July 31, 2014

Elyria
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test

Elyria teacher starts online petition for changes to standardized tests

Dawn Randall teaches poetry in her fifth-grade class at McKinley Elementary on Monday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Dawn Randall teaches poetry in her fifth-grade class at McKinley Elementary on Monday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — It started with a guest column in the Washington Post, where Elyria teacher Dawn Randall lamented about the exhausting standardized testing schedule of Ohio students.

Now, the educator with 24 years in the classroom under her belt is letting her voice be used to drive an online petition calling for changes in the way young students are tested in schools across the state.

Uploaded to MoveOn.org more than a week ago, the petition is asking for saner standardized testing practices. It had garnered 984 signatures as of 6 p.m. Monday.

“I don’t think I am asking for too much to say there needs to be developmentally appropriate time limits to tests, and that those same tests be returned to parents and teachers after they are scored,” Randall said. “Students, some as young as 8 and 9 years old, are asked to sit through a 2.5-hour test and we never see those documents again. We are given phantom scores and the actual test is never returned.”

Randall’s classroom at McKinley Elementary School, where she teaches fifth-grade language arts, is just like any other typical classroom with books, the stellar work of students tacked to the walls and notices about homework to be completed. But a whiteboard at the front of the room provides whoever enters with a quick education of testing requirements of students.

When asked why such information is in plain sight, Randall said if she is going to subject her students to the state mandated tests, she will also arm them with the facts about how the tests will affect their lives.

Randall helps a student during a poetry lesson on Monday.

Randall helps a student during a poetry lesson on Monday.

“I want my students to know the state doesn’t know about the projects they have worked on all year, the good grades they have earned, the books they have read or the progress they have made,” she said. “All the state cares about is one test taken on one day and they will label that child based on the results. So on that one day, I want them to give it all they got to show they are proficient.”

Randall, who is considered a highly qualified teacher based on a matrix that looks at how her students academically grow throughout a school year, said contrary to what some may believe she is not against testing. It’s a necessary function of public education, she said, adding that the latest version that keeps upping the stakes — a new mandate known as the Third Grade Reading Guarantee that could result in hundreds of Ohio students not advancing to fourth grade after this school year — has perverted a system that is supposed to help districts better assess student achievement.

“My goal is to make the test more developmentally appropriate. In what world is it OK to say a third-grader can take a 2.5-hour rest just like a 10th grader?” Randall said. “The assessment we give students to see if they are gifted is an hour and a half. So, they’re saying I only need an hour and a half to determine if a child is gifted, but it takes 2.5 hours to tell if a child can read.”

Randall said she hopes the petition gets the attention of state legislators, state school board members and the Ohio Department of Education. She also hopes it serves as a rallying call to parents and fellow educators to get involved.

Since penning a piece for the Washington Post, Randall has received hundreds of emails and Facebook comments supporting her initiative, but she feels many are afraid to let their displeasure known. Teachers fear for their jobs, parents fear repercussion for their children and administrators fear angrier policymakers who control the state purse strings.

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into either with all this. But I felt like it was something I couldn’t say no to,” Randall said.

“Enough is enough. I’m just weary from all this testing. Honestly, I just want to teach.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Linda Meadows

    It would have been nice if a link to the petition was included in this article!

    • Just_A_Thought_About_This

      There is a link to the petition. The link is located at the begining of the third paragraph and appears in blue type.

  • The Thinker

    Signed.

  • Brian_Reinhardt

    I remember back in the 70′s and 80′s constantly reading in Newsweek and Time magazine the sad state of American education. We were constantly lagging behind the Germans, Japanese and other western style democracies in Math and Science. We were graduating kids who couldn’t read the diploma they were handed.

    The American public demanded a change…

    The change was the legislative push for more standardized testing. One of the benefits of standardized testing was that a more central, outside entity (state boards of education) would look at the academic performance of school districts and grade them accordingly.

    Then the proverbial “shyt hit the fan”…

    Someone was poking into our business…someone was watching…grading…and they couldn’t hide.

    Teachers unions ALL hated standardized testing and the reason is obvious. Their performance could be evaluated by someone outside their circle of “friends”.

    Fast forward 30 – 40 years to Lorain Ohio. A school district taken over academically by the State Department of Education because of their failure to educate, to an acceptable standard a large portion of their students.

    But district wide passed over 97% of kids from class to class over a 4 year period.

    How can only 40% of kids be proficient in one subject but 97% of them pass it?

    Lorain City Schools is the poster child for the need of outside evaluation and rigorous proficiency testing.

    Think about it…If testing had not been in place and an outside entity grading it, Lorain’s schools would STILL be doing the same poor job of teaching some of the most disadvantaged kids in the state and nobody would know it except for those kids struggling in college or those graduates who were not prepared to hold down a job.

    In my opinion, the people most vocal regarding proficiency testing are those on the front line who will be evaluated by it and how dare someone grade a teacher. School boards of education and administrations also hate the scrutiny. In all cases they provide the curriculum teachers teach to.

    School systems are run by educators or former educators. Maybe it’s time to let the educators educate to a model produced and ran by an expert in management.

    • Sis Delish

      I think you’re on to something here, BR.

    • jz

      Look at the homes many of these kids come from today. And to put it all on the teachers? Your points are well taken, but, there are other facets to the argument than teachers do not want to be graded themselves. Some of the best teachers I had in the 60′s and 70′s would and could not have been so effective if they had these big brother standardized tests which a robot could teach towards.

    • B4CE

      Who else did you expect to advocate for the children besides the teachers?
      The text book companies that makes 100′s of millions of dollars rewriting books that teach to the test? The testing company that’s makes millions of dollars writing the tests? The grading companies that make millions sorting through the test? The charter school companies that profit every time they take in a student from a “failing school”? Or maybe you thought the politicians that pocket campaign contributions from all of these companies were going to step up and say “it’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that all of this testing is not conducive to learning. Perhaps we should follow countries with the best education and do away with teaching towards the test and just teach to educate”
      Right, dream on, follow the money( hint, it’s not in the teachers salaries) and you’ll see the real agenda!

      • Sis Delish

        B4CE… you, too, are on to something…

        Research how Text Books are produced, always leads back to the educators double & triple-dipping, once, of course, they are protected by Tenure… Then, dig into the relationship between those who write the textbooks and their local pals on School Boards… lastly, when you were young, How Long Did a Textbook remain in the Classroom? 5, 10 or more Years? Why, in this age of instant updates via the internet, are books being re-printed, re-published and re-purchased so frequently when the Basics of RR&R haven’t changed? Can you spell P O L I T I C A L C O R R E C T N E S S ?

        • B4CE

          No, but I can spell PROFIT !!! As in the text book manufacturer making money hand over fist on the tax payers dime!

      • Brian_Reinhardt

        And teachers unions contribute nothing to politicians?

        Please….

        What about school administrators who “push” their own agendas AND COMPANIES on students.

        Our former super comes to mind…who was also a former educator.

        • SniperFire

          ‘And teachers unions contribute nothing to politicians?’

          LOL. Gotta love the naivety of the young heads-filled-with-mush crowd we now have teaching our kids.

          ‘NEA’s Legacy: $310 Million in Direct Campaign Spending Since 2000′

  • SniperFire

    ‘Uploaded to MoveOn.org more than a week ago, ‘

    LOL. Is there a more radical, Left wing organization than this? Once again, Lisa Roberson shows us her exclusively one-sided editorial perspective.

    • Sis Delish

      Yep… the story WAS compelling up and until that…

    • oldruss

      Hooking up with MoveOn.org certainly taints the whole endeavor.

  • Joe Sandor

    It seems like teachers and teacher unions are the main folks fighting standardized tests. They DO NOT want to be measured on their students’ achievements or lack thereof. She speaks of the good grades of her students, but to who’s standards? Are sure her kids are really learning or is she too generous with the grades. As for sending the scores home, how fast would the concerned parent take to run to the school and complain about Little Johnny’s or Tiny Janie’s low score? How long for the non-concerned parent to trash the letter? Teachers wanted “New Math” as a way to solve problems, and we saw what that led to in future years – abysmal failures. If they want to tinker a Little with the questions, fine – but do not get rid of the tests. As an employer, just how do I know if a future employee will understand things if all I see are grades by a possibly over-generous or possibly incompetent teacher? (I have long told my HR Dept to look more kindly on folks with GED’s than Elyria or Cleveland diploma’s, since we KNOW the knowledge needed to pass a GED test, but can’t trust EHS or Cleveland teachers and their unions.)

    • Barbara Radke

      And their grades in high school affects their job with you how? What about the kid that is really smart, but hated school and could give a damn about his grades, but knew the info? Outside of school they were responsible, caring people and were really smart, but just didn’t care about grades? I was one of those people and I never let an employer down.

      • Joe Sandor

        Exactly my point. If not interested in school and couldn’t give a damn, this likely would extended to REAL work and not just CLASS work. Sure there are exceptions. But, when hiring people, one must play the percentages. If all they need to do is ask if customers want fries with their burger, no problem. But for more involved tasks, we want people who show initiative and dedication.
        Let’s try other examples: In evaluating a potential employee, would you immediately hire 1) someone dressing llikea ragbag at the interview? 2) someone unshaven at the interview? 3) someone who could not write their answers on the application? 4) someone who spoke just slang or street-talk? 5) A candidate with good grades vs the candidate with poor grades?

  • Barbara Radke

    The problem I have with all the testing is the way it is drummed into the children’s heads over and over you have to pass you have to pass you have to study for the test. Then test day comes and you have all these little ones that get test panic and immediately do badly and it’s not an accurate evaluation of what they truly know. I’ve seen it in my children and now my grandchildren. I remember way back when in the 60′s we took only California Achievement test once a year. But the thing was we were not told over and over you are going to be ready for this yada yada yada. About a week before the test a note was sent home that the test would be giving and make sure you child had #2 pencils and a good nights sleep. Why does it have to be so hard now?

    • Sis Delish

      BR,

      “Why does it have to be so hard now?”

      Why are Union Contracts so lengthy? Answer that question, and you’ll answer your own.

    • SniperFire

      You are comparing educational requirements of the masses in a post WW2 world versus the world of today. In the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s the rest of the industrial world was recovering from being a bombed out ruin.

      That has changed, and now the third world has come online to compete as well. Let’s face facts. They want it more than we do and are willing to work harder for less to get that which we take for granted.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Is Neely-Randall still quitting or was that just a bunch of malarkey she was spewing?

  • Mickey Mouse

    Lower level education is to prepare us for College. Well let me tell you when I got out of College and got a job with an employer the first thing I was told was forget everything you were taught, we will show you how we want it done here. EDUCATION IS OVER RATED!!

    • jq

      A college education is not just to pump info into your head. It provides you time to mature and to learn how to think more critically and informed about the world around you. Any new job will want to train you regarding your new position.

      • Mickey Mouse

        Real life experiences teach us how to mature. Not a educations that just slows down the maturity process. Our parents and grandparents didn’t need educations to learn maturity, they just dealt with life as it was put at their feet. Lets call a it as it is. Its a big business that created jobs.

        • Pablo Jones

          What you get out of your education, whether high school, college, or trade is what you put into it. There are very smart people that dropped out or only have a high school education, there are many dumb people with a college education. But comparing the two groups, the percentage of college educated people that are smart to high school people that are smart favors college. And the percentage of dumb people with only a high school education vastly out number the dumb college kids.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Spot on, Pablo. It’s like what Kid Rock said, “You get what you put in And people get what they deserve.”

  • Mickey Mouse

    READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC !!!

  • SniperFire

    The avoided truth here is that certain demographics lag others, badly, in any and all testing, so there is a concerted effort to dumb down the standards.

    • oldruss

      Recent OAA reading test results show some 53% of the LCSD’s Third Graders scored so low as to be rated “Limited Readers”. Now, what percentage of those Third Graders who are Limited Readers are minority? That, my friends, is the elephant in the room.

  • Young Teacher

    I love how the people who choose to voice their opinions on this topic are either incredibly misinformed about how teacher evaluation actually works or choose to attack the teacher because she expressed concern for her students. As a teacher myself, I don’t support standardized testing because it takes away from actual learning. I’m teaching my students how to pass a test that was designed by state officials, who have no concept of how child development works. I could care less about how those scores affect my evaluation. By all means, please actually watch me teach and then judge whether or not I’m fit to be an educator. The bottom line is that we’ve lost our ability to connect with children and help them become lifelong learners because we’re forced to teach them how to take a test, answer the way that the people grading the test would want them to answer, and make sure they are only writing in the designated areas. How stimulating is that? If you want to design a standardized test, why not ask for teacher input? Ask someone that actually knows what they’re doing for once instead of guessing.

    Instead of assuming you know everything about the way we run our classrooms and how we feel about being evaluated, why don’t you ask a teacher? Why don’t you actually have a conversation with someone that lives with these changes on a daily basis before you make a personal judgement? It saddens me that this is what the world has come to…everyone blaming everyone else instead of working together. Good luck future children, you’re going to need it.

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      “I love how the people who choose to voice their opinions on this topic are either incredibly misinformed about how teacher evaluation actually works or choose to attack the teacher because she expressed concern for her students.”

      I did neither. Your brush paints too broad.

      • Young Teacher

        If my statement doesn’t apply to you, then why are you responding? Excuse me for not individually responding to every person’s wrongful accusations. Your contribution to this discussion was a random gossip comment. Who cares whether or not she’s quitting? The issue at hand isn’t only in her classroom. It’s throughout our entire state.

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          You grouped everyone together with an either/or claim and I was pointing out that you’re mistaken.

          And you suggest my comment was “random gossip”, but I recall the earlier article where she implied that she was getting out of the business. So I’m wondering, was she being truthful or theatrical or did she change her mind? (or something else?)

          Personally, I think it’s important to know since it speaks to the honorability of the person. Ya got a problem wit dat?

          • Young Teacher

            The only problem I have is that you’re judging a woman based on a statement written in a newspaper. Why don’t you get to know her first instead of attacking her honorability? I don’t think it’s anyone’s business whether or not she’s getting out of the profession. Truthfully, a lot of teachers just like me barely make it through their first year because of people who attack what they do and discourage them from attempting to teach beyond a standardized test. I’m in my fifth year and I’ve thought about leaving plenty of times. The difference is that I chose to stay to help the kids, not give up when it got too hard.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Being truthful isn’t important to you?

            “At this point, the first job outside the classroom I am offered, I’m taking,” said the McKinley Elementary teacher. “I can no longer do this job and be a part of the torture we are inflicting on students in the name of accountability. There comes a time when enough is enough.”

          • Young Teacher

            It is torture. You sit for 2.5 hours with no breaks, no talking, taking a test that seems foreign to you. Every child is assessed the same. That means even for students who have special needs, they have to read passages that are well above their reading levels. We aren’t allowed to read those to them, we can only read the questions and answer choices. How can you possibly know the answers to questions that are connected to a text that you are unable to read independently? How does that inform my instruction? It teaches my kids that they should only respond in one specific format. It kills any kid of creativity and the majority of the year is filled with test preparation activities. I’ve had students who have literally thrown up on the test before due to test anxiety and I’ve had to seal the test in a plastic bag and send it back to the state. How the hell is that considered humane? They also require that students who are literally too ill to come to school or do anything on their own take these tests. A mother just recently spent her son’s last days filling out paperwork to prove that he was on his deathbed and too ill to attempt any kind of test let alone one that won’t make a difference anyways.

            I’d get a new job too.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            And after all your rambling, you haven’t answered my question.

          • Brian_Reinhardt

            If a child is taking a test above their “reading level” then what in the world are they doing in that classroom to begin with?

            Why do we even have grade levels or tests if children are not be be grouped in certain specific levels to streamline teaching?

            The PROBLEM are the educators running the system who cannot face a child and say “you are not ready for such-and-such grade”. Then place that child in their own “tortuous” environment and pat themselves on the back the whole time passing the problem on to the next teacher.

          • Young Teacher

            First of all, the child is taking the test above their reading level because not every single child develops the same. I thought you were familiar with child development. There are children that are in third grade that do not read at the third grade level. It could be a special education student, it could be a student coming from a home that doesn’t have a rich literacy environment or it could be a student that is behind developmentally.

            You’re saying that we should group children based on how they perform on a standardized test? Teachers do group their children according to need depending on a number of factors. That’s called differentiation. The curriculum that my school district uses isn’t designed for every child. My purpose is to use the curriculum and many other products to make sure that my students are grasping the concept.

            The answer isn’t to hold every child back. There are thousands of studies that explain why retention is not always the answers. Teaching isn’t meant to be streamlined. I’m not teaching a bunch of robots. Every child’s mind is different and it would be a crying shame to deny them the ability to learn just because I want to streamline my lesson plans. This isn’t a factory. It’s a school. Also, last time I checked…the educators aren’t running the system. The state officials who have never been inside of a classroom have the final say in what we do and how we do it.

            I’m still confused as to why you’re blaming me for the problem.

          • Pablo Jones

            The problems aren’t the standardized tests. The problem is how they analyze the results. Kids should be tested on the basics to see what they know and learn. The problem is they just look at what they know to a generic template. Test the kids at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year and see what they’ve learned over the course of the year. Further track the kids progress year after year. Not every kid will learn everything but you will see what they’ve learned, how their learning has changed over the years, and how effective certain teachers are.

            If they are taught the basics and understand them you don’t need to teach towards the test. How do you define teaching towards the test?

          • Brian_Reinhardt

            I’m having a hard time understanding why you fail to grasp the concept “if they’re NOT READY for a certain grade then they SHOULD NOT BE IN THAT GRADE”.

            REGARDLESS OF THE REASON.

            If a student is not ready for a certain grade then they do nothing but take precious time the teacher could be using for “up to speed” students if they are passed prematurely.

            I understand Child Development but teachers like yourself, administrators and school boards many times fail to have the GUTS to RETAIN students in their current grade until they are prepared to master the information in the next grade.

            In other words, grow a pair and regardless the reason, fail students when it’s needed. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

            I understand the nuances of teaching, but children ALL OVER THE WORLD are grouped in grade levels or ability levels based generally on their age AND ABILITY.

            You are doing nobody a favor by coddling to a 7 year old and passing them on to the next grade just because they’re having a hard time at home but cannot read to grade level.

            Your job is to EDUCATE TO A CERTAIN STANDARD and students are responsible for mastering that information.

            If either of you fail, there should be consequences.

    • Brian_Reinhardt

      And I love how a “young teacher” uses neither her real name to counter an opinion and that how “young teacher” automatically assumes people commenting here have “no concept of how child development works”.

      Very telling attitude indeed.

      YOU ARE THE PROBLEM…but you and teachers like you will never admit that.

      It amazes me that many educators believe that because they have a degree in teaching that makes them the “end all, be all” when it comes to education, child rearing and social issues.

      I have been dealing with educators both in and out of the classroom for 30 years. I know education and I know what does and doesn’t work.

      So come down off your high-horse and work WITH US to solve the problems with education because like it or not you will NEED US to solve them.

      • Young Teacher

        You sir are on a high horse. Why do you think teachers are afraid to speak out? Because people like you attack everything we say and do. Why would I use my real name? Teachers are losing their jobs every day because they are using their voice. Why would I take that risk as a young teacher? Obviously, you don’t care to hear my opinion and would rather blame me for the issues in education. I’m assuming that you don’t understand how child development works because of the expectations that are put on the student regardless of their developmental level or capabilities. If you know education and what works and what doesn’t, then why aren’t YOU fixing the problem?

        I would be glad to work with you, whoever you are, and come up with a solution. Stop blaming teachers for everything. Oh and yes, I have a degree. Actually two to be exact. I don’t think I’m the end all, be all, but I can defend what I do know. Having those degrees doesn’t make me better than anyone and I would never say that it did. I just wish that before you blame an educator, you actually knew what they were doing on a daily basis. If you’re not a teacher, administrator or parent who is in the classroom at least a few times a week, how could you possibly have a clear perspective on what teachers are doing for the students?

        • Sis Delish

          It’s around 10:00 a.m. on a Wed. morning and a “Young Teacher’ has time to blog…

          • Young Teacher

            My kids are at special. Thanks for asking.

          • Sis Delish

            Did you clock out, or do taxpayers pay Young Teachers to blog away (a.k.a. Lobby) as part of their Union Contracts?

        • Brian_Reinhardt

          Again with the assumptions.

          I know fully well what goes on in a classroom DAY TO DAY and if you knew me, you would not have made that statement.

          There are children in Lorain up until the 7th grade that do fine in certain subjects then suddenly a specific subject drops dramatically.

          But only the one…

          What does that tell you?

          That either the curriculum is inadequate or the teachers are.

          Until the state came in, neither was addressed.

          I don’t know what district you teach in…maybe Amherst, Avon Lake, Vermilion, Clearview or Keystone but in Lorain…and that is where my opinion is anchored, is a mess. Where you are proficiency test scores may not be a problem. They are here. If you are in one of those privileged districts then maybe the whole testing situation could be a problem for you.

          I’m not interested in the districts who teach a minority of students in Ohio. I’m interested in the districts that teach the majority of students, in the worst of conditions and who need teaching the most.

          Teachers pass kids from grade to grade at an astonishing rate but a large portion of them are failing proficiency tests that students in other districts are.

          The problem is either the teachers or the curriculum or the teachers, and I blame BOTH.

        • Phil Seguin

          Why all this fear? If we had a voucher program for every child in Elyria all that would matter is a quality product. Don’t you see that as a problem – if you can’t speak your mind because Paul Rigda or some other Superintendent is going to black ball you then you are exposing the REAL problem with public education.

  • Young Teacher

    Also, it has nothing to do with being a left wing or right wing person. It should be about the kids. You’re missing the entire point. If we expect better from our children, then why are we teaching them how to be ignorant and offensive to others?

    • Sis Delish

      “Also, it has nothing to do with being a left wing or right wing person.”

      Young Teacher, Can you pass your statement on to the NEA and other Organized Labor Groups who exclusively support the agenda of The Left? You have a Lot to Learn, Young Teacher.

      • Young Teacher

        The union that I belong to protects my rights as an educator. I don’t solely agree with every single action that they’re taking. Truthfully, I’d rather be ignorant to the political b/s. Clearly, we don’t have control of the decisions that are being made at the state and national level regardless of how we vote. Too many people are sheep and would rather believe what they hear than do their own research and create their own opinion. If only I could teach my students how to do that rather than how to fill out a testing packet.

        Again, you’re missing the entire point. Who cares about the politics? It’s about THE KIDS.

        • Sis Delish

          Young Teacher. Your statement: “Who cares about the politics? It’s about THE KIDS.” is sooo worn out that Taxpayers are deaf to that plea. In Reality, YOUR Union is singularly tasked with taking as much of the tax revenues levied on property owners away from the final product to put into lavish Political Action Committee accounts, lavish retirement plans for its members, and to defeat any thought process by those who oppose their decisions. If it were soley about “the kids”, then Contract Talks would cease to be about working conditions for folks who, once they enjoy Tenure, no longer have to worry about Test Results, either for themselves, or for “The Kids”.

          • Young Teacher

            Then I sure hope that if and when I ever become a tenured teacher, I won’t lose sight of what’s important. Why is my statement considered worn out? It’s the truth. The point is that the teachers are not to blame for half of what we’re being blamed for because it’s out of our hands. People keep attacking us for not being competent enough or for taking their money. I got into this profession because I wanted to help kids learn and grow, not because I wanted to feel defensive every time someone attacks what I do. I sure hope I have one of these “lavish retirement plans” in 35 years since I’m making less than $30K a year right now. I also have to pay out of pocket every few years to take a few more credit hours in order to keep my license. Contract talks are necessary because we have rights too. I don’t agree that every thing needs to be an argument, but I should feel safe and supported within my job setting. Is that really too much to ask? I didn’t get into this profession to worry about test results.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Hang on one moment. I personally respect the heck out of teachers. You got that broad brush out again.

          • Young Teacher

            I’m done responding to you. I’m not here to fight and it seems like all you’re doing is instigating an argument. Again, if the comment doesn’t apply to you then don’t take it personally.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I think you are way too sensitive and that causes you issues.

          • Young Teacher

            I work with CHILDREN. Teachers are supposed to be SENSITIVE. I fight for their rights. I want them to succeed and I want them to feel valued as individuals. I don’t want to teach them how to take a test. That’s not real learning and when they get out into the real world, the Ohio Achievement Assessment isn’t going to help them live a successful and happy life.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            First off, I said “too”.

            Secondly (and lastly?), I don’t disagree with what you’re saying.

          • SniperFire

            ‘In 2010, even before a final draft had been made public, the Obama administration began pressuring states to commit to the Common Core in order to be eligible for a slice of the $4.5 billion Race to the Top fund carved out of the federal stimulus.’

            NEA members vote overwhelming for Leftists. This is your fault.

          • Phil Seguin

            Yes lets fight for the kids – lets DEMAND vouchers so parents can put their kids in the school that works best for them.

          • It has to stop

            Kind of calling the kettle black Larry. Her first comment had nothing to do with your comment about Neely-Randall quitting but yet you responded like it had.
            Looks like you’re here to pick a fight.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Actually, her first comment “directly” to me did.

            Thanks for playing.

          • It has to stop

            Come on Larry, you’re not that stupid are you?

            You replied directly to her first comment which had nothing to do with what you said.

            “Thanks for playing.”

            That comment shows how juvenile you are and yes probably how stupid you are also when you are just looking to argue with Young Teacher but not offering anything intelligent in response to her.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Apparently you are a bit slow, so I’ll ‘splain it to you, Lucy.

            YT stated that people offering their opinions on this topic (as I did) “…are either incredibly misinformed about how teacher evaluation actually works or choose to attack the teacher because she expressed concern for her students.”

            I explained that I did neither; directly challenging her logical fallacy. Speaking of that, nice use of the divine fallacy (or was that ad hominem?).

          • Sis Delish

            What is important, Young Teacher, are the end results. Currently, the end results are not very impressive. Television Shows get cancelled if they don’t draw in viewers. Pro Athletes get fired or retired if they fail to perform. Lowly employees are let go if they don’t make the grade. It’s the way life works. Except in the Game called Public Education. Finger pointing all around. Unions blaming School Boards; School Boards blaming State Boards of Education; State Boards of Education lamenting on how the Feds have taken over. Meanwhile, graduation rates decline, property taxes increase and Union Dues continue to fund campaigns that keep it all going in circles. The “It’s For the Kids” moniker is pulled out again and again and now, informed voters no longer believe it. Brand new buildings will solve the problem of unmotivated students. That’s it, build something nice “For the Kids”, but make certain the the Teacher’s Lounge is outfitted with a Spa, a Home Theater, designer furniture, etc. Heck, why not give them all nice, new office chairs, it’s only Tax Monies we’re spending. There’s plenty more of that where THAT came from… meanwhile, neighborhoods collapse as folks can’t keep up with declining property values and rising real estate taxes. “It’s for the Kids”… wow…

          • Pablo Jones

            It is a worn out argument because they say they do it for the kids, but when negotiations come around it is all about the money and benefits. There are no demands by the unions for extending the work year or work day. No demands for improving the class rooms. It comes down to the money and the teachers are ready to strike, abandoning the kids.

            Guess what, most professionals in other industries have to take additional classes and courses to keep their license as well. Many have to work extra hours as well. These are the facts that you knew when you became a teacher.

            I personally think new teachers should be paid more and the older teachers paid less (respective of their current pay not to each other). But you don’t see the union pushing for that. There are many potentially great teachers that leave because starting salaries are too low and they can make more money else where. And there are many bad teachers that stay because they know they can’t make more money else where and if they wait it out they will make more.

        • SniperFire

          ‘The union that I belong to protects my rights as an educator. ‘ You have no ‘rights’ as an educator, little one.

          • The Thinker

            Actually she does. Might want to rethink that.

          • Young Teacher

            Thank you :-)

          • SniperFire

            Just because some moron says ‘NUH-UH” to the comment made pointing out your complete lack of understanding between ‘rights’ and privilege afforded by laws does not change the facts. LOL

        • Brian_Reinhardt

          No, Young Teacher, it’s about OUR KIDS and parents have had enough of the political bull that happens in classrooms…yes in classrooms.

          It starts at the superintendent and eventually flows down to many of your colleagues. Not all, but many.

    • Phil Seguin

      Yes it should absolutely be about the kids and parents are in the best position to decide what is best for their kids so why not have a voucher program that lets them support the schools that are best for them?

  • Young Teacher

    Who in this comment section has actually stepped foot inside a classroom within the past year? I don’t see how you could possibly understand anything that we’re undertaking if you’ve been outside the school building for longer than that.

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      Got it. Only current teachers have a valid point of view.

      Yikes!

      • Young Teacher

        How could you possibly know what’s going on with the curriculum we’re teaching or how our students are learning or how we buy our textbooks or what we do on a daily basis if you aren’t HERE?! I never said that you weren’t entitled to your own point of view. I said that you couldn’t possibly understand unless you were actually part of what’s going on. Others have made comments about classrooms that are so outdated that it’s clear they haven’t been around a school in years. I’m simply saying that you need to know what you’re talking about before you attack people.

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          Okay, I think you’re speaking directly to/at me now. So I assume your statement is directed at me. Now you are required to accept my response. (hehehehe)

          Take a few deep breaths and then read back through ALL of my comments. Please point out a single instance of me doing what you described above in your response TO ME.

          I get it; you are young and have lots to learn.

  • Lane Tracy Reeves Diedrick

    I agree with everything you are saying, Young Teacher. I have been in the classroom because I volunteer. This one size fits all Common Core is hurting kids. I have 2 “gifted” kids. My 11 year old son generally tests well but has anxiety over the high stakes of this test. He is a great writer but hates writing now after being forced to write so many essays in a prescribed way. His middle school has practically eliminated the arts (1/2 yr music in 6th grade only, 1/2 year gym in 7th grade only, and 1/2 yr art in 8th grade only). My daughter also tests well. She loves art-but, I haven’t seen her draw or create anything this year. My youngest son has CP. He is learning at a slow and steady pace. He has to take the same test the other kids take. In Math, he gets the right answers but can’t explain how he got them (requirement of Common Core). He is non-verbal with poor fine motor skills. Is the system just setting him up to fail? There is so much more to our kids than passing one test on one day. They learn in different ways at different paces. Keep at it, teachers! I appreciate all that you do for our kids!

  • Carrie Watson

    I signed your petition, Ms. Randall, and thanks for standing up for our kids!

  • SniperFire

    ‘In 2009, when asked about specifics pertaining to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously stated that the bill would need to be passed in order to find out what was in it. Well, the states took this same approach when they accepted “Race To The Top” money under the stimulus plan: they agreed to adopt the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI)–which sets K-12 education standards in math and English language arts (ELA)–without knowing what the final standards were, or what the ultimate financial implications would be for the taxpayers of Ohio.’

    Elections have consequences.

  • Phil Seguin

    It is time that we re-think “public” education. We need to give control of funds where it belongs – with the parents and taxpayers. Dawn please answer as I have asked this to you directly several times – what do you think about a full voucher program for every child in Elyria – what is wrong with letting parents decide where the best place for their child is?

  • SniperFire

    The moment I pointed out the ‘common core’ debacle was just another in the long line of Democrat failure, hoisted upon us by Owebama and Pelosi as blackmail to receive Stimulus money, the weepy Leftists quit posting and the thread died. LOL

  • Phil Seguin

    Dawn another question… your board has Sojurner Truth, Emily Dickinson, Susan B Anthony, and Mother Theresa on it. You are using Moveon.org for a petition and in a previous article it mentions that you did a mock inaugural for President Obama – do you think it is appropriate to expose children that you teach to only YOUR political views – are you in the schools to educate our kids or to share a political viewpoint? Do you try and present a balanced curriculum and diversity of ideas or are you an activist for your personal political beliefs? I think it is a fair question since you are a “public” educator.

  • ccssgirl

    Ohio’s standardized testing system is already changing, and teachers from Ohio have played a big role in making these changes. Starting in 2014-2015 Ohio’s Next Generation Assessments will have interactive items, will allow students to explain their thinking, are really going to be matched closely to what we want kids to be able to know/do at each grade level , and have been developed with a lot of input from teachers in Ohio. Field testing of these new assessments begins in 100′s of Ohio districts this coming week. Field tests are a great chance for our schools to try out the new technology based tests and identify what works/doesn’t work so that changes can be made before actual testing starts next year. Field tests are NO RISK to students or teachers – but a great chance to practice taking a computer based test.

    You can check out some of the new question types – and see the level of learning that the new tests will measure by going to http://practice.parcc.testnav.com/#

  • Sis Delish

    An observation about the photo at the top of the story…

    1. Little Girls all dressed in Pink and such; little boys, in Black.
    2. White Board only shows names of females who are worthy of study.
    3. Other photo shows concentration with female teacher/student only.

    Looks like “balanced education” to me… anyone see the same?

    • Young Teacher

      Seriously? Go to her classroom and actually see what’s shes doing. I’m pretty sure she didn’t dress her students. Women’s History Month is actually in MARCH. Hence the reason she has important FEMALES listed on the board. Would you prefer that they take a photo with every student so that it’s fair? Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than tear apart photographs?

      SERIOUSLY? HOW IGNORANT CAN YOU POSSIBLY BE?

      • Sis Delish

        Women’s History Month? Is That necessary?

        • Young Teacher

          I’m sorry? What exactly are you contributing to this conversation? So are children shouldn’t learn about famous women? They shouldn’t celebrate black history month? Wow, sign me up for your classroom.

          • Sis Delish

            Hey, why not famous female teacher’s union grievance committee person month?

          • Phil Seguin

            Young Teacher – what do you think about a voucher program for EVERY student in Elyria?

          • Phil Seguin

            long sigh….. never get an answer.

          • Phil Seguin

            Also can you clarify – are you saying that our children shouldn’t learn about black people or women EXCEPT during a month that is specifically set aside for that?

          • SniperFire

            It was a fair question. Isn’t special treatment based on sex a form of bigotry, child?

  • Sis Delish

    Just an after-thought on how this all might resolve itself. It’s a simple tit-for-tat, algebraically represented solution:

    a. The Powers-that-be do away with the Objectional Standardized Testing the Teachers say they must endure.

    b. The Teachers give up the practice of awarding Tenure.

    c. For The Children

    a + b = c

    Simple and to-the-point.