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Friday, February 27, 2015

Get Real, Governor: Test-Based Evaluations Measure Little More than the Effort Expended in Prepping Kids for Tests!

Do the high-stakes regents measure me as a teacher?  Hardly.

I am told to prep my students for a month and a half for the test.  Do they do better because I prep them?  Most certainly, yes.

I could teach just as well throughout the year, but without this intensive prep, my students would predominately do worse.  Some might not realize how much they have forgotten.  Some might find it inconvenient to put in the amount of time required.  This is why people like Stanley Kaplan make good money selling test-review services to students.

I am not a better teacher for all the prep I do.  My students are not better in life for it.  My students lose out on in-depth projects.  They lose out on current events.  They do not read whole historical texts.  There is less room left for debates.  I would argue I am a worse teacher for it.

The high-stakes tests do not competently measure any teacher.  They merely measure the amount of effort sacrificed for review.  They also measure a march towards uniformity which is intensely irritating to me.  It detracts from my time spent legitimately teaching.  If you think you can ban regents prep by a state law, you are more naive than I can imagine.  As long as the stakes are so high, the whole course will become regents prep.  The fact that anyone could think otherwise is a sad commentary on one's lack of understanding.  

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