PSSA stakes leave no child -- or educator -- behind -- Mathemat...

Mar 30, 2008 Read more: The Morning Call 63
Students will begin sitting down this week in classrooms across the state to take the much-hyped Pennsylvania System of School Assessment math and reading tests, but this year, the stakes are higher. Read more

“Crusader and Rags 4 ever !”

Since: Dec 07

Lukeapoo Junction

#23 Mar 30, 2008
Only an IGRONANT Preisdaent hoo mispronuncuates werds and youses them rong all the thyme in Bad waze wood suppert this typo law. It getz kids to think that stoodents just take testes to get ahed. They don't gotta lern nuthin from studiiing sins all they needs 2 due is tkae the tests. Then they trie an Go 2 Koledge and they don't due nuthin wright and they dont got the good gradz they dezerv sinz they didnt get lernd hau to studi.

Waazup with ths kinda rool?
My Thoughts

Macungie, PA

#24 Mar 30, 2008
toteachornot wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. I think it is ridiculous to teach soley based on how ONE test a year is graded. I think (and speaking as a teacher) the kids need to be TAUGHT the cirriculum based on the fact that it is basic skills they need to move on in school, NOT for some test that either makes or breaks you. Teachers should be teaching becasue they love to teach, not because they need to be evaluated based on PSSA's!
To the point of LV Reader and
ToTeachorNot.

I have a sixth grade son in the East Penn School District, and as we have previously been informed it is a "Good School District"...based on the PSSA results.
I submit to you IT IS NOT, due in no small part to the PSSA's. To teach to the test with little regard for critical thinking is effectively cheating our children.
I thank God I am fortunate enough to provide my child with additional oppotunities in his education beyond the "test preperation" he receives at East Penn.

To "toteachornot" keep up the GREAT work.

Anonymous

United States

#25 Mar 30, 2008
In our district the Math program in elementary and middle school is mostly working out of the PSSA Coach book.
Tell me thatís not teaching to the test.
So True

Telford, PA

#26 Mar 30, 2008
Ragland T Tiger wrote:
Only an IGRONANT Preisdaent hoo mispronuncuates werds and youses them rong all the thyme in Bad waze wood suppert this typo law. It getz kids to think that stoodents just take testes to get ahed. They don't gotta lern nuthin from studiiing sins all they needs 2 due is tkae the tests. Then they trie an Go 2 Koledge and they don't due nuthin wright and they dont got the good gradz they dezerv sinz they didnt get lernd hau to studi.
Waazup with ths kinda rool?
Ha Ha! Your post was enjoyable, and yet "oh-so-scary" because of its inherent truth.
Too Much Testing

Telford, PA

#27 Mar 30, 2008
loriella wrote:
The one thing I do want to know is if they go towards the students final grade in anything?
While the PSSAs don't influence kids' GPAs, they certainly do influence the kids in many other ways.

Unfortunately, these tests are spoken about and "taught to" starting in the elementary schools.

Those children who happen to live in an urban district will hear many times over how these tests will help determine how much money the government will give to the schools.
This results in far too many kids feeling stressed out for a situation which really should be fixed by the adults in society.
Christa

Plumsteadville, PA

#28 Mar 30, 2008
Has anyone actually looked at your student's PSSA "coaching book"? My daughter had one for math and one for language arts. Both were filled with misspellings and poorly-written questions. These books were a waste of my tax dollars and a substantial waste of her teacher's talents working through them.
I would love the test to evaluate what students actually know instead of what has been drilled into their heads to remember for a test.
She is so anxious about messing up on the test. I'm inclined to keep her out of school for the next ten days so she doesn't have to take the test at all.
This is one of the reasons I'm considering homeschooling my children next year.
LV Reader

Danielsville, PA

#29 Mar 30, 2008
My Thoughts wrote:
<quoted text>
To the point of LV Reader and
ToTeachorNot.
I have a sixth grade son in the East Penn School District, and as we have previously been informed it is a "Good School District"...based on the PSSA results.
I submit to you IT IS NOT, due in no small part to the PSSA's. To teach to the test with little regard for critical thinking is effectively cheating our children.
I thank God I am fortunate enough to provide my child with additional oppotunities in his education beyond the "test preperation" he receives at East Penn.
To "toteachornot" keep up the GREAT work.
When thousands of students are tested, the results are used to "generalize" the student population. Your child may not be a typical student.
I understand that many schools "teach to the test". I don't know if that is a good thing or not. But when your child graduates from high school, he will be competing against every other student in the state to move on to college. What is the tool to assess his skill....the SAT.
Now do you want to wait until your child is in 12th grade to find out that he is behind his peers? Wouldn't you want to know where your child stands? Wouldn't you want to know how your school system compares?

I'm not saying that the PSSA are the perfect solution, but what is the alternative?
LV Reader

Danielsville, PA

#30 Mar 30, 2008
Christa wrote:
Has anyone actually looked at your student's PSSA "coaching book"? My daughter had one for math and one for language arts. Both were filled with misspellings and poorly-written questions. These books were a waste of my tax dollars and a substantial waste of her teacher's talents working through them.
I would love the test to evaluate what students actually know instead of what has been drilled into their heads to remember for a test.
She is so anxious about messing up on the test. I'm inclined to keep her out of school for the next ten days so she doesn't have to take the test at all.
This is one of the reasons I'm considering homeschooling my children next year.
If your child is struggling to handle competition, then you are not doing a very good job. Stop looking for someone to blame and take stock of your actions. Life is competition and you don't always win. The importance should be to do your best.
Have you tried using the test as a tool to measure your child's performance? What's wrong with finding out that you are not the smartest kid in PA.
Mom55

Doylestown, PA

#31 Mar 30, 2008
As a parent of a teacher of Autistic children, I see a real complex problem with the "No child left behind act." This act has done nothing to help the children with any learning disabilities except take more money from the school districts to "teach" a test. The teachers are extremely frustrated because they cannot teach effectively.
This law also expects the Autistic, special needs and learning disabled children to pass the test the same as other children and does not give them any special accommodations.

You tell me if a severly autistic child can pass the same exact test as a child without any learning disabilities.

This is George Busch's law to make his wife happy. How many realize she never taught 1 child. She was a libiarian!
They do teach

Palmerton, PA

#32 Mar 30, 2008
Mom55 wrote:
This is George Busch's law to make his wife happy. How many realize she never taught 1 child. She was a libiarian!
I'm not sure where you went to school (or learned how to spell), but my daughter's librarian teaches the kids lessons on a regular basis, from the basics like fiction vs. nonfiction to in-depth stuff like plagiarism.
Pocono Bob

Honesdale, PA

#33 Mar 30, 2008
toteachornot wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. I think it is ridiculous to teach soley based on how ONE test a year is graded. I think (and speaking as a teacher) the kids need to be TAUGHT the cirriculum based on the fact that it is basic skills they need to move on in school, NOT for some test that either makes or breaks you. Teachers should be teaching becasue they love to teach, not because they need to be evaluated based on PSSA's!
I could not agree more with you..I feel we have many teachers out there just for the dollar..It is a job they can do with thier children in school.I find nothing wrong with being a teacher if you really love children and do the job to the best of your ability.. I think we should be teaching the basic skills,if learned the PSSA test will result in good scores.
My Thoughts

Macungie, PA

#34 Mar 30, 2008
LV Reader wrote:
<quoted text>
When thousands of students are tested, the results are used to "generalize" the student population. Your child may not be a typical student.
I understand that many schools "teach to the test". I don't know if that is a good thing or not. But when your child graduates from high school, he will be competing against every other student in the state to move on to college. What is the tool to assess his skill....the SAT.
Now do you want to wait until your child is in 12th grade to find out that he is behind his peers? Wouldn't you want to know where your child stands? Wouldn't you want to know how your school system compares?
I'm not saying that the PSSA are the perfect solution, but what is the alternative?
Perhaps I'm just "old school"!
I just believe there is entirely too much emphasis on the PSSA's.
A report card seemed to suffice when I went to school as a measure of progress.I simply think too much valuable time is squandered on "teaching to the test" when there is so much to cover to allow these kids to be competitive.
I do however appreciate your point of view...it illustrates concern which is a start to a better system.
Wannabe Editor

Bethlehem, PA

#35 Mar 30, 2008
I would rather see a student have an option to do something other than a test. Wouldn't it be more beneficial if a student would graduate with a graded portfolio than a score on a test.

Someone mentioned the SAT being the test that gets one into college. According to law you do not actually HAVE to take the SAT there are other ways to fulfill that requirement.

I'm not opposed with the test if it were administered accordingly, comparing for example how the class of 2009 did last year, how they did this year and how they do next year.

As a music teacher the idea of teaching to the test is similar to music lessons. Some music teachers work only on band music during lessons. I've always worked out of our lesson book because if a student knows what they need to from the lesson book it will transfer over to "the test" or the performance in band rehearsals and later the concert. We do work out of the band music on occasion in lessons, but that is the exception not the rule.

I don't believe in teaching to the test. But let's face it, when the test is as important as it is and when the comparison that's made is as inequitable as it is, what can you do?

NCLB needs a major revamping. The idea is good, but the goals are unattainable and the comparisons don't make sense.
FHS student

Allentown, PA

#36 Mar 30, 2008
My friends and I have discussed the PSSA and we will not take this test serious. We are tired of these type tests. We think if the state needs and or want to know how we are doing, they should look at our grades from the classes that are being taught each day and not a test with questions that we haven't even reviewed. So when the BASD get low grades for the 11th grade PSSA, don't take it personally.
just me

Emmaus, PA

#37 Mar 30, 2008
This is George Busch's law to make his wife happy. How many realize she never taught 1 child. She was a libiarian!

What?? I guess as a librarian, I'm only pretending to teach over 700 kids in 30 classes every week.
just me

Emmaus, PA

#38 Mar 30, 2008
My Thoughts wrote:
<quoted text>
To the point of LV Reader and
ToTeachorNot.
I have a sixth grade son in the East Penn School District, and as we have previously been informed it is a "Good School District"...based on the PSSA results.
I submit to you IT IS NOT, due in no small part to the PSSA's. To teach to the test with little regard for critical thinking is effectively cheating our children.
I thank God I am fortunate enough to provide my child with additional oppotunities in his education beyond the "test preperation" he receives at East Penn.
To "toteachornot" keep up the GREAT work.
It wasn't teachers who came up with the high stakes tests our districts are using. Talk to the administrators who are telling the teachers what to teach, not the teachers. They'd get rid of the tests in a heartbeat!
BID

Bath, PA

#39 Mar 30, 2008
toteachornot wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. I think it is ridiculous to teach soley based on how ONE test a year is graded. I think (and speaking as a teacher) the kids need to be TAUGHT the cirriculum based on the fact that it is basic skills they need to move on in school, NOT for some test that either makes or breaks you. Teachers should be teaching becasue they love to teach, not because they need to be evaluated based on PSSA's!
I agree, it's a shame... many teachers agree that the NCLB and PSSA's are ruining our education system.
BID

Bath, PA

#40 Mar 30, 2008
Ragland T Tiger wrote:
Only an IGRONANT Preisdaent hoo mispronuncuates werds and youses them rong all the thyme in Bad waze wood suppert this typo law. It getz kids to think that stoodents just take testes to get ahed. They don't gotta lern nuthin from studiiing sins all they needs 2 due is tkae the tests. Then they trie an Go 2 Koledge and they don't due nuthin wright and they dont got the good gradz they dezerv sinz they didnt get lernd hau to studi.
Waazup with ths kinda rool?
LOL, I had a real tough time reading this !! Now I have a headache.

“Have some balls: REGISTER”

Since: Jul 07

Bethlehem

#41 Mar 30, 2008
FHS student wrote:
My friends and I have discussed the PSSA and we will not take this test serious. We are tired of these type tests. We think if the state needs and or want to know how we are doing, they should look at our grades from the classes that are being taught each day and not a test with questions that we haven't even reviewed. So when the BASD get low grades for the 11th grade PSSA, don't take it personally.
Poor sap has no idea he/she just made an incredibly strong case for NCLB.
Oceans11

Emmaus, PA

#42 Mar 30, 2008
"no child left behind" needs to end... I come across kids in middle school who can't read!! If you would have left this kid behind once or twice maybe they would have picked this skill up!

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