Diane Ravitch on teacher evaluations and teaching to the test:
First of all, should teachers be evaluated? Yes. Should they be evaluated by the test scores of their students, as Race to the Top, the Obama program, requires? Absolutely not. That is an unproven and actually a very harmful way to evaluate teachers.
Should teachers be paid more if the test scores go up? No, they should not be, because that puts too much emphasis on very poor tests. It causes teachers to teach to the test, which everybody agrees is a terrible thing to do. It also leads to narrowing of the curriculum, so that schools will drop the arts. They will drop history. They will drop civics, foreign languages. And they will focus only on what’s tested.
Sometimes, people look at something like a foundation or our foundation and say, my gosh, they have huge resources.
And the truth is, when you look at the scale of the problems we’re going against, the state of California spends slightly under $30 billion a year educating their kids. So our entire foundation is $30 billion. So we could spend — spend our money all in one year just in the state of California.
But we don’t do that. What a foundation has to be is to be a catalytic wedge. It can take innovations and show where they work. It can measure them. It can show what doesn’t work and take the problems apart. And it’s ultimately for governments to scale up."
i am graduating in the morning
Congrats, you! Take a pic for us, will you? We’re curating a Pinterest board for the high school graduating class of 2012. Would love to have you on it. (A couple of different ways to get it to us: tag it #AmGrad2012 on Instagram/twitter, email us, Tumblr it or send carrier pigeons). Have fun tomorrow :D
Photography and journalism have made me a different person.
For the first time, I love telling stories because I can express myself through photos. It makes me want to come to school every day, and it has given me something that I’m really good at.
I like being able to tell stories without using words. I like being able to tell people things that are important in my life."
— De’Qonton, an eighth grader at John Hopkins Middle School (who produced the report Fighting Chance? Students Investigate Middle School Violence) on how journalism has made a difference in his life and in his schoolwork.