Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inside Four Walls: L.A. Unified catches up to the rest of the state...

Maybe that's a little harsh, but we have been changing final grades based on their CST scores for about 5 years now.

The concept is pretty simple, if the students improve from their previous year they get some extra "enhancements" to their grade. Now at our school that's pretty hard to do, since most of the students are proficient or advanced. In fact, all we want is proficient or advanced, so if they want that enhancement then they need to score advanced or proficient.

And I think we should remember this quote when politicians and others want to tie test scores to teacher salary;
"We're always looking for a way to motivate kids to do better in school," said Jefferson High Principal Michael Taft. "I'd see them bubbling in carelessly and say, 'Are you reading that question?' They would say, 'No I'm tired.' They had multiple excuses." 
He estimated that 50% weren't trying hard.
That's right...50% don't try. So tell me again how fair and logical it is to tie my pay to someone that isn't even trying?

The other thing in the article that peaked my interest was this little line;
The L.A. Unified plan also applies to Advanced Placement tests, which are nationally administered. L.A. Unified students who take AP classes already benefit from "weighted grades," meaning that they receive more points per class, which can significantly raise grade-point averages. Under the new plan, a "passing" score on the college-level AP exams will allow students to achieve an automatic A in that course.
Anyone else hear that? That's the sound of the ACLU knocking on your door telling you this is illegal.

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