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May Regents?

October 18, 2011 pm31 10:55 pm

I don’t know, maybe?

The Board of Regents yesterday approved new rules that will stop teachers from grading their own kids’ state tests. High stakes, you know? High stakes for the students – promotion, graduation. And for the teacher: rating, job. (The original is here, fifth link under P-12)

But how will this affect what kids learn? The Board of Regents doesn’t seem to have thought about that question. Maybe it doesn’t matter to them? Doesn’t seem like it.

In high schools, Regents exams sent out of the building? And graded? And returned…  For English and Math in middle school, they send the exams out and wait… and wait… but there’s plenty of time, since the exams are in (March and April?????) And then they deal with unruly kids the rest of the year. They shouldn’t – having just taught kids for two-thirds of a year, they are now required to teach the first few (post-March) topics for the following year. Yeah, right.

But in high school, we have one year courses. What do you do with a month left in Geometry?  Or better, how can you squeeze your material so we are done in time for the inspectors.

And while the “Common Core” lifts topics out of mathematics for each year, K – 8, it crams in more for 9 -12. What topics will we not teach?

So, let’s end with a question: how does this help any kids?

Actually, if the testing were not ubiquitous, if the stakes were not so high, would any of this be necessary?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 am31 5:49 am 5:49 am

    What are you being told about Common Core? Other than seeing ALL of the high school standards in one list, we haven’t seen anything.

    • October 19, 2011 am31 7:12 am 7:12 am

      At the AFT’s “Teach” conference in DC in July I picked up a lot. I forget his name, little guy, consultant on most of this, spoke, and I approached him after (“you said fewer topics” blah blah blah “but in high school I see more” blah blah blah.) And he responded that I was right, and that they were working on something, a way, I think, to embed topics within each other such that (and he didn’t say this) we have the same amount of content as now. They are NOT pruning high school content to add depth the way they’ve proposed for 3 – 8 (or is it K – 8? or P – 8, the cold-hearted wretches?)

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