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Breaking News! Kids Set to Firebomb Teachers in Tennessee!

Ohanian Comment:
Report on High-Stakes Cheating by Educators Released! Month Long NAREN Survey and Study Produces Eye-Opener

Here's an excerpt:

Education is not a sport. School is not a sport. Academic learning is not a sport. Right? Why can you and I clearly understand that, but our own federal and state governments cannot? Tell me that we have not elected people so dense they cannot tell the difference between a sports score and an academic score. PLEASE tell me that our national security, health security, social security and border security, plus our countryĂ¢€™s economic security in the world, is not being directed by people who cannot tell an NFL game field with 22 players from a 4th grade class with 22 students. Please tell me that the country with the supposedly brightest scientists, and the first and only country to land people on the moon, cannot -- in effect -- comprehend the opening paragraph of almost every book on classroom testing stating that the purpose of testing students is to improve instruction. It is to help teachers AND students ascertain what had and had not been learned from the course content. Period. Our politicians --who now have way too much say about academic achievement -- do not seem to comprehend the purpose of testing. They think that children competing against one another's schools for the highest average test score is a good thing!

In the world of American public education, we have now lowered ourselves to giving top accolades to schools who "beat" other schools in test score gains. And, it is important to see that this competition between schools has nothing to do with the curriculum or academic subject matter Ă¢€“nor does it help.

Thank you, Bill Gates

by Anthony Dallmann-Jones

August 1, 2011 Ă¢€” NAREN Central Office has released a startling and revealing report after administering a survey to a sampling of American teachers and administrators in early July of this year. Initiated by a bonfire of a story out of Atlanta where 178 educators in an organized "ring" were caught changing high-stakes testing scores. Similar stories out of Houston, Baltimore, and other cities began to surface. Newer allegations came forth regarding investigations of cheating by teachers in schools connected to the Race to the Top, high-stakes testing, merit-pay, and paying teachers based on test scores -- even a SINGLE test score! Backed by and urged on by Arne Duncan, secretary of Education, and some larger figures in the news such as Bill Gates, Michele Rhee and big testing corporations birthed a movie titled "Waiting for Superman," which basically said US schools were going to hell, and the call was for more pressure on teachers to perform. A reactionary film, "Race to Nowhere," surfaced last year claiming that kids were under too much pressure as is. Then the cheating scandals illustrating the pressure on teachers finally encouraged our survey.

This 27-page report includes quotes from over 30 educators about the problems being caused by overemphasizing testing as a panacea for what ails our schools. The report shows clearly the opposite, i.e., the cure is worse than the disease. This report by Anthony S. Dallmann-Jones, PhD, NAREN Director, is available here. Names of teachers and administrators have been deleted to respect requests for anonymity. It will be apparent why this is needed.

"Obviously no one understands highschool kids and how they think. Next year Tennessee will base 50% of its evaluation, merit pay, promotion and retention on these state tests. A teacher found out from his son who is in a local high school that the kids have already circulated a list of teachers who they will be "fire bombing" by deliberately messing up their tests in hopes of getting the teachers fired. The kids have found out it doesn't effect their grades so they have formed these 'Fire Bomb Lists' to deliberately screw up the tests with the wrong answers to get the teachers fired. Any teacher who puts a lot of pressure on them will go on the list, no doubt. My guess is you are going to have a LOT of sweet-talking teachers this year!"
-- Tennessee HS Teacher

— Anthony Dallmann-Jones


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