Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What does high stakes testing do to children's desire to participate in democratic society?

Since 1996, 47.9% (www.electproject.org) of eligible U.S. voters have participated in presidential and mid-term elections. That is an abysmally low number. We know that voter suppression and the violation of civil rights is a problem historically in the U.S.

Still, there are other factors at work here. Why do young people of all classes in US society, not participate in voting?

There is an x-factor at work here. It has everything to do with how children are educated in the U.S.

What does that say about state and federal legislators capacity to implement legislation that promote the most important part of being a U.S. citizen?

It says that legislators do not listen to educators who understand the affects of standardized testing are not benign to the well-being of children or to society.

What does 16,000 hours of test-centric behavior modification do to a child during their formative years with respect to developing an outlook and attitude for participation in the social arrangement we call democracy?

Friday, April 1, 2016

How Does 16000 Hours of Behavior Modification Prepare Children For Participation In A Democratic Society?

Why do young people not vote despite having the eligibility to do so?
I think children deserve more than experiences extrapolated from behavior modification experiments designed by Ivan Pavlov, Edward Thorndike, John Watson and B.F. Skinner.

When the state exerts pressure on educators with evaluations that place a high value on how well children do on standardized tests, teachers will continue teaching to the test and place more pressure on children with classroom experience that mimic test events. 

One of my issues is when administrators believe high stakes testing is a benign process.

Does your administrator wield banal slogans like, "All children can learn," or "We will do what's best for children," while pushing a narrow curriculum driven by Pavlovian behaviorism in order to extract standardized test scores?

Curriculum is a mind altering instrument. You can reinforce and affect children's reactions to participate in high stakes tests with a narrow curriculum structured around radical behaviorism but you will have a difficult time affecting their capacity to think for themselves.

When explaining away low voter-participation rates in states like Indiana where there is opportunity for early voting, simply stating we make it harder for young people to participate in the electoral process doesn't fly. Young people are apathetic about participation in democracy. Why?

You can't prepare young citizens for participation in democratic society in which they are fundamentally outside the decision making processes central to learning experiences they are compelled to participate in. Traditional public education in the U.S. is primarily an exercise in authoritarianism driven by an instructional psychology oriented around radical behaviorism.

Let's be honest here. Parents should ask their school administrators what kind of instructional psychology is used most frequently within their school.

What conception of the human mind can your school administrator provide you with? Does your administrator wield banal slogans like, "All children can learn," or "We will do what's best for children," while pushing a narrow curriculum driven by radical behaviorism in order to extract data-driven standardized test scores from children? If that is the case, I question that administrator's ability to understand there is a difference between high stakes test training and learning experience that is democratic and consensual.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Indiana HB1004: Because Some Teachers Are More Valuable Than Others

I was at the Indiana State Capital today discussing the detrimental affects of taking wages away from the majority of teachers in order to pay to a select few a higher salary.

IN House Bill 1004 directs school superintendents to do exactly that.

Collegiality, partnerships and morale will be compromised when administrators unilaterally offer higher salaries to a select few. Where will this additional compensation come from?

The pockets of the rest of the teaching staff.

HB 1004 will destabilize teacher morale and pit teacher against teacher.

While I was waiting to talk to a legislator today, I overheard Kokomo Representative Michael Karickhoff, a supporter of the bill, tell three of his constituents how good HB1004 would be.

Karickhoff reasoned, "HB1004 will give superintendents the flexibility to hire teachers that are hard to find, for example a chemistry teacher. After all, some teachers are more valuable than others."

This kind of thinking by Republicans at the Indiana General Assembly typifies a mindset that teachers are a dime a dozen.

Karickhoff and his cohorts think a high school chemistry teacher is more valuable than a 3rd grade classroom teacher? A kindergarten teacher? A 5th grade teacher? A music teacher? An middle school English teacher? Any teacher?

Here is the deal. Children are not constructed in homogeneous cohorts. Children are not blank slates.
All teachers contribute mightily to the intellectual development of the community of learners that exist within school settings. To compensate a few at the expense of all is immoral.

Professional educators see this policy initiative as a slap in the face.
Prospective teacher candidates will stay away in droves from the profession further exacerbating the teacher shortage.

Contact your Indiana Legislator today and tell them HB1004 pits teacher against teacher and will only worsen the Indiana teacher shortage : https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/legislators/