2006 September 04 Monday
States Cheat On Standardized Tests
The call is rising to take away from states the ability to define their own school testing standards. Currently the law gives unethical politicians (under pressure to maintain liberal myths and dogmas about human nature) to cheat by using easy standard tests to fake student progress. States use tests that make their children look brighter and more educated than they really are.
Maryland recently reported that 82 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient or better in reading on the state's test. The latest data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as "the nation's report card," show 32 percent of Maryland fourth-graders at or above proficiency in reading.
Virginia announced last week that 86 percent of fourth-graders reached that level on its reading test, but the NAEP data show 37 percent at or above proficiency.
The No Child Left Behind legislation is better termed No Lie Left Behind. It was designed to allow cheating by states and local schools so that the Dogma of Zero Group Differences (DZGD) can go unchallenged - at least while currently elected members of Congress and other current elected officials remain in office. Push the truth out into the future. It is so inconvenient.
The emphasis on testing was supposed to increase accountability of schools and perhaps to spur some competition. But standardized testing can not change the fact that America is not Lake Woebegone where all children are above average. Nor can testing change the racial gaps in school achievement. But a move to national standard tests is the next logical step so that politicians can pretend they are finally making the move that'll fix things. But the next logical move will make the contradictions in the dogma harder to deny. I'm curious to see what the our lying elites will do when national standardized tests do not help.
If you really want to see an excellent example in practice of a government deliberately interfering and manipulating a school matriculation examn, you could do no worse than examine the case of Britain with its GCSE and A-Level examinations.
These exams are supposed to qualify for university entrance.
Recently, the British govenment has proclaimed a target of getting more than half of all 18 year olds into university.To facilitate this, they have deliberately dumbed down the exams to the point of worthlessness, grade inflation is rampant.
But Gresham's law applies here too.Britain's 'public schools' (which curiously means high fee-paying private schools), are abandoning the once respected system in droves in favor of the European accredited IB (International baccalaureate) exam.
Due to Government incompetence, in a few years' time A-Levels will be effectively worthless to universities and employers, yet another example of bad policy hitting its authors straight in the face.
As a US citizen impressed by the A-level graduates that I have encountered, I have grown to favor that system. i have not honestly met one person of british system be it jamaican or even some Arican countries that have not been impressive. I am shocked to see it is declining. i have heard the elistist and discriminatory aspects of it, put as I understood the system was based on factual and analytical knowledge not testing ability like the SAT. The US needs to overcome this issue of states rights and make national standards in this area.
In New Zealand we've been steadily dumbing down the education system for about 20 years. A sneeky tactic of education authorirites is to keep changing the names of courses, grading systems, and even the naming of school years.
This makes it very hard to compare apples with apples. Most employers still want to know about passes in tests not whether you have "fulfilled the requirements a unit module". The amount of paperwork needed to administer education has also exploded. Perhaps if we started introducing standardised IQ testing we might get some idea how far the system has actullay been dumbed down.
About the only positive thing happenning is that traditional trade apprenticeships have been revived with very positive results.