Last week I posted the blog below here At The Chalk Face and I also sent it to my local paper as a “Letter to the Editor.” What’s mind blowing is the comment thread that developed on line.
It is really depressing. Not only do we have to deal with well educated billionaires, we also have to battle small minded simpletons that believe their only obligation in life is to …? Hell I don’t know what they think. You try and figure it out.
Parents get ready for new tests this school year.
Pennsylvania is rolling out the new Keystone exams (the Keystones will take the place of the PSSAs).
All of Pennsylvania’s 11th graders will be required to take Keystones (high-stakes standardized tests) in algebra, literature and biology.
Great. New tests to replace the old tests.
And why has Pennsylvania decided to get new high-stakes tests?
According to the spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education Tim Eller, “We have heard from the higher education community and business community that students are not graduating with the skills needed to enter the workforce. These exams are raised to the level of what’s needed to ensure that students are meeting certain requirements before they leave school.”
First, what qualifications does a spokesman for the DOE have that permits him to make such a broad statement about testing?
Second, the above quote is total garbage. Being in the higher education community, I can tell you for a fact that most college professors do not want more high-stakes testing. In fact, we want it to stop.
Students aren’t coming to college unprepared because they didn’t have the right test. They come to college unprepared because of tests. They don’t have workforce skills because of tests.
High-stakes tests and the perverted notion that we can test students into proficiency are the real problem.
We also know (but for some reason “qualified” people at the Pennsylvania DOE don’t know) that the last 10 years has been a disaster for students.
Testing has essentially denied a generation of children a quality and equitable education rich in all academic areas. Testing and test preparation are the problems.
The new Keystone exams will do nothing to better prepare students for college and the workforce.
You don’t need test-taking skills to thrive in college and the workplace. You need to be able to think and you need to be able to learn – two things standardized tests don’t and will never measure.
Parents, please save your children from this new disaster by opting out.
Excerpts from online Comment Thread
Actually I think the information is a combination of both. Students too lazy to learn and teachers too lazy to teach.
Whether out into the workforce and UNABLE to count change or balance a checkbook. Or into college reading at a 3rd/4th grade level with minimal math skills the results are the same.
“This is about Republicans…..”
REALLY??? Maybe it’s about Democrats. Your party seems to prefer STUPID in all fields.
It’s about your Plantation Politics and keeping your workers stupid and voting that way.
You Nitwits need to learn Comprehension.
The public school system is all about making profit.
Profit for Unions. Profit for Crony Contractors, Profit by Suppliers in all the ingredients it takes to run a school. The lunch program, the textbook companies. The lawn care service the trash haulers, building replacement and maintenance and what ever else the Administration spends money on. Then to top it off the Politico receives all kinds of contributions from those crony contracting companies involved. Paying the Tribute.
Then to top it all off kids are dropping out at higher percentages. The ones the do become grads can’t even read or write at 8th grade levels. And then some nitwit cry,s about new testing. Even the Colleges are not preparing young adults for the workforce.
All you Dimwits that support the Public Education Systems are all a bunch of Left Wing Loons drinking the koolaid…..
Of course as always there are exceptions.
if you are looking for the cause of most problems in school, look in the mirror! The donkeys have embraced everything BUT traditional familys and traditional family values. When you take God out of our society, you get broken homes, single parents, and welfare kids who start off on the wrong foot. Children need to be nurtered by both a loving mom and dad. The emphasis on working hard and long for success has been replaced by the gov nanny state which teaches people ENTITLEMENT is easier. I volunteer my time to coach elementary kids and I can pretty much tell by the amount of effort they put into learning sports what their family situation is. If you want to help change our children, please help to mentor them when they are young. If we can teach them that they shouldn’t live the lazy life and that working hard is more rewarding we may still have a future on this country.
Who in this comment thread has any qualifications (other than having been a student) to comment on the status of public education? If you do, great but from what I’m reading most comments posted demonstrate a lack of knowledge about the facts. Democrats and Republicans declared war on public education over 15 years ago. The testing regime is a system designed to “prove” public education is failing and then to privatize it. This sounds great if you think this means a tax cut. However, there are no plans to stop taxing the public. We will still be taxed but our local control over local school budgets will be taken away and private Education Management Organizations will cut costs by cutting services and then keep the “extra” as profit. So instead of 26 -30 kids in a class you will have 50 -60 in a class but the taxpayer will still pay the same amount. Stop thinking this is a D vs R issue. This is about private interests stealing public dollars.
The proof is in the pudding. Your schools and their students are failing.
Take a look around. 47% of the country on the dole. Not such a good success rate.
Employment is directly tied to education.
My success at school was in the few teachers that I came to respect. Because of their dedication of their craft. Very few teachers ever educate children at public schools today. They follow the curriculum set up by Stupid Liberal Academia and it is failing the children.
I was active in track and wrestling and was elected to a class office. I was popular because I was in the top 5th of my class. And you, little weirdo would have been as jealous as you are now.
I’ve worked hard and was sacrificial for my family and made good provision as a man should. My house was paid for in 7 years. Nobody gave it to me scum bag. I earned it. I’ve ran million dollar businesses and have had other jobs you wish you could have. You would never qualify because you have not the aptitude to be more than a cook at a fast food joint. And if you have more than that, you stole it. You never excelled at nothing. Because you’re lazy.
Mr Evil, Show me the pudding. You have no idea do you? Give some good stats. Site some research. Show me any evidence that you understand that making claims requires evidence. Or were you one of the unlucky ones that attended schools during the NCLB years? If so then your inability to engage in evidence based arguments is understandable. In fact you make my point.
You also need to provide some evidence for your ridiculous claims-that means nothing anecdotal .
I have worked in schools for over twenty years and there is no liberal curriculum in place. The curriculum was designed by multi-million dollar publishing companies In fact, the curriculum is very supportive of market based economies. We create awesome consumers that have no ability to understand the fact that most of what they buy they don’t need. They weren’t taught about deceptive marketing and how to know when they were being duped. In fact this entire testing regime was designed by billionaire hedge fund managers to raid the public school budgets. Capitalism at its finest. Right?
So you don’t comprehend that this is business as usual out of Harrisburg. It fits the profile of corruption, not Free Market Capitalism. So the Republicans did it this time, all the while the Democrats have been doing it for years.
And if going to work and earning you way through life is anecdotal to you, then we may be interested as to what you have been doing putting in time at a school for over 20 years.
I have no preference to belong to either political camp, for I am old enough to see that both parties in tandem are destroying our country. Even though it is the Progressive Liberal Agenda that is doing the most harm. And yes that Agenda is in league with publishing and the content thereof. Liberal Academia is a root cause for our children not being educated properly. And being prepared for the Adult Journey of life.
However, I can agree with the marketing ploys that dupe people into buying products and services they don’t need.
Well Tim, we have the stats. Failure. That is the reason for the new testing and your obvious objection to it. Of course , De 57 states Prez is a genius according to this.
The Blaze: Posted on February 3, 2012 ‘53’ States? Video of Teens Failing Miserably at a Civics Quiz Is So Depressing It’s Funny. Did you know that “bin Laden” is the vice president of the United States, or that the Civil War led to America’s independence? How about that Canada’s a state?
Well, that’s what some local students at (what appears to be) a Washington state high school think. In a video that’s probably a few hours from going viral, a young man decided to question classmates for a video called “Lunch Scholars.” It is anything but scholarly.
Why do teachers’ unions claim they deserve more pay and endless benefits when this is the result of their “hard work” in the classroom?
Seriously? He asks for stats or research and you cite a amateur video? That’s your evidence? That ranks up there with peanut’s pictures of the WMDs in Iraq.
Amateur! The title of an Obama book and the ranks of both teachers and their results.
You ask for examples then try and refute them.
Sorry BUT, you aren’t preaching to your class.
Proof that some are passing A test the failing in the real world. My God man what more PROOF can we provide!
Look at OBAMA, He had 3 1/2 years to prepare for the test. He failed miserably. So come November we need to flunk him out and send him back to the previous grade. Lowlife in Chicago.
Amateur or not. Video proof of STUPID students. WHY? Because of lousy teachers.
Those man on the street interviews of students have been around since you libs hijacked education. The RESULTS are always the same. Proof that the losers coming out are the result of the teachers. Take responsibility man.
Once you realize that this has nothing to do with lousy students, lousy teachers, democrats, republicans then you might have a chance to understand that dismantling of (our) your public schools is about STEALING money from me and you the taxpayer. Quit acting as if your on one side of this or the other. If you’re reading the Altoona Mirror and commenting on this site then you (and me) are about to be raped because of our stupidity. Us vs Them serves Those that will destroy you and me. Wake Up!
Tim; do you have dual personalities?
Finkster: Don’t we all have multiple personality traits. We’re human. But I don’t understand your question. Do you think I am not taking a strong position? Does it feel as if some of what I say makes sense but some of it doesn’t? Maybe that’s what I’m trying to point out. Sometimes there is much more to what we think we know and it is impossible for all of us to know everything. That’s why we all have areas in which we tend to be somewhat experts in. That’s a good thing.
My point here is that for the last 22 years I have been involved in public education as a teacher, teacher educator, administrator, and parent activist. My position is not based on my political affiliation. You already seem to understand this–the 2 parties dropped us (middle class) a long time ago. My position is based on a deep knowledge gained from experiences that point out the the take over of public schools is not about “failure.” It’s about redistributing our tax money to entities that have no ties or interests in making our community schools better. Look in DC and NYC and other places where this has already happened. Local taxpayers have lost the right control how their money is spent on education. And these Educational Management Organizations that run private charter schools have demonstrated that most of them offer a sub standard education but continue to take the maximum tax pay out from local school districts.
There is always a valid discussion about curriculum and instruction and it is only through a public system of education that you are allowed to have this discussion. Once our tax money is diverted to private EMOs we lose our voice. If we lose our voice then we no longer live in a democracy. I am not fighting against “testing.” I am fighting against the take over of our democracy by private interests that have profit as their only motivation. There is a place for profit making companies in America. However there is no place in a democracy for profit making companies taking over local communities and extorting our tax dollars through a scheme that has absolutely nothing to do with teaching and learning. Our public schools (with all the problems they have) are essential to preserving our democracy.
Sounds like a good argument to make the parents responsible for “their” children,s education. Eliminating tax payer funded education all together. Yeah, I like that Idea. Personal responsibility on the part of the parents.
If you’re going to have the children, then prepare to educate them.
That way those who are paying the taxes for education will have more disposable income. Part of Free Market Economics. And help eliminate the Corruption in Government and School Administrations. While dismantling Socialism one step at a time.
What’s going on now is Unconstitutional at it’s core. Even if the Courts and Law Makers say it’s not.
The real test is what happens after they graduate. Students get a resounding F. Unable to think for themselves. Cant self govern.
Wait a second !!
Maybe they should get an A. Because that’s exactly how they are taught to be for 13 years.
Here’s a good test to take.
Question #1. Did you take money from someone who doesn’t even have kids in school?
Question #2. Why do you think everyone should pay into the education system?
Question #3. Have you ever worked in the real world where you don’t have government forcing people to fund your paycheck?
Have you ever driven on out of state roads? Did you send that state some cash? I bet you didn’t.
How did you manage to delude yourself into believing that as a citizen you have no obligations to the well being of your neighbors?
Or is that your distorted view of “Liberty?”
If you don’t like living in a community that practices democratic values (shared decision making) you can always call it quits. There’s still plenty of open spaces for you to go live a life devoid of any obligations except for yourself. You can live out your life in true “Liberty.”
When do I stop posting comments? I’m not sure but I am sure that there are tens of thousands of Finksters, TheEvilDs, and Libertys posting this nonsense across the nation. Just think about it. Michelle Rhee and Bill Gates don’t even pay these people.
Is the fight against corporate education reform FUBAR?
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