As School Exit Tests Prove Tough, States Ease Standards

I chose this article mostly because I am from California, a state whose public school are at the bottom of the barrel.  Obviously, something has to be done to get students more interested in learning.  It seems that the general policy (and this isn’t really based of of anything specific) is to dumb everything down so everyone can do it.  In California, a handful of my friends attended public school and this is the consensus that they’ve all come to.   It is undeniable that this is a problem, but how can it be fixed.  My article talks about one way our government is trying to fix the public school systems.The Federal government has been pushing the adoption of high school exit exams as a way to boost student dedication and performance.  Their reasoning is that if the exit exam counts for something, then students will put more effort into passing it, although passing some exit exams only requires a score of 24/100 and can be taken up to 3 times.  To me, this doesn’t seem like it’s testing anything.  I agree with the author of the article that the exam, as it is now, has no positive impact on those that pass, but has a severe negative impact on those who fail.

Somewhere along the line someone had to make a decision regarding our nation’s educational goals (“end”).  As of right now, it seems like the primary focus is getting everyone a high school diploma, while the actual meaning of that diploma has been disregarded.  I completely disagree with this policy.  Our goal should be to determine what a strong high school education should encompass and focus our efforts in trying to get as many people as possible to that academic level (“means”).  I don’t think that the means are necessarily wrong for the goal of getting as many diplomas to as many students as possible, but the end is wrong.

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2 Responses

  1. Personally I hate tests, but how else can teachers measure the effectiveness of their craft without these standardized tests? I agree that these tests shouldn’t be an all or nothing sort of deal, but I don’t see any other way of comparing scores or developing a ranking system. Do you have any thoughts of possible improvements?

  2. I’m simply saying that if an exit exam test is given, it should be designed to test what a student should know upon graduating from high school. It should not be designed to be passed, like the current test which can be passed with a 24/100. Maybe a test that requires a 75/100 and can be taken 2 times. Yea a lot of people won’t be graduating, but oh well. The numbers would look terrible in the short run, but I think over time this would lead to a stronger overall education in the United States. Too bad the only results that politicians care about are the short term ones…

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