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 Stephen Gould - Ghosts of Bell Curves Past 
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Isn't it amazing that the thing that worried Alfred Binet, who developed the Stanford-Binet IQ Test, can still be in our thought processes today. He was worried that if teachers were told that a student is inherently uneducable based on low IQ scores, they will cease trying and will treat the student as unable, thereby producing the result by ill nuture, rather than inherent nature. I have observed teachers over the years, myself included, discuss their up-coming class with a past teacher. The two major points of conversation will be centered around the child's IQ and EOG scores.
Are we always using this information as Binet wished, to just identify students and provide needed services, or are we sometimes gulity of predetermining where our upcoming students are before we have even met them for the first time? Just wondered what you guys thought.

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Sandra Peterson


Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:49 pm
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Sandra, I don't know why we do this. I hear this among teachers all the time, and occasionally I find myself participating. I try to keep an open mind about my students, but when we are surrounded by 504's, EC testing, IQ's, reading levels, and EOC/EOG's it is hard to keep an open mind. When a student is struggling in my class, it is hard to ignore that he tested on a 3rd grade reading level. As teachers, we seem to be constantly shooting ourselves in the foot with this testing information. If the goal is to produce growth, why does it matter what the tests say as long as they learn. Why can't I decide if a student has learned based on the level he/she began in. If I must attend a workshop on differentiated learning (I did Friday), doesn't everyone (those who enforce the tests) know that students learn at and on different levels. :?: :? PS- I apologize for misspelling "argument" in my earlier entry. There is no excuse for that kind of negligence. :lol:


Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:08 am
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IQ scores follow students through elementary, middle, and high school. IQ scores are the basis for admission into Governor's School as well as EOC scores. In fact, a student will not even be considered unless they have an ECO in the 92 percentile or higher. It doesn't matter if they have an outstanding academic record or great teacher recommendations. Ultimatley, a test decides if they are admitted into a program that could impact their life.

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Callie Grubb


Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:07 pm
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Pam, you would think that since we are required to differentiate instruction for students, allowing for their different learning styles and abilities, that they would be assessed in the same way. It's amazing that the testing service's answer to the assessment allowing for student differences, is placing them into one of three test forms. Extend one students supposedly have testing that directly reflect their ability levels and needed modifications. How can I explain the fact that we fill out their ability level stating an autistic student doesn't speak, yet the Extend one form of the test asked the student to read a question aloud and pick a picture for an answer? It was supposed to be designed specifically for that student! Then we have the extend two form which is testing the students on exactly the same concepts on regular EOG tests, but gives them only three answer choices so it supposedly gives them a better chance to get a correct answer. Well...if they could answer questions on grade level concepts, they would be taking a regular grade level test! The we have the regular EOG test. If students can read it, they must take it. Just becaused they can read it doesn't mean they can process quickly to generate answers in the alloted amount of time. So, basically the state tells us that if students don't fit into one format of testing, they MUST fit into one of the two others. What happens when they do not fit into any of these? Is this truly differentiated testing for differentiated instruction? I think we have to assess to show progress, not to meet goals set by some institution or they are told they are failures. When will that happen though is the question!

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Deby R Johnson


Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:01 pm
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I think that Deby has a great point. We as teachers should get to decide growth. I believe it is unethical to decide that a student has not learned based on a test. The students that this hurts the most, my ESL and EC students, are usually the exact students who have made the most growth overall. Yet, they continue to fail this test. One ESL student that I have (I met him this year in summer school-he failed 9th English EOC but passed the class) in 9th English again told me in the cafeteria that if he didn't pass this year, he was going to quit school. I tried to reason with him, explaining that the test didn't properly show all he had accomplished. He said he didn't care, he wasn't going to be a Freshman again. I told these students that if they worked really hard all year that I could take their work in a portfolio before a committee to prove that the SCOS goals had been achieved despite the test scores. However, after working for 6 hours on one portfolio to get it organized by objective, my principal would not consider the portfolio. He said that despite the work in the portfolio, the student had to show some kind of progress from the test scores. He had made a high 2, then a low 2, and the third time a middle 2. With no growth, he would not allow the portfolio to go before the committe (the committee that exists on paper but not in actuallity). Therefore, I lied to all my summer school students who worked hard all summer and still didn't pass. 5 of these summer school students are in my class again. If I were them, I would have no faith in anything that I said. :cry: They are all EC, 504, or ESL.


Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:02 am
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