Mommy, I Just Can't Read

Mommy, I just can't read. I'm not stupid, I'm intelligent but I can't read.

Sigh. (See here) a Newsweek article that screams for watering down the Standards of Learning tests that our schools face. "They expect too much" educators scream.

I will reply with this. Prior to the Standards of Learning, we were graduating young adults from High School that still did not have the ability to read.

Let us explore this further. As children progressed through the grade levels, children of high achievement were not even allowed to be "fast tracked" so that they would not be hindered in their learning by those who could not yet read. Children who already were at their grade level where held back by those who should not have been advanced to the next grade level.

Well "Standards of Learning" helps correct that problem. If the kid does not deserve to be in the grade level, they will be held back while the majority continues on. The majority will not be held back at the next grade level by the children who were not ready for that grade level. No longer are we going to see young adults graduating from High School without being able to read. No longer will the learning of those who are ready for higher learning in high school be held back by those who are not ready to learn at that level.

If a child is not fit to advance beyond Kindergarten due to whatever cause, then let them stay in Kindergarten until they are ready for the first grade. If we acquiesce in allowing that Kindergarten is not learning time, but only play time, the heat will only be turned up on first grade. If Kindergarten kids are not ready for the first grade, let them stay in Kindergarten.


Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

While I agree that some standards must be met, Im not sure that a standardized test should be that standard.

One key bit of education a student should receive in public school is critical thinking skills. These skills are not readily accessible on the pages of the arithmetic book, or the language arts book, yet these very skills are ones that have the most profound impression on ones path in life.

So, little Billy has memorized every page of his Calculus book, and hes passed on to 11th grade. Guess what, instead of Billy completing logic problems and thinking excercises applying those skills, he has used excessive classroom time digesting theory, and not application, because the teachers lesson plans had to be completely built around teaching to a standardized test.

Sure, little Billy can read his diploma, but can little Billy apply any of that in a real world scenario? Are you developing a bunch of robots who lack the creativity or ability to make the developments neccessary to advance society?

Some of the worlds greatest inventors, politicians, musicians, artists, and inovators were worthless students.

Standardized testing will help derail and discourage those minds right from the start.

9/05/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Yes, that is the argument that educators use. That due to standardized learning tests, they are forced to teach the test instead of getting into nebulous areas such as critical thinking.

Problem is that not having standards of learning was allowing many students to pass from one grade level to the next without even the basic skills they should have had from the previous grade level. Thus we were seeing students being awarded high school diplomas without even being able to read the damn thing.

Perhaps standards of learning need not be exceptionally challenging so that all the teachers time is spent on teaching the tests. Some fine tuning might be required, however they should not be scrapped. Standards of learning should consist of identifying that the student has achieved the minimum level of skills and knowledge necessary for that grade level.

While input from teachers should be crucial in identifying these minimum standards, their input should not be allowed to water down the standards until they are pointless and we are once again handing high school dipomas to the ignorant. A high school diploma should represent something more then a good attendance record.

In fact, truthful educators should support the standards of learning, at least after they are fine tuned. No longer will they face a handful of kids that do not belong at their grade level and who would demand most of their time in an attempt to get them up to speed. All the students starting the school year will be ready for the grade level, so now the teacher might actually have enough time to teach things like critical thinking to his/her class.

9/06/2006 07:29:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home