Thursday, June 10, 2004

What we've known all along 

When you let the assessed right the assessments, you can pretty well bet that they'll be dumbed down.
A study of high school graduation exams, rites of passage for more than half the nation's secondary school students, shows that they largely test material taught in the 9th and 10th grades. Such material, the study said, is often taught at the middle school level in other industrialized countries.

The study found that the tests measured very basic material and skills, insufficient for success in university courses or in jobs paying salaries higher than the poverty level, currently about $18,000 for a family of four.
Even at these lower levels, teachers and school administrators are fighting to keep sanctions from following poor results. Says one opponent of these exams,
It sounds like the latest installment from the 'Chicken Little, the Sky is Falling' crowd. All judgments about where to set the bar, where the cutoffs should be, and how much students should learn at any grade level are inherently subjective and political.
Ergo, no test will ever satisfy him.