Date: Oct 11, 1995 5:41 PM
Subject: Re: Getting students to take responsibility

I've just been watching the conversation so far, but felt I needed to 
respond to this.
Certainly lack of motivation has reached epidemic proportions in the
inner cities of America. However, I fail to see how requiring yet
another test of these students is going to increase their motivation in
any way. They don't care if they graduate; why should they care about
one more test?
Perhaps part of the problem here is that we tend to teach (speaking
generally here, not personally) inner-city kids the same way we teach
suburban, middle-class kids. The latter group typically comes to school
with at least some idea that they should try to succeed in school. This
attitude carries over to tests; the students try to do well on tests
because it is expected. This is just part of the middle-class culture.
Judging from your comments, such is obviously not the case in inner-city
communities; so why should another test mean anything at all to them???
I should note that I don't mean this as a personal attack. I'm
honestly interested in hearing more about how and why promotion tests
would motivate students.
Chris Clark
Pacific Lutheran University

On Wed, 11 Oct 1995 wrote:

> At this point, in many places in this country, arguing about the efficacy of
> standardized tests is a silly enterprise. It is so completely ludicrous to
> question these tests when the presense of them might tackle a REAL problem.
> In the inner city, lack of student motivation is profound and deep. On any
> day 1/6 of our student body is absent. Getting them to do homework is a task
> difficult beyond belief. At Open House 10% of the parents show. Student
> motivation (perhaps THE most important component for educational success) is
> almost totally lacking in a very large minority of our students.
> We need real tests to help us motivate our kids. You don't pass; you aren't
> promoted!! It's very simple. The only people seemingly incapable of
> understanding are the reforming educrats.
> When is somebody going to come and help us? It gets terribly frustrating at
> times, particularly when you read the nonsense known as the NCTM "Standards".
> Standards my %^&*((.
> Dan