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Old 08-31-2010, 12:37 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 32,479,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyra33 View Post
I think the quality of the teacher is important but only IF they have a class where all the kids are motivated and interested in learning. If they spend the majority of their time getting after kids, or trying to bring up the class just to grade level; their qualifications take a back seat.

The best way to see this in action is to observe the magnet programs which not only have the best teachers, but also have the cream of the crop- high test scores, top grades, and citizenship. My son often has 40 kids in his class and that really is not the issue because they are all teachable, highly motivated, and are on the same level academically.
Does not appear to be true.

The LA Times has been running a series of articles on the subject of teacher quality. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that nobody actually knows who does a good job and who does not. And that sometimes the worst teachers are found in the better schools.

See...

Grading the Teachers: Value-Added Analysis - latimes.com

Fascinating in a way. The teachers are up in arms that the Times has actually published the data on how well they actually do.

Environment of course is a big factor as well...in terms of how the overall school does. But the individual kid would be far better off catching a good teacher in an average school than a bad teacher in a good school.

 
Old 08-31-2010, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,914,194 times
Reputation: 28957
Quote:
Originally Posted by SacalaitWhisperer View Post
Stop whining. 20 students in a classroom isn't overcrowding.

Unbelievable how whiney Americans are becoming. It isn't all about you and your brat of a rugrat.
In case you haven't thought about it before, the doctors, nurses, test technicians, and physical therapy personnel who will be caring for you when you're over 70 ... the person who's making the walker you'll be needing ... the people who have their hands on whatever is left of Social Security ... and the people who are running the home your kids are going to send you to are, more than likely, going to be educated in American schools. As are the presidents and members of Congress to come. You can see how well we're doing with all this right now. Imagine what it will be like 10 years from now once the people who in our high schools today are out in the workforce.

So, yes, it might not be about the one particular rugrat who is being written about right now, but let me paraphrase and say it's about all the rugrats of all the tomorrows you and I will be living. You might be content with accepting shoddy education as the norm, but not everyone else is. I'm just sayin' ...
 
Old 08-31-2010, 12:54 PM
 
3,622 posts, read 4,692,631 times
Reputation: 4293
"The Los Angeles Times has produced an analysis of how effective Los Angeles Unified School District teachers have been at improving their students' performance on standardized tests."

It's funny that you would quote an article that brings up academic testing which happens to be a huge pet peeve of mine. Think about it. What would a teacher do if they are being graded on their overall scores? The most important task would be to teach kids how to test and get good scores. Is this education? Well, I guess you could argue that kids learn some basic skills and knowledge but overall it is a very bleak way of learning.

In 5th grade my son basically brought a book to read every day because he had nothing to learn. I asked him every day what he did and he would tell me that he already knew what his teacher was going over. All they would do is hammer in test questions and test strategies. His teacher's motivation was to teach the lower level kids how to pass the test. My son was in the 99th percentile with almost perfect scores, so he really learned nothing that year. Sad. This is why kids are graduating without really being educated. Generally I think public education has pretty much become a glorified game of "Jeopardy." Memorize the facts and increase your chances of getting the right answer. So much for teaching kids how to think.

So do I think this is a good measure for teachers? Absolutely not. Good teachers spend time teaching kids how to learn, teaching motivation and thirst for knowledge. They go above and beyond the curriculum so kids are pushed. In a normal class setting this is not possible.

Last edited by lyra33; 08-31-2010 at 01:09 PM..
 
Old 08-31-2010, 01:21 PM
 
2,509 posts, read 3,734,278 times
Reputation: 2180
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyra33 View Post
"The Los Angeles Times has produced an analysis of how effective Los Angeles Unified School District teachers have been at improving their students' performance on standardized tests."

It's funny that you would quote an article that brings up academic testing which happens to be a huge pet peeve of mine. Think about it. What would a teacher do if they are being graded on their overall scores? The most important task would be to teach kids how to test and get good scores. Is this education? Well, I guess you could argue that kids learn some basic skills and knowledge but overall it is a very bleak way of learning.

In 5th grade my son basically brought a book to read every day because he had nothing to learn. I asked him every day what he did and he would tell me that he already knew what his teacher was going over. All they would do is hammer in test questions and test strategies. His teacher's motivation was to teach the lower level kids how to pass the test. My son was in the 99th percentile with almost perfect scores, so he really learned nothing that year. Sad. This is why kids are graduating without really being educated. Generally I think public education has pretty much become a glorified game of "Jeopardy." Memorize the facts and increase your chances of getting the right answer. So much for teaching kids how to think.

So do I think this is a good measure for teachers? Absolutely not. Good teachers spend time teaching kids how to learn, teaching motivation and thirst for knowledge. They go above and beyond the curriculum so kids are pushed. In a normal class setting this is not possible.
I agree. All this race to the top stuff and scrutiny of teachers is just a cop out for the real problems that are going on. The best teachers and the best schools know how to implement learning in a way that helps develop kids social skills and gets them using critical thinking skills. The teachers have been forced into a corner now though and have no choice but to hammer the same information into kids in an effort to raise test scores. Limiting evaluation of a teacher to test scores is highly inefficient just as evaluating anyone in any position based on one criteria would be. What's next, we evaluate the fire department based on how fast they put out a fire but ignore how many people they rescued out of the building?
 
Old 08-31-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 32,479,957 times
Reputation: 2661
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyra33 View Post
"The Los Angeles Times has produced an analysis of how effective Los Angeles Unified School District teachers have been at improving their students' performance on standardized tests."

It's funny that you would quote an article that brings up academic testing which happens to be a huge pet peeve of mine. Think about it. What would a teacher do if they are being graded on their overall scores? The most important task would be to teach kids how to test and get good scores. Is this education? Well, I guess you could argue that kids learn some basic skills and knowledge but overall it is a very bleak way of learning.
Actually if you read the articles you will find out that one of the interesting findings was that the successful teachers often did not teach to the test...turns out not to be a good strategy...

Quote:
In 5th grade my son basically brought a book to read every day because he had nothing to learn. I asked him every day what he did and he would tell me that he already knew what his teacher was going over. All they would do is hammer in test questions and test strategies. His teacher's motivation was to teach the lower level kids how to pass the test. My son was in the 99th percentile with almost perfect scores, so he really learned nothing that year. Sad. This is why kids are graduating without really being educated. Generally I think public education has pretty much become a glorified game of "Jeopardy." Memorize the facts and increase your chances of getting the right answer. So much for teaching kids how to think.
A bad teacher. And that is what his LA scores would have said. YOu are missing the point. The score reflects how the children improve or fail to do so...so the teacher is hurt if he or she allows your son not to improve.

What you have now is an entire system set up to teach to the test and you appear to be worried about how they might "teach to the test".

Quote:
So do I think this is a good measure for teachers? Absolutely not. Good teachers spend time teaching kids how to learn, teaching motivation and thirst for knowledge. They go above and beyond the curriculum so kids are pushed. In a normal class setting this is not possible.
Actually that also turned out not to be true. Good teachers were all over the map on how they operated...one of the interesting findings.

Note that the tests purportedly examine the degree to which children are learning that which the education establishment has said are the things that children should learn to be properly educated. You may disagree but that is the intent. So we are simply testing to see if we are doing what we wish to do

My problem with your view is that you seem to think that you will know when the education process is working well for your child. I flatly don't believe you. I raised a few and my wife and I were both pretty well educated. The kids came out reasonably well. But that I was sufficiently knowledgable to rate how well they were being taught is simply untrue.

I would suggest that we adopt the LA system here and use it until we have a better system.

I loved the comment of one of the really exceptional teachers. She got her annual review from her Principal who noted she did adequate work and then knocked her because her class had been late three time lining up from recess...that is how the present system works.
 
Old 08-31-2010, 01:58 PM
 
3,622 posts, read 4,692,631 times
Reputation: 4293
Quote:
Originally Posted by unf0rgiven6262 View Post
I agree. All this race to the top stuff and scrutiny of teachers is just a cop out for the real problems that are going on. The best teachers and the best schools know how to implement learning in a way that helps develop kids social skills and gets them using critical thinking skills. The teachers have been forced into a corner now though and have no choice but to hammer the same information into kids in an effort to raise test scores. Limiting evaluation of a teacher to test scores is highly inefficient just as evaluating anyone in any position based on one criteria would be. What's next, we evaluate the fire department based on how fast they put out a fire but ignore how many people they rescued out of the building?
IMO, teachers are the most underpaid profession. They have the future of our society in their hands and get paid peanuts. Especially if you factor in all the time they put in that is not paid. On top of that they are handicapped with idiotic testing that takes up most of their time.

Granted the issue is complex since education is something that should have support from home and "that" is the main reason it's impossible to have quality education on a public level. A teacher can't teach 20 + kids the same thing. They have different academic levels, social skills, and family support.

I like your fire department analogy.
 
Old 08-31-2010, 02:00 PM
 
88 posts, read 229,468 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by unf0rgiven6262 View Post
I agree. All this race to the top stuff and scrutiny of teachers is just a cop out for the real problems that are going on.
I agree to some extent. Having teachers teach how to pass a test rather than actually providing a decent education is a problem. But at the same time, statistical validation is desperately needed. There are tons of incompetent teachers out there who are nearly impossible to fire because of the unions. An incompetent teacher is truly a waste of both tax dollars and a full year of a student's life. A great teacher who is forced to teach test taking skills will likely find a way to get his kids to pass and actually teach them something. This new push for test scores is bad in some ways, but if it can be used to get rid of the bad teachers who are clinging to the bottom then it will be worth it.
 
Old 08-31-2010, 02:24 PM
 
3,622 posts, read 4,692,631 times
Reputation: 4293
Quote:
Originally Posted by olecapt View Post
Actually if you read the articles you will find out that one of the interesting findings was that the successful teachers often did not teach to the test...turns out not to be a good strategy...


Okay, guilty as charged. I have not read the articles. I clicked on the link and saw the small recap on testing and that got me all fired up. I would like to read them and respond to you post later I'm on my way out. You do bring up some good points.
 
Old 08-31-2010, 02:31 PM
 
5,598 posts, read 16,997,870 times
Reputation: 4709
(mod interpose: We do have an education forum here at City-Data forums. This is a good discussion but we really do have to keep it more focused on local issues or responding to the opening post. Thanks.)
 
Old 08-31-2010, 02:49 PM
 
16 posts, read 33,559 times
Reputation: 31
Compared to other states, 20 is not crowded! We are active in our son's education, but are very unhappy with the teachers in NV. We are in one of the best schools in Summerlin and the school is terrible!!
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