Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The math just doesn't add up.

Anyone that knows me I’m a staunch opponent against public education and news like this just feeds into my opposition. What gets me is that many people are shocked by this lunacy of grade inflation. Now Obama wants to make the failure of a “minority” student a civil rights violation which poses to instill more unrealistic and racist policies that aren’t going to pan out. It’s clear that it’s his intention to make teaching a non-white occupation and frankly, they can have it. It doesn’t get to the core of the bigotry that holds minorities back, and it’s not coming from white teachers or white society, but from those we can’t even brand as racist. This is the results of having privilege as a civil right like every child, even those that don’t want it and will do all to see nobody else does as well, is ENTITLED to an education all the while letting those prejudices of minorities fester unchecked.

Now while Obama is on his crusade against whites, I have to wonder after seeing something from the above graphic, what is going to be their definition of failure. The above clip is from an actual scoring rubric for the New York standardized math test. The gist of the above rubric is that since the student knows how to set up the symbol of division is grounds to getting half the credit. This demonstrates they know how to write a symbol, but not how to do the math. There’s no division or anything to demonstrate an understanding of division on that sheet, yet they’re to get 50% credit. This comes as no surprise as when I was teaching in an intercity school we were mandated to have 50% of our grades to include them just being there basically. That meant if they got just 20% of the material, it would be enough grounds to earning a minimum passing grade of a D. Heck even a blind man in a shooting contest could hit a target 20% of the time if he’s pointed in the right direction. Regardless of said policy, 55% of my students failed their courses mainly because they just simply didn’t care and for many it was a badge of honor to fail because it was the white way and disrespectful of their race.

Now with rubrics like this, what motivation is there going to be to learn actually how to do the actual math instead of some silly symbolism that demonstrates no actual work. That’s like asking someone to spell the word cat and all they do is write a c or an a or a t and giving credit because they knew a symbol. Doesn’t mean they can actually SPELL. This is what New York is giving credit to on their math exam. So a student may know 25% of the material, but get a passing score on their exam. Yet when they’re in the real world where they actually have to know how to do the actual math, they will be clueless. How will this figure in Obama’s racist policy of having failure a violation of a student’s civil rights when it’s difficult to define failure when you have scoring like this? Worse yet, since many who fail in our dysfunctional school system hate the country or racist as what they view as a predominately white society, will want to hammer the system as a violation of their “rights” and seek just compensation. This will be more rewarding of failure that has our system in the quagmire it’s in now.

Take a look at his one. At least here they understood how to do addition, but it fails to understand the real world problem or as in this case, how much distance in inches a foot actually is. Worse, this isn’t an addition problem, it’s a multiplication problem and this student didn’t do either one correctly. Yet, they’ll get half credit for misapplying BOTH parts. If I’m doing an engineering problem, or a retailer that needs items ordered, I sure don’t want this person doing the math for me. My structures is going to be over extended or I’m going to be oversupplied or worse, will even get the wrong product as it was two feet of item, not four as this student did. How the heck is anyone going to learn to do math correctly if they’re going to be given credit for being close enough like this? What next, credit for 2+2=5? Oh wait; they do accept that there already.

The math of the situation is that as we dumb down our standards more and more, we lose ground to the global market in the technological skills needed to compete. As these results demonstrate, the education system is still in the irrational sentiment that getting math problems right is bigotry (one teacher in Michigan issued a B to one math student deducting a letter grade as he found him to be too bigoted because that student felt it too important to get the answers right). As we lose ground to the world in the sciences and technology, we’ll be sure to be enlighten to accept all answers as equal, even when they’re not. To the lunatic left, they will face a major dilemma as they try to make failure a racial issue as by their own standards they can’t fail. Perhaps then, if they are thinking rational, they’ll conclude that the statist education system is the worse violator of student’s civil rights by passing them when they’re failing.

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