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NCLB Outrages

The LEARN Act and NCTE

Ohanian Comment: Kudos to Fresno teacher Joe Lucido for providing such a cogent reply to NCTE's collaboration on the LEARN act.

You can--and should--weigh in too. Go here.

They are stealing our professionalism. YOU need to help take it back! NOW.

by Joseph Lucido

As a fifth grade teacher, let me tell you how "formative" assessments have affected my classroom:

1) They are NOT teacher driven or created at all anymore; that's left in the hands of publishers hoping to make billions.

2) They do NOT tell me what I need to know about how my students are doing. Why? Because they are made now to look like our state high stakes test so we can have 'predictable' outcomes. They don't really tell me what my kids can do.

3) They have destroyed nearly every semblance of teacher creativity and necessary flexibilities that are required to teach ever changing student populations.

4) "Systematic" approaches have now become 'direct instruction' for nearly every lesson taught; we have become robotic in what we do in the classroom. The kids are paying a very heavy price for it in terms of a lost, full rounded education.

5) Hours upon hours are now spent analyzing scores at my school, leaving no time for real collaboration (a successful learning/planning strategy in other countries!) with things that might actually help the students.

The GAO just released a report stating that the high stakes testing focus of NCLB is causing damage, just as Reading First has. Wake up! Senator Feingold stated, "This report reaffirms my concern that the No Child Left Behind Law's one-size-fits-all approach and heavy focus on high-stakes testing is causing problems in schools, particularly schools that serve our most disadvantaged students. The study found that problematic teaching practices like teaching to the test and spending more time on test preparation are happening more frequently in high-poverty and high-minority schools, many of which already have less access to high-quality teachers and resources than more affluent schools. "

The message from NCTE is that there will be more flexibility and motivation for kids to read and write.

No way. They are bored out of their minds.

Because the 'formative' tests come from the publishers, all the writing and reading is based around them; there is little to no freedom to be original about anything from the students' perspective. This ideology is a mirage of rhetoric.

We are ruining the education of our students, especially the poorest, with NCLB's 'systematic' implosion of public schools. NCTE's ridiculous stand will not help either.

— Joseph Lucido
NCTE ning


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