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Tag: answer sheet

Time to Test

How much time do students spend on testing in school?

It’s a good question and one Chicago high school teacher has something of an answer: “In my school, in just three weeks’ time, I have calculated that we spent 738 minutes (12 hours and 18 minutes) on preparing for and administering standardized tests.”

I don’t know that anyone has done a similar calculation here in the overly-large school district, but I’m betting the numbers aren’t much different, and could be much worse for elementary kids.

And this teacher’s observation that “allegedly “optional” tests and interventions become–culturally, if not officially– mandatory” is certainly true in many, if not most of our schools. Administrators have come to believe that a testing opportunity is a terrible thing to waste.

Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog writes occasionally about a growing revolt against high stakes testings (including in today’s entry). If so, it hasn’t surfaced here, or evidentially in Chicago.

What Do Teachers Know About Education?

According to a guest blogger at The Answer Sheet, the best way to be taken seriously as an education reformer is to have no experience whatsoever with education.

In the current upside-down world of education policy, there’s one foolproof strategy for being taken seriously as a reformer: Make sure you’re not an educator.

Urban districts nationwide, with Chicago leading the way, have hired those with business or legal backgrounds to head their school systems. Major voices in the reform conversation such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and philanthropist Eli Broad have never been teachers. And when Oprah wants to talk about schools, she invites Bill Gates or Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — all the while reminding her audience how much she loves teachers.

Why would you ever want to ask a teacher how to improve education?

Almost every expert on the subject, not to mention the big media assessments, says we’re all either incompetent or greedy.

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