Thursday, December 04, 2003

pinions of buddy don:
why is everbidy always pickin on miraculls?

everbidy always talks bout how they wont the bes fer the children, speshly when it cums to skoolin. one of the so-called miraculls of the educayshun worl happened down in houston, whar accordin to thar own tests, our children is larnin! (that gives ye the anser to mr. bush's questchun, 'is our children learning?') fack is, theys larnin so much, seems lack they cant remember all they dun larned by the time they gits to collidge!

thays an articull in the new york times bout it called "Gains in Houston Schools: How Real Are They?" n it gits rite to how fergetful these kids kin be:

As a student at Jefferson Davis High here, Rosa Arevelo seemed the "Texas miracle" in motion. After years of classroom drills, she passed the high school exam required for graduation on her first try. A program of college prep courses earned her the designation "Texas scholar."

At the University of Houston, though, Ms. Arevelo discovered the distance between what Texas public schools called success and what she needed to know. Trained to write five-paragraph "persuasive essays" for the state exam, she was stumped by her first writing assignment. She failed the college entrance exam in math twice, even with a year of remedial algebra. At 19, she gave up and went to trade school.

"I had good grades in high school, so I thought I could do well in college," Ms. Arevelo said. "I thought I was getting a good education. I was shocked."

kin ye magine? on the basis of such fergetfullness, they dun tuck to astin all these rude questchuns bout the test n even comparin it agin harder tests, lack the one called the Stanford Achievement Test, witch stanford is one of the hardest collidges to git into, so whut kin ye eggspeck? look at sum of the thangs they cum up with:

Þ  Houston students improved from 1999 to 2002 in most grades, but at only a fraction of the rate portrayed by the state exam. Using a widely employed statistical measure that allows different kinds of tests to be compared called effect size, the gains in the average scores on the Stanford test were about a third of the average gain in the TAAS scores.

Þ  Even students with the poorest skills posted high scores on the Texas test. In reading, a passing score of 70 on the test was the equivalent to scores below the 30th percentile in national ranking on the Stanford test in every grade. In 10th grade, passing the state exam was equivalent to the fifth percentile in the national ranking.

Þ  While the Houston gains on the Stanford test in some grades were large enough to be considered significant in educational testing, the city was not making much headway when compared with national averages. Some 57 percent of Houston students who took the math test in 1999 and 2002, and 51 percent of those who took the reading test, saw their standing relative to children around the country either fall or remain the same.

Þ  On the Stanford tests, the average reading scores for Houston students of all races in grades 9 through 11 have actually dropped since 1999. By contrast, the reading scores for 10th graders on the Texas exam -- the only high school grade in which the state test is given -- showed a large gain over the same period.

Þ  The achievement gap between whites and minorities, which Houston authorities have argued has nearly disappeared on the Texas exam, remains huge on the Stanford test. The ranking of the average white student was 36 points higher than that of the average black student in 1999 and fell slightly, to 34 points, in 2002.

"This says that the progress on TAAS is probably overstated, possibly by quite a margin," said Daniel Koretz of the Harvard School of Education, who also reviewed The Times's analysis, "And when all is said and done, Houston looks average or below average."

lucky fer the children who wuznt lef behin by the no child lef behin act, the houston miracull wuz spred nayshunwide.

but sum aint cunvinced n thang is, it almos sounds lack the kind of attack thats spozed to be reserved fer dimcrats (theys the ones known fer thar unfunded mandates, no?):

Dean has said he opposes the No Child Left Behind Act because it amounts to a mandate for local schools to put new achievement standards in place, but provides no federal money to pay for it.

damn librul media! whar do they git the idee that hi skool is spozed to git ye reddy fer collidge? it aint. its spozed to git ye reddy fer wurk:

The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees in the United States and $3.7 trillion in annual revenues. The chief executives are committed to advocating public policies that foster vigorous economic growth, a dynamic global economy, and a well-trained and productive U.S. workforce essential for future competitiveness.

oops. rong quote. sorry bout that. heres the rite one:

"The Business Roundtable is convening this panel to provide a fair and balanced progress report on No Child Left Behind," said John J. Castellani, Roundtable President. "In our view, this significant undertaking to improve public education for every American child can succeed if we stay focused on implementing its vitally important reforms."

too bad they dint have this whenever i wuz in skool. we still had to put up with distrackshuns lack musick instruckshun n fully-stocked liberries n new books that wuz hard to brake in n science labs n intramural sports n recess n real food n all kinds of wasteful misuses of tax money. then amidst all that innerestin enrichment stuff, we wuz still eggspeckted to larn a nuff to git into collidge n make passin grades. kin yew magine?

thangs is much better now.

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