Friday, May 08, 2009

Superintendent Memo - Teachers to Teach Only Test Items

Mandated Lesson Plans – USE Only State Assessments AS Curriculum

Following is a note I received in an email that contained the following memos. Only excerpts are included because of length.

"I thought you might enjoy seeing what they’re forcing the (school district name) ______ teachers to do for lesson plans. They have been told that all their lesson plans have to revolve around the released items of the state tests. They can no longer use any of their own lesson plans of the past. According to (teacher) ____, some teachers are already freaking out and having to stay late just to fill out these cumbersome plans. Again, thank God I was allowed to retire. (Name of sender) ______"

(The rest of the text below is quoted excerpts from the memo sent out by superintendent)

Lesson Planning Guidance
SP specialists should work with building and district personnel to develop a lesson planning template that includes, at a minimum, the content on the following template.

There are several key items related to lesson plans that are nonnegotiable. These include:
· Lesson plans must be created DAILY
· All assessments [tests], formative and summative, must be ATTACHED to the daily plan. This is research-based “back loading”.

Lesson Plan Development
Step 1: Identify the state content and assessment objective that will be your primary teaching focus (others may be secondary focuses for review, maintenance, fluency, or integration).

Step 2:
Review the state sample or released sample test item(s) that measures the objective.

Step 3:
Evaluate that sample to determine what students need to know and be able to do to answer that item correctly – evaluate its level of difficulty. Determine that process of instruction that must occur in order to ensure that students will be able to demonstrate mastery of this skill on the state test.

**The level of difficulty of all teacher-made or teacher-selected assessments should mirror the format and complexity of state sample or released test items.

· Curriculum Objectives are the focus of All lessons and are written out completely.
· All Objectives and Standards listed correlate to the Curriculum Objectives and are written out completely.

· All assessments follow strict standards and contain sample test items in state testing format and level of difficulty (including both state tested content areas and feeder subjects/grades).

Following are excerpts from the Superintendent of a very large school district (Name removed) after teachers were told they had to do these lesson plans and that all lesson plans would be based on released items of the state tests.

Principals; 2/3/2009 11:16 AM
Could you please forward the attachment regarding the JBHM project? I hope this will answer many questions from your faculty. Thanks, _________(name of Superintendent)

Why are the principal and consultant in my classroom observing?
For principals to become stronger instructional leaders, they must be in classrooms and supporting good instruction. You will see both the JBHM staff and your principal observing in your classroom. These observations provide a springboard for discussions between the principal and the consultant on ways to improve instruction and student learning. [In other words there is no way of getting around teaching only the state curriculum with the principal and JBHM staff constantly overseeing your class.]

What about the struggling learner portion of this project?
….The Struggling Learner consultant will provide guidance and insight directly related to dealing with students in those sub-groups. They will be working with our coaches and specialist to analyze data. These consultants will also be in your classrooms observing lessons, levels of student engagement, etc. [Even more oversight of teachers just to be sure they are doing what they are supposed to do.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did this work out?

8:38 PM, November 13, 2011  

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