Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More on Charters, Choice and Public Schools

Playing the Percentages
1995, what percentage of students attended traditional public schools vs. all other non-traditional public schools?
2013 - How do the numbers compare?
2025 - What do you think they will look like?

Maybe this will help your thinking: http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/scott-walker-proposes-expanding-voucher-school-program-raising-taxpayer-support-r08r2ds-191761311.html

We need to have the leadership talked of in these books:
Leadership on the Line by Ronald Heifetz
Leadership Can be Taught by Sharon Daloz Parks

The ability to, while in the field, step out of it and view it.  As Heifetz calls it, be on the balcony.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Danielson's Effective Educator Framework Testing - Done!

Effective Educator Training - After Test #2
Wisconsin has adopted the Charlotte Danielson Framework for evaluating teachers.  It is being piloted in 12-13 and 13-14, to be implemented state-wide in 2014-15.  As part of my work at the University, I was able to undergo the training these last couple of months.  I just passed the 2-part exam, which took me over 7 hours total.  All training and the examination are done online.

OK, let's do a Keep-Start-Stop.

Level 4 in the Danielson represents a transformation in the classroom, if done in spirit and letter.  Students have voice, students own learning, and students create a community.  If schools - teachers and principals - partner, looking at the classroom developmentally along the continuum of student community voice, great things will result.  For kids.

The numbers.  Within a domain, on the many videotapes of classroom teaching, the observer sees critical attributes (Danielson terms) in multiple levels during the same observation.  So, a teacher is not a number, but a practitioner developing critical attributes on a continuum toward a transformed classroom.  Frankly, I worry the number will impede the developmental potential of the Framework.

Implement the Danielson model as a developmental continuum, transforming:
- the teacher-student relationship.
- student-learning relationship.
- the approach to content.
- classroom as community of learners.

Oh, by the way, I passed.
And, this blog has been deemed a high 2.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wis. - What are they gonna do with this data system??

Who gets the contract is secondary!
The purpose of the data system is what is telling.
"A common system also could assign teachers a unique identifier, allowing for richer data about their records of performance." para. 9
"The DPI seeks to raise the level of student performance by collecting data from all schools on everything from enrollment and student absences to discipline records and test score results." para. 8

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Effective Educator Training - I'd give this blog a 2.

Effective Educator Training - Round 1

Happy part:  I passed the 1st half, a 3-hour examination.  I am doing this as part of my position in the Master's in Educational Leadership Department at the University. 

Our students will be required to do this as Principals in the State of Wisconsin, so they need this training.

Sad part:  I was required, as a part of the test, to watch videos and assign a number to the teacher's performance for each one of Charlotte Danielson's domain. What is it with us and these numbers??!!!
I was torn.  Teachers are not a 4, 3, 2, or 1 in each domain.  It is just not true.  Teachers teach kids in a complex, vibrant, dynamic of individuals.  Reducing their teaching/behaviors/trials to a number is simplistic, non-informative, and insulting.

But, next Saturday, round 2.  Like stacking MAP testing and VAM on top of WKCE.  Where will this proliferation of the numeralization of human behavior take us?

By the way, I give this blog a 2.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Needing Eggs and VAM

First this:

Then this:

Which got me to thinking of the end of an old movie, Annie Hall.  As I remember it, at the end Woody Allen is standing alone on camers, and tells this story:
A guy walks into a Doctor's office and says: "Doctor! Doctor! You've got to help me!  My wife thinks she's a chicken!
The Doctor replies, "You'd better get her some help.
The guy states, "I would but I need the eggs!"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Damaging Assumptions

Just a few educational assumptions that damage kids today:

* Good test scores = good schools.

* Adults are in control of what and when kids learn.

* Data is numbers.

* All of human behavior can be computerized.

* There are only 4 possible options for a student to respond to a standardized question.

* And, there is one best response for all students, and that is the right answer.

* Standardized test scores are the best predictors of future academic performance and future success.

* You must give kids a standardized test in order to evaluate the teacher.

* To improve student academic performance, you need to test them more.

Got any to add?

Monday, December 31, 2012

Where Test Insiders and Data Wonks Meet

StandardizedTests: Rotten at the Core

First, from test insider Todd Farley, who has worked for a testing company:
"there’s also the fundamental problem with getting twenty people to score a hundred thousand tests in any standardized way, especially in some two-week time frame. It just can’t happen. The students’ responses are too varied, unusual, unique."

Then, from the "data wonks" at a recent MIT conference:
"The problem is that a math model, like a metaphor, is a simplification. This type of modeling came out of the sciences, where the behavior of particles in a fluid, for example, is predictable according to the laws of physics.
In so many Big Data applications, a math model attaches a crisp number to human behavior, interests and preferences. The peril of that approach, as in finance, was the subject of a recent book by Emanuel Derman, a former quant at Goldman Sachs and now a professor at Columbia University. Its title is “Models. Behaving. Badly.”
The rest of these posts each contain great information, supporting information.  The 2 quotes above show how two distinct groups, independently, show the basic fallacy that underlies standardized assessment:
"Humans don't behave that way!"