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I am an elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Mr. Duncan- 90 periods lost forever

Dear Arne Duncan,

Your latest tweet got me thinking. 

Just how much will my kids miss next year, due to your policies? Looking at our new teacher evaluation scheme in NY (APPR), Race to the Top, NCLB and the infamous Common Core, I’ve done some rough calculations.

  • New York State now requires 9 hours of standardized testing
  • APPR mandated District assessments ( approx 3 hours)
  • Special area subject assessments due to NYS’s APPR ( Science, Music, PE, Art,  etc)  twice per year ( appox 1 hour each)
  • District assessments due to APPR for Science and Math used to evaluate teachers ( twice per year each= 4 hours)
  • District benchmark assessments per quarter for Math and ELA ( 8 hours)
  • I now take attendance 3 times per day for VAM data – ( 1 minute each time= 9 hours/year)
  • Due to new Common Core standards, I’ll most likely have at least 1 day of professional development ( 7 hours)
  • New York State usually has a their students complete a field test – ( 1.5 hours)
  • Practice time to expose kids to testing procedures and format- ( 1 hour/day for 2 weeks= 10 hours)
  • Common Core standards requires  Math fluency that must be assessed ( 1 hour)

Approximate lost learning time next year due to your policies–  60 hours!

Given a 40 minute typical class period, my students will lose 90 class periods of learning time. Lost forever Mr. Duncan, forever!

So what’s the plan to deal with these unintended consequences Mr. Secretary?

I guess the buck didn’t stop there.

NYS Education Commissioner King’s recent take on Pearson’s numerous errors, negligence, abuse, and pineapple fraud on this years assessments give us all a peak at  his unfortunate bias against NYS’s hard working dedicated teachers.

As reported in the NYTimes ;

“At a Regents meeting on Monday, John B. King Jr., the commissioner of the State Education Department, suggested that the public outcry had less to do with the content of the exam and more with students’ access to social media and teachers’ concern about the new evaluation system, in which at least 20 percent of their rating will be based on their students’ test performance.”

When he approved the removal of the “Pineapple and the Hare” he blamed teachers for the ridiculous story and even more asinine questions. King said,

This particular passage, like all test questions, was reviewed by a committee comprised of teachers from across the state, but it was not crafted for New York State.

According to King, we have it all wrong, It’s not the tests, it’s the teachers! What can we expect from a charter school advocate, with no real public school experience.

So my questions are simple Commissioner King. Since our students have suffered  through 6 grueling days of tests, and many teachers are now struggling to accurately score this garbage, who is responsible for the poor scoring instructions?

Who is responsible for this?

Some extraneous sample responses have been inadvertently included in the scoring materials that have been provided on the CD for Grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. To restore a seamless alignment between the materials provided in the scoring leader training documents with those in the scorer training documents, it is necessary that these extraneous pages be crossed out, either prior to being distributed to scorers or shortly after they have been handed out.  (click to read more)

Or this..?

There is a correction in the possible exemplary responses for the scoring of Question 64
on the Grade 6 English Language Arts Test Book 3. ( click to read more)

Or this..?

There are typographical errors in the score and annotation provided for CAS Set 1 (for Question 63) on Page 1 in the Grade 7 Mathematics Test, 2012 Scoring Leader Training Materials, Volume 2, Practice Set and Consistency Assurance Set. Please make following corrections in all copies of this document.  ( click to read more)

How about this Commissioner?

This notice pertains to typographical errors in the Practice Set Answer Key on page 51 of the Practice Set portion of the Grade 8 Mathematics Test, 2012 Scoring Leader Training Materials, Volume 2, Practice Set and Consistency Assurance Set. Please make the following corrections in all copies of this document. (click to read more)

Here is a good one..

This notice pertains to Question 36 on the Spanish edition of the 2012 Grade 3
Mathematics Test Book 2, Form D only. Due to a typographical error, there is no
correct answer to Question 36 on this form. ( click for more)

Still more mistakes.. who’s fault?

This notice pertains to Question 23 on the Spanish edition only of the 2012
Grade 4 Mathematics Test Book 1, all forms (A, B, C, and D). Due to imprecision
in the transcription of this question, there is no correct answer (Click for more)

Let’s make it easy for you..

Who is a fault for the errors noted here http://www.p12.nysed.gov/apda/scoring/612ei/home.html

NYS paid Pearson $32,000,000.00 for flawed tests, riddled with so called pilot questions that flustered and distracted children across the state. How much is Pearson going to compensate these children for their labor as test guinie pigs for Pearson’s corporate interests?

Pretty soon our students will sit a suffer through field tests.. more forced labor for Pearson? Where is the educational objective for my students? Where do field tests fall within the Common Core?

Commissioner King may have a little trouble answering for this years mess (aka Pineapplegate). Perhaps he should be asking New York’s “only student advocate” Gov. Cuomo. Just where does that buck stop?

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