The test whisperer

Can anyone really take this seriously?

Guy is a rancher, develops a program to boost test scores based on how he relates to his horses. It has something to do with trust, but apparently a lot more to do with teaching to the lump of sugar.

The Tribune reports that “school turnaround guru” Dennis Parker “insists that teachers cover all content in the state tests. Many do not, he said, because they follow textbooks that don’t include everything California students need to know.”

Um, you mean, need to know ON THE TEST.

Parker pushes teachers to have all students answer all questions; for example, by having them reply in unison. Doing so allows students to answer as many as 7,000 questions in the classroom per year, compared with 300 if called on individually, he said.

On Aguirre’s walls: a chart of every algebra concept the state expects students to know, with check marks next to those covered. A-plus, according to Parker.

“What gets taught is the single biggest predictor of student performance,” he said.

Um, I think you mean performance ON THE TEST.

Come on, folks. This is what education is about? I thought it was a big scandal back when I saw that the Illinois State Board of Education identified certain of its state standards as “suitable for testing,” and developed a state assessment framework around those items. They urged districts not to use that framework as the curriculum, but really – teaching to the test was never made so easy. (Downloadable PDF on “What’s Testable” here).

I fondly remember Roy Rogers getting Trigger to shake his beautiful big head “yes” or “no” to questions, and paw the answer to simple math questions. Who knew that Roy was a groundbreaking educator?

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.