Instead, the college admissions scandal should draw attention to a different problem: That the companies that develop and administer standardized tests have no empirical basis for placing such an emphasis on speed. Yet these companies do put a terrible premium on speed, even though the notion that faster is better has been debunked: In fact, a student’s scores on such exams correlate in a perfect linear relationship with socio-economic status rather than with a student’s ability to solve difficult problems.

Stringently timed, high-stake tests have an adverse impact against racial minorities, women, those with low socio-economic status, non-native speakers of English, older applicants, and people with disabilities. Of course, that adverse impact is further exacerbated when the ultra-wealthy cheat to inflate their children’s scores.

Source: What the College Admissions Scandal Reveals About Disability, Speed, and Standardized Tests – Pacific Standard

much education research takes the form of collecting data on people’s ability to learn nonsense.

where scientific theory conflicts strongly with the basic empathic responses of ordinary people, history (and Jane Goodall) would suggest that it’s a good idea to pay attention to those conflicts.

There’s an Orwellian quality to the spectacle of cognitive scientists reasoning from their own inability to meaningfully address the differences in our children to a finding that our children don’t have meaningful differences after all.

What needs to be noted here is how the claim that LEARNING STYLES DON’T EXIST has morphed directly and explicitly into a claim about lower intelligence in certain children.

The question, then, is this: is there a scientific reason we should assume every difference is a deficit until proven otherwise?

Or is there a historical reason that difference was framed as deficit from the beginning, intentionally, to perpetuate and justify a hierarchical society of winners and losers?

So before we uncritically accept the debunkers’ claim that the scientific research supports a One-Style-Fits-All approach to instruction, we should stop and ask ourselves: “Who invented that One Style? Who succeeds by it, and who fails? What historical power structures does it emanate from, and whose power does it perpetuate and reproduce?

The logic goes like this:

What “works?” Direct instruction. How do we know? Tests. Who designs the tests? The same people who have always designed the tests.

Source: Science / Fiction — Carol Black

My experiences with first-year and upper-level writing instruction have further confirmed that if you are grading, you may not be teaching.

Specifically, teaching citation and scholarly writing has revealed a problem that directly exposes why grading often works against our instructional goals.

First, let me stress again that the essential problems with grading include how traditional practices (such as assigning grades that are averaged for quarter and/or semester grades that are then averaged for course grades) tend to blur the distinction between summative and formative grades, inhibiting often the important role of feedback and student revision of assignments.

The blurring of formative and summative grades that occurs in averaging, as I have confronted often, deforms teaching and learning because students are being held accountable during the learning process (and thus discouraged from taking risks).

To briefly review the problems with grades and averaging, let me offer again what my major professor argued: Doctors do not take a patient’s temperature readings over a four-day stay in the hospital in order to average them, but does consider the trajectory of those readings, drawing a final diagnosis on the last reading (or readings). Thus, averaging is a statistical move that distorts student growth, deforms the value of reaching a state of greater understanding.

I struggle to break through students resisting the drafting, feedback, revision process because they have been taught to submit instantly perfect work; that their identifiable flaws are the loss of points-not necessary areas to learn, grow, and excel.

As I end my thirty-fourth year teaching, I cannot stress hard enough that if you are grading, you may not be teaching, and your students likely are not learning the very things you value enough to assess.

Source: If You Are Grading, You May Not Be Teaching | radical eyes for equity

The most salient feature of the United States Public School System – both yesterday and today – is naked, unapologetic segregation.

Whether it be in 1954 when the Supreme Court with Brown v. Boardmade it illegal in word or today when our schools have continued to practice it in deed. In many places, our schools at this very moment are more segregated than they were before the Civil Rights movement.

That’s just a fact.

But what’s worse is that we don’t seem to care.

And what’s worse than that is we just finished two terms under our first African American President – and HE didn’t care. Barack Obama didn’t make desegregation a priority. In fact, he supported legislation to make it worse.

Charter schools, voucher schools, high stakes standardized testing, strategic disinvestment – all go hand-in-hand to keep America Separate and Unequal.

Social segregation leads to institutional segregation which leads to generational, systematic white supremacy.

If there is one unstated axiom of our American Public School System it is this: the worst thing in the world would be black and white children learning together side-by-side.

Source: The Different Flavors of School Segregation | gadflyonthewallblog

My experiences with first-year and upper-level writing instruction have further confirmed that if you are grading, you may not be teaching.

Specifically, teaching citation and scholarly writing has revealed a problem that directly exposes why grading often works against our instructional goals.

First, let me stress again that the essential problems with grading include how traditional practices (such as assigning grades that are averaged for quarter and/or semester grades that are then averaged for course grades) tend to blur the distinction between summative and formative grades, inhibiting often the important role of feedback and student revision of assignments.

The blurring of formative and summative grades that occurs in averaging, as I have confronted often, deforms teaching and learning because students are being held accountable during the learning process (and thus discouraged from taking risks).

To briefly review the problems with grades and averaging, let me offer again what my major professor argued: Doctors do not take a patient’s temperature readings over a four-day stay in the hospital in order to average them, but does consider the trajectory of those readings, drawing a final diagnosis on the last reading (or readings). Thus, averaging is a statistical move that distorts student growth, deforms the value of reaching a state of greater understanding.

I struggle to break through students resisting the drafting, feedback, revision process because they have been taught to submit instantly perfect work; that their identifiable flaws are the loss of points-not necessary areas to learn, grow, and excel.

As I end my thirty-fourth year teaching, I cannot stress hard enough that if you are grading, you may not be teaching, and your students likely are not learning the very things you value enough to assess.

Source: If You Are Grading, You May Not Be Teaching | radical eyes for equity

“Bottom line: Every teacher should be in favor of the Opt Out movement.”

“Every educator should opt out their own children from the tests.”

“Imagine if every teachers union in the country routinely sent open letters to all parents asking them to opt their kids out! What an impact that would make!”

Competency Based Education is a real problem that threatens to make everyday test day – I’ll go with you there. In fact, schemes like Personalized Learning could transform every app into an opportunity to test kids without them even knowing it.

Yet standardized tests do all of these things! They dishonestly give higher scores to rich kids and lower scores to poor kids.

We serve the parents and children of the community. If they say they don’t want their children tested in this way, we should listen to them.

why are you defending these tests? They are used by charter and voucher schools as “proof” that the public schools are failing.

These tests are used to justify unfairly evaluating YOUR work, narrowing YOUR curriculum, repealing YOUR union protections, reducing YOUR autonomy, cutting YOUR funding, and ultimately laying YOU off.

Why are you standing up for THAT?

Most teachers are rule followers at heart. When we were in school, we were the obedient students. We were the people-pleasers. We got good grades, kept our heads down and didn’t make waves.

But the qualities that often make for the highest grades don’t often translate into action. That, alone, should tell you something about the limits of assessment which are only exacerbated by standardized test scores. When it comes to complex concepts, it’s hard to assess and even harder to determine if success on assessments is a predictor of future success.

The tech moguls and the testing giants are salivating over the prospect of replacing us with apps and low-skilled, low paid babysitters to oversee students hunched over computers and tablets. (See? Told you Personalized Learning was poison.)

We shouldn’t be helping them destroy our own profession by advocating for the same tests they’re using as a tool in our destruction.

Source: Every Public School Teacher Should Support Opting Out of Standardized Tests | gadflyonthewallblog