0133: Standards-Based #Revolution, I mean #Education
#occupyedu #SOSchat #edreform
Yes, education should have standards, and yes, those standards should be tested with corporations in mind. The STANDARD should be that all learners are equipped with the critical skills to participate in an open society; that is, learners should be literate, connected, and aware. The test will be if power shifts, or not. If not, then we should rethink our standard. For this standard to be met, there will be steps to take. We will have to extend education beyond the first 18 years of life, and encourage learning and growth for all. Standards based learning, of course. But we just need one loose standard—that the People be allowed to acquire education that will benefit them.
We will bang out the how’s and why’s together.
0097: The Futility of Standardized #Testing. Teachers, Rebel and Teach
#education #SOS #revolution
I spent yesterday afternoon consulting with academic coaches at my school about how to implement content area literacy strategies. The meeting, of course, was intended to develop strategies for covering masses of material to meet curriculum standards. Our school needs to survive this next round of testing. I’ve been summoned to help, but it’s so late in the year. We discussed strategies for increasing reading fluency and comprehension. With discussed vocabulary instruction. We discussed strengthening basic skills. One of the coaches held up her pacing guide pitifully and asked, “How can we do all that and still cover the pacing guide.” “You can’t,” I said, “we can implement a few strategies to hopefully get a few skills in, but quality teaching, questioning, and skill building takes an academic career, not just 2 months.” They all looked defeated. Looking down a coach said, “It’s not intended for us to pass is it?”
The testing crisis has bred futility among our teachers. We show up to work each day swearing there’s hope. We vow to teach, to really teach, but our teaching practice is interrupted. Our concern for the well being, creativity, and critical thinking of our students is brutally stamped out with standardized tests and improvement plans. Good teachers are known as failures. Test drillers are lauded for their efforts. Our schools are in crisis. Further, the next generation is in crisis. The well being of our society is in peril. If we don’t build a critical consciousness among our people—students, teachers, citizens—then we will surely fall prey, if we have not already, to unthinkable tyranny. Teachers do not stop fighting. Teach. Help learners learn to learn. Test be damned.