A Reader Writes… The Hidden Agenda of Choice (Continued)

In response to the 5/1/13 post, The Hidden Agenda of Choice (7:1),” a LYS Teacher writes:

SC,

I am concerned about the high drop out rate in our schools.  Enough testing.  Let students pass their courses, earn their credits (in appropriate, required courses) and GRADUATE.  Could this be any worse than what we are doing right now? Look at how many students require college “remediation” classes! 

Every student who drops out reproduces more of the same.   Many students drop out because they can’t pass all their STAAR tests.  Pass your classes, get your credits, GRADUATE.  I personally believe that 95% of our state legislators cannot pass all of the EOC tests. Let those in power take the same STAAR tests that high school students must take and PASS ALL of them. Until then, stop this crazy testing (expensive) business.

SC Response Yes, it could be worse. Part of what created the impetus for testing was the simple fact that a student receiving a HS diploma did not mean that the student received a satisfactory education. Colleges knew this and it was an open secret that attending a certain high schools could either help or hurt your chances of being accepted to certain Universities.

Now I don’t know if we can attribute any dropouts to the STAAR test… yet.  And with the legislature in session, who knows what will happen.  But there were students who did not graduate due to not passing the TAKS.  Is that an automatic bad? I won’t go that far, but I will agree that it is not good.  My concern is focused on improved instruction, support and intervention to prevent both class and accountability test failure. To my constant amazement I find that this concern is not universal.

I like your “Practice what you preach,” testing requirement for our legislature.  That is a plan I could get behind.  But in all seriousness, and I say this as an accountability proponent, what Texas has done is a train wreck.  A near perfect model on how to screw up school accountability.  I don’t think they could create a worse program, even if that was the overriding intent. Sad…

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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A Principal Writes… Mission vs. Vision – Part 1
The Hidden Agenda of Choice (Continued, 2)

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