Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ya Know, That Whole High-Stakes Testing Thingy I Working Out SOOOOO Well...?

Graduate rate is lowest in 10 years
High school exit exam at center of debate over failure of a third of state's seniors to earn diploma

(Jill Tucker and Nanette Asimov, SF Chronicle Staff Writers Saturday, May 12, 2007)

California's high school graduation rate dropped to a 10-year low last year as a third of the Class of 2006 left without a diploma, according to state Department of Education numbers posted Friday.
Statewide, the graduation rate was 67 percent of the 423,289 seniors in 2006. That is down from 71 percent in 2005.
That 4 percentage point decline works out to an additional 21,000 students who did not don a cap and gown.

It is no accident that high-stakes testing of students is proving to be hard on the students. Such testing operates to enforce social orthodoxy: conform or perish. A major purpose of such testing is to provide grounds for denying necessary credentials to a certain fraction of students: those who prove refractory, and refuse the indoctrination/assimilation strategies upon which much, if not most, of USer schooling relies to impose its 'discipline.'

Tests do not assess the general state of any students' knowledge. They only assess (at BEST) the state of a given student's ability to answer the questions on the given test on a given day. That is pretty barren ground upon which to stake the students' futures.

For most of the time that it has been a subject of interest, those kids who reject school have been called 'drop-outs'. But calling them 'push-outs' is far closer to the truth.

Capitalism doesn't work without a pool of unemployed/unemployable workers with which to threaten rebellious workers. The graduation tests have the effect of supplying that pool with ever-increasing numbers of 'failed' students whose options are thereby limited to 'the jobs most Americans wont do,' and--as the enlistment requirements decline in response to declining enlistments--a steady stream of cannon-ready fodder for continued imperialist, military adventurism overseas.

Anyone who believes USer schools are 'failing,' according to Jonathan Kozol, 40 years ago, doesn't understand what American Schooling is designed to do.

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