Your comments are most refreshing. I would surmise that as you read the missives of this list you likely feel you have fallen through the Alice in Wonderland hole & emerged into a weird nether-land where the sky is purple & many moons are in the perpetual heavens. A land fraught with danger - mafiosi, Ayatollahs, fraudsters and other assorted rascals. "Be afraid - be very afraid!"
To address your concern with assessments that seem to go nowhere, I offer the suggestion that they were never intended to go anywhere - the basic idea is that the tests themselves will lead to improved performance: the teachers will spend time prepping their students who will themselves "work harder". A sure fire technique to dampen any latent educational enthusiasm.
We have a screw ball out-fit up here in BC that collates test results on a school by school basis & ranks the schools. The idea being that schools will "try harder" to improve their ranking. Our district went into a breast-beating hair-tearing frenzy over the fact that our students were "below average" in literacy and mandated that teachers should develop strategies to improve and become "above average". As I look about me & overhear coffee shop conversations I cannot for the life of me see any reason why we would expect to be above average.
There are those who use the international tests in a similar fashion. I recall reading a comment from an American who was horrified to learn that the US ranked 32nd, I believe, in some international assessment. But where should they be? 45th?, 17th, 1st? I can only assume the fellow had bought into the concept of "American exceptional-ism" & presumed that the US should be in the top tier.
Gary Tupper, in sunny Canada
On 5/28/2012 5:08 PM, Anna Roys wrote: > Robert, > > No, we cannot save every student, but that does not mean we should > not try our best. > > In my last post, I was kind of ranting about one of my pet peeves - > schools administering assessments and then doing nothing with the > data - giving more assessments and then again, doing nothing with the > data - a useless cycle that is more about school, district, state and > national politics than increasing student achievement levels. > > Anna