Posts Tagged ‘ISTEP’

“Our present system penalizes experimentation and failure and doesn’t expect mastery.  This paradigm expects experimentation and failure and expects mastery.”  – Salman Khan

I’ve never been a fan of the ISTEP test.  I hate that the entire educational agenda and process (for teachers and students) now revolves around this one standardized test.  It forces every kid into a paradigm with no regard to learning styles, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  It denies teachers who have a passion and skill in a particular area to forgo their talent in preference to a stupid standardized test.

I found this yesterday.  It is about the Khan Academy.  I wondered what it would look like if the South Bend Community School Corporation abandoned their present model and adopted this as a new paradigm of learning and education.

I also found in the resources practical help for any student struggling in a host of areas of school (especially math).  Maybe you have a kid who needs some help.

If you have time to watch it (and I do because I’m on vacation 🙂 ), I highly recommend it.

Check out their website for over 2600 videos on various subjects:  www.khanacademy.org

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This week is ISTEP test week here in Indiana.  But not just any ISTEP…NO…this week, because our kids took the test in the Fall, they are now taking – ISTEP + PLUS!  It is a new test.  A different test.  (Which by the way…I am a fan of this test being in the Spring rather than the Fall).

According to all of my inside sources, thus far it has been a disaster.

The difficulty is off the charts in comparison to previous ISTEP tests.  Even the most gifted of students are struggling.  It is a totally different test, even conceptually (at least in the Math section).  Time allotment is not in proportion to difficulty levels.  The level of stress and anxiety (because EVERYTHING is about the ISTEP in schools now-a-days) about the test is making kids sick (there is a lot of pressure…from the school who will have the results published publicly and from home…who wants to have their summer disrupted by summer school?).  Illness are being reported all over the state.

Because of this ridiculous test (and I know you need some sort of standardization) our kids aren’t getting an education in the knowledge and life skills they need, they are getting an education on ISTEP.  EVERYTHING is about ISTEP.  Teachers have tried to prepare their kids, and now a new ISTEP Plus comes out, and lo and behold they shifted the target on them.  No communication.  No preparation. 

Rumor has it (I haven’t gotten this substantiated), the state doesn’t even have a grading system yet.  They are waiting until the test are graded and then they will determine passing scores based on 30% failing.  Does this make any sense?

This new test cost the state $13 million.  And I’m sure the decision making in regards to this test rests with those who haven’t been in the classroom for years.

ISTEP…boo!  boo!! BOO!!!

I feel sorry for every student, teacher, and administrator who is having their educational self-worth determined by the ISTEP!

I’m for one-room-school-houses.  Worked on Little House on the Prairie.  I think it can work again.  Who’s with me 🙂 !!?

Alright teachers…what do you have for me?  Fill me in on the inside skinny!!