Educational results in the earlier grades continue to be unsatisfactory in many school districts. The reasons given are as varied as the districts themselves. Margo Frink of CNYlink reports that the Canastota School Districts in New York believe that the school fails to be consistent grade-to-grade. In other words, a third grade teacher may have a different methodology than a fourth grade teacher which confuses the children.
Frink’s article “Canastota elementary schools ELA, math scores improve” gives credit to teachers offering a consistent “voice” to students. As the article goes on to say, the teachers meet regularly and even take online courses together.
However, upon more careful reading of Frink’s article, we find that the improved scores of math and ELA (English language arts) are comparative to the 2005-2006 scores, not last year’s. In fact the article reports that state assessment scores were down and offered the fact that they had first used the DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills).
According to the article, the team has assessed weaknesses based on different ages and, as a result are trying to replace the testing program with TONYSS (Test of New York State Standards).
It seems as though this is just another educational smokescreen.
Changing tests is just a mild sin.
Any remedial amount of research will inform you of the failure of public education.
As Rhonda Bodfield reported November of 2008 in the Tucson Region Star Investigation, students are routinely moved forward even when they are failing.
Bodfield’s article, “Districts dispute, slow to address failure findings,” says that not a few, but thousands of middle and high students are being “passed” despite failing core subjects.
What is the reason? Of course some districts will just continue to say it isn’t happening even in the face of evidence, but when they do admit it they say they “didn’t want to set children up for failure.” What?!
A child fails and is not prepared for the outside world; the educational system assures his failure by sending him out uneducated and then they say they don’t want to set him up for failure.
I was in grade school before there was a lot of educational “techno-babble.” Children who couldn’t learn the basic information were taught at a slower pace. This was decided based on what the larger number of children were able to achieve.
Typically, children who weren’t able to keep up academically couldn’t keep up socially either.
When I was in the fifth grade I had a friend who was very backward. He struggled to learn anything and he was held back. I went on to sixth grade and the next time I saw him I was in the ninth grade; he had only made it to the seventh grade. However, rather than being a social outcast, he was enjoying school, not only understanding information but he was looked up to by younger children.
Today, courses would be adjusted to attempt to get him to “pass.”
Educational facilities have got to take responsibility.