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José Luis Vilson

May 31, 2013

It's TEACHER Leader To You, Sir

1 comments

Hey John,

Maybe we're the crazy ones to think that the school year is an actual full year of teaching. The lull between the "big tests" and the end of the school year gets students thinking that we ought not learn anything anymore. Obviously, for teachers who've been doing this for a while, we want to get as much juice as possible out of our schedules. For example, it's one thing to have extra time at the end of a period, but at the end of a school year?

There's just no way. They have learning to do.

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José Luis Vilson

May 21, 2013

What Isn't STEM?

0 comments

Hey John,

Last week, I got the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual NSTA Conference on STEM. For those unaware, STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, shorthand for trying to get kids interested in technical fields. With federal support, people from kindergarten to the university level has been trying to grapple what STEM is, and what it should look like, especially in schools with limited funding.

While there were some great presentations (not to mention two of my own), I found myself having more questions than answers about this idea of STEM.

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John Holland

May 18, 2013

Test reform would create school reform

0 comments

Jose - Here in Virginia we have had standards of learning for a long time. Our standards are revised every seven years by content area. English one year, then math, etc. What we hadn't done, since the beginning of our standards, is revise our tests. Of course we add new questions and take some out each year but, we haven’t looked to see if our tests are even assessing what we want kids or teachers to do. This has been the main point of my last couple posts.

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José Luis Vilson

April 11, 2013

The Problem Isn't Assessment; It's The High Stakes

0 comments

Hello John,

Recently, I had a brief discussion with a new high ranking official about assessment. He told his followers that teachers seem to have the idea of assessment all wrong. He gets that we need to address "teaching to the test," but that teaching to the test isn't the problem. According to the test, we should look at assessment for "what it is":  a tool to find out how teachers can improve their teaching and increase achievement.

I giggled to myself, and I rarely do so.

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