Monday, October 03, 2005
EDDICATION. This is cute.
Nearly 100,000 California 12th graders — or about 20% of this year's senior class — have failed the state's graduation exam, potentially jeopardizing their chances of earning diplomas, according to the most definitive report on the mandatory test, released Friday.
Students in the class of 2006, the first group to face the graduation requirement, must pass both the English and math sections of the test by June.
The exit exam — which has come under criticism by some educators, legislators and civil rights advocates — is geared to an eighth-grade level in math and to ninth- and 10th-grade levels in English.
But the report by the Virginia-based Human Resources Research Organization showed that tens of thousands of students, particularly those in special education and others who speak English as a second language, may fail the test by the end of their senior year despite remedial classes, after-school tutoring and other academic help.
Teachers, according to the report, said that many students arrive unprepared and unmotivated for their high school courses and that their grades often reflect poor attendance and low parental involvement.
The group reviewed the test results as part of a report ordered by the Legislature when it instituted the exit exam several years ago.
Among its findings: 63% of African Americans and 68% of Latinos in the class of 2006 have passed both parts of the exam.
By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam but consider several alternatives for students who can't pass.
"Clearly, we need to have some options for these students," said Lauress L. Wise, the firm's president, in a telephone interview with reporters.
The state, for example, could allow seniors to submit portfolios of work that demonstrate mastery of English and math, the report's authors suggested.
Options? Portfolios? Uh, we're working on it. Bring your portfolio of masterful Englishizing and Mathologizing to the drive-thru window at your nearest McDonald's, and the government will... what? Shoot your dumb ass right in the face? (Extra credit for figuring out from that sentence where the bullet will hit and whether or not it will be fatal.)
We'd like to offer another option: Get a saw. Start at the Oregon-California border and -- very carefully -- separate the Golden State from the North American continent. Kick it out to sea with your enormous Nike sneakers. Start over with a new west coast.
No wonder everyone in Hollywood is a moron.