professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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HELP Wanted

Wanted: writers for test items. So ran an ad recently asking for people to apply for positions writing items for tests. College degree was “preferred.” Insert scream here.

It seems to those who are making money from education reform that there is no need for experience when it comes to creating or scoring tests. Craigslist is a fine place to locate people to perform these tasks. Monitoring test administration, on the other hand, requires someone with a teaching certificate. What message does this send? Well, it sends several from my perspective.

One message is that companies are perfectly happy to outsource what they consider to be the menial, unimportant aspects of testing: creating test items and scoring essays. These are corporations are being paid billions to create and evaluate these tests, but somehow they believe that anyone off the street can be trained to write and grade. Sadly, this
Is simply a reflection of their view of teachers: anyone can be trained to do what we do.

Kylene Beers wrote a perfect post on Facebook encouraging teachers to begin designing plays for the NBA and NFL. Why not tell you doctor what is wrong with you and what he should prescribe or guide the surgeon’s hands as he removes your appendix?

This dismissive attitude about the role educators play, about the skills teachers need to possess to be effective, about the education (not training) we receive is why these reforms have been pushed through with little or no thought. Remember that most states adopted CCSS when it was rolled out. Forget that there were no teachers involved in the planning or writing or reviewing of the standards. Forget that there have been numerous reports of the developmental inappropriateness of the standards. Forget that they are being implemented
In ways that destroy teacher autonomy and that even misinterpret the standards. Forget that these actions will harm an entire generation of kids in schools.

And this, I think, is the ultimate betrayal in this reform-y, corporate education movement: the lack of focus on the kids. Kids, as others have written, are not widgets. Schools are not an assembly line. An education is not a product. Learning (and teaching) is a process. Emphasis of late seems to be entirely on the cognitive. The affective component of education has been lost in this “race to the top,” standards-based, “no one gives a s*%t about your story (that's, David Coleman, for your total dismissal of the person sitting in the classroom and her or his own li) atmosphere.

I hope folks will call out Pearson and other corporations for this total lack of respect for the testing process.
Tags: corporate learning
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