Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This is a response to some things I've read recently on some educational blogs about NCLB.
SOMEDAY, maybe, the edu-bureaucrats sitting in state capital offices will get their act together. Here in California, the State is now testing 8th grade students in Social Studies, in addition to the "usual" math and English language skills stuff. Unfortunately, the test is NOT aligned to the California State Social Studies Standards. For example, I was told by an 8th grade Social Studies Teacher that the test "she just gave her kids" contained questions about the Great Depression, 1960's Space program and the US in Vietnam. Great. California 8th Graders are supposed to study US History. BUT, according to the State Standards, 8th Graders study US History from the Development of the US Constitution to about WW I. YET, they are being tested on material that they will not have an opportunity to learn in a regular public school classroom until they reach grade 11 !
Secondly, but not quite as important, is a lack of cross-over between subject area standards (in California). For example, I teach Grade 7 World History. There is NOTHING in the Grade 7 Language Arts Programs that matches what content I am expected to teach. This makes it harder to support each other (in terms of content/subject matter). Yes, I have my students writing and doing DOL (Daily Oral Language) activities, but it is tailored to my subject/current topic. For example, today's DOL was: "We us the roman alphabot" Students copy it as its written, then we go over it for errors. Students 'edit' their statement, then copy it error-free. Sometimes, at the end of a week, they must write a quality, error-free paragraph using their DOL's for the week. Anyhow, much work needs to be done to get everyone on the same page for the benefit of our students.