In my never-ending quest to raise the tone of these here boards, I've decided to give expression to my thoughts on the educational system today.<br><br>It sucks.<br><br>It sucks big time.<br><br>Here's why.<br><br>Tonight was the meet the teachers night at my son's middle school. Of course we went, as we always do because we're responsible and concerned parental units. So what did we hear? Well, we heard that the whol science curriculum has been changed because from now on science will be one of the things tested in the required-to-pass-your-grade, state-mandated standardized tests. What's the nature of the change? Instead of having physical sciences in 8th grade, my son is going to be presented with a smorgasbord of science "topics," from astronomy to zoology--if this is the third week, we must be on botany. As the science teacher described the curriculum (which, incidentally, he did not seem to be very keen on), the thought that kept coming to my mind was, "Where's the beef?" I mean, there was absolutely no hope in what he said for anything beyond the most superficial treatment of any. And as for coherence, well there was none at all.<br><br>And the whole thing had been changed in order to teach to the test.<br><br>The same thing was true in subject after subject. So in English, my own subject, we were told that my son will not be asked to write any long project because--get this!--the state writing test focuses only on short "creative" and persuasive essays. From my point of view, who the fsck cares what the test focuses on! In my experience life is basically one long project after another, and if you don't get in the habit of doing them early on, you're going to be mighty screwed up after you stop taking those silly standadized tests and try to start living in reality.<br><br>What really gets me is that all this is done in the name of "accountability." By gum, at the end of the year the little darlings will take the standardized test, and those results will determine whether or not the school if funcitoning as it should.<br><br>Bull doodoo, I say.<br><br>Well-reasoned, elegantly composed, and temperate responses welcome.<br><br>Great wits are sure to madness near allied.--John Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel"
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Loc: London, United Kingdom
Well I have no experience of the American Education system, but I do have first hand experience of the UK education system as I have just finished going through it (exept university of course). I have always had bad experiences of the national tests as almost every year that I have taken a national test, my yeargroup (grade in america I guess..) has allways been the one experimented on, particualy badly this year with A levels where they have been particually dodgy. <br><br>For example in my Computing coursework (and everyone else in the school I might add) I got much lower than the rest of my computing exams (nearly 100% in most of the exams and an E in the coursework, which is the worst grade without failing it completely).<br><br>There is a big uproar in the press about courseworks marks being "downgraded" by exam boards because people were doing to well, so you get the rediculous situation like mine where I am 7 marks (out of 600) of an A despite suposedly getting an E in the coursework).<br><br>And as you said in your post all the teaching was to pass national exams and not to learn anything usefull. I was lucky enough to go to one of the best state 6th form colleges (16-18) in the country (usually first in results) and therefore had better teaching than most would.<br><br>Anyway I guess it is all right as I am going to my university of choice anyway (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London to study for a MSci in Physics).<br><br>Without sensibility no object would be given to us, without understanding no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.<br>-- Immanuel Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." - Richard Feynman
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>... all this is done in the name of "accountability."<p><hr></blockquote><p>What they are really referring to is "budgets"... which are constantly slashed thanks to governments that suffer from short sighted tunnel vision. If the governments in our neighbouring countries placed as much emphasis on education as they do on oil, we would be producing geniuses by the thousands!<br><br>[color:red]Alec</font color=red>
i hope to have more time to respond later this weekend, but...this is most unfortunate, but is becoming a reality all over. every school must show a certain proficiency level according to the state tests in order to not get labeled a failing school by dubya's master educational plan -- this can lead to big funding losses. clinton actually started the accountibility/state standards movement, but dubya started tying funding to it -- even though every state has different standards -- michigan had about 100 failing schools and the state of arkansas had zero -- something wrong there, eh? what incentive is there to do anything beyond what is required to pass the state tests? this is a travesty and it's not going to go away soon because someone somewhere has determined this is THE way to keep schools accountable. of course accountabilty is a good thing, but so is learning and that might get lost in the shuffle. more later.<br><br>[color:blue] -sean</font color=blue>
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