kitchen table math, the sequel: teach to the middle redux

Saturday, July 21, 2007

teach to the middle redux

"We were told to cross off the kids who would never pass. We were told to cross off the kids who, if we handed them the test tomorrow, they would pass. And then the kids who were left over, those were the kids we were supposed to focus on."

source:
Is NCLB Leaving Children Behind?
via: Fordham Foundation


It's always worse than you think.


(for newbies, I'm pro-NCLB, with the occasional bout of exasperation.)

10 comments:

Founder said...

We were told to cross off the kids who, if we handed them the test tomorrow, they would pass.

Basically that quote says your best and brightest are ignored. How very sad and very wrong.

We were told to cross off the kids who would never pass.

How judgemental and arrogant to assume that because YOU cannot get someone to learn the material, they NEVER would. This is the group that may need alternative methods or maybe external support to learn to their innate potential.

Again, how very sad.

What solves this is ability grouping with the resolve and goal to raise everyone from where they are at, and not just to raise them so they jump over the bar that is artifically set so low.

Catherine Johnson said...

How judgemental and arrogant to assume that because YOU cannot get someone to learn the material, they NEVER would.

!!!!!!

Catherine Johnson said...

What solves this is ability grouping with the resolve and goal to raise everyone from where they are at, and not just to raise them so they jump over the bar that is artifically set so low.

It's been fun getting reacquainted with the behaviorists.

They are the ultimate never-say-diet eduators; they'll take on the hardest cases and figure something out IF THEY POSSIBLY CAN - and they always do, in my experience.

Founder said...

Catherine ... founder here ... so does this mean you liked my comments or not? Just asking, as I am an engineer by schooling, mom by current definition, and irate taxpayer at the current public school situation (especially in my Village).

:=)


I believe even old dogs can learn new tricks but they need a helluva teacher with whom they connect.

Catherine Johnson said...

oh I agree with you, absolutely!

Catherine Johnson said...

If I had to choose THE single worst thing an educator could do, it would be writing individual kids off as hopeless.

That's what I meant about behaviorists.

Behaviorists are the ultimate never-say-die folks. They'll tackle anything.

Catherine Johnson said...

My favorite Wrong Educator Judgment, though, (which ironically involves behaviorists...) is Irene Pepperberg and Alex the parrot.

For many, many years researchers tried to teach birds how to do various tasks, learn things, etc.

Birds never learned a thing in the lab.

Therefore, people concluded birds were "bird brains."

Irene Pepperberg came along and threw out the classic conditioning paradigm, replacing it withi Albert Bandura's social learning model. (I think it's called social learning...)

Alex the parrot now has the cognitive level of a 4 to 6 year old human child.

LynnG said...

Sometime ago I saw a story about a slightly loony lady that was rescuing chickens from slaughter.

I was baffled. Rescuing chickens from slaughter? But they're chickens!! I thought, that's what we do with chickens!

But this crazy old lady was having tea with her favorite chicken companions. And those chickens seemed to know what to do. They appeared to be nicely trained house companions.

Made me rethink my whole eating chickens thing.

Catherine Johnson said...

But this crazy old lady was having tea with her favorite chicken companions. And those chickens seemed to know what to do. They appeared to be nicely trained house companions.

yup

the further you go with ANIMALS....the more you read, the more you learn, the more you REFLECT....

the more you rethink your whole eating chickens thing

KarenA said...

My mom likes to tell the story about the pet rooster she had when she was growing up. "Cocky" would even ride on her bicycle handle bars.

At one point (the actual details escape me), Cocky was taken to the county 4-H fair. The intent was not that he be sold, however, but he somehow got mixed up with that group.

To make a long story short, my grandparents had to return to the fairgrounds and make their way through 300+ chickens in order to rescue Cocky.

As I write this story, I realize that I have some major gaps as to the actual details of this story, and I therefore need to follow up with my mom to see if I can't clarify a few things. I think that's another aspect of writing--when you put something on paper, you are trying to anticipate the questions that your reader might have and attempt to answer them.