Wednesday, February 29, 2012

teeth grinding anger

This is one of the most horrifying articles I've ever read about education. It's about the published test results in NY and how the press reacted to what it saw as the lowest performing teacher- an ELL teacher who was screwed by the statistics. The cold numbers don't tell the full story- and the cold numbers are all anyone looked at. Read it yourself- I can't begin to summarize it without getting myself worked up and irritated. It's the classic example of the damange statistics can do in the hands of people who do not understand statstics and numbers.

Here's an excerpt:
"As in many other cases, the story of Pascale Mauclair and P.S. 11 begins with a tale of the flawed methodology and invalid measurements of the Teacher Data Reports.
P.S. 11 is located at the epicenter of a number of different immigrant communities in northern Queens, and over a quarter of its students are English Language Learners. Mauclair is an ESL teacher, and over the last five years she has had small, self-contained classes of recently arrived immigrants who do not speak English. Her students arrive at different times of the school year, depending upon that date of their family’s migration; consequently, it is not unusual for her students to take the 6th grade exams when they have only been in her class for a matter of a few months. Two factors which produce particularly contorted TDR results – teaching the highest academic need students and having a small sample of students that take the standardized state exams – define her teaching situation."

How did we get here? And how do we get back?

1 comment:

magpie said...

This is deplorable but it is the way information is being processed in todays world. A Rumour or assumption is all that's needed to start a media frenzy. It's no wonder Mental Health is a rapidly expanding category Government budgets.