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grade 6 math teachers can't teach grade 6 math ?

Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
I think what Asian countries have more than any particular method, is a set of parents that are committed to ensuring their kids learn and a lot of kids that WANT to learn. It's a culture of learning.

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Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
This plan does nothing but take teachers away from the classroom which IMO extends the issue you have illustrated of not having enough prep time or having to shift priorities to full the curriculum.

No - this would be done during the summer or after hours.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Many of my teacher friends and I have argued that the focus on literacy has affected numeracy (for years), and that this needs to change.

Thanks for this perspective. My kid is in grade one and I have noticed a much bigger focus on language vs. math but I chalked this up to being in french immersion.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
^^ that's a good thing, my bro and sis didnt' end up being as ravenous readers and my mom thinks it was the effect of putting them in early french immersion, diluting the english reading they would have got without it.

Now years later - the early french immersion kids don't speak a word of french, and I am passably bilingual..;) (tougher for me to have higher concept discussions in french but I can manage)
 
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lobo

TRIBE Member
Firing teachers for poor scores is a failed approach. The threat of being fired for poor scores will likely result in more cheating the system and subsequently inflated scores. Please see No Child Left Behind (U.S.) for more info.

Teachers do need to be held accountable, and I think EQAO scores can be part but not all of the accountability equation.

I have never been a fan of using these summative forms of assessment to measure student achievement.

Correct me if I'm wrong but are EQAO only done at certain grade levels (3, 6, 9)? If so, wouldn't that only put the onus on those teachers that teach those specific grades meaning that they are the only ones being judged for their performance? That wouldn't be fair no matter what career you're in.

Lobo
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
The test score thing comes from the path of least resistance: isn't there a clear cut number I can reference that will tell me right off the bat if I should keep this person on or not?

No not really. You need to look at things holistically. Everyone is looking for the scorecard/KPI, and this infects almost all organizations - not just teaching heirarchies.

The Grim Threat to British Universities by Simon Head | The New York Review of Books

This was great article that also went into where the KPI approach came from in MIT, highlights from application to UK universities:

Outside of the UK’s own business schools, not more than a handful of British academics know where the management systems that now so dominate their lives have come from, and how they have ended up in Oxford, Cambridge, London, Durham, and points beyond. The most influential of the systems began life at MIT and Harvard Business School in the late 1980s and early 1990s, moved east across the Atlantic by way of consulting firms such as McKinsey and Accenture, and reached British academic institutions during the 1990s and the 2000s through the UK government and its bureaucracies. Of all the management practices that have become central in US business schools and consulting firms in the past twenty years—among them are “Business Process Reengineering,” “Total Quality Management,” “Benchmarking,” and “Management by Objectives”—the one that has had the greatest impact on British academic life is among the most obscure, the “Balanced Scorecard” (BSC).

On the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Harvard Business Review in 1997, its editors judged the BSC to be among the most influential management concepts of the journal’s lifetime. The BSC is the joint brainchild of Robert Kaplan, an academic accountant at Harvard Business School, and the Boston consultant David Norton, with Kaplan the dominant partner. As befits Kaplan’s roots in accountancy, the methodologies of the Balanced Scorecard focus heavily on the setting up, targeting, and measurement of statistical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Kaplan and Norton’s central insight has been that with the IT revolution and the coming of networked computer systems, it is now possible to expand the number and variety of KPIs well beyond the traditional corporate concern with quarterly financial indicators such as gross revenues, net profits, and return on investment.

As explained by Kaplan and Norton in a series of articles that appeared in the Harvard Business Review between 1992 and 1996, KPIs of the Balanced Scorecard should concentrate on four fields of business activity: relations with customers, internal business process (for example, order entry and fulfillment), financial indicators such as profit and loss, and indicators of “innovation and learning.”3 It is this last that has yielded the blizzard of KPIs that has so blighted British academic life for the past twenty years. Writing in January 2010, the British biochemist John Allen of the University of London told of how “I have had to learn a new and strange vocabulary of ‘performance indicators,’ ‘metrics,’ ‘indicators of esteem,’ ‘units of assessment,’ ‘impact’ and ‘impact factors.’” One might also mention tallies of medals, honors, and awards bestowed (“indicators of esteem”); the value of research grants received; the number of graduate and postdoctoral students enrolled; and the volume and quality of “submitted units” of “research output.”4​
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
This was more recent look at the "Looking for Superman" school of thought vs those who think that privitization and test scores are a recipe for failure.

The Two Faces of American Education by Andrew Delbanco | The New York Review of Books

Diane Ravitch not only sides with Rhee’s critics; she surpasses them in her condemnation, which borders on contempt. Here is her summary of Rhee’s legacy to the Washington schools: “cheating, teaching to bad tests, institutionalized fraud, dumbing down of tests, and a narrowed curriculum.”2 The reference to cheating is to an improbable rise in passing rates on reading tests during Rhee’s first two years (in the case of one school, the rates almost doubled). Although an investigation by the D.C. inspector general did not determine exactly what happened, it found that teachers in at least one school, under intense pressure to show good test results, erased wrong answers and substituted correct ones.

This should not have been surprising. During Rhee’s regime, teachers’ pay, their jobs, even the survival of their schools, could depend on a couple of years of test scores. In this respect, her intervention was representative of an approach to education that has been gathering force under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Beginning with the “No Child Left Behind” initiative of President George W. Bush and continuing with President Obama’s “Race to the Top,” it is likely to accelerate with the adoption of the “Common Core State Standards” (endorsed so far by forty-five states) as testable benchmarks on which federal funding depends.3

Ravitch describes that approach, aptly, as “testing mania.” Tests, she thinks, can be useful diagnostic instruments, but as a high-stakes method for evaluating teachers and schools, they create more problems than they solve. She quotes Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond (who was Arne Duncan’s chief rival to become President Obama’s secretary of education) that teacher ratings based on tests “largely reflect whom a teacher teaches, not how well they teach.” Conflating test scores with teacher quality has the effect, Ravitch writes, of punishing “teachers for choosing to teach the students with the greatest needs,” while encouraging them to “spend more time with the students who will respond to their coaching and to spend less time with those who will not.” The emphasis on test scores exacerbates rivalry, discourages teamwork, and undermines morale. It also tends to drive out of the curriculum subjects that are not amenable to testing, such as art and music. Most important to Ravitch, “the tests do not measure the many dimensions of intelligence, judgment, creativity, and character that may be even more consequential for the student’s future than his or her test score.”

As for Rhee’s view of such concerns, she is dismissive. “There will always be doubters,” she writes, and comments on the cheating scandal with a conditional sentence: “If audits and investigations expose cheating on tests, we are cheating our kids.”​
 
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Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
Correct me if I'm wrong but are EQAO only done at certain grade levels (3, 6, 9)? If so, wouldn't that only put the onus on those teachers that teach those specific grades meaning that they are the only ones being judged for their performance? That wouldn't be fair no matter what career you're in.

Lobo

Yes, testing is only done at Grade 3, 6 and 9. At a system level it is a snapshot of student achievement in those grades. At a school level, school leadership may try and determine whether or not the problem is in those grades and/or if students have not properly learned fundamentals in previous grades. Easiest way to explain it: how can I learn division when I don't even know addition?

But the analysis should not even stop there. Just because students cannot grasp the concepts doesn't necessarily mean that curriculum delivery, or the content itself, is off. There are a whole host of other factors that research has shown to be correlated with student achievement: socioeconomic status; degree of leadership distribution; teacher self-efficacy; etc.
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
No - this would be done during the summer or after hours.

So the union is in agreement with more hours for teachers? or is it that the province hopes the union buys in?

I can't see teachers and their union agreeing to this being done outside of regular working hours, we can't even get teachers these days to do extra curricular activities after school.

So my question is, are we hoping that teachers and unions agree to this skill upgrade outside on top of a regular working day?
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Teachers are already doing additional qualifications courses outside of regular working hours. As I understand it there is nothing new here that a union would have to agree to - this cash would subsidize the fees for math courses.

Teachers are back to doing extra-curricular activities before and after school because their labour dispute is over.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
Ya but da unionz janiecakes DA UNIONZ!

I'm not blaming the unions. I just think the plan as proposed is short sighted and will cause more headaches and economic drain to the wrong areas of our education system. I appreciate the liberals throwing money at Education but it's important that they get it right and stop with band aid solutions.

I guess you could use the current curriculum shift as an example of a decision that may have fixed one problem but clearly it created another. The idea sounds great, it's the execution I question
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Dare I say that I'm better at math than 99% of people? Oh yes, I'll say that.

When I was in grade 6, did it matter that I was smarter than my teacher? Not really.

When Einstein was working a boring job as a patent clerk, was anyone teaching him about relativity?

My point is, Teachers can set out the general direction, but it's up to the students how fast they are going to run.

-jM
A&D
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
teachers are under an incredible amount of pressure to make sure they dont let anyone fail!!
no matter how bad their grades are

Newsflash:

Nobody fails anymore.

And for good reason. A kid who is dumb is always going to be dumb. A product of their parents.

You bang two stupid people together, they are gonna push out a stupid kid. But stupid people don't like to hear that, and there's not enough money in the world to change a fart into a diamond, so, pass along please.

-jM
A&D
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
I'm not to sure where you get that I have a dislike for teachers? It's only you that I have a dislike for.

I think the problem teachers like yourself have with my suggestion is the accountability aspect and poor teachers would be much more easily exposed.
Why is it every time we have an argument in a conversation, you feel the need to tell me how much you dislike me. It doesn't create the reaction I believe you're looking for. The last time we argued you told me you were putting me on ignore. Perhaps you should go through with that. It might help with your issues in this matter.

As for the second comment, see my response at the bottom, you may be surprised.

Thanks for this perspective. My kid is in grade one and I have noticed a much bigger focus on language vs. math but I chalked this up to being in french immersion.

Also, if his/her teacher also teaches English, they are covering 'Pathways' in both languages (an onerous task). In other cases there may be an English teacher covering English for numerous FI classes (as I did). It is much more work for that one teacher.

This leads to the next point:

Correct me if I'm wrong but are EQAO only done at certain grade levels (3, 6, 9)? If so, wouldn't that only put the onus on those teachers that teach those specific grades meaning that they are the only ones being judged for their performance? That wouldn't be fair no matter what career you're in.

Lobo

Yep, and it also doesn't evaluate teachers teaching rotary classes (Phys.Ed, Music, Design & Tech, Core French, Art. etc.,)

So the union is in agreement with more hours for teachers? or is it that the province hopes the union buys in?

I can't see teachers and their union agreeing to this being done outside of regular working hours, we can't even get teachers these days to do extra curricular activities after school.

So my question is, are we hoping that teachers and unions agree to this skill upgrade outside on top of a regular working day?

Teachers are already doing additional qualifications courses outside of regular working hours. As I understand it there is nothing new here that a union would have to agree to - this cash would subsidize the fees for math courses.

Teachers are back to doing extra-curricular activities before and after school because their labour dispute is over.

Am I to assume there are absolutely no extra-curricular activities at your childrens' school kyfe? I think you have kids. I may be wrong.

Also, Janiecakes is right. In order to bump up literacy marks, the Board offered Reading and Writing courses at a reduced rate. If we took and passed the course, we were given a portion of the amount we paid for the course back (can't remember the amount now.). These were summer and night courses. I received my Intermediate Reading Parts 1 and 2 through the program.

By the way, an important qualification. Teachers wouldn't be taught math skills (that is a misnomer), but math skills in how to teach math at different levels. With more and more students being integrated into the classroom (ESL, Gifted, Spec.ed-HSP, behavioural, LD), it is necessary to help teachers deal with all levels. This wasn't as difficult when class sizes were a maximum of 25 (when I started), but when class sizes at intermediate levels (6-8) are now at a maximum of 35-40 (and I've heard of larger numbers), it's much more stressful with all the different learners we have.

Kids, unfortunately, don't come in neat little pockets of being this or that. There are all sorts of factors to consider: home life and support especially. If a 13 year old student is the sole responsible person for the care of their other siblings (making lunch, dinner, breakfast, washing their clothes, getting them ready, helping them with homework), that will affect their own learning. I have to be aware of that.

Yes, this has happened.. too often. One of my kids was responsible for 6 younger siblings.

I'm not blaming the unions. I just think the plan as proposed is short sighted and will cause more headaches and economic drain to the wrong areas of our education system. I appreciate the liberals throwing money at Education but it's important that they get it right and stop with band aid solutions.

I guess you could use the current curriculum shift as an example of a decision that may have fixed one problem but clearly it created another. The idea sounds great, it's the execution I question

This may surprise you, but I agree. I'm worried about a huge shift in the other direction. There needs to be balance. I also believe principals need to have teachers teach what they love. Don't have them teach Math because it works for the numbers (fills the timetable), when other teachers who would love to teach it are denied because it doesn't work.
 
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