Wednesday, March 29, 2006

So-Called Cost of Rising Test Scores

Today's major Sacramento newspaper has this story about schools that reduce electives in order to provide students with the extra math and/or reading instruction they need in order for the schools to show adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the dreaded No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

If the schools are doing this in order not to be labeled as failures under NCLB, their motivation is all wrong. They should be doing it to provide the education they're tasked to provide to the students. Allow me to be blunt here--what good is a ceramics class to a kid who can't freakin' read above a third grade level?

I myself attended school in the Grant District. I spent my first four years of teaching in that district. I know John Ennis, the Grant teachers union president quoted in the article. He's a good man, but he's clearly wrong here:

"When you take away elective classes, I think it's a tragedy," said John Ennis, president of the Grant teachers union. "I want a well-rounded citizen."

John, if they can't read, they're not well-rounded. We've got to get our priorities straight. If it takes NCLB to get our priorities in order, then so be it.


Anonymous said...

Amen Brother! We do the same thing in our school and it has really helped our students. When I was in high school, many of my classmates could not read. They all graduated.

rightwingprof said...

OTOH, I don't see why they need to drop electives. All they need to do is go back to teaching math and English, instead of gooey-gushy multiculturalist studies nonsense. If two hours a day doesn't work, four won't either.

rightwingprof said...

Another manual trackback.