Archive for the ‘Here in the Garden State’ Category

No Jersey jokes, please.

new-jersey.jpg     'Cause we rock here in the Garden State. 

We now officially have the highest graduation rate in America: 84.5%.

So there.

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No good deed goes unpunished.

What a great lesson to teach our kids:

"The Camden (NJ) school board last night fired the high school principal who came out publicly to say a district official told him to fix a state test."

Here's what's meant by "fix": cheat.  The district official told this principal to cheat on state test results.  The principal refused.  The district official attempted to blackmail this principal, who has a young child with health problems, by saying things about how tough life would be if the principal lost his health care benefits.  Which would happen if he lost his job.  Which would happen if he refused to play along.  And cheat.

This prinicipal did the right thing.  He refused to cheat.  He reported the misconduct. 

Now he's unemployed.  Despicable.

Is History being “left behind”?

wheres_ben_franklin.jpg     Yes

Our state assessment for eighth graders, the dreaded GEPA, spends one day testing kids on science (although failing this section has no bearing on placement in remedial science classes in high school, because such classes don't exist), one LONG day testing math, and TWO really long days testing literacy.

Not one minute is spent on social studies.  No history.  No civics.  No geography. 

Why is that?  These are required courses in every grade of a kid's public school education here in the Garden State.  Why is it not important enough to include in standardized testing, especially the tests that determine whether or not a student graduates from high school? 

Are we really trying to, in the end, graduate educated citizens?  If that truly is the goal – and not just using schools as vocational training factories – shouldn't we be determining whether or not our students are fully informed citizens, who understand where they came from so they can have an idea of where they are going, who know how their government is supposed to work, who know what their rights are and how to protect them, who can actually find places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and, say, Nepal, on a map?

An interesting opinion piece on this from The Boston Globe.  I have my own ideas about this, but they involve wild and warped conspiracy theories, so I'll keep them to myself…