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Teacher Testing: Long Overdue

Adam's Apple

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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
 

nt250

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Adam's Apple said:
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

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.
 
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Adam's Apple

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nt250 said:
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.

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.
 

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Adam's Apple said:
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.
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.
 

nt250

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Adam's Apple said:
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.

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.
 

KarlMarx

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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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KarlMarx said:
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.


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.
 

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Kathianne said:
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.
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.
 

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fuzzykitten99 said:
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.
On paper it looks like they are 'requiring updating skills':

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

What are my professional development options for renewal? (complete one)

* Advanced degree
* National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification process
* Eight semester hours of graduate-level coursework PDF File
* Subsequent Illinois certificate or endorsement
* Requirements for becoming NCLB "highly qualified" in another teaching area
* Four semester hours of approved graduate-level coursework in either:
- Self-assessment PDF File
- NBPTS certification preparation PDF File
* Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs)/Continuing Education Units (CEUs) PDF File




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.
 
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Adam's Apple

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nt250 said:
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.

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. ItÂ’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?

No Child Left Behind? Some kids deserve to be left behind.

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

nt250

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Adam's Apple said:
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. ItÂ’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.

What's good enough, then?

A BA isn't good enough anymore. A Masters isn't good enough anymore.

What? When will they stop changing the rules midway through the game?

Edited to add:

By "left behind" I meant left back. You know, repeat a grade? When did that concept become such a foreign one?
 

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nt250 said:
What's good enough, then?

A BA isn't good enough anymore. A Masters isn't good enough anymore.

What? When will they stop changing the rules midway through the game?
So you would be happy with a doctor that never updated his skills? I don't think so.

No, anyone in any job of any worth, needs to keep up with their field. Problem with the teaching profession is they tend to concentrate on the 'feel good' issues, without addressing how to actually improve student performances.
 

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

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



[/B]

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.

for MN, your class hours have to be child-development related, not 'you' related. Like tonight, I have the 2nd to last of my classes which is "Toddler Biting and destructive behavior". I have already taken "Anger and Aggression in Children" and "Science Resources for Young Children".
 

nt250

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Kathianne said:
So you would be happy with a doctor that never updated his skills? I don't think so.

No, anyone in any job of any worth, needs to keep up with their field. Problem with the teaching profession is they tend to concentrate on the 'feel good' issues, without addressing how to actually improve student performances.

Name one state that requires a doctor to update his skills in order to keep his job? Not any certification, but his medical license. And yes, call me stupid, but if I was going to need heart surgery I'd rather it be done but the doctor with the most experience, not the one who read the most medical journals.

I used the example of doctors because if there is any profession that should require it, it's doctors.

Teachers are not exactly on the same level as doctors.
 

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nt250 said:
Name one state that requires a doctor to update his skills in order to keep his job? Not any certification, but his medical license. And yes, call me stupid, but if I was going to need heart surgery I'd rather it be done but the doctor with the most experience, not the one who read the most medical journals.

I used the example of doctors because if there is any profession that should require it, it's doctors.

Teachers are not exactly on the same level as doctors.
Physician recertification is facing the same issues:

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/316/7130/545
 

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Teaching is not a "Profession." Far from it. Any rational definition of "Profession" includes several elements that are totally lacking in "teaching."

Professionals must master a large body of quantifiable information, and demonstrate that they have mastered it, BEFORE they can enter into the profession. Doctors have medical boards, lawyers have the Bar exam, CPA's have their exam, as do Professional Engineers. Same for Architects and so on. Professionals must demonstrated this knowledge in order to get into the profession. There is no objective body of knowledge or information that constitutes "teaching." In fact, most teachers do not even major in their specialty, but rather in "Education," which is a non-subject, if ever there was one. It is not unusual for math and science teachers to have no more than 4-6 courses in their subject area, and never study it again throughout a 30+ year career, except to familiarize themselves with the latest textbooks.

Professionals can be sued for MALPRACTICE, which is a tort that goes far beyond simple negligence. A doctor must know the LATEST proven treatments for diseases and apply them according to established standards. If he does not, and the patient is harmed, the doctor can be sued for damages. And he cannot hide behind a corporate entity, the Professional is PERSONALLY LIABLE for malpractice. Same for lawyers, CPA's, Professional engineers, dentists, architects, etc.

Can you even IMAGINE a teacher being sued for malpractice. It is to laugh.

Professionals are credentialed to operate as independent professional contractors (to "hang up a shingle," so to speak). Teachers are merely employees of the government, and most are union members as well, which makes them permanently immune from sanctions for "malpractice." They can literally waste a year of a whole classroom's time with no consequences whatsoever.

As for the topic of this thread, California was one of the first states to introduce the CONCEPT of teacher testing, albeit an impotent one, as no teacher was ever threatened with loss-of-job if they failed the tests; they simply re-took them until they passed. And the levels of the tests ultimately had to watered down to the 10th grade level, due to the large number of "minority" teachers who were failing miserably.

But of course, no one actually ever lost their teaching job due to failure on these tests.
 

DGS49

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And the flip side of this issue is the juxtaposition of (a) the generally dreadful level of credentials of America's public high school math and science teachers (virtually none of whom have degrees in either math or a real science), and (b) the mountainous barriers to entry for people in the Real World (e.g. engineers who might like to try teaching, say, high school physics). Anyone wanting to make such a career change would be facing a minimum of one year with NO INCOME (adding "education" credits and student-teaching), and would enter the force as a first-year employee at the bottom of the pay scale.

It is said, with unquestionable veracity, that Albert Fucking Einstein would not be qualified to teach Math in a Princeton, New Jersey high school classroom.

And there you have it.

The American public schools that have achieved excellence have generally done so in spite of the Education Bureaucracy, and usually due to the efforts (and genetic contribution) of parents.
 

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Again we see the shameless ignorance some feeble-minded fools consistently bring to any discussion relating to education. ^^^^^
 

DGS49

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Nice rebuttal, Unk. Filled with facts and logic.

In my part of the world, we don't give doctorate's and MBA degrees to "feeble minded fools." Except for PhD's in "Education" of course.
 

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