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Is Obama not aware of his own education policies? He said not to teach to the test..

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-26-12 11:54 PM
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Is Obama not aware of his own education policies? He said not to teach to the test..
BUT...his own policies require it. Teachers are to be evaluated on how well their students score on one high stakes test, and in many states the schools are graded by those tests as well.

It blows my mind. He must know his own policies as set forth by Arne Duncan, his Secretary of Education. Right?

Here is what he said in the SOTU speech about teachers. From the transcript at the WH site:

Remarks by the President in the State of the Union

At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced states to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies -- just to make a difference.

That is not really the reason that teachers are being laid off. It is simply not the truth. The fact remains that whether Obama is aware of his own policies or not.....he is responsible for the outcome. He's the boss.

Teachers are being laid off because of his policies of testing, testing, and more testing...and the policy of "turnaround" schools. Often a new charter is the result, sometimes half or all the teachers are laid off and new ones hired. Plus many beloved principals are being fired and replaced by those who were trained by billionaires like Eli Broad and encouraged by Bill Gates and the Waltons and more.

Teachers are not being laid off because of the lack of funding. If that were true, then recruits from the TFA would not be hired to replace them at a cost of up to $5000 more per recruits. They call them corpsmen, not teachers.

It is not honest to say that teachers are laid off because of funding. It is far far more involved than that. As students go to charter schools which often are run by private companies, they get the taxpayer money that would be going to public schools. As more charter schools are opened, more money is taken from public education.


Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, lets offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. (Applause.) And in return, grant schools flexibility: to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just arent helping kids learn. Thats a bargain worth making. (Applause.)

Is he not aware of his own policies requiring more and better testing?

This is from the California Teachers' Association on his Race to the Top policies.

Race to the Top..One-Size-Fits All Hurts Students

Race to the Top RTTT which replaces NCLB...still requires that teachers be graded on how students do on one test. Some states are adding other criteria, but the test score is often the main one.

Unfortunately, the RTTT proposal reveals that this administration is repeating the past mistakes of NCLB, including an over-reliance on test scores as an accurate measure of student achievement and support for interventions that do not have a track record of success, such as unregulated charter schools and compensation tied to test scores. RTTT may be a voluntary application process, but the priorities and criteria in the proposal privilege certain past and future actions by state and local educational agencies and hold them hostage by their purse strings.

More on the added pressure to test test and test again.

CTAs comments on the RTTT fall into six overarching areas:

1) Continuing to Link Student Achievement to Success on a Test
Since 2001, the emphasis on standardized testing as the primary measure of student achievement has been scrutinized and criticized on many fronts. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama contended that teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests and that students deserve to learn in an individualized manner. Unfortunately, the RTTT proposal does not reflect a substantive change toward a more balanced method for evaluating student learning and achievement.

The narrowness of most tests used today is virtually undisputed. Many state tests address a small subset of student standards using a multiple-test format. The narrow content focus encourages teaching to the test, which artificially inflates test scores while simultaneously narrowing the curriculum taught in the classroom.

When a president says for teachers not to teach to the test, he first needs to look at his own policies and requirements.
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-12 12:17 AM
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