professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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Education Deformers

Followed a link on Facebook to a story about a Florida 3rd grader who was kept from promotion to 4th grade because she scored one point below the cut off score for the FCAT. Here is the link to the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/04/good-student-laela-gray-held-back-over-1-point-on-test/.

Now, I need to begin this post by stating some cold, hard facts. It is possible to get a "B" in my class. I often receive pleading emails from students who argue that they are ONE point from an "A". My response is that they missed FORTY ONE points to arrive at a "B", and the "B" stands. However, I know how the state tests run in terms of cut off scores. At least, I know how this works in Texas. The cut off score, the score for passing is set after the test is taken. It is not a matter of 70% correct on a test is passing or any other percentage. I must admit that I am still puzzled by the psychometrics of this scoring. I guess it is rather like a curve. And throwing curves at kids seems to be something education DEFORMERS do not have trouble doing at all.

Education DEFORMERS are right on line with Commissioner King from NYC. Commissioner King has cancelled future PTA meetings citing some parent groups have been co-opted by special interests. Here is the link to that article: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/state-education-chief-suspends-li-town-hall-meeting-1.6246532. Yes, no need for talk here. Parents who object to CCSS need not come to open meetings for an exchange of views and opinions. This is definitely educational DEFORM at its best.

The piece ends with this paragraph: "The Education Department released data Aug. 7 showing that more than 60 percent of students in grades 3-8 in Nassau and Suffolk scored below proficiency on the tests, nearly double from the previous year." And here is the unkindest deform (deformation?) of all: we will label kids as failures for the good of the deformation.

I think calling this a deform movement is much more descriptive given the huge failure rate on the new assessments (which we were told to expect no less), the criteria that seems to shift depending on who is doing the talking, the narrowing of the curriculum, and the lack of understanding at the very root of this all about how children develop.

Could we reform the deformers?
Tags: assessments, ccss, deform, idiocy, reform
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