Saturday, August 29, 2009

Failure is truly an option for those who don't make the grade in public schools

State Sen. Jane Nelson gets what's wrong with our state education system.
After reading Lindsay Kastner's article this morning in the Express-News, I had to applaud Nelson's effort to reform education.
Her bill makes it easier for educators to not pass students who didn't do the work.
If you can draw an anology, think of going to McDonalds, ordering a burger, fries and a soda and not getting the pomme frites. Would you pay for it? For years, educators have been told to give a student a 50 for work not turned in or if they took a test and got a score like 21. Administrators did this to encourage their students to buckle done and do better work so they wouldn't fail.
For my friends in the education space, if they failed too many students because they didn't turn in the work, their administrators will have a chat about making it easier for their students to pass the course.
That's why a lot of my friends and colleagues have turned to Catholic school or charter schools to help their students get an education. They know that if their kids didn't turn in homework or did poorly on a test that their little darlings will have to work hard to make up a zero or a 21 on their math test.
Standards like this make the transformation from high school to college easier for their children. They understand the value of turning in their homework and doing well on their tests.
I am hoping Nelson's bill gives educators the power to confront those administrators who demand that they raise a grade so they can pass a student to the next level. When this happens, these students are doomed to a life of working in low paying jobs or having to pay their local junior college money so they can reach the basic standards to get an associate or four-year degree.
While Nelson's legislative work makes it against Texas state law to pass students who didn't complete the work, I am hoping that the state will pursue serious legal action against districts, administrators and teachers who pass kids who didn't meet the minimum requirements for passing each course.

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