Thursday, July 29, 2010
There is an article in today's Newsday about how upset Long Island superintendents are at the way test scores have been calibrated and now so many students are failing. I don't get it. The problem is not the tests, it is not the scores, it is the lack of education our children are being given. I teach AP Calculus to some of the brightest students in the city of New York, yet, they come to me not remembering how to add fractions and not wanting to do the simplest calculations without a calculator. They have no concept of how to find the cosine of 30 degrees without a calculator because calculators and test prep are all they have been taught the 12 years before I met them. They haven't been taught to think, only to memorize procedures and regurgitate answers blindly.
Long Island superintendents are upset because their percentages are going down. Where were they all these years when their students were not being taught? They are the ones on the front line. They are the ones with the voices to make people aware of the atrocity we have been calling education. Don't tell me they are upset for the children because I don't buy that. They only care about how these new standards make them look. Yes, I know it is wrong for a child to fail when all along the child thought he was passing but why is the child who knows nothing believing he is passing to begin with.
This whole No Child Left Behind, The Race To The Top, and the closing of so many schools has taken away education and replaced it with test prep. Alternative tests are not the answer, real education is.