Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why Johnny Massachusetts can’t read

The Bay State requires that all high school seniors pass a test called the MCAS to receive a high school diploma; the basic idea is that there should be some kind of standard applied to a diploma, including the ability to read and write. Every year, some school decides that standards and the law are secondary to just moving kids through the educational system. From the Boston Globe - “State warns New Bedford not to relax MCAS rule”:

Governor Mitt Romney and state education leaders threatened yesterday to cut the New Bedford school system's funding and rescind certification of administrators if they grant diplomas to high school students who failed the MCAS exams.

New Bedford school officials would violate state law on graduation requirements and will have to back down, state officials said. Three school systems vowed to give diplomas to students whether or not they passed the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests around the time the law went into effect in 2003, but the school districts, pushed by the state, later gave in.

''To say that we should graduate kids who haven't met the basic standards of reading and math is a gross mistake," Romney said during a press conference yesterday. ''It's a vote of no confidence in our kids. If there's no test and there's no standards, then the graduation degree doesn't mean anything."
Well put, Mitt. Also, from the NY Times: “Two Setbacks for Exit Exams Taken by High School Seniors.”

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