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Sunday, June 24, 2012

High stakes tests fail to prepare kids for colleg

From Scathing Purple Musings, by Bob Sykes

From reporter Chris Umpierre in the Fort Myers News-Press:

For many Southwest Florida students, receiving a high school diploma isn’t the end of their high school education.

About 70 percent of Edison State College’s incoming freshmen have to take at least one remedial course to learn the skills they should have learned in high school. About 50 percent of Hodges University’s incoming freshmen take remedial courses.

“Their writing scores are always an issue,” said Rita Lampus, Hodges’ vice president for student enrollment management. “We have two levels of English remedial courses and one level of math to get them up to speed.”

Nationally, 43 percent of students at two-year public intuitions and 29 percent at four-year public colleges take remedial courses, according to a study by advocacy group Strong American Schools. Not only does remediation make students more likely to drop out of college, it creates an economic burden on taxpayers, said Bob Wise, former West Virginia governor and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington-based advocacy group.

The national cost of remediation in the 2007–08 school year was $3.6 billion, according to a study by the alliance. Florida paid $123 million — the fifth highest in the U.S. — for students to learn the same material in high school and college.

The much ballyhooed high school end-or-course exams won’t do any better as they, too, are multiple choice tests which do not address the remediation realities. This morning’s Tampa Bay Times story aptly describes FCAT as the “be-all and end-all” and voters will make the association between the $123 million dollar remediation costs and FCAT’s domination.

While Governor Wise is at least recognizing the remediation problem - and he’s closely allied with Jeb Bush on education policy – he is a Common Core Standrads (CCS) devotee and feels their adoption will solve everything. Both Wise and Bush still need see high stakes tests as the “be-all and end-all” in their visions. They say CCS can be effectively measured through hyper-standardized national tests and serve as a “be-all, end-all” system of “accountability.”

Florida has already been operating under common standards. And even powerful figures like these two charismatic former governors cannot overcome stark examples of their formula failing spectacularly in Florida which also includes a tragic number of kids who aren’t ready for college when they get there.

1 comment:

  1. And the really frightening part is that while Jeb is considered by many to be the "smarter" Shrub, he has a son named, you guessed it, George P. Bush, who has a taste for, you guessed THAT too, politics. . .UGH!

    He did his obligatory "tour in Iraq", dons his law degree and law office job and is ready to foist himself onto the public stage and "serve the public".

    (Run for your lives)

    The good news is that George Prescott Bush has very dark hair, eyes and a very dark beard shadow, which, ironically "outs" him as a potential terrorist to all of the most prejudiced Americans [see also: Republican], which should make for some lively Republican primaries, to say the least.

    The future proves to be interesting, if nothing else.

    It was encouraging to see the SCOTUS so easily smack down the rabid right this week, but the eternal skeptic, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Maybe Justice Roberts owns a piece of an insurance company?

    My 2 cents. . .