Monday, February 27, 2012

What wins out?  Incorporating group/inquiry teaching strategies into lessons along with administrative directed initiatives such as common formative assessments (CFAs) and alternative assessments or  proven standardized test practice.  Proven standardized test practice often involves lecture and having students practice taking multiple choice exams with no CFAs or alternative assessments.  I raise this question as many new state and federal mandates are requiring public school teachers to be evaluated in part by how well a students perform on a standardized tests.  Unfortunately, many inquiry based lessons, though valuable, may not be the best method for helping a student achieve a high score on a standardized test.  Additionally, some administrative directives may also be in conflict with preparing students to succeed on these tests.

What if a teacher has good results with students doing well on standardized tests but gets a bad evaluation because they did not do some of the required initiatives?  Conversely, what if the opposite happens, a teacher does all that is required of them but their students do poorly on the test?

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