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Thread: National Teacher of the Year: 'The revolution begins with us'

  1. #1

    National Teacher of the Year: 'The revolution begins with us'

    National Teacher of the Year: 'The revolution begins with us'


    By Donna Krache and Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

    (CNN) - The United States is obsessed with high-stakes testing that doesn't show whether teachers are masterful and students are knowledgeable, National Teacher of Year Rebecca Mieliwocki said to nearly 8,000 of her colleagues at the National Education Association annual meeting Thursday.

    "When we help a child reach proficiency at any grade level, we have changed the quality of that child's life and that community forever," she said. "But aiming for proficiency means we aim to create generations of children who are average."

    Instead, she said "people who haven't set foot in a classroom" should not be making decisions and policies about teaching, and teachers should be aiming to take all students - whether hungry, homeless, in the midst of their first crush or celebrating the big game - beyond the test.

    "We have got to stop talking about testing and start talking more about developing, supporting and celebrating teachers," she said. "Teachers are the architects of the change we've been waiting for. We've forgotten what a teacher can do that a standardized test can't."

    Standing before the delegates as “one teacher, symbolizing millions,” Mieliwocki told the assembly: “We may have forgotten how important our teachers were in restoring America's public education system but it's not too late to shift our focus to what really matters.

    "If we want real change, lasting change, if we want back the power, the pride, the soaring achievement that is an exceptional public education, then the revolution begins with us."

    How Mieliwocki used business experience to transform classroom

    Mieliwocki, an English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, California, was honored by President Barack Obama as 2012 National Teacher of the Year in a White House ceremony in April.

    "You have been born with a gift for teaching and you've been given the gift of working with children. You have a front row seat to the future,” Mieliwocki said in her speech. “You build that future one child at a time.”

    In an e-mailed response to Mieliwocki's speech, Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, said testing remains an important tool for taxpayers - and teachers.

    "The teachers unions should do more than talk the talk when it comes to accountability and education; they should walk the walk," Enlow said. "There is certainly more to accountability than just testing, but that doesn't mean we should not be accountable for test results. Testing students is a critically important tool for teachers, and one of the most transparent ways that parents can discover whether their children are learning and whether taxpayers are getting their money's worth."
    I will agree with her, that people who have not set foot in a classroom (as a Teacher assumedly) should not tell Teachers how to teach.

    If.....

    Conversely, Teachers stop telling Taxpayers how their taxes must be spent, stop pretending they (the teachers) are All-knowing Doctors of Economics, Politics, Labor Law *& Public Policy, and start understanding that the taxpayer demands certain outcomes, just as we do from every other profession.

    Understand that, and I'm happy to let teachers teach their way, I encourage it. But fail to meet your employer (the taxpayers) expectations or requirements, and you (like all of us) can and should be fired.

    Education is a two way relationship, between taxpayers who pay, and teachers who work for us. I'm not against teachers or education, quite the contrary. What I am against is the assumption that this two-way relationship should only work one way, we pay, they take, and we taxpayers can go **** ourselves.

    Sorry, no.

  2. #2
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    The United States is obsessed with high-stakes testing that doesn't show whether teachers are masterful and students are knowledgeable,
    +1

    Testing only tests the automatons ability to answer questions.

    If answering questions correctly is a measure of intelligence, then Google is smarter than Einstein.

    Students aren't failing because of teachers or lack of funding. Students are failing because the gene pool has been polluted with undesirables thanks to modern medicine. Think of all the ER time spent patching morons up who almost killed themselves due to their own idiocy. Those people should be dead and not allowed to breed.

    We are dumb as a nation because we allow the dumb to reproduce.
    Last edited by PlumberKhan; 07-08-2012 at 01:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    +1

    Testing only tests the automatons ability to answer questions.

    If answering questions correctly is a measure of intelligence, then Google is smarter than Einstein.

    Students aren't failing because of teachers or lack of funding. Students are failing because the gene pool has been polluted with undesirables thanks to modern medicine. Think of all the ER time spent patching morons up who almost killed themselves due to their own idiocy. Those people should be dead and not allowed to breed.

    We are dumb as a nation because we allow the dumb to reproduce.
    How many kids do you have again?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Testing only tests the automatons ability to answer questions.
    So how would you measure sucess/failure in schools, if not testing knowledge of each classes material?

    If answering questions correctly is a measure of intelligence, then Google is smarter than Einstein.
    Answering questions correctly means, perhaps suprisingly, that the student knos the answer to the question, i.e. knows the material.

    I have to ask again, how would you determine sucess/failure in knowledge of the class material without testing?

    Students are failing because the gene pool has been polluted with undesirables thanks to modern medicine. Think of all the ER time spent patching morons up who almost killed themselves due to their own idiocy. Those people should be dead and not allowed to breed.

    We are dumb as a nation because we allow the dumb to reproduce.

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    "We have got to stop talking about testing and start talking more about developing, supporting and celebrating teachers," she said.

    Translation: shut up and give us more money. If your child fails, its all on him, not me.


    yup - got it. Its all for the children. Except its not.

  6. #6
    The teachers are failing, the parents or parent are failing and some of the children don't give a hoot. How do you fix it. Let each parent pay out of pocket for their own childs education. I think you will see a change if attitude.
    It is put up or shut up time in this country. Nothing is free NOTHING!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Answering questions correctly means, perhaps surprisingly, that the student knows the answer to the question, i.e. knows the material.
    Not necessarily. When I taught for Kaplan, one of the things we constantly taught students was how to eliminate wrong answers, backsolve to correct ones, and generally guess more intelligently. A right answer on a test is not necessarily the same thing as knowing the material.

    All that said, it's by far the best metric we have that I know of, and I'll take a flawed metric over no metrics any day of the week.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Not necessarily. When I taught for Kaplan, one of the things we constantly taught students was how to eliminate wrong answers, backsolve to correct ones, and generally guess more intelligently. A right answer on a test is not necessarily the same thing as knowing the material.

    All that said, it's by far the best metric we have that I know of, and I'll take a flawed metric over no metrics any day of the week.

    Ah, but if the question is not T/F, multiple choice or matching and requires an answer not appearing on the paper, that is a true test.
    Essays also demonstrate an understanding plus the ability to relate cause and effect. Another true test of understanding.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Not necessarily. When I taught for Kaplan, one of the things we constantly taught students was how to eliminate wrong answers, backsolve to correct ones, and generally guess more intelligently. A right answer on a test is not necessarily the same thing as knowing the material.

    All that said, it's by far the best metric we have that I know of, and I'll take a flawed metric over no metrics any day of the week.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Ah, but if the question is not T/F, multiple choice or matching and requires an answer not appearing on the paper, that is a true test.
    Essays also demonstrate an understanding plus the ability to relate cause and effect. Another true test of understanding.
    Also agreed.

    I think part of the problem IS the reliance on Standardized Testing as opposed to more accurate, but more diffiuclt to grade, written non-T/F, non-Multipel Choice type testing.

    Teachers like Copernicus forget that it was their profession who helped create and universalize the Standardized Test. Real testing of knowledge and understanding would be far more diffiuclt to grade, and hence require more time. A solution, I should stress, I am all in favor of.

    But if the "solution" is a move away from emtrics, a move away from grades (and student accountabillity and teacher evaluation), then no, I can't support such sillyness.

  10. #10
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    I teach history at a small branch campus in Michigan. I don't necessarily test them on dates and the like (though they have to be able to put things in chronological order). What I do test them on is critical thinking. Especially how events, people and ideas are connected, interpretations, etc.

    The sad thing is they can spit out all of he dates, names and "facts" (as they see them) but they can't think broadly or critically about any of it. Even the most obvious connections seem lost on them. I have heard from many 7-12 teachers that they have to teach to the tests (in Michigan called the M.E.A.P.) and sice they don't know from year to year what will be on the M.E.A.P, they have to pretty much try to touch on every historical subject of the class (American/World history)

    Now I am not going to debate the quality of the education the students receive before the come to me. Some I am sure are very good (though many of the ones I see that want to become teachers are horrible students) and some are very bad. I will say that for whatever reason, the students just can't think critically.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MnJetFan View Post
    The teachers are failing, the parents or parent are failing and some of the children don't give a hoot. How do you fix it. Let each parent pay out of pocket for their own childs education. I think you will see a change if attitude.
    It is put up or shut up time in this country. Nothing is free NOTHING!
    And what do you do if only 50% decide to pay?
    Is it in the nations interest to have an uneducated population?
    There is a reason why every civilized western nation in the world invests in a public education system. It is in everyones best interest to have educated citizens.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kennyo7 View Post
    And what do you do if only 50% decide to pay?
    Is it in the nations interest to have an uneducated population?
    There is a reason why every civilized western nation in the world invests in a public education system. It is in everyones best interest to have educated citizens.
    The question my friend is not one of "invest or not". We're invested, heavily, and that isn't changing.

    The question is twofold:

    1. Results. Despite massive investment, the results are subpar. How does that happen, how can it be addressed, and who is responsible?

    2. Accountabillity. How can we make students more accountable, teachers more accountable, and the entire system more accountable for all that money we taxpayers are investing.

    I agree with you completely, education is something I've never had an issue with having a Public/Govt. option. I'm not a fan of their virtual monopoly, but I'm all for public schools and public education being a priority for tax revenue spending. I agree, it's good for all of us to have an educated populace.

    What I take issue with is the lack of accountabillity in the system, and a continued move further away from accountabillity.

    If you (general you, not you specificly) want my tax dollar, I need some assurance it will be spent well, spent efficiently, those spending it will accountable for that spending, and that the results will be worth the dollar. Not worth $0.02 on the dollar.

    My issue with Governemnt is a nutshell, personified on the issue of educatin really.

    I do have other issues, in regards to priority of material being taught, bias in the classroom, and the like. But thats a different issue for a different discussion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennyo7 View Post
    It is in everyones best interest to....

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    So how would you measure sucess/failure in schools, if not testing knowledge of each classes material?
    Sadly the tests are no longer about what is taught in class...its been reversed.

    The class now is totally geared toward the test which is not created on the local level. It's created by a national testing company.

    I have no problem with part of a teachers performance (along with their principals review) being judged by test scores, but I don't like curriculum driven by outside forces.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2® View Post
    Sadly the tests are no longer about what is taught in class...its been reversed.

    The class now is totally geared toward the test which is not created on the local level. It's created by a national testing company.

    I have no problem with part of a teachers performance (along with their principals review) being judged by test scores, but I don't like curriculum driven by outside forces.
    Whats the problem with National-Set Minimums?

    We seem fine with that in many other aspects of our Citizen-to-Government relationships. Why not in education, don't we want every American educated to the same degree, and not a mish-mash of differing education standards (i.e. much room to do a worse job and call it "localism" or some other excuse for poor performance and poor education)?

    I also hear many complaints that fringe subjects, like Art, have taken a hit due to the current system. Look, I love Art and Music personally, but wouldn't Art Education be alot like Plastic surgery in a National State Healthcare system, an extra, a choice, not a core requirement of coverage?

    Reading. Writing. Math. Personal Finance. Home Economics. Personal Wellbeing/Health/Basic Biology (i.e. Sex Ed from a Science,. not Moral, Position). History. Science.

    There are core items every person needs to know to some degree or another to be a functional human being in modern society. History being the least needed of that group of course.

    Art? It's nice, I enjoyed it, but it's not a core to education. If something needs cut to meet the other req's, why not Art or similar "fluff" type subjects?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    The question my friend is not one of "invest or not". We're invested, heavily, and that isn't changing.
    You should read MnJetFan's post which is what I was responding to. He suggested that we eliminate public schools and let each parent pay out of pocket for their kids education. Do you agree with that notion?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kennyo7 View Post
    He suggested that we eliminate public schools and let each parent pay out of pocket for their kids education.

    Do you agree with that notion?
    Obviously not.

    While I'd like to see more options, alternatives and more competition......I would not support anything along the lines to an end of Public Schools. I Support Public Schools, just not every aspect of how they are run/operated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    +1

    Testing only tests the automatons ability to answer questions.

    If answering questions correctly is a measure of intelligence, then Google is smarter than Einstein.

    Students aren't failing because of teachers or lack of funding. Students are failing because the gene pool has been polluted with undesirables thanks to modern medicine. Think of all the ER time spent patching morons up who almost killed themselves due to their own idiocy. Those people should be dead and not allowed to breed.

    We are dumb as a nation because we allow the dumb to reproduce.
    +1

    I am all for human neutering.

    Also seems like the biggest morons have the most children.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I will agree with her, that people who have not set foot in a classroom (as a Teacher assumedly) should not tell Teachers how to teach.

    If.....

    Conversely, Teachers stop telling Taxpayers how their taxes must be spent, stop pretending they (the teachers) are All-knowing Doctors of Economics, Politics, Labor Law *& Public Policy, and start understanding that the taxpayer demands certain outcomes, just as we do from every other profession.

    Understand that, and I'm happy to let teachers teach their way, I encourage it. But fail to meet your employer (the taxpayers) expectations or requirements, and you (like all of us) can and should be fired.

    Education is a two way relationship, between taxpayers who pay, and teachers who work for us. I'm not against teachers or education, quite the contrary. What I am against is the assumption that this two-way relationship should only work one way, we pay, they take, and we taxpayers can go **** ourselves.

    Sorry, no.
    Awesome conversation Warfish, not surprised. Unfortunatly I am not around until next week. Will check back then and hopefully the conversation will be continuing.

    I will add that education seems to be the ONLY "two way relationship, between taxpayers who pay" of all the professions with too much power given to those outside the classroom with other agendas disregarding what is best for children.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by kennyo7 View Post
    And what do you do if only 50% decide to pay?
    Is it in the nations interest to have an uneducated population?
    There is a reason why every civilized western nation in the world invests in a public education system. It is in everyones best interest to have educated citizens.
    How come that doesn't work in the inner city. Most are as dumb as they started school. No wonder they cant find jobs! Besides that we spend trillions every year on public education and we are the laughing stock of the civilized world. People from Africa speak better English then some folks here.

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