Mudcat Café message #1379362 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1379362
Posted By: GUEST,AJ
15-Jan-05 - 09:42 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From the Washington Post for 1-15-05:

High School Reform

Saturday, January 15, 2005; Page A22

IT WAS SOMEWHAT disconcerting to hear President Bush propose, as he did on Wednesday, to extend to high schools the No Child Left Behind Act's testing and accountability requirements for elementary and middle schools. True, there's plenty wrong with the nation's high schools. According to Achieve Inc., an organization that has looked closely at achievement standards in high schools, more than half of high school graduates need remedial help in college; most employers say high school graduates lack basic skills; and most high school exit exams don't measure those skills anyway. Far too few high school students take the algebra, geometry and English courses they need to get by in adulthood. More accountability and higher standards clearly are in order.

What was disconcerting was the impression a listener might have gotten that the nation can move on to high schools because the first stage of No Child Left Behind reforms is more or less complete. Mr. Bush was, as always, anxious to declare victory in a few selected instances: for example, quoting statistics showing school improvement in Virginia. But Virginia created an accountability system long before the federal one was even contemplated. And Virginia's test-score gains have very little to do with the federal reforms, which themselves have not yet proved universally successful.