"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Needed: Students to Pass Tests, Salary Negotiable

In defiance of the growing belief that the testing insanity can't get any crazier, Fresno Superintendent Larry Powell moves test talk into a whole new padded room.  He wants to pay students to pass the junk tests through a game of Name Your Incentive.  

Does Powell really believe that the students are failing because they are not trying hard enough? What kind of incentive would it take to get this guy's resignation?

By Norma Yuriar & Laura Fabian

Like any parent trying to motivate their kids to do better in school lawmakers believe they have come up with something that will encourage students to do better.

Larry Powell Superintendent of the Fresno County Office of Education said he supports legislation that would reward middle and high school students individually for excelling on standardized tests.

"It has good and bad as you can imagine.  I can just see an enterprising young man say 'tell you what, you want me to do better what else will you give me,' so you may end up with something like that," said Powell.

The Bill would leave it up to students to come up with ideas for an appropriate prize if they improve their test scores.  "I like the idea of the student part, where students can come up with an opportunity to say what kind of incentives can we put together that are non-monetary to help kids do better on STAR testing," said Powell.

But, critics like retired valley Principal Terry Allen said they are leery of the concept, "I feel this reward would be a false one, we are teaching kids to learn for a test, but not to learn for their own benefits," said Allen.

Fresno teacher Janet Fiorentino see it differently, "the concept is good," said Fiorentino, "I believe kids should be rewarded with some sort of rally or a dance."

6th Grader Donovan Judd could not agree more, "It would be pretty cool, it would motivate me more," said Judd.

1 comment:

  1. That's a hoot and it basically keeps the essential ingredient of testing there: the test companies still get paid for the test. It's just cost on top of cost and everyone gets paid. That is the basics of modern education. Why bother even discuss what's being tested? I've heard there's even less information about that than dog food as it is all hidden under trade secrets.