Friday, June 16, 2006

Stupid if you fail, criminal if you don't

Stupid if you fail, criminal if you don't

in addition to spending tens of millions per year on a failed test, the TEA just paid $533,334 to a contractor in Utah to find out which students improved their scores. instead of rewarding the students, though, the TEA will investigate them for cheating.
here is the logic:
- the TAKS from last year proved these kids are failures, right?
- the state underfunds schools, so students could not possibly learn anything!
- so if a young failure improves her/his score, the only explanation is that the student and/or teacher cheated, even though there were test monitors in the room.

(you know, studying textbooks and learning the material, that sort of thing counts as cheating in Texas).
poor students, expecially, are expected to fail the TAKS a few times, get discouraged, then drop out. how else will we have an ignorant workforce 20 years from now? what did you think corporate lobbyists are paying for?

express-news article on cheating accusation
"What incenses me about this is we get pressured to do whatever we can to improve student performance, then when they do well we're under suspicion," [Northside Superintendent] Folks said. "They give us no information and the implication is 'you cheated.'"
...
What we should be asking when we see significant gains is what practices are being used," [North East Superintendent Middleton] said. "What's lost in all of this is learning better teaching strategies from each other. What we do for kids is not even the issue any more."
...
the lesson? students lose no matter what their score is. this test should not exist. teachers should throw the TAKS away, and go back to teaching a process. proper understanding of english, math, science, and history cannot be simplified into a multiple choice question.

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