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In case you missed it: Questions of accountability

By Jamie Raver on Aug 20, 2010 11:34 AM

Who's teaching L.A.'s kids? Los Angeles Times
How accountable is a single teacher? The movement to rate teacher effectiveness via student test score data is brought to an intriguing light in this provocative and controversial story by the LA Times.

See also: Willingham: Big questions about the LA Times teachers project The Washington Post
The Great Bourgeois Cultural Revolution: The Politics of Naming Names in the Service of a Market Vision of Education Edwize
Is John Smith the worst teacher in Los Angeles? The Educated Reporter
LA Confidential? Eduwonk

ACT 2010 Roundup: Who covered it best? This Week in Education
The end of August means the beginning of college. The ACT is gaining popularity among students applying to college, but data suggests a disparity between "college-readiness" and lower test scores.

See also: More Md., Va. students taking ACT for college entrance, data show The Washington Post
College Ready Should Mean Accepted to College The Core Knowledge Blog

Younger Kids In Class May Be Overdiagnosed with ADHD NPR
Recent studies suggest that as many as one million children could be misdiagnosed with ADHD simply because they are too young for the classroom.

See also: Youngest in class get ADHD label USA Today

Minnesota Not Feeling Common Core ASCD
Although all 19 Race to the Top round two finalists have adopted the Common Core for their states, Minnesota chooses to stay firm and go its own way.

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Comments (2)

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on August 21, 2010 6:53 am

As a parent of an older child with ADHD, I know that the impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inability to focus are real. While these "behaviors" may not be as evident in non-school settings, they are very detrimental in school. A very capable student can be constantly targeted by the teacher for behaviors s/he can not control (e.g. swinging one's foot, playing with a pencil). If they can't focus, it is very difficult to listen to a lecture especially when one is told "pay attention" over and over again.

There are some simple (and free) ways to help students with ADHD - just let them periodically get up and walk to allowing them to stand and lean on a desk while taking a test (helps with concentration). Move around the room and tap him/her on the shoulder to remind them to focus. Unfortunately, some teachers are very adverse to any accommodations that may affect their tight control of a class. Some teachers are just adamant that there is no such thing as ADHD even though accommodations are often minimal and should be available for all students (e.g. longer time to finish a test, type versus hand written if penmanship is an issue).

While I do not know if ADHD is over diagnosed, I do know statistically adults with ADHD are much more likely to rely on other substances to cope - drug / alcohol rates are much higher - and they have much higher rates with car accidents. The impulsiveness leads to more risk taking.

More information is at the National Institute for Mental Health -

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2010 8:08 am

No offense, but it can be a distraction to other students in the classrooom who are trying to learn.

There was one child I remeber that was constantly performing karate kicks in the classroom and instead of the other 29 students paying attention to the teacher in circle time, they were watching the other student performing karate kicks.

I hope anyone with ADHD can get better. I am sure it is not easy to have this, but at the same time it is also not easy for some teachers to be able to deal with (I know a teacher whose nerves were shot on a daily basis).

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