I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Reformy Logic

Standardized tests are good for some things, like measuring aptitude for medical school. Therefore, tests are good for things they weren't designed to do, like evaluating teachers (even though they aren't).

By this logic...

Hammers are good at hitting nails, so they are good for removing screws.

Hot fudge is delicious on ice cream, so it is delicious on breakfast sausage.

Michael Jordan was the best basketball player of all time, so he was also the best baseball player of all time.

Billionaires are good at making money, so they must be good at making education policy.

Have I made my point? If not:


Lisa said...

Of course, Duke. Something that measures something a STUDENT DOES, deciding whether or not to apply himself or care, with his own ability, intelligence, motivation, effort, desire, nutrition, sleep, health, and home life during 12 out of 8,760 hours a year, only has 50 to 60 percent to do with the student. The other 8,748 hours are 40 to 50 percent the teacher's responsibility.

Hmmm. Let's see the logic of this viewed from a slightly different angle. There are 8,760 hours in any child's year. At 90 minutes a day, that child's math teacher interacts with the child, along with 25 to 100 other children, 270 hours in that year. During six of those 270 hours each of the 25 to 100 children--who may or may not be sick, have eaten breakfast, have gotten a good night's sleep, or care (since there's no reward or penalty for passing or failing the test)--take a test that is 40 to 50 percent of whether or not the teacher keeps her job. Also, the 270 hours the teacher has with the child among 25 others, has more influence over the other 8,490 hours in the child's year, as determined by the six hours tested.

What's the problem? :-\

Ultimately, it's the children who suffer because the policy wonks and "reformers" ignore the overarching societal problems, focusing on and demonizing those who, in 270 hours, can help them through the other 8,490.


Duke said...

She shoots - she scores!

Thx Lisa.