Saturday, January 18, 2014

How Do You Make a Good Teacher? - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher

How Do You Make a Good Teacher? - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher:

How Do You Make a Good Teacher?

Check out this headline, from the Center for Michigan:
 What's your first thought?
  • Good! This will eliminate the plague of academic dim bulbs inhabiting our classrooms!
  • Clearly, Michigan will have a better teaching force a few years from now.
  • Makes sense--only someone with questionable abilities and low aspirations would think seriously about pursuing teaching anyway. 
If that's what popped into your head, you're thinking like the editorial staff at the Center (a non-partisan, centrist think tank), whose op-ed commentary made clear that raising the standardized bar was their preferred, one-stop solution for making better teachers.
If only it were so simple.
My first thought was this: Where is the convincing evidence that the old Michigan Teacher Exam (which had a year-to-year pass rate hovering around 80%) did not screen out the folks who should not become teachers? Is there confirmation that we were pushing these unqualified teachers into the classroom, harming children with their lack of brainpower? Where is the convincing evidence that a test--even a tough new test like Michigan's Professional Readiness Exam--is the best or most efficient means of identifying strong candidates for teaching?
Is this truly about making more effective, more professional teachers? Is it about workforce supply and demand? Or is it another way to point fingers at the colleges and universities that prepare graduates for the classroom, to shift blame? Read the headline again. 
I once attended a State Board of Ed meeting where cut scores for the statewide standardized test (the "MEAP") were established, and it cured me forever of the belief that any test can precisely 

Inspecting a Student Loan Spigot - NYTimes.com

Inspecting a Student Loan Spigot - NYTimes.com:

Inspecting a Student Loan Spigot




 A few days after Christmas, ITT Educational Services, one of the nation’s largest operators of for-profit technical schools, reported some unwelcome news. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had warned the company that it might seek penalties and remedies against it for possible student loanviolations.
ITT maintained that its practices were legal and said it would vigorously defend itself. Happily for the company, its shareholders seem unworried: last week, the stock hit a new 52-week high, closing at $45.27.
ITT is not the only for-profit educator under scrutiny, of course. But it is among the largest. At 149 institutes in 39 states (and online), ITT offers nursing, criminal justice, business, information technology and other programs to 61,000 students. Based in Carmel, Ind., the company generated $800 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2013, down 18 percent from the year-earlier period.
The consumer bureau, ITT’s filing said, wants to determine whether lenders and student loan servicers working with for-profit colleges “are engaging in unlawful acts or practices relating to the advertising, marketing, or 

Let’s Help NEA’s Dennis Van Roekel Forsake His Common Core “Guessing” | deutsch29

Let’s Help NEA’s Dennis Van Roekel Forsake His Common Core “Guessing” | deutsch29:

Let’s Help NEA’s Dennis Van Roekel Forsake His Common Core “Guessing”

January 18, 2014


It seems that National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel is willing to ignore the “forest” of the spectrum of top-down, punitive, privatizer-friendly, anti-democratic, community-school-destroying reforms in favor of the “tree” of his narrow focus on issues regarding concerns over specific items in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In this January 14, 2014, Education Week article, Van Roekel maintains that he has yet to hear anyone offer disagreement over CCSS specifics.
He also “challenges” CCSS opponents to offer “a better alternative” to a set of standards he defends yet refers to as “a guess”:
The standards have been politically attacked in the states—and by some of the union’s own members—but in an interview, the union’s president challenged naysayers to produce a better alternative. 
“When I sit on panels and someone chastises us for supporting the common core, I always ask: ‘Are there specific things you believe should not be there?’ I never get an answer,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said. “Second, I ask, “What’s missing?’ I don’t get an answer. And the third thing I ask is, ‘What is the 

VAMboozled! a blog about the issues surrounding teacher evaluation

VAMboozled!  a blog about the issues surrounding teacher evaluation:


VAMboozled! is a blog about the issues surrounding teacher evaluation, teacher accountability, and value-added models (VAMs) in America’s public schools. VAMboozled! is also about the related issues surrounding America’s educational reform and accountability initiatives, and the federal and state policies being advanced, incentivized, adopted, and implemented across the nation. While other education blogs might focus on more general education topics, this blog is focused only on these issues, as current and controversial as they continuously are. The goal is to make more comprehensible and more accessible research-based information about these issues, and to better reach and inform teachers, administrators, policymakers, parents, students, and members of the general public, all of whom are stakeholders and who might ultimately be involved.
 
VAMboozledFacebookBox copyTo stay current on these issues, to engage, to participate, to add to the professional dialogue, to offer solutions, and to add to our collective understandings about these topics, please subscribe.

Glossary

Assumptions: Assumptions appeal to people’s emotions and, accordingly, are used to sway peoples’ thinking in desired ways. Assumptions are often made about intangible ideas or tangible products, but often without proof or data to support the legitimacy of the assumptions being made. Correspondingly, most governmental and private groups, in efforts to promote and/or protect sets of private and/or public interests, attempt to methodically sway or change public attitudes and behaviors oftentimes using assumptions. Such assumptions are often expressed via enthusiastic statements and bold claims, further engraining the assumptions and transforming them into accepted realities, while not always true or supported by evidence.

BiasBias is a huge threat to validity, as biasing factors (e.g., student risk factors) both distort the measurement of a variable and distort their interpretations, either increasing or decreasing, in this case, VAM-based estimates. This occurs even though the biasing factors are unrelated to what the test-based indicators (i.e., VAMs) are meant to represent (e.g., teacher effectiveness). Accordingly, if VAM estimates are highly correlated to biasing factors, then it becomes impossible to make valid interpretations about the causes of student achievement gains or losses as intended. Bias is most difficult to statistically “control for” because students are rarely if ever randomly assigned to classrooms (and teachers are rarely randomly assigned to classrooms as well).

Confidence IntervalsConfidence intervals are the statistical areas or ranges within which one can be confident that, in this case, a teacher’s true value-added estimate has been effectively and accurately captured. To contextualize, the typical confidence intervals used in statistics give or take about 5 percentage points from the reported estimate (i.e., given standard 95% confidence intervals). However, in New York, for example, the confidence intervals around 18,000 teachers’ value-added ratings spanned 35 percentile points in mathematics and 53 percentile points in reading/language arts. This meant that a mathematics teacher who ranked at the 50th percentile could have actually had a true score between the 33rd and 67th percentile ranks (rounding inwards). In reading/language arts, a teacher who ranked at the 50th percentile could have had an observed score any and everywhere between the 24th and 76th percentile rank (rounding inwards). While 95% confidence intervals are typically used, with VAMs these standard error ranges are typically much, much larger, to account for the relatively higher potential for measurement error.

Education Production Function: In the education production function, it is assumed that using VAMs will induce teachers to work harder, and using VAMs will incite teachers who do not work hard enough to improve out of fear of being penalized or terminated. Such 

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure

V.A.M.: Value Added Measure:





Graduation Day, Common-Core Style!
Testman (Based on George Harrison's "Taxman")
Let me tell you how it will beThere's one for you, and none for me'Cause I'm the testmanYeah, I'm the testman Should seventy percent be too smallBe thankful I don't fail them all'Cause I'm the testmanYeah, I'm the testman If you fall to sleep,I'll test your dream.If you fail to pass,I'll test your scream.If you play a sport,I'll test your team.If you blow your lid,I'll test your steam(Testman) 'C

Choosing Democracy: Martin Luther King Jr. Economic Justice and Workers' Rights

Choosing Democracy: Martin Luther King Jr. Economic Justice and Workers' Rights:

Martin Luther King Jr. Economic Justice and Workers' Rights

by Thomas F. Jackson
In 1968, a united black community in Memphis stepped forward to support 1,300 municipal sanitation workers as they demanded higher wages, union recognition, and respect for black personhood embodied in the slogan “I Am a Man!” Memphis’s black women organized tenant and welfare unions, discovering pervasive hunger among the city’s poor and black children. They demanded rights to food and medical care from a city and medical establishment blind to their existence.
That same month, March 1968, 100 grassroots organizations met in Atlanta to support Martin Luther King’s dream of a poor people’s march on Washington. They pressed concrete demands for economic justice under the slogan “Jobs or Income Now!” King celebrated the “determination by poor people of all colors” to win their human rights. “Established powers of rich America have deliberately exploited poor people by isolating them in ethnic, nationality, religious and racial groups,” the delegates declared.

So when King came to Memphis to support the strike, a local labor and community struggle became intertwined with his dream of mobilizing a national coalition strong enough to reorient national priorities from imperial war in  Vietnam to domestic reconstruction, especially in America’s  riot-torn cities. To non-poor Americans, King called for a “revolution of values,” a move from self-seeking to service, from property rights to human rights.

King’s assassination—and the urban revolts that followed—led to a local Memphis settlement that furthered the cause of public employee unionism. The Poor People’s March nonviolently won small concessions in the national food stamp program. But reporters covered the bickering and squalor in the poor people’s tent city, rather than the movement’s detailed demands for waging a real war on poverty. Marchers wanted guaranteed public employment when the private sector failed, a raise in the federal minimum wage, a national income floor for all families, and a national commitment to reconstruct cities blighted by corporate disinvestment and white flight. And they wanted poor people’s 

Nite Cap 1-18-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2


James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




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WSJ Hides Conflict Of Interest In Campbell Brown's Latest Teacher Union Smear | Blog | Media Matters for America
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Morning Wink 1-18-14 AM Posts #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
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Common Ground is not so Common | Ward 8 DC Teacher
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James Baldwin said it best: "For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAPPA Gov. Cancels School Visit to Avoid Protesters | National Opportunity to Learn Campaign | Education Reform for Equity and OpportunityPA Gov. Cancels School Visit to Avoid Protesters | National Opportunity to Learn Campaign | Education Reform fo



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