Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » NO EXCUSES…

    Filed at 9:22 am under by dcobranchi

    But I’ll offer one anyway.

    The Pennsylvania tests are so tough (How tough are they?), that some teachers may be tempted to cheat.

    Angered because they suspected classmates may have gotten an unfair break on the state-mandated achievement tests, two Fayette County eighth-graders cut short their lunch break to protest.

    Their complaint earlier this week led Uniontown Area School District officials to discipline a teacher after learning that reading test answers may have been completed in advance for pupils in the teacher’s class, Superintendent Charles Machesky said.

    …While he said there is “no excuse” for the apparent testing improprieties, Machesky said the allegations point out the intense pressure that PSSA tests generate for some teachers and pupils. The tests measure yearly progress, and schools and teachers face serious consequences if results are poor.

    “What this says is that there are professionals whose reputations are on the line because they teach in the area [that’s being tested]. The pressure is so intense that maybe some feel it’s worth it to risk a teaching license for good [test] scores,” he said. “But there’s no excuse for it, and we’re going to do everything to fix it.”

    Well, I guess having the teacher fill out an 8th-grade test is one way to ensure a good score. Hmm, on second thought, given the way some PA teachers perform on their own tests, perhaps the kids would have been better off taking the test themselves.

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