GS Chandy
Posts:
7,866
From:
Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered:
9/29/05


Re: Exit Exams Face Pinch in CommonCore Push
Posted:
Oct 9, 2012 1:14 AM


Paul A. Tanner III posted Oct 8, 2012 2:46 AM (GSC's remarks follow): > > On Sat, Oct 6, 2012 at 6:14 PM, Robert Hansen > <bob@rsccore.com> wrote: > > To clarify, why would more rigorous standards be > good for one group and not the other. I thought that > is why we ended school segregation, so that minority > students had access to better schools. That is the > irony of modern reform (the last few decades). They > lowered the standards and negated the strides of the > previous generations. > > > > Bob Hansen > > > > If "the standards" means the minimum math > requirements for passing on to the next grade and > then graduating from high school, or the quality and > quantity of algebraic material in a given grade in > middle school and most of high school, or the quality > and quantity of algebraic material in a given > textbook in middle school and most of high school, > then the claim that "they lowered the standards and > negated the strides of the previous generations" is a > baldfaced falsity. > > There used to be no exit exam for any grade, period. > Now there are for many grades, and for high school > graduation they get harder as time goes on in that > each incarnation covers more material or the > combination of endofcourse exams covers more > material. (The first high school exit exam in FL in > the 1980s was just arithmetic, no algebra at all. Now > there are exit exams on every math course that they > have to have to take to graduate, including algebra > and geometry.) > > There used to be no requirement to take algebra  and > most students who got high school diplomas never even > took just Algebra I. Now they all have to take > Algebra I and Geometry and now in some places even > Algebra II. > > It is flat out insane to say that the average high > school graduate of 40 years ago (most of which never > took even just some algebra) would have been able to > pass those high school end of course exit exams for > algebra, what all students must now take and pass. > (That is, we can't expect one to pass a test on a > subject that one never studied.) > > Not only that, middle school today is loaded with > prealgebra, which is actually just low level > beginning algebra. They did not 40 years ago have > this in middle school  it was all just arithmetic. > This prealgebra in middle school came about when > they realized that forcing everyone to take Algebra I > to graduate when that was the first algebra they ever > saw was a mistake. > > And this: The math classes in the middle school > levels and the algebra classes up through Algebra II > are much harder than they used to be in that they > cover more advanced material. I already proved in > past posts this fact by comparing the content of > Algebra I and Algebra II texts from today to 40 years > ago. > > That is, there is no comparison. Back then, by the > end of Algebra II we were barely starting to cover > polynomial functions  this was most like because > Algebra I in 9th grade was actually just mostly what > is today prealgebra material of middle school, since > Algebra I in 9th grade then was the very first > exposure to any algebra. Back then, we had to take > socalled math analysis after Algebra II before we > covered all the material we needed before calculus. > This math analysis was just the stuff like > exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions > and the binomial theorem and vectors and matrices and > so on that today is covered by the end of Algebra II. > Now, Algebra I in 8th grade is common after all that > prealgebra in middle school. > > Again: There is no comparison to what it used to be  > much more advanced material is covered now in math > for all in the middle and high school levels up > through Algebra II, when we do a grade by grade > comparison and a course by course comparison. > > And also this: The minimum college math requirements > to get certified to teach math at either the middle > school or high school levels are vastly higher than > they used to be 40 years ago. > > > Message was edited by: Paul A. Tanner III > Thanks. That confirms a good bit of what I had understood to be fact.
I believe that any serious discussion of issues may well be based on certain wrong presumptions of ours:
It is probably ever so much easier for people, like ostriches are said to do when in danger, to bury their heads in the sand and to refuse to look at the facts of life around them.
For instance, how to admit that standards of most school subjects HAVE become significantly higher in the past few decades than they used to be?
It's SO much easier to blame a fictitious entity like the 'Education Mafia', or even a real entity like the schools of education (which are probably trying quite hard to cope with the facts of educational life today), and then to suggest that the one should be jailed and the other should be blown up!
(I am not 100% sure that this contention of mine is the right one  but I'm getting there).
Anyway, thank you for your efforts to clarify various issues.
GSC {"Still Shoveling Away!"  with apologies if due to Barry Garelick for any tedium caused; I observe that this tedium can easily be avoided by simply not opening any message that is purported to originate from GSC).

