EdithAnn,The Advocate asked that people 'think outside the box' for ideas to help. You have certainly done that. I like your ideas and agree that it will take something drastic to correct the situation.Well done.
I SO agree with getting rid of the tests. Not only are the teachers limited to teach the test, if a child falls behind or has trouble c-scope does not allow for review. And the c-scope tests scores are held over the teachers heads like an axe so they are forced to move on. We have some great teachers out there but if they could be honest they would tell you they can't teach effectively due to the test. They are forced to teach the same whether they have an advanced class or a struggling class. All kids do not learn the same way or speed. For those kids who have to work, do they still have the vocational classes that allowed students to go to school half the day then work the other half?Also we need to hold parents more responsible. Many teachers can't even get a parent to look at a child's folder each day. If the parent's aren't involved in their children's education then the child will not be involved. We need to quit making it so easy for some to use school just as free babysitting. And those who think that teachers should be responsible for these kids 24/7, forget that these people have families at home too.
EdithAnn - You are right on the money! That is one of the reasons I removed my child from VISD and am homeschooling him. He has already made up the work he had "failed" to learn at West and nearly completed his sophomore year course-work besides. Sports are emphasized WAY too much, as is the standardized testing. This country is way behind academically, and this STATE is nearly at the bottom of the nation academically. Before the legislature needs to put restrictions on home-schooling (which, by the way, is a far superior way to educate children than the current method of local public education), it needs to go back to letting school districts, specifically TEACHERS, actually teach students. And teach them the way things really ARE and WERE, not sanitized and politically correct versions. Life is not sanitized and politically correct. We are all so worried about offending some lifeform we can barely say hello with apologizing for it.
How about, since the state legislature gutted the education budget this past session and it will over a year to the next, VISD opt out of standardized testing? What to they have to lose? Money? They are already at a loss there.
Premont, Texas decided that academics were going to become inportant after the TEA gave them the mandate to raise their performance scores or they would be closed down. This would have had kids being transported over 35 miles one way to school. The small town decided that was unacceptable, and came together to solve the problem. Starting in the fall, there are no more athletics in Premont. It is 100% academics. They are serious about turning this around.
What can't Victoria take some kind of drastic action to turn this situation around? Opt out of the testing! Let the teachers teach the subject without having every lesson be tied to a stupid test dreamed up by some non-teachers! Bring the test back later, after the kids actually learn the content of the subject.
How many years have we been testing? Looks like the ones who are not learning their lessons are those sitting in Austin.
It is going to take something drastic to make a difference I believe.