How teach-to-the-test destroys schools

Frank, a former TFA talks to DMR about Michelle Rhee

  • Instead of teaching office productivity software (Excel, etc), the computer teacher was told to have the students use a website called Study Island. They spent hours taking dull online tests in the hopes that they would score better on the state tests that spring.
  • Many of my summer school students (who were from other schools in the district) told me that they received no science instruction during the previous year. When asked why, they explained that their school used that time for extra reading and math instruction.
  • We were told by our principal on many occasions to devote class time to drilling students on questions from former state tests that had been released by Missouri.
  • Students spent weeks taking pre-tests to determine how they’d do on the state tests.
  • No professional development was devoted to social studies since it is not tested. In two years, there was only one session for science.
  • Those teaching the district’s remedial, drill-instruction reading program, Success For All (SFA), were told to use that time to target grade level expectations that students did poorly on during the previous year of state tests. It was made very clear that teaching st(continued)

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