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Discussion: A system within a system: How has the pedagogical stance of your LSC been influenced by your state/local context?

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posted by: Joni Falk on November 9, 2000 at 10:43AM
subject: Continuing the Dialogue on Assessment:
So far this discussion has received three very thoughtful posts weighing in
on the effects of State testing on the LSCS. We have heard from California,
North Carolina, and Arizona.

All three posts mention that science is either not tested, or not tested as
early as reading, writing and math. Jerry points out that in Fresno this has
caused a "marginalization of science teaching in the elementary grades."
Gail notes that in Tucson this has contributed to an effort to incorporate
"tested" areas (reading, writing and math) into the science professional
development programs. It has also led to a sense of competing reforms vying
for teachers attention and attendance for science professional development.
Everly, from North Carolina writes that while math and reading are tested in
the younger grades science is not tested until high school. In this district
pacing charts were developed to align with the tests. While the downside
might be that the test is setting the stage for instruction, Everly points
out that the pacing charts prescribe the use of NSF supported
standards-based math programs and so they have used the "power of the
testing frenzy to support the implementation of curriculum."

These three posts show how the test can at times interfere with the focus
of the LSC (e.g. by demoting the importance of science), shift the
professional development focus (by incorporating math and reading), or
promote the implementation of new curriculum.

We would like to hear from more of you. So, please take a few minutes to
post to the discussion.

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