Kindergarten through 12th grade education in the United States is in serious trouble. This is reflected in the number of students who do t graduate or take five or more years to do so. Further, we find that recent high school graduates cant obtain employment because they lack the necessary skills and kwledge required in today's job environment. Many of these skills and kwledge should be taught in our schools. The sorry state of education in the U.S. is also reflected in the hundreds of articles appearing daily in newspapers, journals, and magazines that find fault with our education system. There are many reasons for the dismal state of education in the U.S. They have been well documented in the literature such as lack of student motivation, lack of parental involvement, lack of money, and so forth. This book is NOT about any of these reasons for poor education, as important as many of them are. The focus of this book is the State Mandated Tests that force teachers to teach, in many cases, outdated curricula so their students can pass the State Mandated Tests. Many educators have ted that our present curricula, for the most part, were developed in the early 1940's when jobs were mostly clerical, factory positions, and other jobs of this type. These jobs did t require critical thinking, leadership skills, high level decision making, creativity, and a whole myriad of skills and kwledge required in many of today's jobs. Teachers, principals, superintendents, school districts, etc., are measured on how many students pass the Sate Mandated Tests. This number results in the amount of state and federal funding that the schools receive. President Bush's No Child Left Behind and President Obama's Race to the Top have only exacerbated the problem. I have interviewed 100's of teachers who candidly admit they teach the test. And, more damagingly, there is irrefutable evidence that test scores are manipulated so students can pass the State Mandated Test. Teaching the Test is typically taught by the rote memory method. This consists of repetition and recitation of what is on the test until the information is memorized. Studies have shown that rote memory lasts about two weeks and is then forgotten. But this is only one of the problems with State Mandated Tests. These very tests, in many cases, focus on information that is useless in the development of students for the present work environment. Many of these examples are presented in the book, but at least two examples should prove the point. Global History and Geography, New York State Regent's Exam, January 29, 2010: 1.The Indus and Huang HE (Yellow) Rivers are both closely associated with: a.Border disputes b.Sacred biblical sites c.Cradles of early civilization d.Oil discoveries. 2.Which person is credited with saying L etat, e est moi: (I am the state)? a.Louis XIV b.John Locke c.Karl Marx d.Queen Isabella My second focus of the book is on the curricula itself which are outdated and contain useless information. In the book, I propose methods for revising the present curricula. The remainder of the book deals with how teachers can teach Sate Mandated Test information, if they have other choice. These chapters deal with models and methods of learning and teaching that provide teachers with tools to teach skills and kwledge at a higher level of comprehension than rote memory. This book is intended for parents who greatly care about their child's education, teachers who are frustrated with State Mandated Tests and legislators who are responsible for educational reform. If this book can get their attention, maybe we can start to have a serious discussion aimed at reforming education in the U.S.
Dr. Martinetz obtained his BS Degree in Physics and Mathematics and obtained his Master's Degree in Psychology and his Doctorate in Educational Psychology. He began his career as a Human Engineer working at the General Electric (GE) Missile and Space Center in Valley Forge, PA. In this capacity, he conducted experiments with the astronauts to determine man's ability to function in space. He left GE to join Bell Laboratories' Computer Training Center to begin his career in education. He found that computer education was being presented by scientists who had little formal teacher training. He developed a landmark course entitled Techniques of Instruction that taught scientists how to best teach complex subjects. The course was taught throughout the Bell System and for such companies as Productivity Point International (PPI), XEROX, and Verizon, to name a few. Literally, 1000's of computer science experts attended this course and became excellent teachers. Dr. Martinetz transferred to AT&T and became Director of Management Training and Development where he continued his advocacy for educational excellence. He retired from AT&T and joined the Federal Aviation Administration. There he continued his career teaching leadership, communication, creativity, strategic planning and other skills and knowledge courses to both labor and management. Techniques of Instruction was published by AT&T and PPI. He is presently in the process of completing a book entitled Experiential Learning which is a collection of team building exercises for the human performance professional. His impetus to write The Stranglehold of State Mandated Tests; How to Teach Effectively in Spite of This was his interest in the schooling of his grandchildren and the education they were receiving. He was dismayed at the tired, old curricula they had to learn, and the State Mandated Tests they were required to take. This motivated Dr. Martinetz to do an extensive literature search of the U.S. school system. He was further intrigued by the numerous articles deploring the state of education in the U.S. His fervent hope is that this book will create enough recognition of the problems that he has identified with our school systems to convince parents, teachers, and legislators that action must be taken to begin immediately fixing the problems identified in his book.