Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A diploma must be earned

Optimistic Patriot blogged More silly theories in education from CA:

In California, Judge Robert Freedman of Superior Court in Alameda County said in a preliminary ruling on Monday that the exams, standardized math and English tests that high school seniors have to pass to graduate, discriminated against impoverished students and students learning English.
Judge Freedman is absolutely correct. These standardize tests “discriminate” by design. They “discriminate” against people lacking the basic math and English skills needed to function in society. A diploma is not a right. It is an earned distinction. It certifies your achievements and abilities.
And with respect to this particular test, they have five chances to pass it, and only need to score 50% to pass. Anyone who cannot pass does not deserve a certificate they would not be able to read anyway.
The judge blames poverty if children do not learn, but somewhere along the line, education was badly sidetracked. Teaching the “right” things became far more important than teaching writing. Nobody was concerned that Johnny could not construct an English sentence, but they were thankful he could put a condom on a banana. Additionally, education became an exercise in building self-esteem that lead to silly experiments with New Math and Ebonics because there are no “wrong” answers.
Except when they get out into the real world, where they run smack into the need to have the education they never got.
There is no doubt millions of children deal with a lot of outside influences that make obtaining an education challenging. Nobody denies this fact; however; it is the knowledge gained in school and not the piece of paper that raises children out of poverty. Judge Freedman is not leveling the field by granting everyone a piece of paper without the underlying education.
What he is doing is devaluing the piece of paper. If one can get it without earning it, then everyone that earned it will have something that now has no value to another school or a prospective employeer.
If anything, by lowering the bar, he is insuring they stay poor because no court can give these kids the knowledge they lack even if their piece of paper says they have it. Is that fair?

No comments: