Excellent Question From a Student

Student: You said “One problem I often see in lesson plans is the relationship between assessments, objectives, and standards.” I don’t have a problem with this aspect, because I use the state and national standards to create my objectives, then I move on to the assessment. However, the one problem I do have is with objectives not being measurable. In my head (obviously no one else can see it there) I know what my students need to do to be successful, I make my assessments that way I do to give students enough opportunity for success. In all the textbooks, examples, and other teachers’ lesson plans, the objectives are not written in measurable terms – “students will identify _______ with 75% accuracy.” In only one class were objectives written like that. It just seems redundant to have these for the three or four objectives in each lesson. In the objectives you personally use, do they have these measurable terms? Do you have any tips or advice for writing objectives correctly?

 

Response: Don’t confuse quantifying (…with 75% accuracy) with measurable. In order for objectives to be measurable, you have to be able to ‘score’ them. Objectives MUST have an action verb. For example, TSWBAT learn about the seven seas…..is not measurable. We cannot measure what or how much students learn. We can, however, measure the map they label, or the test they take, or the presentation, etc. So, the objective would be TSWBAT label a map (the number of items will be determined in the activity, and/or specified in the rubric). Quantifying is when we say how many of the items, for example, need to be labeled properly. This will change. For example, if I’m conducting a lesson that is a repeat from earlier, and will be built on later, I want them to have a minimum score of 75%. If it is a stand-alone issue, I might want them to have a 50% minimum for a less important topic, or a higher minimum for a more important topic. Of course, there’s much more to it that makes more sense in practice (but what doesn’t?). At this point, we aren’t too worried about your quantifying your objectives, but they MUST be measurable.

This is where the matching of the assessment(s) to the objectives/standards comes in. The assessments must prove that the objectives have been met (which prove we’ve met the standards by default). If the assessments do not prove that students, for example, have labeled the map with a score of at least 75%, then we have not met our objectives, and students have not met their standards.

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Free Cartoon-Making Site

Love cartoons? Make one yourself on this free website. You will also find many more freeware reviews in countless categories at Gizmo\’s.

via Free Cartoon-Making Site.

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Uninformed Experts

Uninformed Experts.

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Uninformed Experts

I was reading an article a bit ago about a school that reports an increase in graduation rates for girls, but a decline for boys (http://www.registerguard.com/rg/news/local/30569594-75/percent-girls-eugene-students-district.html.csp). It isn’t a well-researched article, but it showcases the statistics of one school.

After reading the article, I decided to see what others had to say. I was shocked by the responses coming from people. I realize that anonymity emboldens people, and that some are simply out to “stir up the pot,” but I could not believe how much people who know so little about education feel they have some reason to try to affect the situation.

This doesn’t only happen in the educational field, it also happens in medical, service, transportation, retail, and every other field. Too many people assume that what they are reading has some bearing on reality. Now that our kids are growing up with this as their educational reality, is there any hope for truth to prevail?  

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” title=”MED 555 Lecture week 1″>MED 555 Lecture week 1

I dove in and created a presentation in PowerPoint for my lecture. I’m going to refine it, but for my hectic schedule right now, this will suffice. Maybe I will be less ‘stiff’ once I’ve taught this course a few times and work the bugs out 🙂

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June 9, 2013 · 10:46 pm

Effective Rubrics

Effective Rubrics.

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Literature Review: Current Legislation

Educators are no longer conveyors of information (Eastman, 2006).  Likewise, student roles have changed.  Since the implementation of NCLB, teacher success and failure is based on student achievement, which gives students a certain power over educators.  Educators are unmoving in the concept of expertise on subject material and educational issues.  Parents are confident in the belief that they are the experts when it comes to their children.  The ensuing power struggle undermines the purpose of education, which is preparing students for the future (Eastman, 2006).  Wong (2008) explained students whose parents promote autonomy have higher test scores than those whose parents who do not promote autonomy.  The power struggle between parents and educators occurs in response to imaginary circumstances.

Flowers (2007) observed factors of importance to raising standardized test scores include building safety, test preparation, access to computers, availability of after-school programs, and comparison groups.  Educators will be better able to prepare parents to assist students outside of school.  Better prepared educators and parents will promote better parent and teacher relationships.  When parents value education, students will value education.

Purpose of the NCLB Bill

            Boggs, Szabo, and Page (2009) defined NCLB as the solution to low test scores.  NCLB, in theory, will identify low-achieving schools through standardized testing, and implement penalties for schools that do not meet required progress (Scott, 2009).  Lagana-Riordan and Aguilar (2009) even posited standardized testing is an attempt by the United States to remain in competition with European and Asia countries economically.

            Hodge and Krumm (2009) list “six basic principles: (a) accountability, (b) highly qualified teachers, (c) scientifically based instruction, (d) local flexibility, (e) safe schools, and (f) parent participation and choice” (p. 20).  The principles of NCLB are monitored through high-stakes assessments (Duffy, Giordano, Farrell, Paneque, & Crimp, 2008).  While systematic testing allows for long term tracking of progress, some believe testing ignores too many factors to be an indicator of success or failure of any of the six principles.

            Duffy, Giordano, Farrell, Paneque, and Crump (2008) posited standardized testing is a way to evaluate schools based on the outcomes of tests taken by students.  Duffy et al. contended the unintended consequences undermine the potential benefits that such legislation is intended to invoke.  Many educators agree with the premise of quantitative evaluation.  However, when jobs depend upon results, graduation becomes a possibility only upon successful completion of tests, and school funding is so heavily dependent upon results, legitimate learning is called into question (Duffy, Giordano, Farrell, Paneque, and Crump, 2008).  More recently, researchers and educational experts are attempting to devise more reliable methods of evaluating educational facilities, professionals, programs, and students (Betebenner, 2009).

Accountability

According to Thornton, Hill, and Usinger (2006), NCLB is an attempt to give everyone an equal education.  Bippus (2005) argues that educators should not be alone in the responsibility for students.  According to Bippus, parents and students must be held accountable for student success as well.

            Teacher accountability.  Teacher accountability is a guarantee by the government to ensure teacher quality (Scott, 2009).  Teachers who are not willing to meet government required guidelines, or are unable to meet state prescribed guidelines, will be replaced by schools.  Scott (2009) described situations where faculty members have been replaced in underachieving schools.  Some researchers argue holding teachers accountable for underperforming students ignores too many factors to be realistic.  In fact, Berliner (2010) argued that NCLB is not likely to ever be successful based on the high demands and responsibility it places on educators.  Berliner argued that poverty, poor health care, pollution, and violence cause much of the problem with at-risk students, which educators cannot affect.  Roellke and Rice (2008) argued many quality teachers leave the areas where they are most needed, or leave the teaching profession entirely, due to the stress attached to matters beyond their control.

            Student accountability.  While student test scores contribute to high levels of accountability for educators, schools, and to some extent parents (Scott, 2009), little evidence exists that students are held accountable for their actions, behaviors, or contributions.  When students do not face repercussions for their actions, yet have extended control over educators and parents, there is little incentive for their success or effort.  In addition, Kohn (2009) described the testing situation as promoting superficial thinking, and penalizing active thinking.  Since education is meant to promote learning, standardized testing appears to negatively affect the learning process.

            Parent accountability.  According to the United States Department of Education (2004), parent accountability is specifically addressed in Title I, Section 1118.  Schools must provide for parental involvement policy if they receive federal Title I funds (NCLB Action Brief, 2010).  However, the NCLB Action Brief acknowledged there are no penalties for non-compliance.  Although Section 1118 commits to a definition of parental involvement, NCLB Action Brief declared that differing perceptions of the definition can cause problems in the implementation of parental involvement policy.

Pros and Cons of the Bill

Lagana-Riordan and Aguilar (2009) asserted one goal of NCLB is to ensure an equal opportunity for all students to acquire a high quality education, regardless of race, heritage, or economic status.  Although Lagana-Riordan and Aguilar agreed that improving education is a noble effort, they argued that too much emphasis has been placed on ecological perspective, and factors outside the school are getting too little consideration.  Conzemius (2010) agreed that NCLB has had the positive effect of bringing failing schools to the public’s attention; however, Conzemius posited states are more likely lowering expectations in the failed attempt to raise achievement.

Although the mandate’s attempt to standardize education, and make sure that all students are afforded a quality education is noble, Gay (2007) argued that a tremendous hurdle has been dealing with special education students and English language learners.  These, among others, are the very groups who are supposed to benefit from the legislation; however, they are the groups most likely to be hurt by the bill’s implementation.

There is simply too much emphasis on standardized testing (Ballard & Bates, 2008).  Norm referenced tests compare each student to all other students taking the test.  While norm referenced tests are useful in some ways, they do not take individual differences between students into account; therefore, are not valid indicators of student learning.  Criterion referenced tests are they types of tests that identify whether or not students have learned the material that is taught (Meyers, 2008).  Since not all teachers teach the same material in the same manner, criterion tests are not likely to show up in standardized state assessments.  Betebenner (2009) contended the emphasis for schools to reach annual yearly progress (AYP) is forcing schools to ignore many of the pieces of the NCLB legislation that could help students grow, and focus instead on accountability.    In other words, educators are forced to teach to the test in order to reach AYP, and satisfy accountability measures. Learning and assessment are less connected in the age of high-stakes testing.

One of the drawbacks of the restructuring system of NCLB is the fact that states have different systems for determining accountability of schools and teachers (Scott, 2009).  Scott concluded that the federal system for restructuring is inconsistent, and ineffective.  For this reason, many states are opting out of the federal restructuring plan, and replacing the federal plan with altered versions of their own.  Some argue improvement efforts on a federal level take too much sovereignty from local schools (Gratz, 2009).  However, Scott argued the policy encourages local schools to adapt their restructuring programs to the needs of the local community.  In addition, schools complain there is not enough time to implement restructuring programs, and staff replacement is more difficult than anticipated, funding falls short of providing schools with the resources necessary to implement required changes.

Chapter Conclusion

            Students with high instances of parental involvement have better grades and higher test scores (Houtenville & Conway, 2008; LaBahn, 1995; Lee & Green, 2009).  Many factors contribute to the involvement of parents in students’ educational pursuits.  Kreider, Caspe, Kennedy, and Weiss (2007) pointed out parenting values, home-school relationships, and mutual responsibility are the most important considerations surrounding parental involvement.  Some parents perceive educators as opposing forces to already strained relationships between parent and student; some parents see involvement as the way to maintain relationships with children.  Educators sometimes detect a sense of opposition from parents as well.  Educators perceive themselves as the experts and feel parents should not attempt to interfere with the educational process.  With no clear definition to the characteristic of involvement, educators and parents have a difficult time determining the appropriate action to take. 

References:

Ballard, K., & Bates, A. (2008). Making a connection between student achievement, teach accountability, and quality classroom instruction. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 560-580. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR13-4/ballard.pdf

Berliner, D. (2010). Are teachers responsible for low achievement by poor students? Education Digest: Essential readings Condensed for Quick Review, 75(7), 4-8. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Betebenner, D. (2009). Norm-and criterion-referenced student growth. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 28(4), 42-51. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Bippus, S. (2005). Raising Accountability for Parents Too. School Administrator, 62(10), 49. Retrieved from Professional Development Collection database.

 

Boggs, M., Szabo, S., & Page, L. (2009). Critically Reading Scientifically-based Programs: Empowering Teachers. Southeastern Teacher Education Journal, 2(2), 39-45. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Conzemius, A. (2010). A minimalist approach to reform. School Administrator, 67(1), 32-36. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Duffy, M., Giordano, V. A., Farrell, J. B., Paneque, O. M., & Crump, G. B. (2008). No child left behind: Values and research issues in high-stakes assessments. Counseling and Values, 53, pp 53-66. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Eastman, N. (2006). Our institutions, our selves: Rethinking classroom performance and signification. The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 29, 297-308. doi: 10.1080/10714410600873209.

Flowers, L. A. (2007). Recommendations for research to improve reading achievement for African American students. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(3), 424-428. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Gay, G. (2007). The rhetoric and reality of NCLB. Race Ethnicity and Education, 10(3), 279-293. doi: 10.1080/13613320701503256.

Gratz, D. B. (2009). Purpose and performance in teacher performance pay. Education Week, 28(24), 40 &32. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Hodge, C., & Krumm, B. (2009). NCLB: A Study of Its Effect on Rural Schools–School Administrators Rate Service Options for Students with Disabilities. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28(1), 20-27. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Houtenville, A. J., & Conway, K. S. (2008). Parental effort, school resources, and student achievement. The Journal of Human Resources, 43(2), 437-453. Retrieved from EconLit with Full Text database.

Kohn, A. (2009). It’s not what we teach; it’s what they learn. Teachers.net Gazette, 6(1).  Retrieved from http://teachers.net/gazette/JAN09/kohn/index3.html

Kreider, H., Caspe, M., Kennedy, S., & Weiss, H. (2007). Family involvement in middle and high school students’ education: Evidence that family involvement promotes school success for every child of every age. Harvard Family Research Project, 3, 1-12.

LaBahn, J. (1995). Education and parental involvement in secondary schools: Problems, solutions, and effects. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from http://teach.valdosta.edu/whuitt/files/parinvol.html

Lagana-Riordan, C., & Aguilar, J. (2009). What’s Missing from No Child Left Behind?  A Policy Analysis from a Social Work Perspective. Children & Schools, 31(3), 135-144. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Lee, J. K., & Green, K. (2009). Hmong parental involvement and support: A comparison between families of high and low achieving high school seniors. Hmong Studies Journal, 9, 1-27. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Meyers, S. (2008). Criterion-referenced testing. Great Neck Publishing. Retrieved from Research-Starters – Education database.

NCLB Action Briefs. (2010). Parental involvement. A joint project of Public Education Network and National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education. Retrieved from http://www.ncpie.org/nclbaction/parent_involvement.html

Roellke, C., & Rice, J. K. (2008). Responding to teacher quality and accountability mandates: The perspective of school administrators and classroom teachers. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 7, 264-295. doi: 10.1080/15700760701822124.

Scott, C. (2009). Improving low-performing schools: Lessons from five years of studying school restructuring under no child left behind. Center on Education Policy, pp. 1-23. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Thornton, B., Hill, G., & Usinger, J. (2006). An examination of a fissure within the implementation of the NCLB accountability process. Education, 127(1), 115. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

Wong, M. M. (2008).Perceptions of parental involvement and autonomy support: Their relations with self-regulation, academic performance, substance use and resilience among adolescents. North American Journal of Psychology, 10(3), 497-518. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

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