Wow! Lookee here inside of this blog. It’s been a while…I’ve been testing.
While I was testing, emails were flying around about credit recovery, summer school, virtual credit recovery for students who were failing a class or who failed a class, and these kids need to graduate (not that I was checking my email during testing; that’s wrong, wrong, I say).
“Our College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCCRPI-the nebulous CCRPI) score needs it! Our school needs it! These kids need it! Our graduation rate depends on it! We’re all doomed if we don’t get these kids help!”
All this hysteria got me to thinkin’ bout things. It got to thinkin’ bout how much money schools spend on repeat and recovery classes. Then I got to thinkin’ bout how many kids need them. THEN I got to thinkin’ bout who these kids were.
A while back during the great rush to be Georgia School Superintendent, one of the seventeen hundred candidates in the clown car for the GOP nomination had this idea to lower the passing cut score for classes…I forget which one it was, as there were a lot of clowns in that car. To pass a class in Georgia, a child has to earn a 70%. I thought it was stupid when they made that law in the nineties, but I think a lot of things are stupid, so I rolled with it. I’m sure the thought process was that Georgia was raising expectations. I guess the folks down at the DOE didn’t think through the repercussions, but they never do, really.
Because I’m like a rabid pit bull when I “get to thinkin’ about things”, I ran some data to see how many of these kids at my school failed classes, what classes they failed, and with what grade they failed.
Ninety four percent (94%) of the students who failed did so with a 62 or greater. Ninety four! All of those kids were placed in some kind of recovery class or some kind of online computer class if they are seniors; the underclassmen are given summer school, for free. This takes time, it takes energy, it takes teachers, and it takes the cost of computer education software. All that equals money, lots of money, money that could be used for instruction.
Now before you get all uppity and edusnotty, saying that we are lowering the standards in our schools, I suggest you go back to the second and third paragraphs of this little here post. We are spending millions on kids to take a short test to pass a class that they failed with an, oh, I don’t know, 68%? And what’s wrong with not being exemplary in everything? I sucked at math, but I muddled along with my D, graduated, and became the stellar blogger you see here. My life was not ruined with my D in Algebra II. And for those who care, Calculus was not offered to the likes of me in the eighties, but in today’s educational world, all students are expected to take it.
And before you continue with your high falutin’ standards, I suggest you look to our brand new Georgia Owned and Georgia Grown Tests, where the real scores were so bad, we lowered the cut scores, which we swore we would never do. Then look to our neighbor states to the west and south who have higher grad rates than Georgia (Alabama and Florida), and they pass kids with a 65. And while we are on it, why can’t we have a grade that all but states, “He’s a nice kid and a bright kid, but should never consider math as a career?” Why can’t a 65 be good enough? A 65% is good enough in all states that have graduation rates higher than ours. Iowa and Vermont, the top two highest grad rates in the country, have a 60% pass rate (I was thinkin’ bout that, so I looked it up).
So! All five of you who read this, I’m hoping maybe one of you is in with the cool kids at the capitol and can pass along The Mensa’s thoughts: If Georgia really wants to raise graduation rates and save money all at the same time, bring back the D.
And get rid of all these tests for these youngins. My AMEX shopping bill is directly proportional to how many I proctor…KIDDING…maybe.