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Sat Nov 29, 2014, 09:26 AM

Secret Teacher: the cold, hard truth is that many of us cheat to meet targets

Secret Teacher: the cold, hard truth is that many of us cheat to meet targets
The obsession with levels and never wanting to be on the wrong side of data is forcing many teachers into unscrupulous practice






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Over a decade ago, I remember a headteacher jokingly bending back the clear plastic of the sealed key stage 2 Sats to try and see a few of the questions on the science paper. After spending several minutes contorting his body into positions a gymnast would be proud of, he’d managed to denude three words. He bounded into my room with them as though he’d found the holy grail. When I pointed out that, forces, habitats and solutions were areas we’d been revising anyway, he snorted with derision at my lack of appreciation for his efforts.

This behaviour seems farcical, almost quaint, in comparison to what is presently happening across our schools. There are a few common techniques that I’ve seen or heard have been employed in exams and assessments: seating less and more able children together so the former can copy from the latter; pointing out mistakes to borderline pupils; writing in correct answers where gaps have been left on a test paper; completing the coursework for a student and passing it off as their own; artificially raising all the children in a class a full grade, but keeping them in ability order to avoid suspicion. These are just a few of the desperate methods employed.

If I’m looking to level the blame for this despairing state of affairs, I wouldn’t lay it at the door of the wonderful professionals who work at the chalkface every day. I’d start with The Chart, one of the many sheets stuffed with data that measure teacher performance. Statistics have become the de facto arbiter of a teacher’s value. Anything outside the myopic parameters of the chart is worthless.

Cruel, reductive and misleading though it may be, the chart completely dominates our education like never before with its mantra of “progress” and metric of levels. The chart is faceless, dispassionate and utterly unforgiving. It renders us obeisant before it while everyone does anything they can to receive the chart’s approval.



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the rest:
http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2014/nov/29/secret-teacher-cheat-target-levels?CMP=twt_gu

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Reply Secret Teacher: the cold, hard truth is that many of us cheat to meet targets (Original post)
kpete Nov 2014 OP
Sherman A1 Nov 2014 #1
lonestarnot Nov 2014 #2
msongs Nov 2014 #3
Quantess Nov 2014 #4

Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 09:35 AM

1. In our do more and more with less and less world

cutting corners is the norm, not the exception. Just to get through the day and get anywhere close to what is expected in the workplace, I suspect that many have to cut corners to reach their assigned goals. It's a get the job done and try to be kinda close to right, rather than do the job right from the start mentality.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 10:24 AM

2. Chart approval fucks up many vectors.

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 12:18 PM

3. the primary purpose of testing is to generate profit for test makers nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 04:27 PM

4. K & R

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