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Old 06-15-2022, 08:16 PM
 
10,529 posts, read 6,713,899 times
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Tennessee's annual student assessment scores were released today to a lot of high sounding words:

"Today, I am incredibly proud to be able to share Tennessee's 2021-22 TCAP assessment results, which demonstrate the hard work of Tennessee's districts, schools, educators, and families, the leadership of Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly—and the incredible impacts all of these efforts have had on improving academic outcomes for students.” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

English Language Arts: Proficiency gains were reflected in all tested grades in ELA. Highest Proficiency in the last five years.

Math: Growth in math matched or exceeded gains seen in previous years and is outpacing math projections for pandemic recovery. Between 35-55% of learning loss gaps are closed in math.

Science: All grade levels experienced an increase in students scoring Exceeded Expectations.

Sounds like we did great, right? Now the reality:

ELA: 64% scored below grade level. That proficiency gain? It was a gain from terrible to still terrible.

Math: 3 in 10 are at grade level. That means 70% are BELOW grade level. Yet they are proud of that "success."

Science: 60% below grade level.

Basically our education system scored a 36 on ELA; 30 on Math; 40 on science. When I went to school that was failing. Yet our state educators are celebrating this as a success.

TCAP results demonstrate important growth and successes that should be
celebrated
– proof that the work of Tennessee's schools, educators and
students is paying off. However, our statewide proficiency rates still
demonstrate an urgent need to continue our strong support of Tennessee’s
students and the incredible efforts demonstrated throughout the pandemic and
the past year of recovery.
(TCAP Recommendations)

Why am I posting this here? Because I am at a loss as to how professional educators consider that report card as a success to be celebrated. I would be embarrassed and ashamed. I'm simply at a loss for words.
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Old 06-17-2022, 04:11 PM
 
Location: New York City
1,897 posts, read 1,233,409 times
Reputation: 3220
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Tennessee's annual student assessment scores were released today to a lot of high sounding words:

"Today, I am incredibly proud to be able to share Tennessee's 2021-22 TCAP assessment results, which demonstrate the hard work of Tennessee's districts, schools, educators, and families, the leadership of Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly—and the incredible impacts all of these efforts have had on improving academic outcomes for students.” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

English Language Arts: Proficiency gains were reflected in all tested grades in ELA. Highest Proficiency in the last five years.

Math: Growth in math matched or exceeded gains seen in previous years and is outpacing math projections for pandemic recovery. Between 35-55% of learning loss gaps are closed in math.

Science: All grade levels experienced an increase in students scoring Exceeded Expectations.

Sounds like we did great, right? Now the reality:

ELA: 64% scored below grade level. That proficiency gain? It was a gain from terrible to still terrible.

Math: 3 in 10 are at grade level. That means 70% are BELOW grade level. Yet they are proud of that "success."

Science: 60% below grade level.

Basically our education system scored a 36 on ELA; 30 on Math; 40 on science. When I went to school that was failing. Yet our state educators are celebrating this as a success.

TCAP results demonstrate important growth and successes that should be
celebrated
– proof that the work of Tennessee's schools, educators and
students is paying off. However, our statewide proficiency rates still
demonstrate an urgent need to continue our strong support of Tennessee’s
students and the incredible efforts demonstrated throughout the pandemic and
the past year of recovery.
(TCAP Recommendations)

Why am I posting this here? Because I am at a loss as to how professional educators consider that report card as a success to be celebrated. I would be embarrassed and ashamed. I'm simply at a loss for words.
Because when you're given next-to-nothing to work with and expected to perform miracles, any little gain is a victory when the cards are so thoroughly stacked against you. When I had students who struggled, I praised them far more when they went from an F to a C-, then a student who went from an A- to an A. It's clear you haven't spent much or any time in the classroom to realize how, in 2022, any gain, however small, is a victory.
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Old 06-17-2022, 05:05 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,587 posts, read 1,293,066 times
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I remember having a conversation with another kid when we were about 10 years old. We were sitting on the stairs in an entrance to a building because it was raining and we didn't want to go to our homes. We were talking about school. I attended a Catholic elementary school and he was saying that he wished he could go there. I was thinking, "I cannot tell him what a dump it is."

Lots of kids want to learn INTERESTING and IMPORTANT things. Memorizing how to spell ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM so some nitwit nun can pat you on the head does not qualify.

Why don't we have a K-12 National Recommend Reading List? How much would that cost?

There are 68000 free works in Project Gutenberg. At least 1% of them must be worth something.

David and the Phoenix, (1957) by Edward Ormondroyd https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2792...-h/27922-h.htm

We could have read that in grade school. I never heard of it back then.
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Old 06-17-2022, 06:24 PM
 
10,529 posts, read 6,713,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post
Because when you're given next-to-nothing to work with and expected to perform miracles, any little gain is a victory when the cards are so thoroughly stacked against you. When I had students who struggled, I praised them far more when they went from an F to a C-, then a student who went from an A- to an A. It's clear you haven't spent much or any time in the classroom to realize how, in 2022, any gain, however small, is a victory.
I suppose that might hold true if 60% or more of the students were from those bad a set of circumstances. And there's no argument there are some. But not that as a percentage. Only 36% reading at grade level is not a normal distribution (where normal refers to the normal distribution, not an emotional term). That's somewhat equivalent to saying 60% were D and F students.

But a serious question. Why did you praise more for doing what is basically the minimum expected performance than for outstanding performance? My time in school. My kids' time in school. Today. It seems the typical teacher is more supportive of minimum performance than outstanding performance. Why is that? Why is "BillyBob made a C, let's kill the fatted calf" yet "Sally made an A" is the equivalent of "go play in the traffic?"

Consider that if we don't celebrate and support top performance in school, that may be a major reason why we don't get it.
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Old 06-17-2022, 09:16 PM
 
Location: New York City
1,897 posts, read 1,233,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post

But a serious question. Why did you praise more for doing what is basically the minimum expected performance than for outstanding performance? My time in school. My kids' time in school. Today. It seems the typical teacher is more supportive of minimum performance than outstanding performance. Why is that? Why is "BillyBob made a C, let's kill the fatted calf" yet "Sally made an A" is the equivalent of "go play in the traffic?"
This is what I call a stupid question, and it goes to show you don't realize the kind of adversity teachers face on a daily basis. I spent the majority of my 8 years teaching in poor, inner-city neighborhoods inflicted with every social ill known to man. If a kid went through the whole year learning very little academically, but learned some pro-social skills where they lacked before, that was a huge win and worth celebrating. If a student who really struggled in math worked their a$$ off to get a C because that was all they were truly capable of, that was absolutely worth praising. If the boy who had an abusive and/or unstable home came to class just to sleep through most of the day because it was the only place he felt safe, it was a win because he had us.

Large swaths of children in this country do not come from stable home environments with educated parents who read to them, sit down to help with homework, and keep on top of them to make sure they're making progress. You try having 36 six year olds in a classroom at once, 8-10 have IEPS, 14 are ELL, 3 have significant ADHD, and only two left kindergarten the previous spring reading on grade level. You have a TA for only 4 hours a day, and the other 3 you are on your own. You have to play therapist, teacher, social worker, friend, and parent mediator. This is exactly what I (and thousands of others) face(d) year after year. Air conditioning? A luxury. Basic school supplies? You pay for it or you don't get it. Angry and/or violent parents? Par for the course.

I could go on and on, but replying to such an ignorant comment is a waste....
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Old 06-18-2022, 07:24 AM
 
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Take the emotion out and really consider the question. Why do you consider a kid who worked their a$$ off (as you put it) to get a C better than the kid who worked twice as hard to get an A? Saw it when I was in school and again with my kids -- teachers put 90% of the effort into the bottom 10% of the class. Neglected everyone else. Top students figured it out on their own, but how much better would they have done had they actually been taught? And everyone in the middle left to flounder. Couldn't quite figure it out in their own and didn't get the "teacher time" to learn.

Really think about it: It's the educational equivalent of the Trolley Problem. How much good does it really do to graduate the bottom 10% reading at 3rd grade level instead of 2nd grade level? And consider the cost of how the vast majority graduate reading at a middle school level instead of high school level because of all the time that went into the bottom 10%? Trolley Problem: How many did you sacrifice so you could feel good about that one C?
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Old 06-18-2022, 08:17 AM
 
Location: West Coast U.S.A.
2,784 posts, read 1,074,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post
This is what I call a stupid question, and it goes to show you don't realize the kind of adversity teachers face on a daily basis. I spent the majority of my 8 years teaching in poor, inner-city neighborhoods inflicted with every social ill known to man. If a kid went through the whole year learning very little academically, but learned some pro-social skills where they lacked before, that was a huge win and worth celebrating. If a student who really struggled in math worked their a$$ off to get a C because that was all they were truly capable of, that was absolutely worth praising. If the boy who had an abusive and/or unstable home came to class just to sleep through most of the day because it was the only place he felt safe, it was a win because he had us.

Large swaths of children in this country do not come from stable home environments with educated parents who read to them, sit down to help with homework, and keep on top of them to make sure they're making progress....
The OP is talking about the results for an entire state, not for some inner-city neighborhood.
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Old 06-18-2022, 08:17 AM
 
Location: NMB, SC
26,146 posts, read 8,489,126 times
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Lower the bar and make believe we are doing great.
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Old 06-18-2022, 09:05 AM
 
15,529 posts, read 14,187,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Take the emotion out and really consider the question. Why do you consider a kid who worked their a$$ off (as you put it) to get a C better than the kid who worked twice as hard to get an A? Saw it when I was in school and again with my kids -- teachers put 90% of the effort into the bottom 10% of the class. Neglected everyone else. Top students figured it out on their own, but how much better would they have done had they actually been taught? And everyone in the middle left to flounder. Couldn't quite figure it out in their own and didn't get the "teacher time" to learn.

Really think about it: It's the educational equivalent of the Trolley Problem. How much good does it really do to graduate the bottom 10% reading at 3rd grade level instead of 2nd grade level? And consider the cost of how the vast majority graduate reading at a middle school level instead of high school level because of all the time that went into the bottom 10%? Trolley Problem: How many did you sacrifice so you could feel good about that one C?
Thanks for posting the info. at the top. I'm not defeatist but if there is something that will wreck us from the inside it's the abysmal failure that US K-12 has become and some of that is drifting into college and beyond.

1. Pandering to the bottom is a key failure.
2. Judicial and legal requirements that taxpayers super-fund kids with real problems mean we underfund the top achievers. Depending upon whom one believes we spend around 4 or 5x as much on the bottom 5% of achievers as we do on the top 5%.
3. Honest thinkers are disgusted by much coming from portions of the educational establishment - math is racist, expecting correct answers is racist, math is so hard let's have more and more kids take less and less math, let's limit advanced math because you know racism, let's re-write history via story telling (often lying), let's let little Jimmy misbehave because racism, let's shoehorn less and often significantly less prepared educational minorities into every facet of higher and advanced education. Let's get rid of or diminish the ACT, SAT, LSAT, MCAT/USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3, GRE etc. because racism.
3.1. I can't link it now because I'm away from my computer but AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) releases troves of info. about medical school applicants, admits, graduation, times to graduate etc. etc by race. It takes zero mental gerrymandering to see very clearly that A. the average black, hispanic, Native American etc. admit is less prepared (lower average grades, lower average test scores) and in every case these groups graduate less often, those who graduate tend to require 5 and 6 years more often and those from these groups tend to match into less competaive residencies.

Bottom line. We need to disrupt K-12 and start over as Finland did in the '70s. Elements of this are happening now. More and more parents are homeschooling, good and great private schools are oversubscribed, a couple of states including Rhode Island have increased K-12 inbound minimum requirements for teachers. Some schools are quietly segregating more and more students by ability. We have incredible intellectual mass in this country.......most of which is barred from participation in K-12.

On a specific note. Plano ISD in Plano Texas transformed itself beginning 35 or 40 years ago. With one 1st grade class the district ramped up expectations. As an ethos the district began teaching more towards the top instead of the bottom. Today every year the district produces ~100 National Merit Finalists and around 200 commended students and keep in mind TX has a high NMSF cutoff score. We have states that cannot match those numbers. Point being schools can improve.


Sorry for the typos I'm on my phone.
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Old 06-19-2022, 02:06 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
9,005 posts, read 13,110,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
Lower the bar and make believe we are doing great.
I homeschool a child, currently 5th grade level, who scored in the top 8% on a national Iowa test for math and English, with almost zero preparation in terms of test-taking strategies and practice.

At first I was elated, but then came back down to reality on US soil when I reminded myself how abysmal the national average is, and that taking an Iowa or similar standardized test is a mere formality to satisfy a County reporting requirement.

I wonder where a top-ten percent student by US standards would rank in comparison to students in countries like Japan, China, Russia, Finland, and let’s thrown in a few “odd” ones like Turkey, South Africa, and Brazil.

Last edited by bale002; 06-19-2022 at 02:58 AM..
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