Test Scores and Garage Doors.

Educators hate mandated testing.Garage Door Theory.

Hate.  Hate.  Hate it.

It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard (for those of you younger than 35… chalkboards were used to write on and deliver notes to students before your fancy whiteboards and SMARTBoards came along).

Yet, I think schools perform at a higher level because of testing (not a popular position, I know). 

That being said, I disagree with many of the decisions by the people (politicians) who have put testing in place.

The truth is people perform better when they are evaluated. 

I don’t like it.  You don’t like it.  Nobody likes it.

I’ve never met anyone who said "Yeah, it’s time for my evaluation.  Sweet!"

I can’t say testing has made students smarter, but I think it’s made teachers and administrators more accountable.

I also think it’s a mortal lock that everyone involved, from politicians to testing companies, has benefited more than kids from all this "testing business".

Don’t kid yourself, it’s big business.  Really big.

Those who demand more testing also seem to believe scores are a reflection of student intelligence.  Higher Scores = Better Teachers and Smarter Students.

I don’t buy this.

As educators, we face challenges that can’t be tested.

I think the number one challenge for education and educators in this country is poverty.

My late father-in-law used to say he could drive through any community and tell you their test scores.  He called it his "Garage Door Theory".

More garage doors equaled higher test scores.

Communites with large houses with three car garages did better than communities with smaller houses and fewer garages.

Maybe his theory was a bit simplistic.  Or maybe he was more correct than most of us want to believe.

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Cellphones are a Menace, but Students May Not be the Problem.

I've Had More Cellphones Than This in My Desk at School.Teachers and school administrators continue to expect that cell phones not be turned on during the school day.

I wholeheartedly agree.

This is a fight schools have been waging for close to 10 years and we must not give up now. If we quit, it will be viewed as weakness.

Cell phones can be a disruption to the learning process, an overall annoyance, and may even provoke larger problems when used as a camera or an MP3 player.

Administrators and teachers are well within their rights to demand that they not be on during school time.

We are trying to educate, not provide time for social interaction. What possible benefit could there be to using cell phones during school time?

They certainly couldn’t be used as organizers, internet connections, note taking devices, or calculators (has an IEP been written yet with a cell phone in it… if it hasn’t; it will and should be).

Cell phones are most likely a fad and will simply go away if we fight them long enough. We must hold our ground.

In elementary school, I remember one of my teachers telling us that people would soon get bored with calculators and at that point they would disappear (how is that working out for you Mrs. Crazy?)

To older people like me, cell phones are an evil example of progress. And we don’t need that. The future scares us and it should be avoided at all costs.

This whole technology thing is getting out of hand. We need to hold kids back as they try to move ahead of us with these new fangled ideas (after all students are nothing more than our replacements).

Much like cars, indoor plumbing, and the SMARTBoards; cell phones are just another way to ruin the way of life of which we have grown comfortable.

We need to hold our ground. No cell phones.

And as administrators we need to lead this fight. We must be an example to young people in living a “cell phone free” life. A life where we put common courtesy ahead of convenience.

Who is with me!?

I say as administrators we start by setting the ultimate example.

Simply put; turn your phone on vibrate when attending a meeting. You are annoying everyone around you.

You expect students to do it. Practice what you preach.

The school you work at will survive for an hour. None of us are as important as we think we are.

You want students to be attentive and polite; how about we try it first.

Just in case you are a little slow… this is what we like to call sarcasm… I am a huge proponent of the benefits of using a cell phone in the classroom as a “learning tool”. But for the love of Pete people…, turn off your cell phone when you are in a meeting or presentation! It’s called vibrate… try it. You just might like it.

Thank you for letting me vent. I feel much better.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.