Friday, June 23, 2006

Teacher tests

In Why American Students Do Not Learn to Read Very Well: The Unintended Consequences of Title II and Teacher Testing Sandra Stotsky takes a look at teacher tests and finds that prospective teachers are not expected to have knowledge of research-based reading instruction:

This paper provides an analysis of the descriptions of the subject tests assessing reading instructional knowledge that prospective elementary teachers in this country take for licensure: those offered by Educational Testing Service, a variety of those provided by National Evaluation Systems, and the one offered by American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. I examined these descriptions to determine whether the tests appear to address three major components of a research-based approach to reading pedagogy (instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary knowledge), the weights attached to knowledge of these three components, and the quality of the sample questions they provide.
I guess science is not needed if reading unfolds naturally, as whole language advocates believe. The trouble is that learning how to read is not natural like language acquisiton.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pod people

Over at edspresso a prospective teacher has discovered that the pod people have invaded math education:

Math education is in a shambles, starting from the so-called standards put out by the National Council of Mathematics (NCTM) in 1989 and revised in 2000. These standards were then copied by many states that thought they were great. State boards of education paid no mind to the shrieks of horror from mathematicians, simply not believing that the resulting standards took the math out of mathematics in the name of fun, and whose approach for eliminating the achievement gap eliminated the mastery of any math knowledge that matters. The well-intentioned but ill-conceived standards have actually widened the gaps between the rich and the poor by motivating those who can do so to hire tutors for their children, to enroll them in learning centers like Sylvan and Kumon, or to put them in private schools.
Fuzzy math was ostensibly invented to make math "accessible" to what's termed "minorities". But as the writer points out, taking math out of math only widens the achievement gap.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ed school "teacher"

Ever wondered what a teacher is? A school of education has the answer. Discovered by Chanman