published Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Standardized Testing

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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fairmon said...

jesse said yesterday...

Looks like Clay hit a pop up to short w/this one!!!

Yep. Should have proposed a ban on PEDS in baseball and require them in D.C.

August 7, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.
fairmon said...

How dare anyone require the education system to use standardized test or any test That reveals the poor work of some and rewards those that perform well. That flies in the face of the union and those that insist on parity and protection of the incompetent. It may even reveal that tenure helps nothing or no one except the untouchable tenured, should that be allowed?

August 7, 2013 at 1:08 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

ALL standardized testing is an emergency?

August 7, 2013 at 3:21 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Is Mr Bennett being fired for insulting all testers and test advocates? For insulting all baseball players yesterday? For insulting Congress two cartoons ago? Not saying he should be; just asking. Have Maureen Dowd, Tom Teepen, Gail Collins, and Paul Krugman been barred from the Times-Free Press for similar nastiness? Or do too many (not all) liberals like to wallow in this kind of vomit?

August 7, 2013 at 3:26 a.m.
EaTn said...

If this country is to take the next step forward, our education system has to change from one that teaches "memorize and regurgitate" to one that teaches "imagination and creativity".

August 7, 2013 at 6:27 a.m.
jesse said...

The FIRST requirement to teach anyone anything is to instill a burning desire to LEARN!

August 7, 2013 at 7:31 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

You get what you pay for. Standardized testing is a lot cheaper than developing schools that encourage and teach kids as individuals, with unique strengths, interests and talents. Music, theater, arts, hands on science, courses that require plenty of writing and allow teachers the time to assess that writing? Too expensive. We'd rather buy drones.

August 7, 2013 at 7:55 a.m.
GameOn said...

If you want to hold teachers accountable, let them design the curriculum.

August 7, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

These tests are a lot more than mindless memorization, especially in the math portions. If test scores were higher, there would be less moaning by the teachers. How do you feel teachers should be evaluated?

August 7, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Math tests are okay, but to test science, humanities and languages, multiple choice is a poor tool.

August 7, 2013 at 9:54 a.m.
fairmon said...

Familiar phrases or excuses could be "I get nervous and don't do good on test" meaning I am not intelligent enough to test well. Or, "I prefer to teach my students than to prepare them for some test" is that almost an oxymoron? Or, "These test just teach kids to memorize and repeat" Would that ability be better than what we see in too many cases?

Does measuring progress, accountability and responsibility inhibit imagination and creativity? The true measurement would be did the individual student make good progress? Too much weight may be given to a total school and school system which could be misleading. Some teachers don't like being measured to be rewarded, why not reward the students for making outstanding progress instead.

A serious question may be is teaching being delivered in the most interesting and effective way or do the teachers and the union resist a major change that would utilize the very best teachers and technology more and reduce the role of those less capable? Is there a good alternative to preparing every child for college or would some benefit more preparing for other skills and trades?

August 7, 2013 at 9:55 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

fairmon, have you ever taught?

August 7, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Multiple choice on verbal questions is.fine in many cases (which phrase best describes the paragraph, etc)

August 7, 2013 at 10:11 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

It only measures a small set of skills, LB, and is minimally valuable.

August 7, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Determining if a student comprehends what was just read isn't important?

August 7, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

let's start with reading.

August 7, 2013 at 10:58 a.m.
conservative said...

Liberals/NEA/Demoncrats against standardized testing?

Now who would have thought that?

August 7, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
alprova said...

Testing should be like a big game of Jeopardy.

August 7, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Someone has to be accountable when there are bad results, it's easier just to blame it on too much testing.

August 7, 2013 at 4:12 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

This is the ONE Bennett cartoon I have no problem with because, for ONCE, he's really close to being right. Huffman and his ilk are ruining the educational system of the State of Tennessee, and if we don't get rid of him and his damn tests pretty soon two things are going to happen. 1. We're going to destroy our students education by spending 25% of our time teaching them to pass these damned standardized tests that don't tell the state board of Education anything valuable except that our teachers have the ability to waste valuable time coaching the kids past all the tests. 2. We're going to drive every competent teacher crazy and they'll leave and we won't be able to get competent teachers at all. In fact, both of these things are already happening. We've already destroyed the fascination and fun of real learning and replaced it with nothing but stress that both the students and the teachers could happily get along without. I have teaching experience, and I can tell you right now that I would not accept a teaching job in this system as long I had to waste mine and the students time and be a total killjoy who is forced to do to these kids what Huffman and the present crowd are doing to them.

August 7, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

How about pop quizzes and end of chapter tests do those need to go too?

August 7, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

What needs to go is the stinkin NEA

August 7, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

No they don't. The results of pop quizzes and of chapter tests have been providing teachers with useful feedback for a long time. In fact, up until about 30 years ago when the educational system in this country started to go to hell in a handbasket and we started teaching kids that self-esteem and effort were more important than results and whether or not the kid could actually read, write, and do math, end of chapter tests told the teacher which students were actually picking up the material and which ones needed extra effort and help. Now we're spending more time wondering if kids are ready for "THE TEST" than we are anything else. And result is kids are leaving school completely unprepared for the real world where they have to accomplish something before they feel good about themselves, and life isn't divided into semesters and they don't get a new one every ten weeks.

August 7, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
jesse said...

Shultzy making some good points!

Got me convinced he know what he's talking about!

August 7, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

With the tests being moaned about, the teachers are being held more responsible than they are in usual classroom tests. They should be. GPAs and graduation rates can be inflated, ACT, SAT and these tests are better measures. We all read each year about valedictorians with 4.0 GPAs who can barely top a 20 on the ACT.

August 7, 2013 at 6:23 p.m.
limric said...

Why RShultz210,you're driving down the road of logic, reason and reality. For shame.

The goal is to defund all the 'liberal artsy fartsy and godless science crap. (see lkeithlu's 7:55 post) ; slash budgets, demonize teachers (Teachers BAD); argue that privatizing is the answer and voila....Idiocracy.

A perfect compliment to a post Constitutional nation.

Its the Tennessee Ernie Ford song, '16 Tons' plan for future generations.

You wahn fries wi dat?

August 7, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.
GameOn said...
August 7, 2013 at 9:10 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

If you have never taught, I don't see how you can possibly comprehend this issue.

I taught for 30 years. Thankfully, I taught where standardized testing was not required. We even discouraged AP, although many of our kids took AP exams after completing our basic courses. We did not teach AP courses. Here is the perspective of someone who taught public school:

August 7, 2013 at 9:35 p.m.
limric said...

Great article/essay Ikeithlu,

As it has lots and lots of words, I think- hmm - maybe .01% posting on this forum will read it.

August 7, 2013 at 10:12 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Wow, lu. Straight from the heart.

August 7, 2013 at 11:17 p.m.
Maximus said...

Public schools? Forget about it. The freaky, anything goes, low expectation liberals took over the public schools long ago. Send your kids to one of the quality private schools in the Chattanooga area and with YOUR INVOLVEMENT AS A PARENT watch them rise to the top! If you want your kid to get an Obama fair and equal poor education send them to the public school on the yellow bus to no where. Our kids attended The Baylor School and GPS, both have ivy league college advanced degrees and high paying careers in the private sector. The public schools in Chattanooga suck and so do the mostly fat, below average, Democrat, hippy teachers. Get a second job if you have to but send your kids to private schools.....even Barry The Transformational Welfare Pimp President and his wife Queen Latifa Gucci Michelle send their two lovely daughters to PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND SO DOES SENATOR BOB CORKER. Like I have always said, the more you Democrats make things fair the more unfair things are. Kids getting a private school education will be the leaders and money makers of tomorrow. As for public school graduates.....get in line, collect your unemployment, and vote Democrat. Now dats fuuuuuuuunnnnnnny! :)

August 8, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.
Maximus said...

Enough said, Ike teaching for 30 years in the pub tub supports my comments above. It is freak city in the public schools. If it's not the Obama rewrite American history gay curriculum, it's the sex offender that is teaching your kid. Beware parents, an example of public education....Clay The Official Obama Toon Boy. What was it....NE Alabama Community College? I think that was also Alprova's alma mater or maybe that was Chatt State??? Hmm?

August 8, 2013 at 12:32 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I will not say that public schools don't deserve some criticism. But standardized testing is the way that non-educators insist will solve the problem. It won't. It makes it worse.

In my 30 years of teaching (NOT in public schools, although all my training was in public schools and I graduated from a public school), my students load never exceeded 80. Public high school teachers regularly teach 150. My class size never exceeded 20, and was usually 16. Public school classes are often 30+, even in middle school. I chose my own curriculum and text (except I chose to teach without a text) and my own materials and methods. I wrote my own assessments and I was trained in how to devise a student-centered curriculum that was sensitive to the variety of learning styles my kids presented. I had an adequate budget and supplies, and a room (lab actually) that was designed to be flexible for a variety of teaching styles and activities. I had adequate clerical and physical plant support. I had full support of my administration and a place to send kids that disrupted. (a rare thing) When public school teachers have this, then and only then can non-educators judge them. Schools should be in local control, and should be designed to meet the needs of the community they serve. No NEA, no teachers unions, and no forced standardized testing. Every parent should pay a fee to send their children. Not so much that it is out of reach, but enough so that parents feel they should be a part. All parents should be required to volunteer some time.

End rant.

August 8, 2013 at 7:40 a.m.
fairmon said...

lkeithlu said...

Schools should be in local control, and should be designed to meet the needs of the community they serve. No NEA, no teachers unions, and no forced standardized testing. Every parent should pay a fee to send their children. Not so much that it is out of reach, but enough so that parents feel they should be a part. All parents should be required to volunteer some time.

I agree with your entire end of rant comments. You ask if I have taught and the answer is yes but not in public schools k-12. The teachers in those positions have an impossible task with too many chiefs that will not move from the one room process of years past. Too many with no experience and often lacking a good education of their own are making critical decisions. The federal government is of no value in determining what and how to teach, in fact the cost and effectiveness have worsened. Governments would screw up a two car funeral when they do their input management instead of output.

August 8, 2013 at 8:08 a.m.
GameOn said...

This is why kids struggle in math. The program is designed to confuse children and parents.

August 8, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Kids struggle with math for a great variety of reasons. Some just 'get' numbers from an early age (my youngest could multiply in his head at 4) some don't. Some percentage of elementary teachers are math phobic and pass this on to their pupils. Some parents are math phobic. Girls are sometimes 'excused' from excelling in math because it isn't a 'girl' thing (tell that to MY father-I was expected to make A's in math and science). Many kids from poor households arrive at kindergarten not knowing numbers, letters, colors, etc. and are fully aware that they are 'not as smart' as their more affluent classmates. Culturally, math and science were relegated to the geeks and nerds, and considered uncool by everyone else.

August 8, 2013 at 8:29 a.m.
GameOn said...

lkeithlu...I agree with you but we had a proven method for teaching math and Everyday Math was the biggest joke ever forced on Hamilton County students. The basic math skills taught in the 60's and 70's were far more effective.

The Washington Post article was very well written.

August 8, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Must be a student subject to Common Core. The first results (from NY) are in and student performance took a dramatic nose dive.

This is what your TN Government is bringing to your child's education. They are surrendering State and Local control of education to the Feds and the Feds are going to screw it up, like everything else they touch.

August 8, 2013 at 8:49 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

lkeithlu said... "When public school teachers have this, then and only then can non-educators judge them."

Public school teachers do not have this because all of the money is going into administration and retirement benefits. Guess what, when the fully loaded costs of a teacher double or triple, the class size has to be double or triple and the classroom resources suffer.

Education should be dominated by private schools and government schools should be the option of last resort, kind of like Welfare for education.

August 8, 2013 at 8:58 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Maybe, Game on, but some kids struggled with math then too. There are ways to teach math effectively to all students, but it starts in preschool and requires that all your primary school teachers be adept at math and emphasize it. Unfortunately, elementary ed programs are filled with people who can't do math. Those that are good at math go into much more lucrative careers. Make being an elementary school teacher a professional career with high pay and stiff requirements for entry, and most of these problems with public education will disappear.

August 8, 2013 at 9:03 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Education should be dominated by private schools and government schools should be the option of last resort, kind of like Welfare for education.

I disagree. Public schools should be in control of the community they serve; federal money put in but under no federal control (it is in the government's best interest to support education, even in areas where the tax base cannot do it adequately), all schools should be required to be accredited by an agency or group of its choice, and the parents be a part of that process. All parents should be required to participate, regardless of what they do for a living, even if it is to help out in the cafeteria or main office, and in proportion to the number of children enrolled. We CAN have good schools.

Oh, and if I were queen and making this decision? No sports. PE only. Sports should be community based club-style like in Europe. No schools should have sports teams.

August 8, 2013 at 9:08 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

Lu: Are you related to Alpo?

August 8, 2013 at 9:25 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Lu must have been picked last in PE.

August 8, 2013 at 9:31 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

Lu could be Mrs. Alpy.

August 8, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.
degage said...

PT, not so, Ike makes sense, our education system has suffered in the past 20 years due to government intervention. I went to school in the 40's and 50's ( dates me) and teachers had the freedom to teach the think process instead of test passing. Did you read that article? if not , do so.

August 8, 2013 at 10:16 a.m.
jesse said...

On the smart scale Al is a 5 ,Ike is a 9!!

Glad to see her back around!!

August 8, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
una61 said...

I would be interested seeing a list of the percentage of freshmen at Chat. State and UTC who have to take remedial courses in Math, English, and Science because of low scores on their placement exams and further, a breakdown by school.

August 8, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

Ma Gage, yea I read it. I practiced taught for one semester in late 60's. Made me RUN, not walk, away from teaching. Admire good teachers, but lots of lazy turds.

August 8, 2013 at 11:48 a.m.
Maximus said...

Private schools give your kid a chance. Standardized tests are about accountability both for the student and the teacher. And as you all know, one thing liberals and especially our Welfare Pimp President hate is.....accountability. Just ask Hillary about Benghazi and the IRS about auditing the Rev. Billy Graham. Send your kids where Chattanooga's hypocritical Democrats send their's .....McCauley, Baylor, GPS, Notre Dame, etc.

August 8, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

Ms Gage, not Ma correct

August 8, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

lkeithlu said...

You get what you pay for. Standardized testing is a lot cheaper than developing schools that encourage and teach kids as individuals, with unique strengths, interests and talents. Music, theater, arts, hands on science, courses that require plenty of writing and allow teachers the time to assess that writing? Too expensive. We'd rather buy drones.

The U.S. is obviously not getting what they pay for. We are paying about 30% more than the countries nearest to us in expenditure and double what many pay that outperform us.

2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which ranked the knowledge of 15-year-olds in 70 countries. The U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in mathematics.

We hear a lot of complaint about our healthcare system costing us more than what our performance justifies.That it is the free market system that makes it so and we should turn it’s operation over to the same government that runs our schools. However the common refrain, from those that claim to have a plan to upgrade our schools, is give them more money and keep out educational choice through private schools.

lkeithlu said...

fairmon, have you ever taught?

You mean like:

Have you served in the military?

Have you been a lawyer?

Have you been a policeman?

Have you been a medical doctor?

Have you ever been a Banker?

Have you ever been business owner?

If not you have no voice?

lkeithlu said...

If you have never taught, I don't see how you can possibly comprehend this issue.

“Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war? He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.” - General Jack D. Ripper

August 8, 2013 at 3:40 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

^^^^ next thang you know, they will put fluoride in our water.

August 8, 2013 at 3:54 p.m.
fairmon said...

Does no child left behind mean all have to slow down so the slow kid can keep up? It is premised on helping the slow kid learn how to run faster but the government doesn't do it that way. They make no secret they prefer parity and taking from some to give to others. It is not, in most cases, a lack of funding but poor use of the resources available. Check out the number of administrative positions per teacher, no business could succeed with such a top heavy organization. Many are important positions others are doing busy work and stressing out but contributing little to nothing.

Abolish the federal department of education and the progress of schools could be impressive. The Department of education and the Department of energy were two of Jimmy Carter's eggs that he laid and left. Like all eggs they hatch and take on a life of their own and keep growing and growing and eating and eating, scratching and crapping everywhere like a bunch of geese.

August 8, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

Odd that in the 50's and 60's people that were opposed to fluoridation in public water systems were mocked as uninformed ignorant rubes that didn't know what was in their best interests. Now that the left wing health Nat-zees are out in force against it they are presenting an informed and rational argument.

Alar 1989 anyone?

August 8, 2013 at 5:52 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

The system is top heavy. No need for county, state or as many local administrators. No need for federal education people. The money is not going where it needs to go, and the pay schedule is top heavy. Pay more to your primary teachers, a little less to your high school teachers, and get rid of athletics and all its overhead costs. Sorry to be politically incorrect, but federal dollars need few strings attached (schools should make sure all kids are vaccinated). Get rid of cafeterias. Kids should bring lunch to school, and parents can donate snacks. Any family receiving WIC can pack a PBJ for a kid for lunch. Start school later in the day so that kids aren't waiting for buses in the dark, and run elementary schools til 5PM. But the main thing is local control. You will not educate the kids of Hamilton County the exact same way as Grundy County. All schools should teach personal/family economics, and all schools should teach kids about our government and how it works. Finally (my grandma would be proud to hear me say this) all kids should take home ec. Boys included. It should included household budgeting and food safety. Didn't our moms once teach that? Guess what? This generation of moms doesn't really have those skills.

August 8, 2013 at 6:04 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

I have read everything that lkeithlu has said or linked to and I find I am in closer agreement with her than with many others in here. Not all, but many. There some who, like me, agree as well and some who have tried, unsuccessfully in my opinion, to argue against or make fun of her. I have only question for her. If we could somehow magically get rid of Kevin Huffman and could offer his job to you, would you be willing to serve? I would not be too quick to accept if I were you however, as you obviously know what you are up against. Just wondering is all. BTW I cook fairly well and have quite a few other basic survival skills. And I took civics in high school and poly sci at UT and between those courses and my personal experiences with this government I became a rational anarchist..:=)

August 8, 2013 at 6:09 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Well, Rshultz210, that's very flattering, but I am not qualified. My "pie-in-the-sky" notions are WAY too radical to be even possible. Can you imagine public schools giving up sports? To some people that is the only function of public schools (which emphasizes just how difficult this issue is). But I appreciate the "vote" of confidence. I think it is amazing just what the teachers accomplish in our schools in the face of so much of what the military would call chickensh!t.

August 8, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

Why let not being 'qualified' bother you? Besides, I think the word 'qualified' in this particular instance is open to interpretation. I mean Kevin Huffman got the job and he's not 'qualified' either. LOL

August 8, 2013 at 7:59 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Much admiration for teachers...almost did it myself. Had some good ones back in the day. Remember them fondly.

August 8, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.
workinjay said...

Plain Truth, That is the funniest thing I have seen all day. You know what I'm talking about. Thanks for the laugh, and continue to give em hell.

August 8, 2013 at 10:52 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

August 9, 2013 at 12:04 a.m.
chet123 said...


August 10, 2013 at 11:25 a.m.
chet123 said...


August 10, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.
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