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Re: [howardpubliced] setting the bar too low

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  • Rose DiLosa
    Diane, You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for the last 2 years and I can tell you I haven t been happy with the answers. No, the
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 1, 2010
      Diane, 
      You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for the last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
      No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers that I think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say they don't cover all of the curriculum.  When I ask administrators, they say they couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a teacher.  
      When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to insist that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it, they hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should ensure it gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
      Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam?  No.  They won't release them.  When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not teaching most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much time reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's performance on the quarterlies.  When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a month behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.  
      So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
      And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material for the MSAs, at least at my son's school. 
       And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to the review to see how much review is necessary.  
      Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have learned would be better served in a class that reviews more - especially in math where it clearly builds on previous material.  
      Rose

      On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
       

      I respectfully disagree.  If teachers follow the curriculum (and aren't they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be reviewing two-year-old material.  Plus, the results wouldn't be linked to the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's prior -- so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to teach-to-the-test/review old material.  Essentially this is ALREADY happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
       
      To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during their 5th grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had learned/covered in 3rd grade.   If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the material.  If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ... they should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or relearning it).  That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the MSA, which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.


    • Diane Goodridge
      Wow, there you go. Instant savings on operational budget for the next school board: if we don t use the curriculums (or if they are used merely as guides,
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 1, 2010
        Wow, there you go.  Instant savings on operational budget for the next school board: if we don't use the curriculums (or if they are used "merely" as guides, but are not enforced), then we could probably slash dozens of central office positions. 
         
        Let's be honest with ourselves: if all we're doing is going through the motions, and if 25-33% of the year -- 2-3 months -- is spent on "review" (in GT math classes - attempting to bring the lowest common denominator up to speed), then maybe we should get back to basics and be WAY more stringent in admitting students into the GT program -- which I have been saying for close to a decade!  Otherwise it's a colossal waste of HCPSS time, effort and taxpayers' money for GT teachers to teach directly to the HSA tests for their "Gifted and Talented" math students to review material they covered two years prior.

        Diane
         
         
        On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM, Rose DiLosa <familydilosa@...> wrote:
         

        Diane, 

        You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for the last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
        No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers that I think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say they don't cover all of the curriculum.  When I ask administrators, they say they couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a teacher.  
        When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to insist that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it, they hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should ensure it gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
        Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam?  No.  They won't release them.  When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not teaching most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much time reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's performance on the quarterlies.  When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a month behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.  
        So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
        And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material for the MSAs, at least at my son's school. 
         And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to the review to see how much review is necessary.  
        Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have learned would be better served in a class that reviews more - especially in math where it clearly builds on previous material.  
        Rose

        On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
         

        I respectfully disagree.  If teachers follow the curriculum (and aren't they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be reviewing two-year-old material.  Plus, the results wouldn't be linked to the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's prior -- so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to teach-to-the-test/review old material.  Essentially this is ALREADY happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
         
        To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during their 5th grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had learned/covered in 3rd grade.   If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the material.  If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ... they should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or relearning it).  That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the MSA, which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.



      • Diane Goodridge
        Add to that last sentence: HSA ***and MSA*** tests ... probably more money is wasted on MSA material review than on HSA review, since there are probably more
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 1, 2010
          Add to that last sentence:  HSA ***and MSA*** tests ... probably more money is wasted on MSA material review than on HSA review, since there are probably more MSA test-takers than HSA test-takers.
           
          Diane

          On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:47 AM, Diane Goodridge <rgoodri973@...> wrote:
          Wow, there you go.  Instant savings on operational budget for the next school board: if we don't use the curriculums (or if they are used "merely" as guides, but are not enforced), then we could probably slash dozens of central office positions. 
           
          Let's be honest with ourselves: if all we're doing is going through the motions, and if 25-33% of the year -- 2-3 months -- is spent on "review" (in GT math classes - attempting to bring the lowest common denominator up to speed), then maybe we should get back to basics and be WAY more stringent in admitting students into the GT program -- which I have been saying for close to a decade!  Otherwise it's a colossal waste of HCPSS time, effort and taxpayers' money for GT teachers to teach directly to the HSA tests for their "Gifted and Talented" math students to review material they covered two years prior.

          Diane
           
           
          On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM, Rose DiLosa <familydilosa@...> wrote:
           

          Diane, 

          You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for the last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
          No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers that I think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say they don't cover all of the curriculum.  When I ask administrators, they say they couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a teacher.  
          When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to insist that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it, they hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should ensure it gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
          Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam?  No.  They won't release them.  When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not teaching most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much time reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's performance on the quarterlies.  When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a month behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.  
          So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
          And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material for the MSAs, at least at my son's school. 
           And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to the review to see how much review is necessary.  
          Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have learned would be better served in a class that reviews more - especially in math where it clearly builds on previous material.  
          Rose

          On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
           

          I respectfully disagree.  If teachers follow the curriculum (and aren't they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be reviewing two-year-old material.  Plus, the results wouldn't be linked to the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's prior -- so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to teach-to-the-test/review old material.  Essentially this is ALREADY happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
           
          To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during their 5th grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had learned/covered in 3rd grade.   If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the material.  If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ... they should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or relearning it).  That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the MSA, which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.




        • david_thalheimer
          Diane: Are you suggesting that 40% of our kids are NOT exceptionally gifted and talented and that we re pushing them ahead before they really know the
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 5, 2010
            Diane:

            Are you suggesting that 40% of our kids are NOT exceptionally "gifted and talented" and that we're pushing them ahead before they really know the material? ;-) This G/T program has lost all meaning as we try and push everyone into advanced classes and then spend too much time backtracking while rushing over or skipping material.

            By the time they take the SAT for college, they need to have basic skills down cold! I agree we are spending way too much time reviewing material. I just contacted my third grader's math teacher to ask why his on-grade math class is now reviewing material that looks suitable for a first grader (8-8=?, seriously!).

            On the other hand, I recently spoke to a parent who has a really talented kid who was prohibited from testing out of the algebra I class he already mastered (until they showed how the HCPSS was violating COMAR). The parents are now suing the school system because the HCPSS has refused to accept his credit for advanced college-level classes and wants to force him to sit through the material he already knows. What is wrong with this picture?

            - David Thalheimer

            --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
            >
            > Add to that last sentence: HSA ***and MSA*** tests ... probably more money
            > is wasted on MSA material review than on HSA review, since there are
            > probably more MSA test-takers than HSA test-takers.
            >
            > Diane
            >
            > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:47 AM, Diane Goodridge <rgoodri973@...> wrote:
            >
            > > Wow, there you go. Instant savings on operational budget for the next
            > > school board: if we don't use the curriculums (or if they are used "merely"
            > > as guides, but are not enforced), then we could probably slash dozens of
            > > central office positions.
            > >
            > > Let's be honest with ourselves: if all we're doing is going through the
            > > motions, and if 25-33% of the year -- 2-3 months -- is spent on "review" (in
            > > GT math classes - attempting to bring the lowest common denominator up to
            > > speed), then maybe we should get back to basics and be WAY more stringent in
            > > admitting students into the GT program -- which I have been saying for close
            > > to a decade! Otherwise it's a colossal waste of HCPSS time, effort and
            > > taxpayers' money for GT teachers to teach directly to the HSA tests for
            > > their "Gifted and Talented" math students to review material they covered
            > > two years prior.
            > >
            > > Diane
            > >
            > >
            > > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM, Rose DiLosa <familydilosa@...>wrote:
            > >
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Diane,
            > >> You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for the
            > >> last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
            > >> No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers that I
            > >> think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say they
            > >> don't cover all of the curriculum. When I ask administrators, they say they
            > >> couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a
            > >> teacher.
            > >> When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time
            > >> making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to insist
            > >> that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it, they
            > >> hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should ensure it
            > >> gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
            > >> Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam? No. They
            > >> won't release them. When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not teaching
            > >> most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much time
            > >> reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's performance on
            > >> the quarterlies. When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the
            > >> beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a month
            > >> behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.
            > >> So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
            > >> And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material for
            > >> the MSAs, at least at my son's school.
            > >> And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test
            > >> without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to the
            > >> review to see how much review is necessary.
            > >> Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have
            > >> learned would be better served in a class that reviews more - especially in
            > >> math where it clearly builds on previous material.
            > >> Rose
            > >>
            > >> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...>wrote:
            > >>
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>> I respectfully disagree. If teachers follow the curriculum (and aren't
            > >>> they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be
            > >>> reviewing two-year-old material. Plus, the results wouldn't be linked to
            > >>> the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's prior --
            > >>> so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to
            > >>> teach-to-the-test/review old material. Essentially this is ALREADY
            > >>> happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
            > >>>
            > >>> To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath
            > >>> student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during their 5th
            > >>> grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had learned/covered in
            > >>> 3rd grade. If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the
            > >>> material. If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ... they
            > >>> should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or relearning
            > >>> it). That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the MSA,
            > >>> which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Diane Goodridge
            David, Ha! Don t even get me started on the GT label issue ... there has been a running dialog on this issue (on/off) for probably 8-10 years on this
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 5, 2010
              David,
               
              Ha!  Don't even get me started on the GT "label" issue ... there has been a running dialog on this issue (on/off) for probably 8-10 years on this listserv.  The GT program has totally lost all meaning!  And when G/T classes must review (2-3 monts) to prep for MSAs/HSAs, it's confirmation.
               
              And BTW, don't know why "only" 40% of kids at your school are "gifted and talented" ... it was more like 60%+ at our elementary school!  We must grow "smarter" kids in eastern HoCo!  ;-)  The on-grade level kids at our elem school were in the minority! (Disclosure: my kids were in the minority)
               
              Diane

               
              On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 9:27 AM, david_thalheimer <dthalheimerusa@...> wrote:
               

              Diane:

              Are you suggesting that 40% of our kids are NOT exceptionally "gifted and talented" and that we're pushing them ahead before they really know the material? ;-) This G/T program has lost all meaning as we try and push everyone into advanced classes and then spend too much time backtracking while rushing over or skipping material.

              By the time they take the SAT for college, they need to have basic skills down cold! I agree we are spending way too much time reviewing material. I just contacted my third grader's math teacher to ask why his on-grade math class is now reviewing material that looks suitable for a first grader (8-8=?, seriously!).

              On the other hand, I recently spoke to a parent who has a really talented kid who was prohibited from testing out of the algebra I class he already mastered (until they showed how the HCPSS was violating COMAR). The parents are now suing the school system because the HCPSS has refused to accept his credit for advanced college-level classes and wants to force him to sit through the material he already knows. What is wrong with this picture?

              - David Thalheimer



              --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
              >
              > Add to that last sentence: HSA ***and MSA*** tests ... probably more money
              > is wasted on MSA material review than on HSA review, since there are
              > probably more MSA test-takers than HSA test-takers.
              >
              > Diane
              >
              > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:47 AM, Diane Goodridge <rgoodri973@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Wow, there you go. Instant savings on operational budget for the next
              > > school board: if we don't use the curriculums (or if they are used "merely"
              > > as guides, but are not enforced), then we could probably slash dozens of
              > > central office positions.
              > >
              > > Let's be honest with ourselves: if all we're doing is going through the
              > > motions, and if 25-33% of the year -- 2-3 months -- is spent on "review" (in
              > > GT math classes - attempting to bring the lowest common denominator up to
              > > speed), then maybe we should get back to basics and be WAY more stringent in
              > > admitting students into the GT program -- which I have been saying for close
              > > to a decade! Otherwise it's a colossal waste of HCPSS time, effort and
              > > taxpayers' money for GT teachers to teach directly to the HSA tests for
              > > their "Gifted and Talented" math students to review material they covered
              > > two years prior.
              > >
              > > Diane
              > >
              > >
              > > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM, Rose DiLosa <familydilosa@...>wrote:

              > >
              > >>
              > >>
              > >> Diane,
              > >> You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for the
              > >> last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
              > >> No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers that I
              > >> think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say they
              > >> don't cover all of the curriculum. When I ask administrators, they say they
              > >> couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a
              > >> teacher.
              > >> When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time
              > >> making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to insist
              > >> that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it, they
              > >> hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should ensure it
              > >> gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
              > >> Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam? No. They
              > >> won't release them. When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not teaching
              > >> most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much time
              > >> reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's performance on
              > >> the quarterlies. When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the
              > >> beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a month
              > >> behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.
              > >> So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
              > >> And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material for
              > >> the MSAs, at least at my son's school.
              > >> And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test
              > >> without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to the
              > >> review to see how much review is necessary.
              > >> Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have
              > >> learned would be better served in a class that reviews more - especially in
              > >> math where it clearly builds on previous material.
              > >> Rose
              > >>
              > >> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...>wrote:

              > >>
              > >>>
              > >>>
              > >>> I respectfully disagree. If teachers follow the curriculum (and aren't
              > >>> they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be
              > >>> reviewing two-year-old material. Plus, the results wouldn't be linked to
              > >>> the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's prior --
              > >>> so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to
              > >>> teach-to-the-test/review old material. Essentially this is ALREADY
              > >>> happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
              > >>>
              > >>> To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath
              > >>> student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during their 5th
              > >>> grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had learned/covered in
              > >>> 3rd grade. If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the
              > >>> material. If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ... they
              > >>> should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or relearning
              > >>> it). That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the MSA,
              > >>> which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.
              > >>>
              > >>>
              > >>>
              > >>
              > >
              > >
              >


            • david_thalheimer
              The 40% number was probably a mistake I thought I had remembered. 60% is much worse.... (kind of ironic that I m saying this).
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 5, 2010
                The 40% number was probably a mistake I thought I had remembered. 60% is much worse.... (kind of ironic that I'm saying this).

                --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
                >
                > David,
                >
                > Ha! Don't even get me started on the GT "label" issue ... there has been a
                > running dialog on this issue (on/off) for probably 8-10 years on this
                > listserv. The GT program has totally lost all meaning! And when G/T
                > classes must review (2-3 monts) to prep for MSAs/HSAs, it's confirmation.
                >
                > And BTW, don't know why "only" 40% of kids at your school are "gifted and
                > talented" ... it was more like 60%+ at our elementary school! We must grow
                > "smarter" kids in eastern HoCo! ;-) The on-grade level kids at our elem
                > school were in the minority! (Disclosure: my kids were in the minority)
                >
                > Diane
                >
                >
                > On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 9:27 AM, david_thalheimer
                > <dthalheimerusa@...>wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > Diane:
                > >
                > > Are you suggesting that 40% of our kids are NOT exceptionally "gifted and
                > > talented" and that we're pushing them ahead before they really know the
                > > material? ;-) This G/T program has lost all meaning as we try and push
                > > everyone into advanced classes and then spend too much time backtracking
                > > while rushing over or skipping material.
                > >
                > > By the time they take the SAT for college, they need to have basic skills
                > > down cold! I agree we are spending way too much time reviewing material. I
                > > just contacted my third grader's math teacher to ask why his on-grade math
                > > class is now reviewing material that looks suitable for a first grader
                > > (8-8=?, seriously!).
                > >
                > > On the other hand, I recently spoke to a parent who has a really talented
                > > kid who was prohibited from testing out of the algebra I class he already
                > > mastered (until they showed how the HCPSS was violating COMAR). The parents
                > > are now suing the school system because the HCPSS has refused to accept his
                > > credit for advanced college-level classes and wants to force him to sit
                > > through the material he already knows. What is wrong with this picture?
                > >
                > > - David Thalheimer
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com <howardpubliced%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > > Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Add to that last sentence: HSA ***and MSA*** tests ... probably more
                > > money
                > > > is wasted on MSA material review than on HSA review, since there are
                > > > probably more MSA test-takers than HSA test-takers.
                > > >
                > > > Diane
                > > >
                > > > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:47 AM, Diane Goodridge <rgoodri973@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > > Wow, there you go. Instant savings on operational budget for the next
                > > > > school board: if we don't use the curriculums (or if they are used
                > > "merely"
                > > > > as guides, but are not enforced), then we could probably slash dozens
                > > of
                > > > > central office positions.
                > > > >
                > > > > Let's be honest with ourselves: if all we're doing is going through the
                > > > > motions, and if 25-33% of the year -- 2-3 months -- is spent on
                > > "review" (in
                > > > > GT math classes - attempting to bring the lowest common denominator up
                > > to
                > > > > speed), then maybe we should get back to basics and be WAY more
                > > stringent in
                > > > > admitting students into the GT program -- which I have been saying for
                > > close
                > > > > to a decade! Otherwise it's a colossal waste of HCPSS time, effort and
                > > > > taxpayers' money for GT teachers to teach directly to the HSA tests for
                > > > > their "Gifted and Talented" math students to review material they
                > > covered
                > > > > two years prior.
                > > > >
                > > > > Diane
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM, Rose DiLosa <familydilosa@>wrote:
                > >
                > > > >
                > > > >>
                > > > >>
                > > > >> Diane,
                > > > >> You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for
                > > the
                > > > >> last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
                > > > >> No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers
                > > that I
                > > > >> think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say
                > > they
                > > > >> don't cover all of the curriculum. When I ask administrators, they say
                > > they
                > > > >> couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a
                > > > >> teacher.
                > > > >> When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time
                > > > >> making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to
                > > insist
                > > > >> that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it,
                > > they
                > > > >> hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should
                > > ensure it
                > > > >> gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
                > > > >> Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam? No. They
                > > > >> won't release them. When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not
                > > teaching
                > > > >> most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much
                > > time
                > > > >> reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's
                > > performance on
                > > > >> the quarterlies. When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the
                > > > >> beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a
                > > month
                > > > >> behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.
                > > > >> So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
                > > > >> And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material
                > > for
                > > > >> the MSAs, at least at my son's school.
                > > > >> And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test
                > > > >> without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to
                > > the
                > > > >> review to see how much review is necessary.
                > > > >> Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have
                > > > >> learned would be better served in a class that reviews more -
                > > especially in
                > > > >> math where it clearly builds on previous material.
                > > > >> Rose
                > > > >>
                > > > >> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@>wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > > >>
                > > > >>>
                > > > >>>
                > > > >>> I respectfully disagree. If teachers follow the curriculum (and
                > > aren't
                > > > >>> they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be
                > > > >>> reviewing two-year-old material. Plus, the results wouldn't be linked
                > > to
                > > > >>> the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's
                > > prior --
                > > > >>> so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to
                > > > >>> teach-to-the-test/review old material. Essentially this is ALREADY
                > > > >>> happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
                > > > >>>
                > > > >>> To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath
                > > > >>> student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during
                > > their 5th
                > > > >>> grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had
                > > learned/covered in
                > > > >>> 3rd grade. If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the
                > > > >>> material. If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ...
                > > they
                > > > >>> should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or
                > > relearning
                > > > >>> it). That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the
                > > MSA,
                > > > >>> which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.
                > > > >>>
                > > > >>>
                > > > >>>
                > > > >>
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • cynthia vaillancourt
                Here on Lake Wobegon we are all above average. To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com From: dthalheimerusa@gmail.com Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 14:43:22 +0000 Subject:
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 5, 2010
                  Here on Lake Wobegon we are all above average.


                  To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                  From: dthalheimerusa@...
                  Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 14:43:22 +0000
                  Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: setting the bar too low

                   
                  The 40% number was probably a mistake I thought I had remembered. 60% is much worse.... (kind of ironic that I'm saying this).

                  --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > David,
                  >
                  > Ha! Don't even get me started on the GT "label" issue ... there has been a
                  > running dialog on this issue (on/off) for probably 8-10 years on this
                  > listserv. The GT program has totally lost all meaning! And when G/T
                  > classes must review (2-3 monts) to prep for MSAs/HSAs, it's confirmation.
                  >
                  > And BTW, don't know why "only" 40% of kids at your school are "gifted and
                  > talented" ... it was more like 60%+ at our elementary school! We must grow
                  > "smarter" kids in eastern HoCo! ;-) The on-grade level kids at our elem
                  > school were in the minority! (Disclosure: my kids were in the minority)
                  >
                  > Diane
                  >
                  >
                  > On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 9:27 AM, david_thalheimer
                  > <dthalheimerusa@...>wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Diane:
                  > >
                  > > Are you suggesting that 40% of our kids are NOT exceptionally "gifted and
                  > > talented" and that we're pushing them ahead before they really know the
                  > > material? ;-) This G/T program has lost all meaning as we try and push
                  > > everyone into advanced classes and then spend too much time backtracking
                  > > while rushing over or skipping material.
                  > >
                  > > By the time they take the SAT for college, they need to have basic skills
                  > > down cold! I agree we are spending way too much time reviewing material. I
                  > > just contacted my third grader's math teacher to ask why his on-grade math
                  > > class is now reviewing material that looks suitable for a first grader
                  > > (8-8=?, seriously!).
                  > >
                  > > On the other hand, I recently spoke to a parent who has a really talented
                  > > kid who was prohibited from testing out of the algebra I class he already
                  > > mastered (until they showed how the HCPSS was violating COMAR). The parents
                  > > are now suing the school system because the HCPSS has refused to accept his
                  > > credit for advanced college-level classes and wants to force him to sit
                  > > through the material he already knows. What is wrong with this picture?
                  > >
                  > > - David Thalheimer
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com <howardpubliced%40yahoogroups.com>,
                  > > Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Add to that last sentence: HSA ***and MSA*** tests ... probably more
                  > > money
                  > > > is wasted on MSA material review than on HSA review, since there are
                  > > > probably more MSA test-takers than HSA test-takers.
                  > > >
                  > > > Diane
                  > > >
                  > > > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:47 AM, Diane Goodridge <rgoodri973@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > > Wow, there you go. Instant savings on operational budget for the next
                  > > > > school board: if we don't use the curriculums (or if they are used
                  > > "merely"
                  > > > > as guides, but are not enforced), then we could probably slash dozens
                  > > of
                  > > > > central office positions.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Let's be honest with ourselves: if all we're doing is going through the
                  > > > > motions, and if 25-33% of the year -- 2-3 months -- is spent on
                  > > "review" (in
                  > > > > GT math classes - attempting to bring the lowest common denominator up
                  > > to
                  > > > > speed), then maybe we should get back to basics and be WAY more
                  > > stringent in
                  > > > > admitting students into the GT program -- which I have been saying for
                  > > close
                  > > > > to a decade! Otherwise it's a colossal waste of HCPSS time, effort and
                  > > > > taxpayers' money for GT teachers to teach directly to the HSA tests for
                  > > > > their "Gifted and Talented" math students to review material they
                  > > covered
                  > > > > two years prior.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Diane
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM, Rose DiLosa <familydilosa@>wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >>
                  > > > >>
                  > > > >> Diane,
                  > > > >> You are asking all of the same questions that I have been asking for
                  > > the
                  > > > >> last 2 years and I can tell you I haven't been happy with the answers.
                  > > > >> No, the teachers do not teach all of the curriculum - even teachers
                  > > that I
                  > > > >> think are good teachers and that I respect, when I ask them often say
                  > > they
                  > > > >> don't cover all of the curriculum. When I ask administrators, they say
                  > > they
                  > > > >> couldn't cover all of the material in the curriculum when they were a
                  > > > >> teacher.
                  > > > >> When I talk to school board members about why they spend so much time
                  > > > >> making, approving and posting a curriculum if they are not going to
                  > > insist
                  > > > >> that it be fully taught, they say they hope teachers will follow it,
                  > > they
                  > > > >> hope the principals will ensure it and the quarterly exams should
                  > > ensure it
                  > > > >> gets taught- but no ones checking to see if they actually do.
                  > > > >> Have you ever seen the class results for a quarterly exam? No. They
                  > > > >> won't release them. When the algebra teacher I mentioned was not
                  > > teaching
                  > > > >> most of 3 chapters at the end of the year (because she spent too much
                  > > time
                  > > > >> reviewing for the HSA), it was not picked up by her student's
                  > > performance on
                  > > > >> the quarterlies. When we instituted the Integrated Approach at the
                  > > > >> beginning of last year and several teachers confided that we were a
                  > > month
                  > > > >> behind, it was not picked up on the first quarterlies.
                  > > > >> So, no, they do not supervise that the curriculum is taught.
                  > > > >> And yes, in Algebra 1 in 7th grade, they do review 2 year old material
                  > > for
                  > > > >> the MSAs, at least at my son's school.
                  > > > >> And yes, I agree with you that most of the kids could pass the test
                  > > > >> without review. I wonder if they have ever given a pre-test prior to
                  > > the
                  > > > >> review to see how much review is necessary.
                  > > > >> Finally, I agree that those that can't retain the material they have
                  > > > >> learned would be better served in a class that reviews more -
                  > > especially in
                  > > > >> math where it clearly builds on previous material.
                  > > > >> Rose
                  > > > >>
                  > > > >> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@>wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > > >>
                  > > > >>>
                  > > > >>>
                  > > > >>> I respectfully disagree. If teachers follow the curriculum (and
                  > > aren't
                  > > > >>> they supposed to? aren't they supervised on this?), they shouldn't be
                  > > > >>> reviewing two-year-old material. Plus, the results wouldn't be linked
                  > > to
                  > > > >>> the current teacher -- it would be linked to the teacher two year's
                  > > prior --
                  > > > >>> so there shouldn't be any incentive for any teacher to
                  > > > >>> teach-to-the-test/review old material. Essentially this is ALREADY
                  > > > >>> happening for GT students and their teachers from two years prior.
                  > > > >>>
                  > > > >>> To expand your example to the elem school level, a 5th grade GTmath
                  > > > >>> student (currently taking 7th grade math) would be tested (during
                  > > their 5th
                  > > > >>> grade year) on 5th grade math material -- which they had
                  > > learned/covered in
                  > > > >>> 3rd grade. If they are Proficient or Advanced, then they learned the
                  > > > >>> material. If they are not, they shouldn't be in 7th grade math ...
                  > > they
                  > > > >>> should probably be in 5th grade math, mastering the basics (or
                  > > relearning
                  > > > >>> it). That scenario would be your 2%+ GT math students failing the
                  > > MSA,
                  > > > >>> which HCPSS's goal is to bring below 2%.
                  > > > >>>
                  > > > >>>
                  > > > >>>
                  > > > >>
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >


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