Making Informed Decisions Based on the Regional Information System
Many criteria go into making a decision of where to teach. Initially, a better salary is the primary enticement for any teacher. However, there is much more than salary to be considered and more thoroughly researched for accuracy before considering any career moves. The internet is a great place to begin the research of potential locations of interest. Yet, can all the data about schools, districts and states data be trusted? This paper will provide a more in-depth look into unreliable information posted on the national website by states.
One area of questionable reliability is the reporting of standardized testing. Are the high numbers that states reporting accurate? Are all states held to high standards in regards to standardized tests? These questions require a more in-depth investigation.
All states are required by law to test all students annually in reading and math grades 3-8 and at least once in grades 10-12. In science, students are required to be tested at least once in elementary, once in middle school, and once in high school (Greatschools.com, 2011). States are given the freedom to develop their own individual standardized test in each of the core subjects. The question is, does each state hold students to a high standard when it comes to these standardized tests? According to authors Lindsay Burke and Jennifer Marshall, the answer is no. As stated by Burke and Marshall (2010),”Some states, such as Massachusetts, California, Indiana, and Virginia, have highly regarded standards. A number of other states have uneven quality of standards across subjects, and some are not up to par generally…pressure, pervasive political correctness, and pedagogical and content disputes hamper the quality of state standards” (Burke & Marshall, 2010)
One area of consideration is how well the perspective state, district or school’s standardized test scores are? Before seeking the answer to that question, is important to analyze one’s personal conviction they feel about how important standardized test is to them.
“The test scores you see on GreatSchools.org, as reported by the state Department of Education, compare groups of students from one year to the next but they don't tell you about individual student progress. They don't tell you about the richness of the curriculum - whether there is art or music, or opportunities for individual or group exploration into a particular subject. They don't tell you whether students are learning critical thinking skills or how engaged students are in the learning process” (Greatschools.com, 2011).
In recent years there has been much controversy about the reliability of states’ reporting. The information reported to the national data base in regards to their standardized test scores maybe misleading. An example misleading tests scores was uncovered recently in the Georgia Department of Education. ...