Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Learnin', Riting, and Rithmaticky Tacky

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Learnin', Riting, and Rithmaticky Tacky

One way to evaluation how well the Bush Administration's Education policies will work will be to judge the results of his forerunner to his national policy. When George W. Bush was Governor of Texas and Roderick Paige was School Superintendent in Texas, a system of education reform was adopted. This system would be the basis of the "No Child Left Behind" program that would later be implemented by President Bush and U.S. Education Secretary Roderick Paige. We can now see the results of these reforms in Houston, and we should take warning of impending national educational disaster.

Bush and Paige proudly proclaim the "Texas miracle" they produced in Texas schools. Unfortunately, as reported by Michael Dobbs in the Washington Post, the miracle was produced by changing how test scores were reported, not by improving the education of Texas schools. Researchers at Rice University have found serious discrepancies in the reporting of drop-out rates and test scores that falsely claimed progress in educational achievement levels in Texas students.

The solution to education problems lies in a process that should reemphasize "leave no child behind" to "promote a child when the child is ready." This was a common sense policy advanced by Governor Robert Casey. It recognizes that students learn different subjects at different rates. If they fail to reach an adequate level of competence at one level, they fall further behind when promoted to the next grade. Soon, as is unfortunately common through our schools, students find themselves further and further behind in some subjects and they never catch-up to the level of achievement they should in those subjects. On the other hand, some students learn other subjects more quickly. Indeed, if they are kept behind by the slower learning pace of their classmates, they tend to become bored and actually may result in poor test scores through disinterest.

This is resolved in elementary schools by keeping children together according to age in the proper grade home room, yet they attend the basic courses according to their grade level of achievement. The basic courses are taught at the same time. A student is not advanced to the next level in that subject until the student achieves competence at that level. Similarly, a fast learning student may be promoted to higher grade levels more quickly. For example, a 10 year old may be in Grade 5 Homeroom yet in Grade 4 Mathematics, Grade 6 Science, and Grade 5 English.

The bottom line is allowing our children to learn as they best they can. Instead of focusing on test scores and statistics, let us focus on students themselves. That is where our attention should be.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares