Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Education Reform: "What Teachers Make

Posted For

Sandra in Brevard

According to his bio, Taylor Mali taught high school for nine years but today is a poet and well-known in the poetry slam movement. He performs and lectures around the world and leads the New Teacher Project, the goal to create 1,000 new teachers through "poetry, persuasion, and perseverance." He is a vocal advocate of the nobility of teaching and expresses it in this engaging 2006 presentation.

Sandra asked me to let everyone know she posted this video for all of you regular readers who's wives, sons, daughters or parents teach

Read all of Sandra's Blogs at Grumpy Educators



  1. Today's news from Charlotte indicates parents remain upset over the sudden 52 tests. Teachers are worried about using the results of this "field-testing" as a measure of performance pay. However, what caught my eye is that the superintendent admits he has no idea where the money will come from and includes asking the commissioners for extra money or a special tax. TAX??? Not a surprise to me, nor the readers of Grumpy. Watching for the same in Florida.

  2. Slightly of topic, but you mentioned that Pearson, is advertising for essay graders... the pay range is 7.50 to 10.00 a hour.. a BA is required.

    That's the same pay range McDonald's offers people to flip burgers or manage a shift. Minimum wage employees are grading the tests that will determine if kids graduate, or if teachers get fired..

  3. That is true, but Pearson now has a new product for Florida - Pearson Intelligent Essay Assessor. They claim this "statistical Artificial Intelligence" is as reliable as a human scorer. Artificial intelligence is a little overblown in my view. It is an algorithm that compares format against examples that rated, along with spell and grammar check functions we are familiar with. It is one of the new generation of tests. This is not a it, you will find it. I have just scratched the surface regarding the national testing initiative.

  4. There are programs to moderate website comments. I pest on some forums that use them. You hear complaints all the time about legitimate comments being removed by the moderators

  5. Grumpy - The programs you refer to likely rely on keywords, but even so it is folly to believe that algorithms can distinguish sarcasm, parody, joking, or anger in on line forums. If Pearson's program is as reliable as the temporary low paid human scorers they hire, then we have a pretty good idea of the results we are likely to get. There are no published reviews or information on field trials. The only source of info is Pearson's website. No info on costs either.

  6. In a recent Miami townhall, Obama said we had too much testing. The bloggers began questioning whether the Department of Education and Obama were on the same page. Now the NY Times has become interested in that story.

  7. Sandra, for decades no one has been allowed to seriously question educational costs..

    After all it's for the kids

  8. You can ask all the serious questions you want, but never expect a serious answer. Instead, we get "We don't know." "Expensive."

    The blogger in this case was questioning was whether Arne Duncan and the President agree on the quantity of tests in place and more coming down the pike. I don't think there was an answer to the simple question that was asked.

  9. AI essay grading systems have been around for decades. Many professions use them, such as the legal, accounting, and computer fields. They are not only easy to build, but far more accurate than humans.

    I will never disagree that there are too many tests...however..there needs to be testing and holding teachers accountable. It needs to be now.

  10. Do something anything, even if it's wrong, just do something?

    Rhee has been held up as a national example, now we know her reputation was built on fraud?

    Pearson is using minimum wage people to determine if schools get funding.. for two years straight they've mucked up the results, but no one is suggesting we test the testers? Oh well, the process is paying for the Gaddadfi family to buy weapons.

    Hell Captain, big part of this scheme belongs to Obama, neither the TEA Party or the GOP is mentioning that...

    We know the scheme is being used to allow major companies to data mine our kids.. for commercial and government uses "down the road" Seems to me that creates an issue with both the Privacy Act, and the Fourth Amendment.

    Six month ago the TEA Party was talking about doing away with the DOE entirely.. Now Republicans want to give them virtually unlimited control of something that's Constitutionally and traditionally a state matter.

  11. Some find the growing national standards and the national testing initiative okay. Other do not find it to be a good move.

    No company I have ever worked for used computer programs as part of their quality assurance process for any written document that was released, nor as part of employee evaluations. Employees in all departments are required to write professionally, check their work, and when necessary get reviewed by an on-staff editor. No written product goes out to a customer without another level of management taking a look. No software replaces the process. Translation software is also a very bad investment. One of the developers of the Pearson program commented that this algorithm is an new development in the field. I won't argue the point. One either believes that algorithms exist that can evaluate complex language for depth in meaning or they do not. I will have to see it to believe it.

  12. Grumpy...I respect you since this is your blog..not mine. But I do call you on this.

    Do you think for a New York minute that your data, and the data of children has not already been mined?

    You registered to have this blog...your data belongs to Google. WE have ALL been data mined.

    I belong to several Tea of the largest of which is the Tea Party Patriots. Show me where they are supporting the idea of larger government.

    The problem is too many people guessing and using innuendo, and not providing facts and proof.

    As you have said...the burden of education belongs right there in your community...NOT at the state or federal level...if your community can afford to pay useless and worthless teachers...with no accountability...great.

    But when education is paid for with my dollar...I will vote to curtail wasted money on worthless results.

    My 2 cents.

  13. Captain, I draw the line when the government starts selling kindergardners data... Remember the outrage when states got caught selling Druiver's license Information? Wait till you see 30,000,000 mad mothers..

    Time and time again Sandra has shown proof that the testing isn't working.. The poster child for RTTT, Michelle Rhee is tied up in a fraund investigation right now.

    The testing company most likely to get the Florida Contract has been unable to fulfil their contractural obligations for two years in a row.. Could be the minimum wage help they use to determine peoples futures...

    Everyone complains about teachers teaching to the tests, how will this not make that worse?

    Show me a working model for SB 736. They admitted right before the vote they had no money to pay for it.... except by forcing tax increases on local government..

    How is allowing more control by DC not an expansion of Government?

    I have a great deal of respect for you opinon as well, but I think you're overlooking something on this one

  14. As I said..and I will repeat myself...your children's data has already been mined...many many times. The recent Census did just that...outrage..nope not a peep.

    They know how old you are, your income, your education level, your address (and all past addresses), most importantly they know your social security number. What else is left for them to know.

    I have seen no "Proof" that any tests are not working...I see quotes by groups that oppose testing.

    Teachers should be teaching to the standard...not the test...those teachers that do will fail. That is fact.

    If your local schools accept state money..then they are bound by state is time to defund state sponsored education and put it back into the local community. Give the control back to the people.

    Allowing? I know of no one in the Tea Party movement that is "Allowing" anything.

    I believe in limited government..and fiscal responsibility. Tell me how responsible it is to shore up failed teachers and administrations with my dollar? It isn't.

    Since the Sandra has done the would be nice to see her plan for a working educational system.

  15. "Since the Sandra has done the would be nice to see her plan for a working educational system."
    I have no idea what that means. I am not a legislator, but I am a taxpayer. Those who have control over planning are not interested in local control. Thirty years of government spending to fix an unending "crisis" and failed is unacceptable. Now during extraordinary budgetary times, hundreds of millions are spent on developing a new generation of computer-based tests that will pile on more standardized tests for the purpose of improving education. That doesn't make sense. Pearson's failures are widely reported.

    People want accountability and do not oppose testing; what they oppose is excessive testing.
    I can imagine what I might do if I could "plan for a working educational system" - today it would be to first shut the federal DOE and state counterparts on the grounds of systemic performance failures. Ronald Reagan was right.

  16. I can certainly support where do we start.

  17. If I were to "start", I'd want to know where the money's spent, and what we get in return..

    I can reember a school board in Jersey at budget time bragging about educating 5200 students for the amazingly low price of less than 6000 per student..

    When I turned the page I found out
    5 X 6=44,000,000. Seems the Board of Ed didn't consider adminisrative costs, part of the cost of education.. to some degree I think they're right

    What do we gain by keeping disruptive high school kids in school... just to keep the graduadtion rates up..

    What is the benefit in trying to turn all students into academics... most will never need a bit of advanced algerbra once they leave school....

    Other countries succesfully use apprenticeships for those that aren't "school oriented" sooner or later we all need a plumber or a mechanic.. when we do, we pay


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