As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, or what is more commonly known as the 2009 Stimulus Package) $4.5 Billion dollars were allocated to the “Race to the Top” fund. The “Race to the Top” fund is intended to improve state education quality and advance education reforms in some key areas. The following two websites give a general description about the Race to the Top fund, and the goals of the program (Race to the Top Description ) and implementation).
The state of Virginia and the District of Columbia are seeking approximately $450 million in funds from the Race to the Top fund. A major tool in the Race to the Top is improved testing. Some of the problems with standardized testing can be shown in Washington D.C. which is using the IMPACT system to help determine student progress and teacher efficacy. The New York Times in 2006 pointed out many of the issues that occur over standardized testing.
Questions you might try to answer:
- What positives can you think of that might come from standardized testing? Why are so many in favor of standardized testing? What are the ‘unintended consequences’ of keeping the status quo?
- What are the possible negative consequences of standardized testing. Many articles point out the consequences of moving to standardized testing, and fault teachers when underperforming schools do not improve.
- What is your opinion on merit pay for teachers when it comes to standardized testing? Why are teacher unions for or against merit pay or standardized testing? What are the benefits from merit pay, and what are the consequences?
When writing your blogs, do NOT simply restate or summarize one of the articles that I give you to look over. You are supposed to be forming an opinion, and trying to defend your opinion using facts that you obtain from an article, which does NOT have to be listed above. If someone else has already used your statistic, you should NOT just use it again. You’re supposed to be finding information here in related articles.
I would like your statements to be as subjective as possible, or in jargon terms, normative in nature. Also, remember, I want you to keep your descriptions short, basic, and related to classroom content. Finally, try to stick to a single topic rather than linking short bits on each of the potential questions I have proposed. The highest scores are typically rewarded to students who form their own questions about a topic. Read other students comments before posting, and please leave your name with your posting.