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Why One Teacher Told Her Students “You Are Worth More Than Your Test Scores”

A viral letter from a teacher to her students explains why they are more than their test scores, fueling a continued debate around standardized testing.

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Is intelligence measurable? And if so, how do we measure it?

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This has been a burning question of debate in recent years, as parents and teachers are beginning to view standardized testing as an outdated approach to education.

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On her widely popular blog, Seeds For Learning, American teacher and scholar Kimberley A. Hurd discusses why she feels standardized testing is limiting:

“There are many more ways to be smart than what many schools are currently allowing. The current testing culture personally drives me crazy. It does not tell students that they matter. Tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each student special and unique.

The people who create these tests and score them do not know each student the way I do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way the families do. They do not know that some of my students speak two languages. They do not know that they can play a musical instrument or that they can dance or paint a picture. Doesn’t that matter more?”

It seems that Hurd isn’t alone in her thinking, either. Last year, a letter from a teacher to her grade school students which seemed to be inspired by Hurd’s views went mega viral around the web after parents and teachers were moved by its message.

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The letter reminded her young students that the people who make these tests don’t see the individual qualities and talents that make each student special.

The letter from Rachel Tomlinson, head of Barrowford school in Nelson, has made a big impression on many who read it. Photograph: The Guardian

The letter from Rachel Tomlinson, head of Barrowford school in Nelson, has made a big impression on many who read it. Photograph: The Guardian

Capturing the imaginations of people around the globe, the letter reveals the often unspoken truth of education: intelligence is much more than a test score.

Do Standardized Tests Reveal Education Quality?

By that same token, is it accurate to say that a teacher’s worth can be measured by their student’s success rate with standardized tests?

Employing standardized achievement tests to ascertain educational quality is like measuring temperature with a tablespoon.” wrote W. James Popham in his essay, Why Standardized Tests Don’t Measure Educational Quality.

Popham asserts that beyond general attention to English, math, and so on, the significant differences within individual classroom settings presents a problem to those who must sell standardized achievement tests.

While test developers try their best, they are “obliged to create a series of one-size-fits-all assessments.” Popham explains: “But, as most of us know from attempting to wear one-size-fits-all garments, sometimes one size really can’t fit all.”

‘Good’ Student, ‘Bad’ Student

In her article, Standardized Tests Not A Remedy, Marliese Gause points out that the struggle between low performing and higher performing students has been an ongoing battle for every education system since the beginning.

“Formalized testing has made the problem worse by creating an inflexible rating system that tends to reinforce existing bias in a teacher’s mind about a student’s chance for success. Toss in an absent or surly parent and/or a rebellious kid and you have the perfect ‘loser’ recipe.

On the other hand, putting low achieving students into courses where their chance of success is low, further decreasing their confidence, does not seem the right thing to do either.”

Would it then be more effective to re-invest the millions spent on testing, re-testing, and interpreting those tests into more intensive supports for students?

A New Approach: Personalized Learning

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Some European countries, such as Finland, have built successful education models which exclude standardized testing to its students. Educators in this region seem to be less worried about “data” and “test results” than they are about a student’s engagement in their work.

They aren’t alone, either, as some provinces in Canada are also taking the steps towards adopting a more forward approach to education.

In British Columbia, educators have been developing a plan that will offer a more flexible and dynamic education system where students are more engaged and better prepared for their life’s journey.

The key focus is personalized learning – where students have more opportunity to pursue their passions and interests – while maintaining B.C.’s high standards on foundational skills like reading, writing and numeracy,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education in British Columbia.

Many parents are not yet fully sold on the concept of personalized learning, however, mostly due to the fact that the method will have students working more with computers rather than teachers.

Some believe this approach is a sly way to cut costs on salary wages, and worry that computer learning might jeopardize the success of certain students.

It is a common pattern through history for the pendulum in education to swing from the right (standardized tests) to the left (open classroom),” said Natalie Mccutcheon, an English teacher with the B.C. school board. “I personally think there needs to be a balance, with some type of structure, but I think the entire education system would need to be restructured for this to occur.

Whatever the case may be, focusing on guiding students towards their personal interests and passions could spell exciting things for the future of education.

Lessons Learned & Moving Forward

Evolution isn’t just subjective to biology, it is applicable to every system, including education.

That is why these public conversations are both healthy and necessary for our cultural evolution – without them, we would remain stagnant.

The viral letter does well at pointing out that these tests may indeed tell us something of a student’s abilities, but not everything. With humility, we can recognize that standardized tests don’t accurately measure growth for all students, and then work towards a more effective and engaging education paradigm for all.

What are your thoughts on standardized testing and conventional education models? Do you think there is a more accurate approach to education and grading? Share with us in the comment section below!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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Exopolitics

New UFO Film Questions What The US Government Is Hiding

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The US recently released its highly anticipated Pentagon UAP report, but it wasn’t much more than a 9 page rundown of what has been known for decades. Regardless, for many, what was promising was that the UFO subject was being taken seriously again – and perhaps many more scientists might get involved.

For decades many have been warning about leaving UFO disclosure in the hands of a government that likes to use crisis’ or current events to expand its defense budgets. Further, why would we suddenly expect a government, who has been lying about this subject for 70 years, to suddenly come forth with the truth? What would inspire them to suddenly change their mind?

Perhaps it’s because the search for ET is an idea who’s time has truly come. We’ve reporting on this for over 13 years, and are mongst a community of researchers who have been encouraging humanity to look at the evidence for more than 70 years. It feels like an idea that human collective consciousness is more than ready to explore.

The impact the ET question has on our individual and collective worldview has the power to truly change the way we view ourselves and the meaning of life here on earth. Think of the implications answers to this question could have on how we set up and run our society as well. Technology, culture, collaboration etc – I spoke about this more in great detail in my extended interview for Greer’s. prior film Close Encounters of The Fifth Kind here.

Now, a new documentary from Dr. Steven Greer, directed by my good friend Michael Mazzola, seeks to explore what the films calls “the current government and media disinformation campaign promoting 3 big lies:”

1. We do not know what these UAPs/ UFOs are. WE DO.
2. Humans cannot make craft that can maneuver like UFOs. WE CAN and WE DO.
3. The UFOs are a threat. THEY ARE NOT.

Bold statements. Watch the film below and see what resonates most with you.

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General

PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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