Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    From School Unions: PNW Kids Are Too Stupid

    Yes, that title of this blog is correct - public school teacher unions have declared kids in public schools in the state of Washington and Oregon are stupid and unable to pass aptitude tests and therefore such tests should be eliminated as a prerequisite to graduating.

    Take for example the news this past Thursday that the Washington Education Association (WEA), the state's largest teachers union, wants lawmakers to dump the WASL as the main graduation requirement. They claim they are just responding to parents demands but in reality they need to protect their union that has not been doing a very good job. At the website for WEA they actually have this posted as a Bulletin! - a warning that the students they were trusted with might continued to be tested.

    In reality, it is the effectiveness of the public school system and teachers union that is being put to the test. In a story this past Sunday in the Herald Washington lawmakers are going to decide whether the WASL should stay or be dropped as a condition of graduation. Business (that will hire future grads) want it to stay while some parents and the teachers union want it to go away. Heck - this is even a test that can be taken multiple times if the student fails a section - how much easier can it get?

    The WASL is an assessment of student learning:
    The state-level WASL assessments require students to both select and create answers to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and understanding in each of the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs)--from multiple-choice and short-answer questions to more extended responses, essays, and problem solving tasks.

    Student, school, and district scores are reported for the operational assessments. The state-level operational test forms are standardized and "on demand" meaning all students respond to the same questions, under the same conditions, and at the same time during the school year.
    Add to this the dismal public school teacher quality in Oregon - earning a "D" on the national education report. Oregon public school teachers are not required to advance their professional development.

    So while Washington and Oregon can lay claim to having the highest minimum wages in the nation they can also lay claim to having the dumbed-down kids - thanks to the public school system, the teacher's union, and every liberal supporting both. Don't hold your breath for any high-tech companies coming to the Pacific Northwest anytime soon.

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