Good Teaching Conference Put Online

CTA has put its Good Teaching Conference "online" so you can virtually attend the sessions put on by educators. Sessions will also be archived for you to view when you are able. This service is free to VUTA/CTA/NEA members. Just follow this link to register.

We are certainly in a period of dynamic changes. As CTA President Dean Vogel highlighted in his address to the Region 3 Leadership Conference this weekend, the API is dead! The State Board of Education under the leadership of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is on the verge of making groundbreaking changes in how we evaluate schools as evidenced by their suspension of API Scores tied to the smarter balance test.
As the new model for evaluating school performance is developed there will be a major de-emphasis on the use of test scores. The Board is also looking at ending the CASHEE tests and using the Smarter Balanced for 10% to 20% of the overall evaluation of a school's performance. Other areas that will play a part of this evaluation will be attendance, dropout rates, graduation rates, suspension rates, access to curriculum, class sizes, EL exit levels, teacher levels of education and preparedness, etc.

The Governor and State Superintendent have made it clear with their displeasure for those districts that have merely shifted from STAR to the SBAC simply by changing tests and continuing the process of we need to test to prepare for the test. Both believe far too much time is taken up with District and State Testing and they need to be de-emphasized and that project based learning where students demonstrate their practical application of knowledge should be the emphasis in assessing student progress.

Even at the Federal Level in Congress there is a strong movement afoot to limit mandated testing. Congressman David Validao Rep. Hanford, CA has co-sponsored a bill supported by NEA to limit mandated tests to three times in a student’s career, once in elementary, once in middle school and once in high school. As NEA President Lilly Esquivel Gracia is out on the stump saying we must end TOXIC TESTING so that students and teachers can regain the joy of learning.