are coming from states that don't measure up--and the teachers unions. "Last year it was, 'We're marching together toward the deadline,'" Spellings said, "but now it's time for, 'Your homework is due.'"

    for full article:
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/LindaChavez/2006/07/26/testing_teachers
     
  2. nt250
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    nt250 Senior Member

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    Bullshit.

    This country is going to make the teaching profession so prohitive to the average college graduate that nobody in their right mind would choose to be a teacher in today's world.

    Doctors are not subjected to the same kinds of rules and regulations that politicians and the average voter think teachers should be subjected to, and why?

    One word: Misogyny

    Most teachers are women.

    I have no use for teachers these days, because of my own personal experiences with them, but it is absolutley nuts what people expect of teachers.

    No wonder most teachers these days have no concept that they have the right to control their own classrooms. Look at what they're faced with.

    Why anyone would become a teacher today is a mystery.
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Maybe that's a good thing. It would weed out those who shouldn't have entered the teaching profession in the first place. Too many people become teachers because they think it's an easy job with three months off in the summer. It's also one of the easier programs to get through in college. Neither is a justified reason for becoming a teacher.
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I agree. For too long 'an education degree' has been what too many 'below average' college students turn to, when they fail in other majors. Education majors, (certified in k-9) in Illinois, have no 'special area of expertise'. In most school districts, you won't find this certification in grades 6 and above.

    Secondary teachers do have a degree outside of education, in a major field. Most have only an endorsement in education courses. In order for me to get that endorsement I had to take: adolescent psychology; teaching gifted and special adolescents; methods of teaching social studies (which was a 4 week course, the same semester as student teaching). That was it.

    It could be argued that the lower grade teachers need more required general education courses, (to root out those unable to do jr. or sr. level college work) and secondary teachers could benefit by more methods and behavior management classes, (which one will eventually pick up with experience). Therein lies the run. Parents will I think overwhelmingly agree that some of the lower grade teachers are not able to teach some subjects well or at all, (usually math/science or grammar). There are some secondary teachers that should not be teaching, no matter how qualified in their subject areas-they can't teach.
     
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  5. nt250
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    nt250 Senior Member

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    Again, I have to say: bullshit.

    The teaching profession is big business. None of this is free. It costs every teacher money to take these courses, and who gets the money? The very colleges that support these types of rules and regulations to begin with.

    And where has any of it gotten us? Nowhere. Longer school years. Total reliance and dependence on test scores alone as an indication of success. And in the meantime the kids have been totally lost in the shuffle of the pissing contest.

    There is a lot more to teaching than being technically proficient at something on paper. The best teachers are those that have the gift of being able to explain something in a way that can be understood, and the patience to do it day in, day out.

    No Child Left Behind? Some kids deserve to be left behind.
     
  6. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Not bullshit. Teachers have to be accountable just like everyone else. Doctors do have to prove they're qualified, they go through 4 years of medical school, residency and an internship, furthermore, they have to be certified and then get sued for malpractice from time to time.

    When people are not held accountable, there's no telling what they'll do.

    Same thing with other professions. If I'm negligent, it's either A) my job or B) it gets recorded during my yearly evaluation. That translates to a lower pay increase or becoming first in line during a layoff.

    Teachers who can't teach shouldn't be teaching. The same thing goes for doctors who don't practice medicine correctly, lawyers who aren't ethical and priests/ministers/rabbis that break the laws of their given faiths. Otherwise, what do you have? The bad apples reflect poorly on the good ones and people lose faith in that profession.
     
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  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Exactly. I wouldn't want a cardiologist that completed med school in 1970 treating me, if they hadn't kept up with new developments since then. Teachers likewise, need to update their knowledge, especially on topics that they are weak in.
     
  8. fuzzykitten99
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    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

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    It sounds like daycare providers (at least in my state) are held to a bigger responsibility for child development than teachers. Though we don't need a college education, we need to complete 8 hours of child development training (any kind any topic except business planning courses, etc) each year, and also be re-certified yearly by the Red Cross in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid, which is an additional 12 hours, just to even qualify to keep our license. I am in the process of getting licensed and I have to have ALL these done before I can be issued my license on 8/11/06.

    We are also subject to county licensor drop-ins, unannounced, just to make sure we are in compliance in every aspect and law. We are paid by our clients directly (unless you have county program kids) but teachers are paid by the government and are yet not required to be updated by taking any kind of re-certification courses.
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    On paper it looks like they are 'requiring updating skills':

    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/certification/html/experienced_teacher.htm





    It's the teachers who go for the CPDUs that are the weak link. Ever hear of 'institutes'? Talk about waste of time, at least 99.5 out a 100 times. The institutes are for the same people that entered education because they couldn't cut it in another major.

    They have cute topics: "Motivating you class" or "Using Self-Esteem to Improve Classroom Management" or "Appreciating All Learning Styles". Seriously. If each of these went a full day, you would have 24 CPDUs, (A years worth).

    Most teachers take this route, because it's REQUIRED that we go, the school pays, the state is happy.

    To work on an advanced degree, the teacher pays and still has to go to the mind numbing institutes.
     
  10. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    But to become credentialed as a teacher you have to be "technically proficient at something on paper." Teachers know this up front, so this is no excuse for teachers not having to be tested on their teaching ability.

    Testing has always been connected to learning; always will be. It’s the measuring rod to gage how much we know. So it is not bullshit to expect that teachers should be tested to see how much they know about teaching. Testing would also determine the effort teachers have put into keeping themselves up to date on what is happening in the teaching field. This is not an unreal expectation; other professionals have to pass interval tests in order to keep their credentialing current, so why not teachers?

    The easy way out--just write them off. This is exactly how a teacher who should not be a teacher would think.
     

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