May 24, 2006

Stop the Party - Crack Those Books!

Hatched by Dafydd

We neglected to comment on the May 12th decision by a goofy California state judge to overturn the rule in the public schools requiring students to pass an "exit exam" before they can receive their high-school diplomas. (It was the press of other issues, honest!)

High school seniors who flunk the controversial state exit exam may be able to graduate next month anyway, according to a judge's tentative ruling issued late Monday.

Setting the stage for heated debate in court today between supporters and opponents of the California High School Exit Exam, Alameda Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman said he is likely to rule that the test cannot take effect this year as scheduled....

The court's preliminary injunction against the state would allow students to graduate this year if they've met all requirements for graduation - other than passing the test of basic math and English skills. It would mark a huge setback for state officials, who are eager to implement the test they see as the cornerstone of California's school accountability system.

What's worse, the judge refused to stay his own ruling while an appeal was heard. He clearly hoped the wheels of law would grind so slowly that it would be impossible to require the class of 2006 to actually know what they had been taught.

The basic problem, according to Judge Freedman, is that the test is "discriminatory" -- because predictably, different groups will perform differently on the test. But this same argument can be made for any test in any class, any grade, any imaginable method of evaluating the progress of students: some students will perform well, others will not.

Any evaluation whatsoever is fundamentally based upon "discrimination": discriminating between those who have learnt the knowledge and those who have not. And sadly, so long as different racial subgroups have different, culture-based attitudes about schooling -- and so long as boys are different from girls -- those differences among students will tend to clump into racial and gender classifications.

To be perfectly blunt about it, black and Hispanic male students whose subculture is less oriented towards sedentary study and more towards aggressive, even violent interactions will not do as well on the test (as a group) as Asians, and Jews, whose subcultures are precisely the opposite on this issue... or even black and Hispanic female students, who perform markedly better at this level. The performance of white students will be somewhere in the middle. So far, at least, nobody has found a way to change this.

(The standard caveat: there is always more variation within a group than between groups: there are plenty of individual black and Hispanic boys who are very scholarly and individual Asians and Jews who hate school and never study. But once you aggregate into groups, those kids turn out to be minorities within minorities.)

Thus, for any academic test, Asians and Jews will perform the best (again, as a group), whites and black and Hispanic girls in the middle, and black and Hispanic boys at the bottom. But often, teachers are appalled at the pattern they see... and they use grade inflation to make up for this disparity. Many teachers -- perhaps unconsciously, perhaps in response to school rules -- will "re-norm" black and Hispanic male students upwards, awarding them grades that they do not deserve by their individual performance.

Many of those unfairly re-normed students (and of course individual, poorly performing whites, Asians, and Jews as well) have gone all the way through 13 grades of kindergarten, primary, and secondary schools, received a high-school diploma -- yet have been unable to read, write, or compute at even a middle-school level.

The solution of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is to keep doing that, but more and harder:

If the tentative ruling stands, "this will be a historic ruling for all children in California because Freedman is telling the state, 'You cannot deny a student a diploma if they have not received adequate classroom materials,' " said Arturo Gonzalez, a San Francisco attorney representing students who have failed the exit exam but passed all other graduation requirements.

"You just can't do that," he said. "Its unfair, and it's illegal."

One of the major purposes of the California exit exam is to serve as a last chance to smoke out those students who have managed to duck education for years... aided and abetted by soft-hearted, soft-headed parents, teachers, and school administrators. When these kids fail the exit exam and realize they won't be graduating until they learn the material, it puts huge pressure on these students to take remedial classes and actually bring themselves up to the standards.

That good benefit was lost when Judge Freedman removed the requirement; he became the chief "enabler" of the cultural rejection of learning. Fortunately, however, some of the adults in the California judiciary are less interested in enabling destructive attitudes that in making sure kids are actually, you know, educated. Today, the California State Supreme Court itself issued a preliminary stay on Judge Freedman's ruling... and they did so in plenty of time to make the requirement possible for this year (since the test has already been given).

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the state high school exit exam as a graduation requirement for this year’s senior class, leaving 47,000 high school students who failed the test in danger of not graduating.

The high court ordered a state appeals court to hold hearings in the case, but with schools ready to hold commencement ceremonies as soon as this weekend, a resolution appeared unlikely before then....

This year's class was the first in which passing the test of 10th grade English and eighth grade math and algebra was required for graduation.

Five of the seven justices sounded very skeptical of Freedman's decision:

Still, the justices said they were not convinced that Freedman ruled correctly. "At this juncture this court is not persuaded that the relief granted by the trial court's preliminary injunction ... would be an appropriate remedy," five of the seven justices wrote.

The case itself was not decided; it still must work it way through the appellate courts, and only then will one side or the other appeal it to the Supreme Court. But this still is very encouraging; such a clear signal that the State Supreme Court is likely prepared to strike this decision down should make the appellate court less sanguine about upholding it.

Accountability and responsibility must be integral parts of education; because in the end, education is not about teachers teaching... it's about students learning.

Keep your fingers dry and your powder crossed....

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 24, 2006, at the time of 4:51 PM

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The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Dafydd ab Hugh,

Most Conservative Blogs would've banned humble Low and Ignorant Insane swamp hermit me some posts and months ago, so i would like to give a Dualistic and non-Dualistic Karmic *THANKS* to Big Lizards' four souls...Dafydd ab Hugh, Brad Linaweaver, and Sachiko ab Hugh.

i am Grateful,


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 5:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Education is a big problem, here in a country that thinks that America has no oil; however, MSM is a *MAJOR* secondary problem, if one remembers their so-called reporting after day 3 in Iraq. Thus, whilst fighting Terrorists and their hidden *SUPPORTORS*, one should make just one-step...a sure step, at a time. War and Battle can be strange 'Thangs to most humans. Look at France and China and Cuba and North Korea and Iran. Does America really want to become any one or any combination of them?!? Israel could whip all of them (other than China) at the same time, with both hands tied behind their backs.

Life on Earth is a *LOT* like Life in a Prison...

In *ANY* Prison, here on Planet Earth, if you allow some 'inmate' to run his mouth at you, then you are in serious best, and anyone reading this, understands what i am saying here.

BTW, for the few who perhaps don't understand, in any Prison that i have been in, one can only dream of a Woman or woman running her mouth at to speak whilst smiling.

China and India are making major moves. China needs to...India does not have a need or desire, unless they trust China. China is trying to stop their citizens from revolting (big time), since they ('Da Gov) introduced Capitalism into China. However, both China and India know that only America is the lone SuperPower, even if they both joined together against America. American Liberals apparently don't understand this simple fact, and that is a priblem that the Democrat cannot overcome...simple as that.

Life on Earth is a *LOT* like Life in a Prison...

Imagine being an ex-cop in Prison, and facing those whom you sent to the same Prison. Its akin to Bill Clinton "containing" Saddam after Saddam tried to kill Bush "41" to speak.

American schools, from the pre, from the beginning to the end teach at least Socialism. Government Schools here in America must end. Students are not taught even the basics, just politics.

End the MSM's strangle hold, and go from there...

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 6:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

Well, actually, as someone who has performed at the 100th percentile for magnet high school admission, and 93rd, 97th and 99th percentiles (depending on the subject) college and law school admissions, I have absolutely no respect for standardized tests. They only mean that I am as smart (or as dumb) as the people who wrote them. How did Bill Gates and Warren Buffett or, if you prefer, Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi, perform on their SATs?

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 7:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

The ultimate meal is when the bureaucracy eats what is it is supposed to safeguard. The CIA betraying the nation as it leaks. The MSM betraying its freedom as it publishes lies and sedition. And of course, the education machine that destroys the kids.
Poor California.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 8:59 PM

The following hissed in response by: RRRoark

You miss the point. The test isn't to find geniuses, and it's not a potentials or predictive test, which the SAT pretends to be. It is an achievement test for bare minimum standards for the award of a high school diploma. Do you think the BAR Exam should be done away with? How about the licensing exam for the guy that drew the plans for your house or did your electrical wiring? Have you learned to solve simple algebra word problems? Have you enough vocabulary to read the USA Today or if not, have you learned to pick up a dictionary? My eldest step-child told me that his teacher in 5th grade had told him when he came upon a word he didn't know when reading to guess at the meaning and continue. Now determining meaning from context can lead to words actually changing meaning over time by incorrect use. See: decimation or winebibber. All this test wants is slightly below average proficiency prove. And for comparison, National Merit Scholar, 1530 SAT, Mensa member all in 1969.

The above hissed in response by: RRRoark [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 25, 2006 6:22 AM

The following hissed in response by: Papa Ray

Getting an education should not be left just to the education system.

It should be the responsibility of the PARENTS or GrandPARENTS to assure that their offspring get that education also.

Sadly, that is not the case anymore.

But, I practice what I preach, I have three grandsons. I talk with them, help them, advise them and instill in them the DESIRE to learn, to be educated to try and try their best.

So do their parents.

They all make good grades, one excellent grades.

They all are going to grow up to be responsible, educated, caring, determined, independent citizens of the Great Republic.

Because we care, because we pushed, because its the right thing to do.

Education is too important to be left up to the state.

Papa Ray
West Texas

The above hissed in response by: Papa Ray [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 25, 2006 12:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: Master Shake

To graduate they only need to know English to a level two grades below their current grade level, and math to a level four grades below their current grade level (equating to middle school, not high school). I'm sure their future welfare case workers will be very proud.

The above hissed in response by: Master Shake [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 25, 2006 2:17 PM

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