Quarterly Diagnostics Suspended

cea-logo_quarter.JPGSupt. Gene Harris announced that teachers will not administer the quarterly diagnostics scheduled in May, given the extended school year due to calamity days, “…we want to be sure that students are motivated to attend and participate for the remainder of the school year. Due to the timing of the scheduled administrations of the Ohio Achievement Tests (the week of Apr. 20-24) and the Grading Period 4 Quarterly Diagnostics (May 18 and 19), it has been decided not to administer the quarterly diagnostics due to the minimal number of weeks between the two test administrations and the remaining length of the school year with the students,” Harris wrote in a memo.

Even though the quarterly diagnostics have been suspended for the fourth quarter, CEA will continue to advocate for valid, reliable formative assessments. You have already helped us make a difference by giving your feedback on our survey about quarterly diagnostics. The data from the survey presented at the Joint Labor-Management Committee meetings has demonstrated that the quarterly diagnostics need to be retooled. “CEA does not oppose formative assessments, but they should assist teachers in improving student achievement,” said CEA President Rhonda Johnson. “We will continue to work on issues about the testing schedule and support for grading and scanning tests.”

High schools will continue their end-of-course exams at the end of Grading Period 4. Meanwhile, a joint committee will look at next year’s testing schedule using this year’s teacher surveys and data from the reading comprehension assessments to form their analysis and recommendations.

Speak Out: How Are TRCs Working For You?

be-super-test-taker.jpgThe Columbus Education Association has recently distributed an online survey to  elementary classroom teachers who have given the TRC to their students using the Palm Pilots.

Your Association would like for elementary teachers to share their experiences with administering the TRC and the effects it has had on teaching and learning in the elementary classroom.

You don’t have to be registered to leave a reply— simply click on the “Comments” link below, type your first name (or a screen name of your choice), email address and leave your comment. Once your reply has been moderated, it will be added. 

The Hidden Cost of Teaching

Flickr image by wednesday181.

Columbus teachers outspent their peers on classroom materials and related expenses by 30 percent, according to a recent online survey conducted by CEA.

Nationally, teachers spend an average of $443 per year on classroom materials and expenses. Columbus teachers spent an average of $575.

While an NEA survey found a declining spending level as teachers gained more experience, the CEA survey found just the opposite. Teachers with zero to three years of experience spent an average of $429, while teachers with 21 or more years of service spent an average of $634. Almost 7 percent of the nearly 800 survey participants stated they spent more than $1,000 per year on classroom materials and related expenses. One teacher indicated spending in excess of $10,000 per year.

Overall, teachers most frequently used their personal money to purchase treats and incentives for students, decorative items for classrooms, books/magazines, multimedia resources, materials for lessons and art supplies.

“The district does not supply high-interest, low readability materials, so I always buy my own,” wrote one middle school survey respondent on a Speak Out on The CEA Blog. “You cannot teach children to read when the material is several grades too high for them. Since there is no intervention for these students, I purchase materials and do my own intervention.”

“I was given a case of copy paper at the beginning of the 2007–2008 school year and was told to make it last,” added an elementary school respondent on The CEA Blog. “Needless to say I ran out of paper and ended up buying my own until the new case came.”

“The results of this survey prove what we already know to be true,” stated CEA President Rhonda Johnson. “Our 4,100 members are the most caring in the state. They spend their own money to make up for what the system does not provide. They do what is necessary so their students receive the resources they need to be successful in the classroom.”