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Teaching To Standards & Maintaining Accountability

Should educators teach to the standards from national groups such as national technology or content standards? In your state, do the state's NCLB tests demonstrate student achievement toward content standards? How should teachers/educators be held accountable for student learning? How should administrators and managers evaluate the effectiveness of instruction for learner/student achievement relative to national standards? If you are outside of the school system, how should learning be measured in your organization? How can you measure the success of a training or presentation? What qualitative measures can be used?

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I've taught in a public school classroom and also tutored many students who are receiving NCLB funded tutoring due to deficiencies in reading and mathematics. It's my opinion that educators should focus on teaching to both state and national standards with the order of priority being:

1.) State content standards
2.) National content standards
3.) State technical standards
4.) National technical standards

I work in Ohio, and I do believe that our OAA(Ohio Achievement Assessment) tests for grades 1-8 do a good job of assessing students on their acquiring of content knowledge and skills. My exception to this belief relates to the teaching and assessment of early year math skills...primarily in the area of learning of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division math facts, operations on multiple column numbers and long division. In an effort to push advanced skills and improves students' diversity of knowledge in more advanced topics, many schools are leaving a significant percentage of their students behind on their basic math facts. This plays out in lowered standards for testing which allow students to use calculators on OAA exams to make up for their lack of knowing math facts or operations. Division is being taught using the method of "partial quotients" which I personally refer to as "division by guessing" because many students do not know their math facts well enough ...

Solution Summary

This solution consists of a personal reflection on teaching to state standards and being accountable for student performance. It's based upon the author's experience as a tutor and teacher in the State of Ohio. The importance of assessments is discussed. This solution would be worthwhile especially for discussion groups or a paper where it's important to reference a personal educator's perspective.