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Slow Child Left Behind September 7, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Education.

With regard to my posts this week castigating public education, I have a few (slightly) less abrasive remarks.

If you are in the business of testing children with a minimum skills test, what is wrong with holding those children to a standard of higher than 60% mastery?  Isn’t the definition of “minimum” skills those which are required?  If all skills on the test are required, doesn’t it make sense that 100% mastery is expected?  Allowing for nerves, misunderstood questions, and other test day events that could bring scores down, I can see reducing the expectation to 90%, but scores much lower than that start to say that the material has not actually been mastered.

At work, if I achieve 60% of the minimum expectations of my employer, I get fired. 

If a child has not mastered even the minimum skills required for his or her grade, should he or she be promoted to the next grade?  I propose a new policy – “Slow Child Left Behind”.  If you don’t make 90% on the basic skills test after a couple of tries, you get to remain in your current grade until you can pass the test.



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