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admin: staying on-topic (was: taking tests and standards)

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  • andycarvin
    Hi folks... Just a friendly reminder that if you re going to discuss testing/standards, you need to do it within the context of the Web in education. If it s
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 31, 2001
      Hi folks... Just a friendly reminder that if you're going to discuss
      testing/standards, you need to do it within the context of the Web in
      education. If it's just a general discussion of testing/standards, it's
      offtopic for the list.

      thanks,
      ac
      andy carvin
      acarvin@...

      --- In wwwedu@y..., KCStarguy@a... wrote:
      > I don't think "they git it at all."
      > Taking tests and trying to improve standards are two different things.
      > One way supposedly the education is supposed to be improved is by having
      > "kids" reach standards but it is almost all teacher driven. The main goal of
      > the principal is see that all these standards are covered (to cover
      > themselves) and that they be written into lesson plans.
      > Then teachers rush through them to get them done.
      > Most teachers and probably principals have no concept that the standards
      > could all be accomplished by project based learning and integrated methods.
      > They rush to get them all done.
      > Are the standards made for the parents, teachers, students or administrators?
      > Is there any studies out there that they do any good?
      > Meanwhile, kids have to take tests , to test what they learned by reaching
      > these standards. The bottom line is that the when the states make the tests,
      > they have little to do with the standards.
      > So they are being tested on content that has very little to do with the
      > standards in many cases.
      > Taking tests is also a matter in itself. Taking these tests is subject in
      > itself. Many times taking tests have little to do with the education at hand
      > but trying to play mind games with the students to discover the answers.
      > The testing itself does not in many cases relate to what is going on in the
      > classroom.
      > No wonder the scores don't improve.
      > I believe if we taught our students to think in the classroom instead of
      > teaching to tests and standards, they would do better on the tests and in the
      > classrooms.
      >
      > Dr. Eric Flescher (kcstarguy@a...)
      > Project S.I.M. (Simulations, interdisciplinary Internet and Metacognitive
      > activities)
    • Nancy Willard
      There was a fascinating series of articles covering the failures of these testing companies that appeared in the NY Times last year. I suspect the series is
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 31, 2001
        There was a fascinating series of articles covering the failures of these testing
        companies that appeared in the NY Times last year. I suspect the series is still
        online. It is a MUST reading. What will undermine this insane path is the fact
        that the testing companies are unlikely to be able to meet the demand. When the
        delivery system begins to crash, then maybe folks will pay attention.

        The other issue here is that of control. If every school in the country has to
        meet certain standards, who, then is responsible for setting those standards --
        and where is the accountability???

        Nancy

        Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
        Director, Responsible Netizen
        Center for Advanced Technology in Education
        5214 University of Oregon, College of Education
        Eugene, Oregon 97405
        E-mail: nwillard@...
        URL: http://netizen.uoregon.edu
        Author of Computer Ethics, Etiquette, and Safety for 21st Century Students, coming
        soon from ISTE


        tednellen wrote:

        > one problem here eric is that the states dont make up the tests, in most
        > cases. ny does, but in too many states an outside agency makes the tests
        > and these tests are used in many states. they are not aligned or connected
        > to state standards. in short the state makes the standards and someone
        > else makes the test without the state standards in mind. sat9, iowa,
        > mcgraw hill, harcourt make the tests and not the states. see the
        > problem?
        >
        > tednellen
        >
        > On Mon, 31 Dec 2001 KCStarguy@... wrote:
        >
        > > I don't think "they git it at all."
        > > Taking tests and trying to improve standards are two different things.
        > > One way supposedly the education is supposed to be improved is by having
        > > "kids" reach standards but it is almost all teacher driven. The main goal of
        > > the principal is see that all these standards are covered (to cover
        > > themselves) and that they be written into lesson plans.
        > > Then teachers rush through them to get them done.
        > > Most teachers and probably principals have no concept that the standards
        > > could all be accomplished by project based learning and integrated methods.
        > > They rush to get them all done.
        > > Are the standards made for the parents, teachers, students or administrators?
        > > Is there any studies out there that they do any good?
        > > Meanwhile, kids have to take tests , to test what they learned by reaching
        > > these standards. The bottom line is that the when the states make the tests,
        > > they have little to do with the standards.
        > > So they are being tested on content that has very little to do with the
        > > standards in many cases.
        > > Taking tests is also a matter in itself. Taking these tests is subject in
        > > itself. Many times taking tests have little to do with the education at hand
        > > but trying to play mind games with the students to discover the answers.
        > > The testing itself does not in many cases relate to what is going on in the
        > > classroom.
        > > No wonder the scores don't improve.
        > > I believe if we taught our students to think in the classroom instead of
        > > teaching to tests and standards, they would do better on the tests and in the
        > > classrooms.
        > >
        > > Dr. Eric Flescher (kcstarguy@...)
        > > Project S.I.M. (Simulations, interdisciplinary Internet and Metacognitive
        > > activities)
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Mailing List
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > > wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > To access the archive, please visit the list homepage:
        > > http://edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
        > >
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        >
        > --
        >
        > Ted Nellen 8-) ted@...
        > Cybrarian http://www.tnellen.com/ted/
        > CyberEnglish http://www.tnellen.net/cyberenglish/
        > Alternative High Schools http://www.tnellen.com/alt/
        >
        > One must learn by doing the thing. For though you think you know
        > it, you have no certainty until you try.
        >
        > ~ Sophocles ~ (BC 495-406, Greek Tragic Poet)
        >
        >
        > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Mailing List
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > To access the archive, please visit the list homepage:
        > http://edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • David Warlick
        With respect to Andy s friendly reminder that this discussion is getting a little off topic, in my opinion it is all about the Web. Last Christmas (2000), the
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 31, 2001
          With respect to Andy's friendly reminder that this discussion is getting
          a little off topic, in my opinion it is all about the Web. Last
          Christmas (2000), the best gift I received was a book written by an
          uncle of mine entitled, "What I Know about My Ancestors." It's a short
          book, because there isn't much to tell. However, as I read through this
          book, I kept envisioning the living conditions of my ancestors, and one
          of the striking things that I saw was that in their rural western North
          Carolina homes, there were very few books and probably no newspapers.
          Most members of the family back 100 years or so were college educated,
          but in those days, without media surrounding them, being educated meant
          that you held knowledge in your mind. You remembered facts and
          concepts. They did well on tests.

          Today, with TV, Radio, and especially the World Wide Web, we are
          surrounded by media. Vast amounts of information are available to us
          with just a few mouse clicks. This, I believe, completely changes the
          definition of being educated. It isn't what you can remember, but what
          you can find and how you can use it to solve problems, improve yours and
          other people's experiences, how you can use it to make new information.
          The Web has changed everything. Education needs to change with it.

          As I say this, my son is upstairs memorizing the 100 counties in North
          Carolina. He doesn't have to know anything about them. He doesn't have
          to know where they are or why they are important. He simply will be
          asked to list them in alphabetical order. Searching the Web, we found
          the list, a labeled map, an unlabeled map, and a data set with the
          populations of each county going back to 1900. We turned the data set
          into a spreadsheet. However, once he started studying, he found that
          all of this was useless for helping him learn to list the counties in
          alphabetical order. Drives me crazy!

          Exactly two cents worth!

          -- dave --

          David F. Warlick
          The Landmark Project
          Raleigh, NC USA
          david@...
          http://landmark-project.com


          On Monday, December 31, 2001, at 12:00 PM, KCStarguy@... wrote:

          > I don't think "they git it at all."
          > Taking tests and trying to improve standards are two different things.
          > One way supposedly the education is supposed to be improved is by having
          > "kids" reach standards but it is almost all teacher driven. The main
          > goal of
          > the principal is see that all these standards are covered (to cover
          > themselves) and that they be written into lesson plans.
          > Then teachers rush through them to get them done.
          > Most teachers and probably principals have no concept that the
          > standards
          > could all be accomplished by project based learning and integrated
          > methods.
          > They rush to get them all done.
          > Are the standards made for the parents, teachers, students or
          > administrators?
          > Is there any studies out there that they do any good?
          > Meanwhile, kids have to take tests , to test what they learned by
          > reaching
          > these standards. The bottom line is that the when the states make the
          > tests,
          > they have little to do with the standards.
          > So they are being tested on content that has very little to do with the
          > standards in many cases.
          > Taking tests is also a matter in itself. Taking these tests is subject
          > in
          > itself. Many times taking tests have little to do with the education at
          > hand
          > but trying to play mind games with the students to discover the answers.
          > The testing itself does not in many cases relate to what is going on in
          > the
          > classroom.
          > No wonder the scores don't improve.
          > I believe if we taught our students to think in the classroom instead of
          > teaching to tests and standards, they would do better on the tests and
          > in the
          > classrooms.
          >
          > Dr. Eric Flescher (kcstarguy@...)
          > Project S.I.M. (Simulations, interdisciplinary Internet and
          > Metacognitive
          > activities)
          >
          >
          >
          > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Mailing List
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > To access the archive, please visit the list homepage:
          > http://edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
        • John Elfrank-Dana
          I find that when I design a web-based activity there are several standards met. It seems that good teaching just has certain elements that meet what others
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 31, 2001
            I find that when I design a web-based activity there are several standards
            met. It seems that good teaching just has certain elements that meet what
            others have objectified in standards. When an organization asks about what
            standards one of my web query projects meets, as say to them, "you tell me."
            Fortunately in NYC we are not required to follow a standardized lesson plan
            format. So, I don't have a principal breathing down my back asking, "what
            standards does this lesson address?"

            I don't like the phrase "teach to standards." It's like saying "paint by
            the numbers." I think it interferes with the creative process (mine,
            anyway; I can't speak for all).

            Some of the confusion is the word itself, "standard" because it's used in
            "standardized tests" which is something different than "the standards;"
            although the standardized test is what's used to measure achievement, as
            absurd as it is. My understanding of standardized tests is that they are
            useful for ranking but not measuring achievement. Anyway, this is not my
            area of expertise.

            Too often I have heard that some of my colleagues have been telling
            students, "don't take his class (my class) because with all that techno
            stuff you won't be prepared for the Regents." It hasn't borne itself out.
            My students have had average passing rates. So long as I do teach a Regents
            course I have to prepare them for the exam with a reasonable effort. I
            don't do what is required by the department because it would undermine the
            web projects I do with my students. However, it's irresponsible for me to
            ignore the test altogether in this circumstance unless my students and their
            parents have agreed to boycott the exam.

            Enough of my rambling,


            John Elfrank-Dana: john@...
            Social Studies Teacher: http://www.elfrank.org
            School Webmaster: http://www.bergtraum.org
            Murry Bergtraum High School


            -----Original Message-----
            From: KCStarguy@... [mailto:KCStarguy@...]
            Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 12:01 PM
            To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [WWWEDU] taking tests and standards

            I don't think "they git it at all."
            Taking tests and trying to improve standards are two different things.
            One way supposedly the education is supposed to be improved is by having
            "kids" reach standards but it is almost all teacher driven. The main goal of

            the principal is see that all these standards are covered (to cover
            themselves) and that they be written into lesson plans.
            Then teachers rush through them to get them done.
            Most teachers and probably principals have no concept that the standards
            could all be accomplished by project based learning and integrated methods.
            They rush to get them all done.
            Are the standards made for the parents, teachers, students or
            administrators?
            Is there any studies out there that they do any good?
            Meanwhile, kids have to take tests , to test what they learned by reaching
            these standards. The bottom line is that the when the states make the tests,

            they have little to do with the standards.
            So they are being tested on content that has very little to do with the
            standards in many cases.
            Taking tests is also a matter in itself. Taking these tests is subject in
            itself. Many times taking tests have little to do with the education at hand

            but trying to play mind games with the students to discover the answers.
            The testing itself does not in many cases relate to what is going on in the
            classroom.
            No wonder the scores don't improve.
            I believe if we taught our students to think in the classroom instead of
            teaching to tests and standards, they would do better on the tests and in
            the
            classrooms.

            Dr. Eric Flescher (kcstarguy@...)
            Project S.I.M. (Simulations, interdisciplinary Internet and Metacognitive
            activities)



            WWWEDU, The Web and Education Mailing List

            To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

            To access the archive, please visit the list homepage:
            http://edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html


            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Vunch@aol.com
            In a message dated 12/31/2001 3:43:47 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... This Depends on the skill levels of the students. Just because students are a certain age
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 1, 2002
              In a message dated 12/31/2001 3:43:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
              acarvin@... writes:


              > Most teachers and probably principals have no concept that the standards
              > > could all be accomplished by project based learning and integrated
              > methods

              This Depends on the skill levels of the students. Just because students are
              a certain age or grade does not mean anything about their skill levels, e.g.
              reading, writing, problem solving.

              Fred welfare
              Vunch@...
            • Greene, Patrick
              David s message below is a treatise called, One of the things wrong with standardized testing . David, if I were you, I would get in touch with Abby Kohn and
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 2, 2002
                David's message below is a treatise called, "One of the things wrong with
                standardized testing". David, if I were you, I would get in touch with Abby
                Kohn and have him add your paragraphs to his book, "The Case against
                Standardized Testing". It certainly points it out well. My puzzlement is -
                why are there not more people concerned about this? Brings me back to Roger
                Schank's adage, "If you really want to do the best thing possible for K-12
                education, drop a neutron bomb on Princeton, NJ".

                Patrick Greene, PhD
                International College
                pgreene@...

                "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
                the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret
                Mead



                -----Original Message-----
                From: David Warlick [mailto:davidwarlick@...]
                Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 4:21 PM
                To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] taking tests and standards


                With respect to Andy's friendly reminder that this discussion is getting
                a little off topic, in my opinion it is all about the Web. Last
                Christmas (2000), the best gift I received was a book written by an
                uncle of mine entitled, "What I Know about My Ancestors." It's a short
                book, because there isn't much to tell. However, as I read through this
                book, I kept envisioning the living conditions of my ancestors, and one
                of the striking things that I saw was that in their rural western North
                Carolina homes, there were very few books and probably no newspapers.
                Most members of the family back 100 years or so were college educated,
                but in those days, without media surrounding them, being educated meant
                that you held knowledge in your mind. You remembered facts and
                concepts. They did well on tests.

                Today, with TV, Radio, and especially the World Wide Web, we are
                surrounded by media. Vast amounts of information are available to us
                with just a few mouse clicks. This, I believe, completely changes the
                definition of being educated. It isn't what you can remember, but what
                you can find and how you can use it to solve problems, improve yours and
                other people's experiences, how you can use it to make new information.
                The Web has changed everything. Education needs to change with it.

                As I say this, my son is upstairs memorizing the 100 counties in North
                Carolina. He doesn't have to know anything about them. He doesn't have
                to know where they are or why they are important. He simply will be
                asked to list them in alphabetical order. Searching the Web, we found
                the list, a labeled map, an unlabeled map, and a data set with the
                populations of each county going back to 1900. We turned the data set
                into a spreadsheet. However, once he started studying, he found that
                all of this was useless for helping him learn to list the counties in
                alphabetical order. Drives me crazy!

                Exactly two cents worth!

                -- dave --

                David F. Warlick
                The Landmark Project
                Raleigh, NC USA
                david@...
                http://landmark-project.com


                On Monday, December 31, 2001, at 12:00 PM, KCStarguy@... wrote:

                > I don't think "they git it at all."
                > Taking tests and trying to improve standards are two different things.
                > One way supposedly the education is supposed to be improved is by having
                > "kids" reach standards but it is almost all teacher driven. The main
                > goal of
                > the principal is see that all these standards are covered (to cover
                > themselves) and that they be written into lesson plans.
                > Then teachers rush through them to get them done.
                > Most teachers and probably principals have no concept that the
                > standards
                > could all be accomplished by project based learning and integrated
                > methods.
                > They rush to get them all done.
                > Are the standards made for the parents, teachers, students or
                > administrators?
                > Is there any studies out there that they do any good?
                > Meanwhile, kids have to take tests , to test what they learned by
                > reaching
                > these standards. The bottom line is that the when the states make the
                > tests,
                > they have little to do with the standards.
                > So they are being tested on content that has very little to do with the
                > standards in many cases.
                > Taking tests is also a matter in itself. Taking these tests is subject
                > in
                > itself. Many times taking tests have little to do with the education at
                > hand
                > but trying to play mind games with the students to discover the answers.
                > The testing itself does not in many cases relate to what is going on in
                > the
                > classroom.
                > No wonder the scores don't improve.
                > I believe if we taught our students to think in the classroom instead of
                > teaching to tests and standards, they would do better on the tests and
                > in the
                > classrooms.
                >
                > Dr. Eric Flescher (kcstarguy@...)
                > Project S.I.M. (Simulations, interdisciplinary Internet and
                > Metacognitive
                > activities)
                >
                >
                >
                > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Mailing List
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > To access the archive, please visit the list homepage:
                > http://edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >



                WWWEDU, The Web and Education Mailing List

                To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                wwwedu-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                To access the archive, please visit the list homepage:
                http://edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html


                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              • Art Wolinsky
                ... LOL! Want to get rid of high stakes testing? Before we drop the bomb let s create a set of learning standards for ages 0-4. Then before we drop that
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 2, 2002
                  At 03:13 PM 1/2/2002 -0500, you wrote:
                  >Brings me back to Roger
                  >Schank's adage, "If you really want to do the best thing possible for K-12
                  >education, drop a neutron bomb on Princeton, NJ".

                  LOL!

                  Want to get rid of high stakes testing? Before we drop the bomb let's
                  create a set of learning standards for ages 0-4. Then before we drop that
                  bomb, have ETS develop a high stakes test to measure what was learned
                  during those five years. Then you won't have to drop the bomb. The parents
                  will dismantle ETC brick by brick!

                  Art


                  ***************************************************************
                  Art Wolinsky awolinsky@...
                  OII Technology Director http://oii.org
                  (609) 597-9481 ext
                  337
                  ***************************************************************
                  I am perfectly capable of learning from my mistakes.
                  I will surely learn a great deal today.
                  ***************************************************************
                • David Warlick
                  Thanks Patrick, The excitement of six inches of snow on the ground here in Raleigh, has me up early this morning. Jennifer James talks about three kinds of
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 3, 2002
                    Thanks Patrick,

                    The excitement of six inches of snow on the ground here in Raleigh, has
                    me up early this morning.

                    Jennifer James talks about three kinds of leadership. The one that she
                    emphasizes for education is the leader who can tell a compelling new
                    story. This is what we need to make people concerned about the style of
                    education that is taking place in many classrooms, a style that has as
                    little to do with preparing students for the 21st century as a
                    horse-drawn plow had to do with smoke-stack factories.

                    We need to tell a new story about teaching & learning. And, again, with
                    respect to the intent of this list, the "Web" can and will be the venue
                    for this new story. The Web will be the storefront for the business of
                    schooling. People care about their children and they care about what's
                    happening in classrooms, but they are disconnected. Through school and
                    especially through classroom web pages, we can tell a new story about
                    what students should be doing in our classrooms. It is also a venue
                    where we can tell the whole story about what it means to teach. It is
                    not just standing in front of the class for six hours a day. It's the
                    time spent grading papers, writing lesson plans, conducting research,
                    collaborating with other teachers and content experts, evaluating and
                    adapting teaching strategies, staff development, professional
                    conferences, and much more. This is the story that the community needs
                    to hear, and it needs to be compelling.

                    How are you our your teachers using their web sites to tell a new
                    story? How might we use them? How do we gather a crowd around the new
                    camp fire, the World Wide Web?

                    Exactly two cents worth!

                    -- dave --

                    David F. Warlick
                    The Landmark Project
                    Raleigh, NC USA
                    david@...
                    http://landmark-project.com



                    On Wednesday, January 2, 2002, at 03:13 PM, Greene, Patrick wrote:

                    > David's message below is a treatise called, "One of the things wrong
                    > with
                    > standardized testing". David, if I were you, I would get in touch with
                    > Abby
                    > Kohn and have him add your paragraphs to his book, "The Case against
                    > Standardized Testing". It certainly points it out well. My puzzlement
                    > is -
                    > why are there not more people concerned about this? Brings me back to
                    > Roger
                    > Schank's adage, "If you really want to do the best thing possible for
                    > K-12
                    > education, drop a neutron bomb on Princeton, NJ".
                    >
                    > Patrick Greene, PhD
                    > International College
                    > pgreene@...
                    >
                    > "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
                    > change
                    > the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --
                    > Margaret
                    > Mead
                    >
                    >
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