King DATA- crushing education in Florida one day at a time
Sadly, education has come down to a simple matter of “trust.” ” King “DATA” has taken over the classroom. King DATA is that which is not collected by teachers when and how they want. It is forced on them by states, districts, and even ignorant principals.
Instead of asking teachers to decide on what data they need and when they need to collect it- it is simply forced on them. This often happens in the most absurd ways. Before I give you some examples, let me remind you that teachers collect formal and informal data all the time but it is dismissed. If the data does not come from a standardized test that costs a lot of money – it is ignored. Teachers are not trusted. This is big money indeed and there is no money or political deals to be made sans outside corporate testing.
Standardized testing data is of little use- especially when students take these tests often. I know students who have been in school for just two weeks and are now taking up to four different standardized tests in a row. These are so called “diagnostic” tests.
I am being forced to give a diagnostic test that has 40 questions. I have already noticed a few factual mistakes but if you mention them- the “makers” get mad. I just read all 40 questions and we have not covered the material tested in ANY of the questions. Can anyone tell me that the data I get from this test is valid? It is like living in a Dali painting. The same students I am testing will be subjected to two more tests over the next two weeks.
Make no mistake- there is little teaching allowed in Florida schools. We are living in a world of useless data that is designed to make some rich and create the illusion of failure in schools. Does the public realize how little time teachers are given to teach and help students? Driven by the myth that test scores matter- our schools have become hostage to political games.
The way to gain freedom is from the ground up. Teachers must speak up and principals must reclaim their schools. When a principal requires a teacher to collect data that the teacher confirms will do NO GOOD in informing instruction- we have a problem. This is exactly what is happening in Florida schools every darn day.