Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If Shael Was a Real Teacher He Must Have Been Invaded by Data Munching Body Snatchers

Mr. Polakow-Suransky acknowledges that the tests are imperfect, but says they are a necessary measurement tool. “To put it very simply,” he said, “how do you know that the kids are learning?”  

Tell me that a real teacher would say "How do you know that the kids are learning?" without standardized tests. Every single teacher I know has given tests that tell them if kids are learning. Or they know from how they respond in class. This is such an anti-teacher statement. Note how Shael makes it seem that the choice is between standardized tests and not tests - totally negating what most teachers have always used in class.

Shael didn't escape
Now the contradictions in today's NY Times profile on Shael Polakow-Suransky (I've got a bias against hypehated names, especially long ones) who will be 2nd in command to Cathie Back are very revealing. He went to a progressive high school and studied with progressive educator Ted Sizer at Brown University (how interesting that I meet so many Brown grads counter to Shael who are active resisters to the ed deformers). Then he worked for Eric Nadelstern who once was a real reformer people tell me.

A Tweed insider told me the two of them always talked a good game but once inside the walls of Tweed they shifted to the party data line - the judgement: ambition and self-interest.

Now Shael will offer a menu of more tests:

He has been working with officials from New York and other states to create a new kind of testing that would include essays, classroom projects and multiple-choice exams, and that would be administered in stages, perhaps at four times during the year. 

See the web of corruption tying the Merryl Tisch family to the testing industry at Perdido St. School - comments section.

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