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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

hmmmm. wonder why these kids are having trouble

there is an article in today's Sacramento Bee about the state's adherence to the exit exam requirements. the exit exam has been required for a while, because i remember my kids having to take them 9 or 10 years ago.
the problem? the schools have been moving kids through the system without requiring grade level performance, and now it's all coming to roost.

one quote from a senior affected by the exams. this is a senior, who just found out that he hadn't passed the english section.
"That ain't my goal, to go to no night school and not walk the stage," said Kevin Muhammad, 17. "Everyone wants to see me walk the stage and get my diploma."


am i the only one that sees a problem here?
the article goes on to try to justify the 115 seniors at ONE HIGH SCHOOL that failed one or both of the sections of the exam.

our schools are failing our children. too much interference, too many "feel good" programs, not enough basics. hell, when my kids graduated, neither one of them had any concept of syntax or spelling. i was told by the teachers as they were progressing through the grades that it wasn't the mechanics of the language that was important. it was the idea that was important. it wasn't until my kids were in college that i was finally able to get them to acknowledge they needed to polish their language skills. neither felt it was that important, because their teachers told them so. what the hell does dad know, anyway? both had great ideas, but after sitting down and reviewing their papers, i was often dismayed at the lack of the 'riting' part of the education they missed. it took a couple of years with one, and an ongoing battle with the other to get their written skills even close to the level that would do justice to their ideas.

when we get grad students that can't write a complete paragraph that makes sense, it's obvious the problem isn't localized to one school district.

we are losing our language. not through replacement, but through a lack of passing it on. and yes, i think the language could use some adjustment. when i can use lough in a word and have multiple sounds as a result, it is time. words like slough and plough. but to discard teaching the language altogether? uh-uh. don't think so.

2 Comments:

Blogger bhd said...

Almost thirty years ago I was tutoring college juniors in composition. Which is to say, I was trying to coach them into learning how to write a coherent, correct sentence.

College juniors. Who'd been passed that far along because federal money was involved. Juniors who thought they had a chance at law school.

Later I taught remedial comp at an all-girls' college. Many of these young women couldn't write at a 4th grade level, but were fully enrolled in college. And when they didn't do their work, I couldn't flunk 'em, either, because of federal money.

Which is why I'm not teaching. Ever.

1/25/06, 1:31 PM  
Blogger WillyShake said...

Welcome to my world--sad, ain't it? Technically speaking, we're in deep doo-doo!

1/25/06, 6:44 PM  

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