When my husband was studying for the CPA exams, he prepared for months. He memorized laws and rules and exceptions to those rules. He used flashcards, watched lectures and took simulated exams. He answered thousands of sample test questions.
Preparing for exams is as much about tactic as it is about knowledge. To conquer an exam, people learn to beat the test. They learn strategies. They take courses designed specifically to prepare them for these exams or they study on their own, for the tests.
One of the things I want to do through this series is to expand the discussion of a teacher’s value. We cannot let the worth of teachers be defined narrowly by the test scores of their students. We need to consider all of the different ways teachers have positive impacts on the lives of their students before we choose the criteria with which we judge who is doing a good job as a teacher and who is not.
One of the best ways to do this is to hear from teachers themselves.
We all piled into the school gym wearing our new, originally designed t-shirts, made in our school colors, teal and white. The sound system was on, the bleachers were down and the photographer was set up and snapping away.
Only, this was not an average pep rally. This one was special. This one was for Ms. Susi. Jennie Susi has stage four ovarian cancer.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.