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Old 06-18-2011, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,679,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred0005 View Post
Okay, merit pay is one issue that really gets to me because it is so wrong, as it is just another example of scapegoating teachers because no one wants to confront the real reasons and issues that are contributing to the failure of our public schools. Many of those who support merit pay have never set foot in a classroom. This will not work because our kids are individuals, not a product on an assembly line and thus cannot be measured as such. This WILL drive out the good teachers who are already struggling to make ends meet. I am disgusted and disheartened by the politics that now prevade the teaching profession, truly sad.

ITA. Sadly, we will venture down this path and the results will be disasterous. Teachers just don't control enough for merit pay to work outside of evaluating what we actually do. Results WRT our students test scores won't work for many reasons. Though I really would like to see them tie passing to the tests. One of the things that is very wrong with our system is that the child doesn't have any accountability to do what they are supposed to do. My job would be so much easier and I'd be so much better at it if I could count on my students to hold up their end.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
Sorry, bad typo.

How do you suggest we fix this horrible education system?
Emmulate countries that teach well.

Parents need to teach their children that education is a privilidge (our kids seem to think it's something forced upon them) and parents need to make sure children are prepared for school (well rested, well fed and with proper supplies)

Children need to be taught that homework and study is their job. If they don't hold up their end of the bargain, it's very hard for me to hold up mine. If you want to make homework the schools problem, then extend the school day/year to allow time for homework in school.

There should be common assessments. Exit exams for each class to insure that students know what they need to know before moving on to the next level.

Use the money that would be spent figuring out merit pay to allow teachers to get more training and to spend time in each other's classrooms and learn from each other. IMO, I should have had multiple prep hours my first year out so that I could sit in the classes of master teachers and see how it's done. The 40 hours required for my degree and 12 weeks of student teaching is nothing. I should have had WAY more supervision my first year out. I was pretty much handed the keys and told to go teach. You would never do that in industry. A degree doesn't mean you know your job. It means you're ready to learn your job.

Evaluate teachers on what they do not student's test scores. For all the reasons I've mentioned here and in the other thread, that will not work. However, IF you tie passing and failing to standardized tests, teachers who have lower percentages of students passing should be offered the opportunity to study under the masters who acheive higher passing rates (adjusted for demographics....I'd look like a star right now but it's not me, it's the kids. My student's parents are educated and successful for the most part and it shows in my classroom.).
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:33 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,126,988 times
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Originally Posted by Jennifer5221 View Post
Okay Okay I know I know not a popular topic or "PC" however I'm wondering how other schools are dealing with this...

If the SPEC ED kids are in your class...(as they are mine) they also take "THE TEST" and at least in Idaho ( yes they have more time and assistance like reading the test to them) however they scores are lumped into my final class score.

Not PC but the scores are not reflective of my teaching.

Are you having this issue?
The reason behind providing those accommodations (read-aloud, extra time) is to "level the playing field" so that Special Education students are better able to access the curriculum. That means those students' scores are likely to be HIGHER than they would be without the accommodations, so it's really not something you should be complaining about.

Sorry you don't feel this is true, but SPED scores ARE just as reflective of your teaching practices as are the scores of non-disabled students. That means it's entirely appropriate for those scores to be included with the other students' scores.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:33 AM
 
18,853 posts, read 31,642,668 times
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Another issue with merit pay...who wants to work in a Title one school? Throw away any Merit pay on getting any in some schools. Who is that one teacher, they give his book to all new teachers? He was a "model" teacher, his students were all scholars...blah, blah...he taught public school in PALO ALTO!!!! Okay, anyone who can't teach kids and maintain classroom rules in PALO ALTO does indeed have a major problem!

Compare to me, who taught at a school where in one class with kids from 17 different countries. The math book was almost useless. I remember one math probelm, figuring out the area a rotating sprinkler covers...the kids had no clue what a rotating sprinkler was...that was the least of the issues!
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,679,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
The reason behind providing those accommodations (read-aloud, extra time) is to "level the playing field" so that Special Education students are better able to access the curriculum. That means those students' scores are likely to be HIGHER than they would be without the accommodations, so it's really not something you should be complaining about.

Sorry you don't feel this is true, but SPED scores ARE just as reflective of your teaching practices as are the scores of non-disabled students. That means it's entirely appropriate for those scores to be included with the other students' scores.
Not the way the scores are used. They do not separate out special ed scores from normal scores. They, simply, report the number of students passing which means if the special ed student can't pass even with accomodations, their score counts against us and that is not fair.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:35 AM
 
12,606 posts, read 28,048,902 times
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Mod note - Two threads regarding merit pay have been merged. That should explain the slight confusion of posts.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
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Yeah... that would be great. Spend a whole month in October testing reading-math-science-writing, and then another whole month in April. So now we're down to 7 months of actual class. Sounds good to me.

Why don't we test in January too?
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:47 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,126,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Not the way the scores are used. They do not separate out special ed scores from normal scores. They, simply, report the number of students passing which means if the special ed student can't pass even with accomodations, their score counts against us and that is not fair.

There are regular ed students who can't pass end-of-course exams -- do you support eliminating their scores as well?
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,679,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
There are regular ed students who can't pass end-of-course exams -- do you support eliminating their scores as well?
If a student is incapable of passing my class, why do you think their score should count against me? Traditionally, only the top 1/3 to 1/2 of students have taken chemistry. Now we make all students take chemistry. Many of them are not cut out for the class. I can 1) keep the high standards of the past or 2) dummy down the class. If I do 1, I fail many of the students in the bottom half of the class. If I choose 2, I fail the upper half of the class because I don't teach them what I can and still get lousy test scores. As a teacher, I can't win because they are giving me students who should not be in my class. Why should that be held against me?

One thing I believe we need is exit exams. If you don't pass, you don't move on to the next level. While that doesn't solve all of the issues surrounding using student test scores to judge teachers it does eliminate students who can't pass the class counting against the teacher.

Next year, I will, again, be teacing a lower level chemistry course. Half the students I will have are not capable of passing chemistry. I do not think it's fair to give me a class like this and then count their scores against me whether they are labeled as special ed or not.

Merit pay falls apart if you apply any amount of logic to it. Teaching is not like manufacturing where you control the incomming raw materials and the product doesn't lie because it doesn't like the worker trying to reform it (teacher in this case).
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:52 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,126,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Merit pay falls apart if you apply any amount of logic to it. Teaching is not like manufacturing where you control the incomming raw materials and the product doesn't lie because it doesn't like the worker trying to reform it (teacher in this case).
I don't disagree. I think the entire concept of merit pay is flawed.

But it irks me when people point the finger at SPED kids and blame them for bringing down test scores for a class, when regular ed kids also fail those exams.

I taught a pre-algebra class last semester (yes, pre-algebra in HIGH SCHOOL), and four of the students failed. Two were ESOL, one was a kid who was exited from SPED back in 2005 (so is now considered completely regular ed), and the fourth was a regular ed Junior(!). One other student, a 16-year-old freshman (!!!) dropped out of school (failing all his classes) about a week before the end of the year

So -- four failures, and none of them SPED.

The two SPED kids in the class? Both passed with flying colors.
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