Captain Hammer’s National Standards Will Save Us!

February 6, 2012

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Michael Winerip had a doozy of a column over the weekend, exposing what look like some really seriously dumbed down state standards in New York. But don’t worry! Just like Captain Hammer, national standards are here to save us.

There’s no doubt Winerip has what looks like a pretty damning indictment of the NY English Regents exam. Here are some actual student responses that the state grading guide says should get middling or even higher scores:

  • These two Charater have very different mind Sets because they are creative in away that no one would imagen just put clay together and using leaves to create Art.
  • In the poem, the poets use of language was very depth into it.
  • Even though their is no physical conflict withen each other. Their are jealousy problems between each other that each one wish could have.
  • In life, “no two people regard the world in exactly the same way,” as J. W. von Goethe says. Everyone sees and reacts to things in different ways. Even though they may see the world in similar ways, no two people’s views will ever be exactly the same. This statement is true since everyone sees things through different viewpoints.

Bear in mind that these are not just examples pulled from student exams that actually got middling or higher scores. These are examples held up in the state scoring guide as examples of answers that should get middling or higher scores. In effect, the state is mandating low standards from the top.

But don’t worry!

They are also counting on a new set of national learning standards, known as the common core, which are currently being developed in more than 40 states. The hope is that more sophisticated standards detailing what children should know, coupled with more sophisticated curriculums and exams, will result in a more rigorous public education system.

“The D.O.E./Board of Regents position on the passing score for this exam, with attention to college and career readiness, will be re-examined in conjunction with administering a revised exam in this subject area aligned to the Common Core State Standards,” a spokesman for [New York State education commissioner] Dr. [John] King wrote.

Thank heaven! The exact same people who produced the current mandatory dumbing down are now going to produce a new set of standards. Surely that will result in a lifting of standards!

UFT: If You Close Your Eyes, the Schools Look Fine!

October 22, 2010

HHGTTG on the many uses of towels: “wrap it round your head to … avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous)”

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

The Journal reports that the New York City DOE, at the bidding of the UFT, is withholding teacher data that would allow the public to evaluate 12,000 teachers the same way the LA Times did in Los Angeles earlier this year. The data were to be released in response to public record requests by the Journal and other organizations, but the UFT sued. Now a court will have to pry the data loose.

Can you say “the new tobacco lobby,” boys and girls? Can you say “FINISH HIM?” I knew you could!

HT Whitney Tilson

Marcus on Tenure & Test Scores

December 2, 2009

HT Education Week

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

On NRO today, Marcus soldiers on through the endless New York test score tenure wars, reporting on a gutsball move by Mayor Bloomberg:

New York’s state legislature gave teachers a gift last year by banning the use of student test-score data in tenure decisions. Many expect the legislature to allow the law to expire next year, but Mayor Bloomberg refuses to wait. Last week, he ordered schools chancellor Joel Klein to use the data anyway, arguing that the teachers up for tenure this year were hired in 2007, and a careful reading of the law suggests it applies only to teachers hired after July 1, 2008.

I’m not a Bloomberg fan on any other issue, but on education he’s a cut above most mayors. And remember, he does this in a town with a City Council so thoroughly corrupted by the unions that legislators actually read from union cue cards during hearings.

%d bloggers like this: