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Reflection on English 2010


English 2010 was a very fun and informative class, which included many interesting class
discussions. My two favorite papers we wrote in this class were the Report and the Rogerian
Letter, which were also the two papers that I choose to revise. For my Report, I choose to write
about the importance of Utah air quality and what can be done to improve the air. Stating facts in
regards to what exactly is put out onto the air, as well as what are the primary and secondary
sources of the particulate particles. I also talk about how these particulate particles can be so
dangerous to the population of Utah, especially those who live around the valley. I researched
ways the Utah residents can do to improve their air quality, one example used was by carpooling
or using public transportation (where vehicles emit the largest amount of particulate particles).
From this paper, I learned how to include all of my research and present the results of my
research to provide my audience to think about the subject as well as to take action.

For my Rogerian Letter I wrote to Lindy McCulloch addressing the topic of using test scores for
teacher evaluations. McCulloch believed that yes, test scores should be used for teacher
evaluations, where I believed test scores should not be included. I concede to facts that she stated
that I also believe in, as well as create common ground. I state my opinion on the topic and
include the research I found to hopefully have McCulloch reconsider her stance on the topic. I
learned from this paper how to concede to a tough audience to have them hear your point of
view, as well as the elements to use.

This class taught me a lot on different formats to use to persuade or inform a specific audience.
As well as how to implement, research effectively. From this course, I also learned that one of

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my strengths is how I include my research in my papers, though one of my weaknesses is


grammar, which I now know what to focus on. From what I learned in this course, I believe I
will be able to use different ways to target different audiences, which for my career choose is
very important since as a nurse you work with a wide range of people. English 2010 was an
awesome class, where we learned from each other and learned how to be better writers.

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Yesenia Arreola
English 2010
April 18, 2016
Matthew Stockett
Rogerian Letter
Dear Lindy McCulloch,

I recently read your article published on California Teachers Association, Volume 17


Issue 7, entitled Should Test Scores Be Part of Teacher Evaluations? and concluded to write
you this letter in attempt to discuss some of the views you expressed in your article, as well as
offer a respectful and modest opinion on this topic. This topic grabbed my attention because I
myself am a college student who also believes teachers should be evaluated to discover if, in
fact, their students are learning. This is incredibly important as a college student who wants to
learn the appropriate material in an effective way to take what they learned into their career.
However, I am simply a student and the only experiences I have had are the ones that I have
experienced and not a teacher of your level. Your article motived me to research this topic in
detail and I would like to thank you for expressing your opinions. We have similar views and
opinions toward this topic, for example I also firmly believe that in order to see the progress of
students; teachers should be evaluated to discover if the teachers performance show effectiveness
in the classroom.
To this topic you conclude that yes, test scores should be part of teacher evaluations. You
also mention that teachers who have the privilege to teach students should be able to show their
involvement and their significance in their students academic achievement levels and be able to
show improvement. Which you are totally right about; students, parents and principles need to
know if there are any improvements in their students academics. They should be able to provide

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proof if there is or if there is not improvement. As well as if there is not improvement, what can
be done to improve students academic achievement levels. You noted,
Two years ago our union members decided to test that core value by voting to pilot a
new way of evaluating teachers that includes an element of student performance on
standardized tests. This model does not tie teacher evaluation to student achievement
levels but rather to student growth.
In other words stating, students growth scores should be incorporated into teacher evaluations to
hold educators accountable for making content of the materials taught accessible to their students
to show proof of their improvements. You state that it is time for teachers, much like other
professionals, to be evaluated on the outcome of their work, like doctors who are evaluated on
the recovery of their patients. That this will also empower the students to demonstrate their
learning and indicate if their needs are being met. In other words, students need to show their
knowledge, indicating their strengths and weakness as well as to determine how their weaknesses
can be strengthened.
Just like any professional, I also believe that teachers should also be evaluated to discover
if they are meeting their requirements. Teachers play an enormous role into our society because
teachers like you build amazing students that are capable to do so much for us. You create
students that are able to focus, listen, and strive to continue and broaden their knowledge.
Especially in your case where you help underserved students who need the most help. I also
agree with you that student growth should be incorporated into teacher evaluations. We as
students, parents, and principles want to see growth in each student and want to make sure that if
they are not meeting the requirements that an intervention can be implemented to help specific
student/students who are struggling and need additional help. Though I do agree with you on

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many of the valid points you stated, in a humble manner, I respectfully beg to differ on some of
your views and opinions and believe other observations and tools can be used for teacher
evaluations. In the remainder of this letter, I hope to show you my reasons for my belief in this
subject as a matter of discussion in hopes to humbly affect your opinion on the issue of teacher
evaluations.
As a student, I personally do not think test scores should be used to evaluate a teacher. My
first year of college I took a beginning chemistry course with probably the worst teacher I have
had. He knew what he was talking about, and you could obviously tell he was very passionate
about chemistry. The only problem was the way he taught the topics, jumping from the first
chapter to the ninth chapter, making valid comparisons but for a student who knew the basics in
chemistry, felt a bit lost. Though I was determined to do well in the class despite not being able
to grasp what my teacher was trying to teach, I took the time to teach myself and did fairly well
in the class, finishing the semester with an A-. From talking to other students in the class, they
also taught themselves and got through the class. This teacher had well over average test scores
but ineffectively taught his students. However, I do take into consideration that this could have
just been a rare incident, but believe it happens more often than not. There are teachers out there
who do not teach effectively yet have high-test scores. Teachers are being incorrectly labeled as
highly effective when they indeed are not and vice versa. A study found among teachers
ranked in the top 20% of effectiveness in the first year, fewer than a third were in that top tier the
next year. Another third moved all the way down to the bottom 40% (fairtest.org). Meaning
using test scores can be unreliable and show erratic results because test scores can vary on the
students taking the test every year as well as the many different tests used.

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There is also the concept where many students suffer from test anxiety. Research conducted
by the American Test Anxieties Association, found that About 16-20% of students have high
test anxiety Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety (amtaa.org). Students
who know the subjects that are on a test can simply blank or freeze when they are faced with
a test. This can greatly affect the overall result of test scores and negatively affect a teacher who
has no control over this issue and may not even know which students experience tests anxiety.
Two other variables that affect test scores used for teacher evaluations are teaching students
who, because of life circumstances, acquire low-test scores, and the use of standardized tests can
actually narrow the curriculum toward what can be tested. It has been shown that out of school
factors are the most important influence on student test scores rather than teacher influence, as
stated by a research conducted by the American Statistical Association. A teachers influence on
student test scores was calculated to be as small as 1% to 14%. Student test scores greatly depend
on race, knowledge of English, social class, support they receive at home and their disability
status. Using the test scores of these students for teacher evaluations are less reliable and less
stable from year to year as well as show little to no progress. There needs to be additional
programs and tools to teach students with low scores and to continue to teach them. Using tests
can also narrow what is required to teach in a school year to satisfy the material that will be on
the standardized tests. Thus, excluding a wide range of important knowledge and skills that
should be learned.
From thorough research, I have found that in order to fairly evaluate teachers, there should be
the use of a variety of different measures. One way that this can be done is by peer review or
teacher collaboration. Peer review has been supported by studies, which found that students

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benefit more by teachers who work together as teams and by higher levels of teacher
collaboration for school improvement (Getting Teacher Evaluations Right: A Brief for
Policymakers). Working as a team gives more opportunities for new ideas for improvement as
well as multiple viewpoints. Another tool that can be used are student surveys, where students
can state their opinion and or comment on their teachers performance and teaching practice (this
is a tool used by the college I currently attend). Another alternative is the use of trained expert
evaluators who look at multiple sources of data to demonstrate a teachers instructional practice
by providing meaningful feedback back to the teacher. A combination of observations and tools
provide more data as well as more accurate data to base a teachers performance on and what
they have to offer to their students.
Education plays a huge role in everyday life, it prepares us and guides us through life and is
the reason why good teachers, dedicated teachers, are needed. A study found those students with
the best teachers learn three times as much as students with the worst teachers (Hanford). You
as well as many teachers play a huge impact on our society and to the future. Which is why it is
so important that the accurate tools are used for teacher evaluations. As you stated, it is time for
teachers to be evaluated. Therefore, using a variety of measurements based on school and
classroom evidence will aid in providing accurate and beneficial tools for teacher evaluations
instead of using test scores as part of teacher evaluations. I thank you for taking the time to read
this letter and I hope to have changed or simply made you reconsider your stance on this
important issue of using test scores for teacher evaluations.
Sincerely,
Yesenia Arreola

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Works Cited
Driscoll, Richard. Test Anxiety. n.d. Web. 21 April 2016.
FairTest. 30 September 2014. web. 14 April 2016.
"Getting Teacher Evaluation Right: A Brief for Policymakers." N/A. edpolicy.stanford.edu. Web.
14 April 2016.
Hanford, Emily. Testing Teachers. n.d. Web. 14 April 2016.
McCulloch, Lindy. Should Test Scores Be Part of Teacher Evaluations. April 2013. Web. 14
April 2016.
Using Student Test Scores Will Make Teacher Evaluations Better. 8 April 2016. Web. 15 April
2016.

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Yesenia Arreola
Mathew Stockett
English 2010
February 29, 2016
Utah Air Quality: Why it is Important to You
As Utahans, we have the pleasure as well the luxury to wake up every morning either on
our way to work or school to look out our windows and see the beautiful mountains around us.
Unfortunately, these beautiful mountains in the wintertime, during the months of DecemberFebruary, can sometimes not even be seen. This is common for Utahans, this event occurs when
cold air is trapped around the Wasatch Front valleys and warmer air moves above it. Because the
cold air is denser, it cannot move and cannot mix with the warm air causing pollutions to also be
trapped near the valley floor (Winter Inversions: What Are They and What We Can All Do To
Help). This event is known as inversion, which has begun to worsen over the years and can
become problematic to the communitys health; however, there are things we can do to help.
During the wintertime, prolonged inversions increase the levels of fine particulate
particles, also referred to as PM2.5, that consist of dust, dirt, smoke, and liquid droplets. These
fine particulate particles are less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter and are measured
in micrograms per cubic meter (g/m3) (Winter Inversions: What Are They and What We Can
All Do To Help). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the PM2.5
deemed safe for public standards is 35 cubic micrograms. They can fall into two categories,
primary or secondary. The primary PM2.5 is from direct sources like roadways or tailpipe
emission that enter the atmosphere. Secondary forms are produced from emission precursors that
react with the atmosphere and produce PM2.5 (Winter Inversions: What Are They and What We

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Can All Do To Help). Therefore, PM2.5 has two different kind of sources that both negatively
affect the air we constantly breathe.
The primary source of particulate particles in Utah are vehicles, which account for
almost half of the typical winter workday emissions, with area sources (homes, small businesses,
buildings, etc.) close behind contributing 39 percent (UCAIR: Utah Clean Air ). These
particulate particles can cause major health concerns to the community by passing through the
nose and down into the lungs thus affecting the cardiovascular system as well as the respiratory
system. Particles can irritate the lung tissue causing diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and
increase respiratory distress symptoms, especially in children and the elderly. This type of air
quality especially hurts children because they are more active as well as breathe faster and
absorb more of these particles deep into their lungs. Those who exercise outdoors are also at
great risk, because they are also breathing a lot faster, allowing the particles to penetrate the most
vulnerable parts of the lungs.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide are all by
products of idling that can lead to even more health hazards. The formation of ozone by the
combination of VOCs and nitrogen oxides can potentially cause individuals to develop cancer.
Carbon monoxide can disturb the bloods ability to carry oxygen to the heart and brain as well as
other tissues of the body, which in effect cause fatigue and headaches. Exposure from vehicle
pollutants, such as VOCs and carbon monoxide, is higher inside a vehicle than outside of it.
Meaning that those who sit in their vehicle during traffic jams, idle while they wait outside of a
drive-through or for their children to be released from school, inhale a greater amount of toxic
particles than someone who is standing outside of a car (UCAIR: Utah Clean Air ). On February
10, 2016, The Salt Lake Tribune released an article stating Salt Lake City registered a red-air

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day Wednesday, with the Utah Division of Air Quality's monitors reporting PM 2.5
concentrations as high as 70 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air in the Salt Lake
Valley (Penrod). As stated above the health based standard deemed safe is 35 micrograms per
cubic meter, Salt Lake City was 35 micrograms above what is considered safe and not to mention
that it slowly carried on for about a week and it was the only day that was mentioned in the
news.
Most of these pollutants that are released into the Utah air can be significantly modified if
the community takes action. The Utah Clean Air states We can help make a difference in our
communities by starting conversations about actions we can all take to improve Utahs air. We
can talk to our family and neighbors, and start online conversations were all in this together. It
is advised to help the air quality in Utah to consider driving less, by either carpooling, using
Transit (UTA Frontrunner,TRAX, and/or Buses), biking or walking. Purchasing air-friendly
everyday house items including hair spray, air fresheners, waxes, preservatives, dry cleaning
products, glues, paint finishes, vinyl flooring, and wall coverings. All of these items contribute to
the formation of particulates that can be harmful. Another way of helping the air quality is by
conserving energy, from turning off a light switch in a room that is not being used to installing
energy efficient windows (Energysavers.gov).
The air quality in Utah this year was the worst it has ever been, and will continue to
worsen if the Utah residents do not take action to help the air quality, especially during the winter
months. Poor air quality can lead to multiple health diseases, leading to an overflow of patients
in hospitals. The air quality can be improved when a community comes together to join the
cause. Though it may seem as though individual efforts will not make a change in reducing high
fine particulate particles, they may. Utah is famous for its five national parks, beautiful views, for

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the best powder, as well as for its home brews. Utah should not be famous or known for its poor
air quality; if Utah residents reduce the sources of fine particulate particles, like reducing
emission, through the course of their daily lives, the effect on air quality would be remarkable.

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Works Cited
Agency, United States Enviromental Protection Agency. EPA. 23 February 2016. Web. 1 March
2016.
Energysavers.gov. "EnergySavers." December 2011. Energy.gov. Web. 2 March 2016.
Penrod, Emma. Utahs bad air is the worst its been in years and its likely to stick around. 10
February 2016. Web. 1 March 2016.
UCAIR: Utah Clean Air . n.d. Web. 1 March 2016.
Winter Inversions: What Are They and What We Can All Do To Help. N/A. Web. 1 March 2016.