Secondary Education-Aspect 2 & 3
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Standardized Testing Interview

Mr. Davis

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Politics in Teaching Interview

Mr. Davis


Have you seen standardized testing change since you started teaching?

No, same tests, different names. They have a negative effect on students and school. Program associated with testing changing. With “No Child Left Behind” the government had the ability to take control of the school and fire all the staff if the AYP (adequate yearly progress) is not met. With Obama’s new program, Race to the Top, schools now compete to innovate the classrooms and receive the best scores in order to receive more funding and more benefits. The results of the standardized tests ultimately control the government control of the classroom, the funding the school receives from the government, and teacher/administrator’s job security.


How do you expect standardized testing to change?

Students have option to opt out of testing if parents write an excuse for them. The type of students who end up taking the test can ultimately control how the school scores as a whole. If all the smartest students opt out of the test and school will end up scoring low, because that’s the kind of students that will be taking the test. If all the lowest scoring kids opt out and only the smartest kids take the test then the schools overall score will be a lot higher.How does testing affect teachers?It changes the whole classroom. Everything ties back to the exam. They teach to the test all year. The test controls the power, the funding, and job security so teachers do everything they can to fully prepare students to do as best as they can. They teach material and strategies that fit the standardized test, and really it’s not very applicable to the real world.


Do you believe in the testing or not?

It hurts education in its entirety. Standardized tests are very straight-forward, do you know it or not? It does a kids a disservice. Our country ranking is effected by every student of every school, most public schools like Penn Trafford score exceptionally high, however most schools like Pittsburgh Public score significantly lower and drag our scores down. It’s believed where you are from greatly affects your education, social mobility is at it’s lowest since the great depression and that can be attributed to the teachers not being allowed to teach how they want to. They have to teach to the test, which doesn’t benefit student. We need to fix where the testing is broken at specific points, not a whole broad fix. Some schools need a lot of fixing, others not so much, but we need to have flexibility to fix schools where they need to be fixed.


Are there any benefits you see to standardized testing?

A benefit to standardized testing is accountability. It holds students accountable for their scores. However the student’s scores directly affect the school and teachers, they end up being held 100% accountable for how students score. In reality, teachers and schools only contribute to 30% of how much a child learns, the other 70% comes from their home and environment. Yet, parents and the environment in which they’re raised is never even thought of. Testing doesn’t effectively measure how much school teaches a kid compared to how students are affected at home.


What are the biggest topics in the politics of teaching right now?Standardized testing, charter schools, cyber schools, and politics in the classroom. Focus on education holistically and start to see the value of education. Students need to see future through education and it’ll give them motivation to try there hardest to be successful. Students need a reliable, safe environment to learn in to be successful. Whole country needs to come together to make this change. 

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Standardized Testing and Its Victims

articles by alfie kohn
megriley's comment, March 26, 2014 2:30 PM
Tests are not effective in measuring a student’s total knowledge, they give a brief idea, but too many factors play into how intelligent a student is, there is no way a standardized test can measure that. Tests are designed to trick students; they’re not supposed to pass these tests. Even the creator of the tests have clamed that the scores of the standardized tests should not determine whether or not a student graduates or what kind of college education they can receive. Educators are wasting too much time and money preparing kids for testing when they could be spending their time educating kids on what they really feel is important. The importance of the testing has caused some educators to leave their jobs, and can drive some students in college to change their major and follow a new career path.
megriley's comment, March 26, 2014 2:32 PM
It has been claimed that standardized testing is biased because in general, the upper class can pay more to prepare their students as much as they can to pass the tests. If you have the money to pay for better test preparation there is a better chance you will score higher than someone who is lower class and cannot afford to pay extra to better prepare their child for the test.
megriley's comment, March 27, 2014 2:27 PM
Standardized tests really measure how well a student can take a test, as well as general information about a broad range of topics. It doesn't go very in depth, doesn't measure if a student has a genuine understanding of the material.
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Teaching in International Schools Overseas

Teaching in International Schools Overseas | Secondary Education-Aspect 2 & 3 |
megriley's comment, February 19, 2014 3:22 PM
In order to get a job as an international teacher you can come in contact with representatives from schools overseas, it's important that you do research into which schools interest you and make contact any school that you'd want to work at. By attending recruitment fairs you're able to meet with anybody you've come in contact with prior to the fair, generally you will conduct a small interview and have questions prepared before the fair. No cold interviewing. When and if you're hired after this process you sign your contract and begin your career as an international teacher.
megriley's comment, February 19, 2014 3:30 PM
The biggest associations for international teaching are 1. Association of American Schools in South America 2.Association of American Schools in Africa 3. Association of American Schools in Central America, Colombia, Caribbean, and Mexico Schools belonging to those associations hire teachers through certain recruitment agencies. The biggest recruitment agencies are... 1. International School System (ISS) 2. Council of International Schools 3. Educators Overseas 4. University of Northern Iowa Overseas Placement System 5. Queens University Education Career Services
megriley's comment, February 19, 2014 3:31 PM
You will not get a job as an international schoolteacher without prior teaching experience. It is important that you have proof of experience, some schools may even ask for copies of your college transcripts and diploma. Very competitive industry.
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State Standardized Testing Programs: Their Effects on Teachers and Students—NRC/GT

megriley's comment, March 6, 2014 3:11 PM
Teachers often try to put off preparing for the testing as long as they can in order to fit the material they wish to teach into their lesson plans. In the end it only stresses teachers out more. Teachers put themselves into positions where they're cramming last minute to teach kids all the information they need for the testing, which results in students becoming stressed out as well.
megriley's comment, March 6, 2014 3:15 PM
Standardized tests lack depth. They only cover the basics of many different subject areas. They don't test how much a student really knows about each area. Teachers only covering the basics of many subject areas prevents students from learning more in depth and being able to master every topic. The teachers and tests focus on the bare minimum in order to increase test scores.
megriley's comment, March 6, 2014 3:19 PM
It's been found that standardized tests place more pressure on gifted, more advanced students. They become easily frustrated with the repetitive in-class activities because they often feel they're below their education level. They feel pressure to score higher on the tests in order to bring up their average class score. They slack on their work in class which can frustrate the teacher even more.
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Educational Leadership:Using Standards and Assessments:Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality

Educational Leadership:Using Standards and Assessments:Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality | Secondary Education-Aspect 2 & 3 |
Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. Our 175,000 members in 119 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas––superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members.
megriley's comment, March 6, 2014 3:29 PM
Standardized tests are used to make an inference about the general knowledge of a student and then compare their knowledge with students at their same education level. Standardized tests highlight students strengths and weaknesses to they know what to focus on and improve in the class room. However, the tests don't cover nearly enough information in order to measure the true intelligence of a student. The tests are not very long, they cover brief topics relating to various subjects in order to get a general overview of a students knowledge.
megriley's comment, March 25, 2014 4:15 PM
Educators need to become more educated on standardized tests in order to improve them. There needs to be a more effective way to assess students learning in ways other than standardized tests. Standardized tests do give you some sort of idea of the quality of a school’s education system, however, you can’t entirely base the quality of the school on standardized test scores. Teachers need to take some credit for student’s scores though; they need to be held somewhat accountable. If an alternative to standardized tests is created, their needs to be sufficient evidence as to how they’re more effective than the tests already in use. An evaluation of student’s knowledge is very necessary. Teachers and educators need to find a new, more effective way of measuring how much a student has learned.
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International Teaching Interview

Interview with Erik Hathaway, International teacher in Ethiopia

megriley's insight:

International Teaching Interview


How do you get into International teaching?

            -Hiring fairs, International school systems (ISS). Upload recommendation and make your info available online for schools. Schools will post job openings and you can get into contact with people from those schools. The most important part of getting a job internationally is attending the hiring fairs. All schools from Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Asia hire at that job fair. The job fair this year was held in Bangkok, you travel to the hiring fairs and know beforehand whom you will talk to and what job you’re interested in. No cold hiring, all predetermined.  It really depends on who you know, it’s very contact oriented. VERY VERY COMPETITIVE.


Does prior US experience help?

            -Need experience to get job. International schools do not hire first year teachers. Establish yourself during the first couple of years of teaching, set yourself apart from everyone else to make a name for yourself.


Perks of International teaching

            -My uncle has a tax free salary and most international teaching jobs come with free housing, free utilities, live-in staff (cook, nanny, security, gardener, etc.), paid for annual flight home with unlimited shipping of anything you need back home. Very small classes, every one of the classes my uncle teaches has less than 20 kids, and he has some of the bigger classes. He has more resources in his classroom, for example he takes all of his bio students into the mountains of Ethiopia for a week to do bio fieldwork.


Disadvantages of International Teaching

            -Very hard job application process, every 3-4 years you reapply to keep job. No certainty or job security. There is no union to belong to, and you can’t earn any type of seniority. New school, new starting salary, even if you’ve been a teacher for 10 years. Jobs can be easily lost; you can’t speak out or express your opinions if you don’t believe in what is happening. Teaching kids of very rich, powerful people such as ambassadors and trade officials can be stressful. Marriages can also interfere with job, hard to keep relationship with constant traveling unless you marry someone from country in which you’re teaching.


Cannot compare to teaching in the US


No standardized testing unless you’re apart of the IUB program. The IUB program is very popular; very few kids aren’t apart of it. IUB is for 11th and 12th graders and they take one test at the end of each year. Standardized testing doesn’t play as big of role in classroom as in US.


Technology not prominent in uncle’s classroom just because there is very little Internet connectivity in his part of the country. Government controls Internet and some days they have no connectivity at all but never enough to even load a YouTube video. Uncle took trip to school in Johannesburg in Kenya and they had incredible high speed Internet and technology was popular in classroom. He said they don’t stress incorporating technology in classroom like they do in US. Schools have plenty of money for technology in the classroom but it’s not a big deal whether they have it in classroom or not.


International job market always competitive, it’s important to do what you can in your first few years out of college to establish yourself and set yourself apart from crowd. It really all depends on whom you know. For example, one person may apply and be very qualified for a job as an international schoolteacher, and I may also apply but be less qualified yet I have more of a chance of getting that job because I have my uncle in the business already. 

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