And In This Corner...

And here is a major part of the problem. When the judge and jury becomes those outside the educational field and those not within the brick and mortar of where the educating is taking place, the bottom line becomes "what do the test scores say?".  Whereas, the first concern should be "are the students learning?"  It has been widely determined that standardized tests for math and reading simply don't answer that question.  Why do we expect technology to make our students smarter and test higher?  Did the abacus make humans test better?  The slide rule?  The calculator?  Technology assists humans to complete tasks more efficiently and, if used correctly, more accurately.  But technology does not give correct answers unless its user inputs the correct data.  Embracing technology and employing sound pedagogy is the only way for our educational systems to move forward and improve.

Maine 1-to-1 Computing Initiative Under Microscope

​By Benjamin Herold & Jason Kazi

"If you're going to roll out a high-profile learning initiative statewide for 10 years, I don't think it's inappropriate to expect to see some effect on math and reading scores,"

http://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?cid=25919821&bcid=25919821&rssid=25919811&item=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.edweek.org%2Fv1%2Few%2F%3Fuuid%3DD094B844-6BB8-11E6-891F-C8EDB3743667&cmp=SOC-SHR-FB

My Response...

A Hidden Benefit to Common Core

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin, U.S. News and World Report

Holtz-Eakin purports raising education standards will allow students to be more prepared for college and lessen the need for remedial courses, thereby lowering the cost burden on families.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-04-27/common-core-standards-benefit-the-economy

And In This Corner...

So, Illinois administered the ill-fated PARCC test for one year as it was intended.  The second year, the two-testing period exam was reduced to one testing period.  And now, only at the beginning of year three, it is scrapped from the high school level.  This test was rushed to deployment under misguided intentions.  Before wasting everyone's valuable time, the ISBE needs to begin making decisions based on what is best for the students of the state.  Stop following and start leading.  If this test isn't good enough for high school students, why do we continue to poison the elementary schools with it?  End the charade of "testing is needed to show teachers and parents how their students are doing".  The teachers know how they are doing.  If the parents don't know, all they have to do is ask their teacher.  Let's call these standardized tests what they really are; a cash cow for testing corporations and those to whom they lobby.  Stop wasting our teachers' time.  Stop stunting our students' growth.  Let learning be the purpose of school.

My Response...

And In This Corner...

SAT exam will replace PARCC assessment for high school students during 2016-17 school year
All public high school juniors will take the SAT; students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC assessment

http://www.isbe.net/news/2016/july11.htm

My Response...

The article states that 1 in 4 first-year college students require remedial education.  Ok.  But why?  Is it truly the big, bad U.S. education system?  I would argue not entirely.   I would even argue that the system is minimally to blame.  Look at the numbers.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, "undergraduate enrollment increased 47% between 1970 and 1983." In 1983 enrollment was 10.8 million.  From 1985 to 1992, enrollment rose another 18%.  From 2002 to 2012, enrollment rose another 24%.  In 2012, enrollment was 17.7 million.  Simply pouring more students in the pot will mean more students that will fail or need remediation.  On the positive side, post- baccalaureate enrollment rose as well.  From 1970 to 1984, there was an increase of 34%.  From 1985 to 2012, there was an increase of 76%.  Just between 2002 and 2012, there was an increase of 24% (2.4 million to 2.9 million enrolled).  So, yes, there are more students needing remediation.  But there are also a correspondingly increased number of students enrolling in post-baccalaureate studies.  We are producing many more highly educated citizens.  The fact that not all U.S. citizens succeed in college is ok.  There is always a need to fill trades.  Many trades do not require a college education but do still provide a comfortable living wage as well as keeping our country in good working order.  So while, as parents, we all want our kids to be valedictorian from an Ivy League school, it just isn't realistic for everyone.  And that's ok.  It's actually great.  Our country needs a diverse citizenry.  It's what makes us strong.  So let's not throw away the things that some states are doing well for education by standardizing it across the board.  Standardizing stifles greatness.