Only 7 Percent of Teachers Believe in Standardized Tests

The number of standardized tests students have to take is about to increase, but the according to a national survey from Scholastic and the Gates Foundation, the nation’s teachers overwhelmingly don’t see the high-stakes exams as essential.
The survey asked more than 10,000 educators about their classrooms, schools, and how student and teacher performances should be measured. A huge majority of teachers believe in measuring student achievement, but they believe it should be measured with a variety of assessments, not just standardized tests. The majority—62 percent—believe that formative assessments, which are quizzes, tests, observations, summaries, and reviews that give students feedback and help teachers hone their classroom instruction, are essential to student achievement. In comparison, only 7 percent of educators see standardized tests as being essential.
“There needs to be less emphasis on mastering a test, and more emphasis on mastering the skills and higher-level concepts in the core subjects,” wrote one New Mexico teacher. The teacher emphasis on formative assessments makes sense, since those ongoing checks for student understanding help educators decide whether they need to spend more time on a particular subject, or if their class is ready to move on to another concept.  With standardized tests, students often don’t get their results until months after they’ve taken them—which often ends up being after the school year is over, making them much less useful to the learning process.
The survey begs the question: If growing numbers of parents areconsidering opting out of standardized testing, and teachers themselves don't believe high stakes tests as essential to learning, why are we ramping up the amount of testing in our schools?
Photo via (cc Flickr user albertogp123)

I had no idea you were so handsome

I had no idea you were so handsome...
Groucho Marx to T.S. Elliot

William Safire's Rules for Writers

  • Remember to never split an infinitive.
  • The passive voice should never be used.
  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
  • If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
  • Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!
  • Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  • Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  • Always pick on the correct idiom.
  • The adverb always follows the verb.
  • Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

Grammar Pharmacy

Terms used in describing creative works of art

John Cotton Dana’s 12 Rules for Reading

   1. Read
   2. Read.
   3. Read some more.
   4. Read anything.
   5. Read about everything.
   6. Read enjoyable things.
   7. Read things you yourself enjoy.
   8. Read, and talk about it.
   9. Read very carefully, some things.
   10. Read on the run, most things.
   11. Don’t think about reading, but
   12. Just read.

I am drunk...

San Francisco, April 2011 (Installation View) - Installation featuring an original poem written in gouache on the gallery wall. Found Chair.

Things to worry about


On August 8th of 1933, author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the following letter of advice to his 11-year-old daughter, "Scottie," who was away at camp.

(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters ; Image: Fitzgerald with both his daughter, "Scottie," and wife, Zelda, via.)

La Paix, Rodgers' Forge
Towson, Maryland

August 8, 1933

Dear Pie:

I feel very strongly about you doing duty. Would you give me a little more documentation about your reading in French? I am glad you are happy — but I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either. Those are things you see on the stage or the screen or the printed pages, they never really happen to you in life.

All I believe in in life is the rewards for virtue (according to your talents) and the punishments for not fulfilling your duties, which are doubly costly. If there is such a volume in the camp library, will you ask Mrs. Tyson to let you look up a sonnet of Shakespeare's in which the line occurs "Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds."

Have had no thoughts today, life seems composed of getting up aSaturday Evening Post story. I think of you, and always pleasantly; but if you call me "Pappy" again I am going to take the White Cat out and beat his bottom hard, six times for every time you are impertinent. Do you react to that?

I will arrange the camp bill.

Halfwit, I will conclude.

Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about. . .

Things not to worry about:

Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions

Things to think about: 

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,


Test Your Stress Level

Don't be bested; get your stress tested. Photo by  Ashley Campbell/flickr/CC 

Stress can enter one's life in many forms — an intense mother-in-law, a to-do list the length of a roll of toilet paper, and final exams are some classic examples. But stress can strike whenever there is an exciting carousel of activity. In these moments, you may feel your health has been affected somehow and wonder how big a role stress plays in overall well-being.
Technically, stress refers to the sum of the physical, mental, and emotional strains on a person. Feelings of stress appear when you perceive your environment as exceeding your adaptive capabilities and threatening your well-being. In popular terms it is also associated with time pressure, like with uncontrolled to-do lists and strict work deadlines or exam dates.
The immediate consequences of stress often take the form of sleepless nights and a moody new disposition, while long-term stress can cause serious health problems, weaken your immune system, induce depression, and increase the chance of developing heart disease or asthma complications. Even if every person responds differently under stress, most people would prefer to go without it.
If you suspect stress is keeping you down, there are a few devices and techniques you can use to quantify your stress and convince yourself — or your boss — that you need to slow down.
This article was written by Pilar Carreras, a researcher in Biomedical Engineering at CCNY.

Learning Differences : Worksheet

These worksheets will help your students to be aware of the contextual meaning...Students should be encouraged and trained to use those words in the different contexts instead of using common words.

Job Interview Evaluation Form

Are you getting ready for an Interview?

Get read for an Interview

(To determine whether an applicant is suitable for a position of employment the following questions from different areas may be asked to the candidate by the panel members)






Group Terms

This worksheet may help you in understanding the group terms. This worksheet also  train your students in understanding the terms and to learn the equal synonyms using dictionary.

Group Terms - Fill in the Blanks

Group Terms - Synonym