Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    No More Mountains To Climb

    Are the public schools in American challenging the students to achieve high standards? Is it the policy of the public school system to teach core skills in the fundamental subjects of mathematics, language, grammar, writing, etc.?
    I can remember some of my college classes would not allow calculators because some instructors thought it gave an edge to those that used them. I had one instructor in a calculus class that didn't mind at all. His tests were open book, use a calculator, anything you wanted. The only requirement is you had to show your work - the steps you took to arrive at the answer. This was possible because his tests would test the student on the core concepts of the subject and not simply on how well you could memorize the subject. I think this is the best way to test a person's abilities and to push a student toward better achievement.
    In America the curriculum of the public school is set by the state. Some states have seen fit to lower the standards of achievement so the playing field can be level. This mentality not only lowers the expectations of the students but lowers the teaching demands of the teachers. Take Missouri as an example (this happens throughout America, no offense to Missouri). In February of 2004 their state Senate gave approval to change how standardized tests are graded - lowering the standards. In their past method they looked bad - about half of their schools were found to be failing. In their wisdom they basically said - Hey, if we lower our standards then we will have fewer failing public schools. Their schools were found to be failing to make "adequate yearly progress" under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Failing to make progress for several years can lead to penalties, including a requirement that children be allowed to transfer to other schools or, ultimately, that school officials be replaced.
    Ever hear of a private school having to lower their standards? This is typical socialist mentality - lower standards, pretend that everyone is achieving at the same level - to support the illusion that no one is better than anyone else, that no one need achieve anything more than anyone else. In their ideology you could lower the qualifications of what makes a human and ta-da, we're all just a bunch of protoplasm.


    simoncat said...

    Sad isn;t it? Why can you see it, I can see it, other conservative thinking folk can see it, but it is an enigma to the socialists? Where is the logic in "dumbing people down" as Pundit puts it? Do we want the human race to devolve? Is this fear based, or the push of the "average" mind to dominate and control and in envy, eradicate the brightest and the best?
    Ah, God gives humanity its tests. There is a point to it all, I just haven't figured it out yet. :)

    Pundit said...

    i had one instructor who worked in the high-tech field some years ago who was of the belief that desktop computers were a fad and would die out soon because they had no computing power. We all know how that turned out. And, my algebra instructor noted that many instructors are beginning to loosen up on calculators because it is easier and cheaper to find a scientific programmable calculator now than it is to find the old books with all the tables and formulas for working by hand.