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Tag Archives: cheating on standardized test in the US

Blind Obedience – Part 4/4

After a volley of e-mails with the “e-mail critic”, he wrote, “What you’re attempting to say is that these teachers were put in an untenable position. Well, you are right. The public school system cannot educate America’s children and the NCLB act’s failure simply points that out. But don’t you realize these cheating teachers were hiding the fact that the NCLB act is a colossal failure? Instead of defending them, you should be castigating them.”

My response to, “The public school system cannot educate America’s children” is to point out at that more than 80% (more than 34 million) of those American children succeeded in the public schools. However, the NCLB Act demands 100% success (an A+) from America’s teachers.

The “e-mail critic” and the NCLB Act measures the failure of the American public schools by the portion of the glass that is empty and ignores the part that is full, which is close to the top.

How would you like to be measured against perfection every day or face being declared a failure?

Have we forgotten that humans, including teachers, students and parents, are not perfect?

According to studies, bad teachers represent between 1 to 7 percent of all teachers. If the average public school student has about 50 teachers from K to 12, that means .5 to 3.5 teachers were bad and the other 46.5 to 49.5 taught well.

Eighty percent of students succeeded because public school teachers were doing their jobs, which was teaching, and those students were doing what was required of them to learn.

In addition, I am going to go one step further and suggest that all American public school teachers during the 2011 – 2012 school year reject “blind obedience” and instruct their students to mark “C” for every answer on the annual standardized tests.

Let this protest show the nation that teachers are tired of being the scapegoat for poor parenting and the unrealistic demands of the NCLB Act, which was designed for teachers and public education to fail.

What would happen to our students if teachers demanded “A’s” on every assignment or be considered a FAILURE?

If most of the teachers can be successful with more than 80% of the students, then they have proven they are capable of teaching and the public schools are capable of success when students and parents do  their job.

There is something wrong when critics condemn public school teachers due to the twenty percent of students that fail to meet the NCIBA Act’s mandate and those students are mostly found among African-American and Hispanic/Latino students.

It is time to hold poor parenting and “other inequalities” responsible for failing students, and then find ways to deal with those challenges without blaming the teachers.

Maybe the parents of those failing students should wear dunce caps and signs whenever they are in public that say, “I am a poor parent. I do not support my child’s teachers and my child’s education.”

Return to  Blind Obedience – Part 3 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Blind Obedience – Part 3/4

America’s public schools are not failing.

In 2010, of about 42 million students attending the public schools (K – 12), white–non Hispanic (23.2 million) and Asian (1.9 million) met the goals of the NCLB Act, and these two racial groups represents more than 25 million (59%), while the two ethnic groups that did not measure up were African-American (6.2 million) and Hispanic/Latino (9.9 million) representing about 16 million students.

This does not mean all African-American or Hispanic/Latino students failed to meet the standards set by the NCLB Act but most did.

Since students may not graduate from high school without passing a competency test and about 50% of African-Americans graduate from high school annually, that says more than 3 million African-American students were successful in addition to more than 6 million Latinos.

Then more than 16% (one million) of African-American and 14% (1.4 million) of Hispanic/Latino students graduate from college.

Did America’s public school teachers fail these African-American and Hispanic/Latino students? I do not think so.

The same “e-mail critic” I quoted in Part 1 dismissed what I said about our daughter (in another e-mail) attending the public schools and “learning” well enough from her (K to 12) teachers to graduate from high school and be accepted to Stanford. She just completed her first year at Stanford with flying colors mostly thanks to her public school teachers and the great job they did teaching. Those same teachers also had African-American and Hispanic/Latino students in their classes.

The “e-mail critic” said our daughter was an exception infering that most students of all racial groups fail when in fact, that is not the case.

My point was that if our daughter learned what her public school teachers taught, there is no excuse for those students and their parents that do not meet the mandates of the NCLB Act.

Our daughter is Asian-American and there are 1.9 million Asian-American students in the U.S. public schools that as an ethnic group met the requirements of the NCLB Act with the highest average score when compared to all other racial groups.

Do we dismiss 1.9 million Asian American students and the dedication of the parents and say they do not count?

Do we measure all students by those at the bottom with parents (among other inequalities) that did not do an adequate job supporting their children’s education?

If you want to know how dedicated the average Asia-American parent is, I recomment you to the Amy Chua controversy and her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Continued on July 27, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Blind Obedience – Part 2/4

Were the educators in Atlanta, Georgia – that changed the answers on standardized tests – wrong?

According to our laws, yes, and many may be punished by losing their jobs. Some may even go to jail. That does not mean that the law is just.

However, I understand why they did it.

This is an example of how one morally wrong act leads to another. The NCLB Act signed into law (January 2002) by President G. W. Bush was flawed, and changing the answers on standardized tests was also wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right.

…underlying NCLB is the assumption that schools by themselves can achieve dramatic, totally unprecedented levels of educational achievement for all racial ethnic groups as well as for children with disabilities, low-income children, and children who lack English fluency-all in a short time and without changing any of the other inequalities in their lives.” Source:Christopher Knaus, Ph.D.

Taking into account the Knaus quote, the NCLB Act made victims of teachers by holding them responsible for inequalities, such as poor parenting, that are impossible to change or control.

Teachers are responsible to teach, students to learn and parents to support. The facts indicate that teachers are doing their job and so are many students. The credit for any failure to achieve the goals of the NCLB Act belongs to poor parenting among other inequalities.

Continued on July 26, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Blind Obedience – Part 1/4

The reason Hitler’s Nazis got away with murdering millions in the death camps of Europe during World War II was due to “blind obedience” to Germany’s laws/leaders, and there are many historical examples of “blind obedience” to bad laws and/or leadership even from the Church and other religions.

I received an e-mail in lieu of a comment for something I wrote and posted on this Blog in Eager to Learn or Not – Part 10.

Without copying the entire e-mail, the crux was, “You’re excusing these criminal acts? What happened to your moral compass? The next thing you’ll be espousing is excusing murders by gang-bangers because of their deprived childhoods… Your writing  shows why a good church is vital to clear moral thinking.

According to Under God.org, there are 310 religions and denominations in the United States, and according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there are about 300,000 churches.

Who decides which churches are good? I am sure the members of these 310 religions and denominations mostly believe that their church is good. However, some are not.

You may want to read When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball to understand how difficult that choice may be and why “blind obedience” often leads to evil.

Therefore, since this is the United States, everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but I do not have to respect or accept the “garbage” someone else believes.

The “e-mail critic” was referring to what I wrote about the educators in an Atlanta, Georgia public school district, where computers correcting standardized tests caught the cheating and alerted the authorities triggering an investigation.

There is a difference between explaining and excusing. Since I am not a jury or a judge, I am not excusing the educators in Atlanta, George that did this. I also refuse to be their executioner as the moralizing “e-mail critic” does.

In fact, I explained that what those Atlanta educators did was an act of desperation due to “impossible” demands made by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Comparing what these educators in Atlanta, Georgia did, which was to erase and change answers on a test form, to murderers and gang-bangers is reprehensible. (Note: There are more than 14,000 school districts in the US, and Atlanta, Georgia is only one of them.)

Were these educators wrong? Were America’s Founding Fathers guilty of violating the British Empire’s laws when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and declared a revolution?

Continued on July 25, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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