Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DC-CAS results

Here's a DCist post about the 2010 DCCAS test results. So, secondary school's up a tad, and elementary's down in both reading and math by 4.something%.

What does this say about Rhee's own style of pushing pushing pushing the test? Perhaps it doesn't work quite as well as she thought? Mmmmm???


dcparent said...

Honest question: Why are people so anti-Rhee? Yes, she's not diplomatic, but where have "nicer" approaches gotten DCPS? Someone has got to say the stuff she's saying, and make unpopular choices. The truth is, what's best for the kids is not really going to be convenient and popular with the adults. Not the parents or the teachers. And if the test scores aren't soaring off the charts yet...maybe we parents and teachers have more work to do with the kids.

Reading the District said...

dcparent, here's my honest answer. I really don't believe that what Rhee wants is bad. In fact, she wants the best out of our schools. And, in fact, I think the closing of certain schools, the recombining, and all that was a good step (in some ways more than others) because it led to consolidation where there were low numbers. Also, many schools went under restructuring plans, which is great.

I don't think, however, that she did the right thing by being a strictly data-oriented, results-oriented, fire-first-train-later strategy. Ineffective does not mean untrainable, and old teachers do not necessarily a terrible school system make (sometimes). I think it's about, essentially, the style of education reform we believe in, one that concentrates on results and test-driven data; and one that concentrates on development of skills, a love of content, and positive habits.

I don't know if she's really into that. Plus, I don't think she believes teaching is a life-long career. That scares me.

dcparent said...

"one that concentrates on results and test-driven data; and one that concentrates on development of skills, a love of content, and positive habits."

Are these necessarily mutually exclusive though? People would be burning her at the stake if she said "Don't look at test scores. We are teaching skill and love of content." DCCAS isn't some sort of Holy Grail to me, but if my child couldn't score "proficient" on it I would wonder why, given that his teachers say he reads and does math at least at grade level and sometimes even a little better.

I never heard this thing about Rhee not seeing teaching as a life-long career. But her opinion on that doesn't matter much. She can lock horns with the teacher's union, but she can't dissolve it and fire everybody. (And I don't actually think she wants to do that.)

My child went to a school for pre-k that wasn't some "nightmare" but boy, was there some indifference in certain corners of that building. When Rhee says "accountability" my heart leaps. (We are now in a Charter School where the accountability is for everyone and we all know it. Kids, parents, teachers. So, yeah, I believe in that.)