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View Diary: Education: Why data-driven instruction does not work (98 comments)

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  •  OK 012358, Let me spell out my (0+ / 0-)

    Actual experiences in a real classroom as well as what actual education experts have found
    * Curriculums have grown so large it  is impossible to test enough to gather a statistically significant amount of data on which to drive instruction. If there are 110 TEKS to teach, I would argue it would take about 10 questions on each TEK to have enough data to draw good conclusions. That would require students to answer 1,100 questions. It's not gonna happen.
    * That means we are driving instruction with statistically meaningless data - one or two questions per TEK. And it means we are totally ignoring what the teacher actually observes. A teacher who spends hours every week observing students.
    * In order to gather this meaningless, misleading data, we are testing students for more than 100 hours a year, a huge waste of time that could be better spent.
    * In order to analyze all this data, teachers are spending five or more hours a week, again, time that could be better spent on a myriad of other tasks.
    * All of this is done, not to improve student learning, but to improve performance on a single, high-stakes, standardized test,which has serious flaws, see my comment above about the dubious value of standardized testing.
    * You are right in that properly analyzing meaningful data is a valuable exercise. As it is practiced in the real world, it doesn't work well in classrooms.

    •  response point by point. (0+ / 0-)
      1)"* Curriculums have grown so large it  is impossible to test enough to gather a statistically significant amount of data on which to drive instruction. If there are 110 TEKS to teach, I would argue it would take about 10 questions on each TEK to have enough data to draw good conclusions. That would require students to answer 1,100 questions. It's not gonna happen."
      There are many ways to extrapolation meaningful, statistically significant conclusions from reduced bits of data per student.

      google "sparse data analysis techniques"

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

      http://searchbusinessanalytics.techtarget.com/...

      Sparse data analysis techniques are commonly used among numerous professions. For some reason SOME teachers think that using complicated crazy things like "science" is a bad idea.

      "* That means we are driving instruction with statistically meaningless data - one or two questions per TEK. And it means we are totally ignoring what the teacher actually observes. A teacher who spends hours every week observing students."
      It may be meaningless to you but it has meaning to people who are properly trained to use it.
      * In order to gather this meaningless, misleading data, we are testing students for more than 100 hours a year, a huge waste of time that could be better spent.
      * In order to analyze all this data, teachers are spending five or more hours a week, again, time that could be better spent on a myriad of other tasks.
      Quality control is a VERY VERY important aspect of any profession.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      "their attributes include a high degree of systematic knowledge; strong community orientation and loyalty; self-regulation; and a system of rewards defined and administered by the community of workers"

      * All of this is done, not to improve student learning, but to improve performance on a single, high-stakes, standardized test,which has serious flaws, see my comment above about the dubious value of standardized testing.
      This is all done because the education system in its current state has no accountability and thus is currently a complete failure in this nation.  

      In order to bring accountability to the education system reformers are pushing to add more self regulation and bring back teaching to its proper place as a true profession. Some teachers will not able to make the cutoff  which is part of the goal.

      If the current system had adequate self regulation we would not have situations where an entire state had a passing rate of "35%" of a state wide test.

      Over the years teaching more or less  lost its status as a "profession"  as part of this degradation it became acceptable to use methods which were no empirically proven to work.

      It will take time, effort, resources,  and properly monitoring the quality of our teachers to bring the educational quality back up to where it should be.

      Anytime you have a situation where there is such a complete lack of oversight as there had been the last many decades, quality is bound to degrade. I am glad members within the teaching community are catching on to this and doing something about it by adapting to data driven educational models.

       

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