"Standards for Graduation"

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
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jj
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"Standards for Graduation"

Post by jj » Fri May 04, 2007 8:16 pm

Here in Washingtoon State, we have this "WASSL" test that every kid has to pass before they can graduate.

It tests language, and was intended to test math, but they're delaying the math part of the test, and they've never really established the science part, because too many kids were flunking the prototype tests.

My own kids passed it, one in 10th grade, we'll hear about the one who took it in 9th grade this summer (for some reason it also takes 6 months to grade these worthless tests), including the math and science parts (10th grader) so this just can't be very stringent in terms of a test.

In order to graduate, the kid also has to write 3 essays of various kinds and rank up against a fixed scale (yeah, right, fixed scale for essays), and finish a 'culumating project' (also graded on a fixed scale that I'm about to experience as a volunteer judge).

What's astonishing is that in all of this, the kid has to show no mastery of trig (kid passed the test pre-trig), no mastery of the theory of evolution, doesn't even have to state the scientific method, but has to show that they can spell and punctuate.

So, kids have to act like computers to pass this requirement, the content really doesn't even count.

I've asked at least one guidance councellor about this, and the answer was "we prepare children to function in the world".

You wanna run that by me again?

I would propose a different set of graduation requirements altogether:

1) The kid would have to explain, in written prose, what the theory of evolution actually is. This would be evaluated for content, writing, and quality of expression. Included should be the basic evidence, showing both understanding of what "evidence" means and how probability is involved.
2) The kid would have to explain, again in written prose, what the theory of evolution was NOT. Ditto the evaluation.
3) The kid would have to explain why the periodic table is like it is, explaining energy levels, shells, full/empty shells, etc, in a basic fashion.
4) The kid should be able to answer, on a multiple-choice question, what a selection of 30 various logical and rhetorical fallacies were, and explain in one sentence why these were wrong.


NOTE: I do NOT advocate requiring the ACCEPTANCE of the TOE, even though I'd like to. I merely think that every high-school student in any civilized country in the world should be able to clearly, simply, and understandably STATE what it is, and what the evidence for it amounts to.

Yes, I am fully aware of what this says about where I live. :(
Why does an infallable book have to be constantly revised?

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Post by JO 753 » Fri May 04, 2007 9:10 pm

"Prepare children to function in the world" is correct, since it mainly involves turning your brain off wen you go to work in order to avoid conflict with your 8 bosses, including Lumberg.

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Post by St. Jimmy » Sun May 06, 2007 3:33 pm

You say your kids are 9 and 10. Do you explain them to be good at spotting logical fallacies, or is the high school kids you mention at the ned of the post?

It seems you're arguing against two things simultaneously.
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Post by jj » Mon May 07, 2007 6:54 am

St. Jimmy wrote:You say your kids are 9 and 10. Do you explain them to be good at spotting logical fallacies, or is the high school kids you mention at the ned of the post?

It seems you're arguing against two things simultaneously.


Read a bit more carefully, next time. Kids are 11th grade and 9th grade. Some of the experiences date back a few years.

Oh, and, while they may not formalize the fallacies, they do notice them. Listening to the two of them watch a politician speak is just, well, yeah, they're a teeny bit cynical about politicians.
Why does an infallable book have to be constantly revised?