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Monday, October 03, 2005

Public Schools Successes in CA

--posted by Tony Garcia on 10/03/2005

First thing in this story that is alarming is simply what a large percentage of kids are unable to pass a test geared to 3 grade levels beneath them.
Nearly 100,000 California 12th graders — or about 20% of this year's senior class — have failed the state's graduation exam, potentially jeopardizing their chances of earning diplomas, according to the most definitive report on the mandatory test, released Friday.

Students in the class of 2006, the first group to face the graduation requirement, must pass both the English and math sections of the test by June.

The exit exam — which has come under criticism by some educators, legislators and civil rights advocates — is geared to an eighth-grade level in math and to ninth- and 10th-grade levels in English.
But the other thing that is alarming in this story is how the Left does not want to hold any accountability to those responsible for this failure. Start firing teachers.

Worse than that, the Left thinks the test should be further dumbed down.
"Clearly, we need to have some options for these students," said Lauress L. Wise, the firm's president, in a telephone interview with reporters.

The state, for example, could allow seniors to submit portfolios of work that demonstrate mastery of English and math, the report's authors suggested.

The report also proposed that schools allow students to spend an extra year in high school or earn diplomas by completing special summer school programs in lieu of the exam.

Additionally, the state could establish alternate diplomas or graduation certificates for students who pass part of the exit exam, the group said.
At least there is ONE voice of sanity in the public school system there.
But California's superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, said he opposes any change that would diminish the worth of a high school diploma.

"It's important to keep one core principle front and center: awarding a student a diploma without the skills and knowledge to back it up does the student a disservice," said O'Connell, who added that his staff would study the options outlined in the report.

There are standards set in place to graduate. As a 12th grader you should be able to pass a test at far better than 8th grade level in math. As a 12th grader you should be able to pass a test at better than a 10th grade English level. Especially if you think you are going to go to college.
Los Angeles High School senior D'Janay O'Neal had another complaint. She said she freezes up on the math portion of the test because "math has never been my strong suit."

D'Janay, 17, said she passed the English section on the first try but has failed the math part three times. She is taking an extra remedial math class this semester to help her pass the test, in addition to her Algebra II class and two Advanced Placement courses. She said she has a 2.0 grade point average.

"I am totally freaking out that I may not graduate," said D'Janay, who attended a rally against the exit exam this week in a park next to her high school.

"No matter what happens, I'm going to college because I need college to further my education," she said.
Nope, sorry, little girl. You are not fit for college if you cannot pass a test on 8th grade math.

And why is the Califonia school system having problems with their English tests? One word: Ebonics.


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