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John Wayne's Holster: A Public Execution of the Education System
John Wayne's Holster
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Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Public Execution of the Education System

Earlier this week, California Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman issued a ruling essentially striking down the state’s high school exit exam. Under the state’s plan, students intending to graduate are required to take a standardized test to determine if they meet minimum standards in math and English. According to school superintendent Jack O'Connell, more that 46,000 students had not yet passed the exit exam. Of those students, 61 percent are poor, and 44 percent are English learners.

Citing equal protections, the judge suggested that the test discriminates against students who are shortchanged by substandard schools. The judge apparently forgot to point out that the exam also discriminates against those who can not meet the minimum requirements.

This ruling is absolutely ridiculous! If you rephrase the argument, the judge is essentially asking why students who can not read, write, add or subtract are being denied diplomas. I suppose getting a diploma has become an “inaleiable right” and not a privledge!

To be fair, those opposed to the exam do have some valid grievances. But they are not valid reasons to let unqualified students slide. For example, San Francisco attorney Arturo Gonzalez, who filed a lawsuit challenging the exam, stated, "There is overwhelming evidence that students throughout the state have not been taught the material on the test. And many students have been taught by teachers not credentialed in math and English. "

WOW! At least we know where the real problem lies. And it is not unique to California.

Perhaps the solution is too obvious…but if schools across the country are not teaching the required material and the teachers are unfit, why don’t the local governments fire the teachers and replace them with others who are qualified?

The answer is simple. THE TEACHER’S UNION WON’T LET THEM! It seems the teacher's union cares more about the teachers and less about the kids. The teacher's union has a lot of muscle, and most politicians are too limp-spined to stand up to them. The politicans seems more interested in endorsements and votes that they do about the people they represent.

And we wonder why American students are falling behind the rest of the world.


At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

We really do have an interest in the same stories. I really wanted to blog on this but with Finals I have not had the time. I read in the article that one girl who could not pass had something like a 3.7 gpa. That is appalling. If you cannot pass this test how in the world do you have a 3.7 gpa. Isn't English a required subject. The schools are not doing anyone a service by handing out diplomas. Rather they are setting these kids up to fail in the real world. Teachers and schools should be informing them that if they do not graduate High School it is not the end of the world. There is always jr college. I dropped out of High School but went back to jr college at 25 years old. It was the best thing to happen to me.

I completely agree with you about the teachers union. They are not at all concerned with childrens education they are concerned with their own interests. My father hasd a credential and my step-mother is a teacher. I constantly have this discussion with them. While they agree with some points they are too close to the issue to be unbiased.


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