VAM

Roster Villification

This week two First Grade teachers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, took a principled stand against subjecting their students to any more abuse in the name of standardized testing. Their story and the letter they sent home to parents made waves, and they are likely to be fired for doing what’s best for their students.

I couldn’t help but remember a few months ago when I did the opposite, and caved in the face of almost no pressure. I’m reposting this as a confession in contrast to their courage and their conviction. My other rebuilt posts retain their original posting dates for logistical reasons; this one will not. It was originally posted April 16th, 2014.

Assessments & Grades - Why?

Like the standardized testing of students on which many of these numbers and letters are based, the conviction seems to be that if you just keep pretending to measure things in ridiculously oversimplified ways designed to guarantee widespread failure, you’re “reforming” the system and calling forth a brighter future for all. This is analogous to – actually, never mind the analogy. It’s just stupid.

Ms. Bullen's Data-Rich Year

You ever across something while browsing online, and wish you hadn't? I believe it was Tosh.0 that did a segment called "Things You Can't Unsee." Sometimes they just gross you out, or cause emotional distress, and sometimes they're just inappropriately violent or pornographic or just plain wrong.

This one is none of those, except perhaps 'just plain wrong.' It's from the OKSDE website, and of course it's about Data-Tracking, and Value Added Measurement, and all sorts of other bureaucratic verbiage designed to disguise a much simpler phrase, "blame everything on teachers whatever it takes." It’s also the death knell of my efforts to focus on the positives in education.

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