i did this as a curret event about a month ago before school let out! the class of 2012 (the year i'm in) is what the oregonian said would probably have to pass the first exit exams. i'm not exactly sure that these are the same things, but they probably are. how are you supposed to take another class in english? i thought we already had to do 4. i think it makes sence about the tecnical one becasue you cant win in life with just a bunch of fancy knolege. you have to apply it.
people are ready, depending on where you went to high school and what collage/ university or whatever they're going to. my mom has said a bunch of times that testing is not the best way to determain someone's skills. even though i'm a good test-taker i would still agree. i know a lot of really smart people who hate tests. i think it's good that they have the options rather than just one universal test becasue having just one test can show one person's advantages and anothers disadantages. like the state science test this year was supposed to be cumilitave of all 3 years but it felt like it was only a little bit of this year and last year. what about the kids who found natural sciences more interesting? not me, i know, but when i class is interesting you're going to do better in it. so i know that high schoolers dont really need to have their carrer all planned out, but why would you need 4 years of math (leading up to whatever's after algebra 3-4) if you're going to be an english teacher or someting? by my understanding they dont really care about quadratics or the equasion of a circle.
and they'll inpact me a lot because i'll have to take them. (not fun) and yes, i realize i spelled a bunch of stuff wrong and that probably makes me look like a fool who's only insuting the tests becuase she wont pass them. joy, i wrote too much again. O_o
While there will be quibbling about whether the drop-out rates will be increasing with our new graduation requirements, this figure says it all. Only 29% of poor kids with high test scores complete college--the same college completion rate for wealthy kids with low test scores.
Classism and mediocrity.
The experts in education "reform" get their paychecks from foundations, business alliances and corporations. Their advice is sought as the sanctions of NCLB loom. In the meantime, the parent "stakeholder" (yep, that's what a school administrator referred to me in a private meeting two summers ago) who points out valid concerns ranging from teaching to the test, spun test scores and assistance with the test by paraprofessionals (bordering on cheating), to curriculum that don't work (National College of Teachers of Mathematics reform based math, Reading First) and inattention to gifted kids is dismissed.
While we "parent stakeholders" pay the taxes, the reformers have the say.
The 17th Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education, "The First Time
?Everything Changed? was published in October 2007 Phi Delta Kappan. Bracey states:
"The most recent effort to lay blame for societal problems
at the feet of the schools is the ?ED in ?08? campaign
from Strong American Schools. The Broad Foundation
and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation front
this campaign to the tune of $60 million.'
He further states:
Twenty years ago, or even 10, ?falling behind? would have been defined
in terms of test scores. But the TIMSS data from
1995, 1999, and 2005 showed American students making
larger gains than students in many other nations,
so test scores are no longer available as evidence for
that charge. Now, ?falling behind? usually means other
nations have overtaken the U.S. in high school graduation
rates ? the ?fact sheet? at the ED in ?08 website
says the U.S. is now 19th out of ?the top developed
countries.? (The fact sheet does not define ?top developed? or
specify how many nations fall into that category.)
In Oregon, E3 (Gates Foundation), the Wallace Foundation, West Ed, the Chalkboard Project and corporations (Nike Innovation Fund) are the voice of the business reformers at the state, district, and school levels.
Now parents of means must seek private schools, chartered and magnet schools, district boundary gerrymandered "gated community" schools, or private tutoring to ensure quality education. The market place has also quickly responded to the gilded age of home schooling.
In the December 2007 NY Times, Michael Winerip reported that the Educational Testing Service concluded low test scores had more to do with poverty and government's lack of support.
I believe that the fear-mongering and cries for "reforms" are distracting Americans. We don't have our eye on the real ball. Plutocracy has been reborn, surpassing the pre-depression gilded age.
This time our robber barons are much smarter. They have their manufacturing plants abroad; they have their off-shore accounts; they outsource their human capital (demanding that H-1 B visa caps be eliminated.
By perpetuating the "Great Labor Shortage Lie" and the "Great Education Myth" they squander wealth and natural resources internationally.
Economic uncertainty faces the new college grad.
Marian Wright Edelman has stated, "Parents have become so convinced that educators know what is best for their children that they forget that they themselves are really the experts."
Now we can say, "Educators and parents have become so convinced that foundations, business alliances and corporations know what is best for children that they forget that they themselves are really the experts."
How should Oregon and the rest of the nation respond to poverty, classism and tax inequities and revenue inadequacies that shortchange opportunity and shortchange our future?
How can we restore balance in "data-driven decision making"?
Whoa, krisalman, there's some good stuff here, but in the future please do try to keep your comments on the shorter side. As we write in the commenting guidelines, "Try to keep your comments to no more than 200 words. As a general rule, if you have to scroll to read a comment, it's too long." Thanks!
So sorry! It's hard to connect the dots if they are not all on one page!
Even though I was in accelerated classes (I'm old enough that they were called IHP, aka Individualized Honors Program) throughout elementary and junior high (I hear they now refer to that as "middle school") and AP courses in high school, I still graduated with truly remedial math skills. Now I find myself in the position of having to pay for community college math courses just to be competent in my career field. Higher standards and accountability can be a great thing if the method of delivery engages, motivates and inspires the students. Having endured public education, then in my adult life worked with a number of homeschooling families, I find the homeschooled children I've met to be far better educated than publicly educated children (including comparing to myself at the same age). Incidentally, also far better socialized, more confident and articulate. In what ways could these proposed changes affect homeschooling? I have found myself telling my public-high-school-attending stepson: "Sorry, but public school is just about teaching you how to get up every day, go somewhere you don't want to go, and do something you don't want to do, while not pissing anyone off, because that's what they'll want you to do when you get a job."
I dont know about standardized tests or the # of credit hours, but I would like to see a better focus on history & civics.
Perhaps if we studied the Military Industrial Complex better, we could find a way to stop it.
If we taught about how the US installed the Iranian Shah, and the blowback that brought on, we might stay out of Iran in the future.
If we studied the oil embargo of 1973, perhaps we could get behind alternative energy.
If we drew lessons about the military exercizes in Vietnam (it takes an act of Congress to declare war), perhaps we could have stayed out of Iraq.
It seems to me that learning from the history of our nation would have a more siginifant impact than some standardized test.
$200 to $300 million dollars? Superintendent Castillo also recommended in last week's City Club address that Oregon has full day kindergarten and universal pre-K. The vague recommendation was that we increase the corporate minimum.
How could this minimal increase in funding be adequate for all these goals?
The Quality Education Commission is working on the figures for Oregon Diploma including interventions and new Science and Math teachers.
If the State Schools budget grows ONLY at the same rate that State Revenue is currently predicted to grow for 2009-2011 then schools will have at least $600 million over inflation - that is adequate to allow district choice on kindergarten and move ahead on the Diploma.
I have a hard time understanding how this will work, Ed. We are no where near the Quality Education Model for funding. And when it comes to using Title I funding dollars, I have demonstrated to the Beaverton School District that 38% of our money is going to kids who are above free and reduced guidelines. That's because ALL the money is funneled to the elementary schools, which allow this money to be distributed to all kids in a Title I school. The level for schools to qualify as Title I can be as low as 35% free and reduced kids. And given that our wealthier school district has nearly 31% F&R kids, we should expect that more kids above poverty level will be benefiting.
In the meantime,Five Oaks Middle School should receive money, but they don't because they would be hit with punitive NCLB sanctions.
Further, the federal government comes no where near full funding for these poor kids. We get our money based on census figures, which estimate the numbers of kids who are at or below the poverty level. Those poor kids who make up to 185% federal poverty level just don't count. In the BSD that means we get 25% additional funding for slightly less than one in ten poor kids.
Since our district concentrates funding to elementary schools, only 34% of kids who qualify from free & reduced lunches benefit from Title I funding.
So, with $200 to $300 million dollars targeted for intervention, you think that our Oregon teachers can overcompensate for the growing numbers of poor/working poor and ELL/minority kids?
I am distrustful of the education reformers, when they are not allowing us to use outcome measures on them!
Corporations provide less than 1/3 of what they did 3 decades ago in Oregon. The business community killed an initiative petition two years ago that would have shed a light on taxes corporations pay.
Here is a document from the Oregon Department of Revenue. While we can see the average Oregonian's income taxes are high (reflecting a compensation for no sales tax), Oregon corporation's income taxes are smack in the middle--which results in their total taxes (as percentage of income) ranked at 42nd in the nation.
Ed, I hope you have read Greg LeRoy's book, The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation. And I hope that you are following what is happening in the Revenue Restructuring Committee in Salem. I am sure if the corporations have their way, Oregon?s tax structure will become more regressive, placing more tax burden on the average taxpayer.
Why doesn?t Oregon use data driven decision making for corporate tax breaks and tax policy (such as single sales factor formula)?
Oregon voters would be reassured if there were clawbacks requiring taxpayer money be returned to the general fund if living wage jobs are not created or jobs are shipped overseas or given to lower paid professionals imported with H-1 B visas.
We are happy to see that
seat time and lower age requirements
are dropped from the graduation requirement.
Let the bright kids get out early with their sanity.
Pass the insipid tests, and you're done.
I have a gifted son who is not passing his classes as a sophomore in high school even though his knowledge of the subject matter is way beyond his peers. How are we supporting these children who have the intellectual capacity but are not good at the busywork paper shuffling that so much of public school requires?
More importantly how is PPS address the needs of intellectually gifted children? This group is greatly at risk but can offer so much to our society.
PPS addresses the needs of gifted kids just enough to stay one step ahead of the state supreme court.
Flee if you can, for the love of your gifted child.
Already I see and hear a lot of worrying about how to get the unwilling to pass, especially math, which is considered hard by the educators.
Please do not let this effort turn into another draining of interesting classes
in math, science, technology
in favor of remedial actions.
Callers made a big point of the current 10th grade numbers on state tests, but under the diloma requirements students will have until 12th grade to demonstrate they can pass the test (state or local) - the current 10th grade numbers are not indicative of what students can do at 11th and 12th grades.
I am a teacher in a school with a high percentage of English language learners. I firmly believe in holding ALL students to a high standard. However, there are many students who need a lot of extra language support in order to achieve the standards and schools and educators are often not given resources to help all students and these kids can fall behind. Thanks for bringing this subject to the attention of your listeners. Education is very complex and we need the support of the public to give our kids the very best.
I always find these "new standards" pushes frustrating, because they do not come out of a raving sucess of the prior standards, but rather a failure thereof.
If we have so many children -- of any demographic, ethnic or racial background -- failing a standard, then the school districts aren't doing their job as it stands. FIX THAT. Fix that and raise all children do the current standard, THEN reevaluate.
Perpetuating systems that DO NOT WORK will not miraculously continue to work better at some point.
I'd like to see a show talk about the attitude and motivation of students. I was a well rounded high school student, honors student, lots of friends/activities/etc. I am shocked by what I hear from my coworker's families today: kids with every opportunity and advantage who "just aren't motivated" to do well in school. They fail classes because they do the homework...but don't turn it in. Their parents let them stay home from school for every little ache, pain and complaint.
Have they perhaps been raised with so little expectation and responsibility put upon them that they really think that's how it's going to be the rest of their lives?
I'm a third grade teacher in Eugene. This testing frenzy has trickled down to our third graders, and I do mean FRENZY. Not only does the state want to test our kids, the school districts have developed their own tests, the new curriculums have a multitude of their own tests. I hardly dare give students my own assessments. By November this past year, my students had spent 8 periods taking somebody else's tests . By the end of the year, these 8 year olds had spent THIRTY - 30 - days taking tests. That's one month of INSTRUCTION I lost with my students. That's a lot of time lost to test-taking.
There's a hilariously sad & funny essay that's gone around about a cow farm whose managers have been expected to raise the average weight of cows. So the farm puts the bulk of it's resources into weighing the cow. The gist is that weighing the cow frequently and rigorously does not in fact increase the weight of the cow. Our students are being tested to death; it's robbing them of the real joy of learning. Even if you give teachers more money to get the job done and even if you lower our class size numbers to something under 30 kids in a class, you still have robbed us of the time it requires to teach them the very standards you expect them to master. There are too many tests! It's taking the joy out of teaching as well as learning.... and I am a teacher whose students exceed the standards in large numbers (60% exceeded math & reading)
I graduated from high school in 1984. As you know the state had been economically decemated by the recession (depression) of the early eighties. My mother was a divorced single parent, no child support, and we knew people with Section 8 and welfare who had a better lifestyle. I managed to graduate against all these odds so honestly I think the students of today should realize how lucky they are to get a free education and just buckle down and study.
I think that kids ought to be told over and over that their education is not "free", but that we taxpayers work hard to pay for their schools, teachers, and supplies, and that we taxpayers want them to work hard, have some fun, and do their best because we believe in them and we work hard and pay a hell of a lot of money to back up our belief in them!
I don't have any kids but I believe in investing in educating all children because we all benefit as fellow human beings.
And paying for education is a far better investment than paying for prisons for people who were not properly educated.
I work at a community college with GED and ESL students. Overwhelmingly the GED students state their reason for leaving high school was because they continually struggled with math, and knew that they wouldn't be able to graduate. My prediction is that our program will grow by leaps and bounds when the new math requirements are implemented. Not everyone needs to know how to do higher math. How many of us with liberal arts degrees use math that we learned in high school throughout our daily lives? It seems that many of our students could benefit from immersion in art, music and history to get a better perspective on their lives and build a more rounded education. I'm not saying that math isn't important, but I don't believe that it's realistic to expect all students to attain these new goals. Based on my experience, the school "experts" are trying to push through another program that is doomed to fail.
I raised 2 kids in the Forest Grove school district, and they attended Forest Grove High School. One of your participants noted that 51% of the hispanic students at FGHS would not pass the minimum standards. This is an impossible standard to meet. The hispanic population in this school district was less than 5% in 1985, and by 2005 it was over 35%. It is around 40% at this point, and these kids are largely undocumented. That means they don't come into the system with the same background as the anglo kids, and we have a "don't ask don't tell" lack of honesty about the ramefications of these facts.
When the world thinks people who are interested in science and math are nerds, change the world!
In order to get people more comfortable in a world of science, described by science, filled with the products of science, and living by the benefits of science, I think that the early language of babyhood ought to be reframed.. Rename everything that is science to a name that describes it as science.
A baby learning to count or learning numbers is learning number science, or the science of numbers or the science of mathematics or math science.
A baby learning the alphabet is learning the science of linguistics, so it ought to be recognized with some name like letter science, or the science of letters, or alphabet science or the science of the alphabet or starting language arts science.
A baby learning to crawl, walk, run, skip, dance and all is learning the sciences asscoiated with the body, muscles, skeleton, nerves and all that, so call each by its? name, the science of body mechanics, sports science, physiological science, etc.
Eating is the science of nutrition. So lets do some snack science.
This needs brainstorming and trying out but I think that in the long run children raised in and surrounded by science will be comfortable with it and associate themselves on the side of science.
Long ago some Jesuit priest said something like ?Give me a child before the age of seven and I?ll give you a Catholic?. I think that educators and scientists could learn some lessons from religionists about recruitment and retainment as they have many thousands of years of experience in it. Not everyone will grow up to be an Einstein but many will become scientists and most will associate themselves with science if asked.
And so the world could be changed.
I applaud your sentiment, as I too love science.
I disagree that we do science attitudes any favors by dilution.
Consider how well it has worked with the so-called "political science".
"Mathematics" is happily often referred to simply as "math".
A phrase like "the science of mathematics" would simply not get used by the text-message generation. "som"? Nah!
The phrase "food science" does get used, but quite properly, mainly when someone is studying food. Science Olympiad has an event called that. Merely eating is NOT food science, whether human or insect larva are doing the eating.
You mention a baby a couple of times. They learn at an amazing rate, and it is amazing to watch their brains bootstrap. Even if we do not understand all the details of how they do it, it does not follow that they are doing science.
I don't want to stray too far off-topic to suggest other ways of encouraging scientific acceptance. (this space intentionally not expanded)
I am not convinced that we really want everyone trying to do science, or worse yet, doing exactly what they do already but calling it science. I am proud to be a geek. It does not bother me much that the auditorium at UP is not even packed when the finals of a science bowl comes around.
Thanks for the reply.
I think that one way of looking at it is that babies come out of the womb and act like scientists, they start gathering data, they form mental models of how the world works and they test those hypotheses.
My idea is meant to undermine the anti-science crowd, the religionists that attack science at every turn. They crush out that courageous curiosity of babies early on with their "put the fear of God into them" mentality and replace it with their creationist mythologies, putting a total stop to any further need for a baby to explore, learn about, and question their world.
It takes courage for a child to even be interested in science because the scientific method and critical thinking are incompatible with religion and so many do not even attempt to learn it. And then they socially put down kids who are interested in science as nerds, as social undesirables.
I agree heartily with your sentiment.
Comments are now closed.