Monday, May 04, 2009

Talk About Grade Inflation

You can call it whatever you want--but if a kid can't work with fractions, he's not going to understand Algebra 2.

New Jersey students who’ve passed algebra, geometry and even advanced algebra are flunking the graduation exam’s math test, which requires a 50% on middle-school questions, writes Derrell Bradford of E3 (Excellent Education for Everyone) on NJVoices guest blog...

New Jersey has suburban schools for affluent whites in which classes teach what they claim to teach, Bradford writes. And it has urban schools where “algebra” or “geometry” is just a name.

Letting a kid believe he's taking Algebra 2, and then watching him flunk the exit exam, is not doing anything for his self-esteem. So stop lying to these kids about their capabilities.

But it gets worse.

In a recent Praxis test, “42 percent of prospective New Jersey teachers — and two-thirds of minority applicants — failed the math portion of the certification exam,” Bradford writes.

How sad is that?

1 comment:

allen (in Michigan) said...

As long as the feedback loop isn't closed - as long as all the professionals involved in education aren't measured by the results of their efforts - there's no reason not to engage in grade inflation, other then pride, and some pretty good reasons to engage in grade inflation.

Since charters don't enjoy the inherent independence from accountability enjoyed by district schools at some point in the not-too-distant future I believe charters will start to try to distinguish themselves by using some testing regimen.

In fact, I'd be willing to bet that if I looked hard enough I'd be able to find charters that are already displaying objective measures of their superior, academic performance.

We're bred to competition. All we really need is somewhere to compete.