kitchen table math, the sequel: advice for curriculum committees everywhere

Thursday, November 19, 2009

advice for curriculum committees everywhere

We've got so much going on here in town (posts t/k) that I'm only dimly aware of what is or is not happening at state & federal levels .... so I was surprised to discover this Daily News editorial yesterday while paging through looking at whatever it was I was looking at post-tennis lesson, no less.

I assume this is what they're referring to.
The Regents are authorizing the development of a performance-based approach to teacher certification and inviting – on a trial basis – new entities to prepare teachers for certification. As part of this new approach, the Regents will support the development of new performance-based assessments for teacher certification (including the eventual use of value-added assessment as a component of professional certification), will develop new methods to recruit and retain teachers for high needs schools in subject shortage areas and will allow additional content knowledge demonstrations for prospective teachers to bring new talent into the teaching field.
I'm interested to hear from teachers on this.

I would dearly love to see different teacher training programs (I'm guessing most teachers would dearly love to see different teacher training programs), and I think David Steiner is the person to do that.

But why does Kendall Hunt get off scot-free?

Or Heinemann?

Shouldn't these folks have to show a value-added value or two?

I guess this is a policy question, really. Targeting teacher-ed programs seems like a good idea to me. At least, it's a reasonably novel idea -- and I think that, historically speaking, a reform effort directed at medical schools may have had an enormous effect (yes?)

Data is good; value-added is good. In my view.

But targeting teacher ed programs and pushing through value-added measurements without reference to New York state's vendor-driven curricula is a different matter.

Have I ever mentioned my rule of thumb for school districts buying curricula?

Buy whatever homeschoolers are buying.


TerriW said...

Have I ever mentioned my rule of thumb for school districts buying curricula?

Buy whatever homeschoolers are buying.

Heh. Though you have to be pretty careful on this front. I live in MN, which for whatever reason is a very unschool-heavy state and, well, to paraphrase, man cannot live on alone.

Robin said...


One of the best overviews of the professionalization of medicine and the change to med school curriculum required is in Titan, the John D Rockefeller bio that one the Pulitzer.

It describes what was going on in medicine in the late 1800s, what he funded at Johns Hopkins and why, and how it changed what was studied and the training.

I have often thought of it on where ed schools need to go if learning now, like healing then, is to be the primary purpose.

Sara R said...

It's an idea that has promise. I would want to know who is judging the skills of the new teachers. If the current batch of educrats are also the judges, I think we'll keep getting the same results.

Lsquared said...

In edu-speak "performance based assessments", and "value added assessments" are things like portfolios that can only be assessed at all in a rather fuzzy way. I'm not ready to be impressed yet.

ChemProf said...

As Lsquared said, it matters what they mean. We are dealing with "assessment" -- far from a return to rigor, it can mean taking something simple (like you need a 90% average for an A) and turning into something much more vague (students must demonstrate proficiency in blah blah blah...). You can be pretty sure that "performance based assessments" doesn't mean exam grades.

lgm said...

I like this part:
"•An expedited pathway to encourage scientists, engineers, and mathematicians with doctoral degrees or Master’s degrees with higher education teaching experience to teach in our State’s high needs high schools."
At first, I thought there was a connection between IBM and the state...( maybe there is) trying to get laid off techies re-employed quickly rather than having them go thru the full-blown ed program, but that 'higher ed' teaching exp req't knocks most of them out. Maybe the driver is here somewhere: