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Old 02-10-2006, 06:53 PM   #16
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i am not too sure what is so wrong with an end test

most of the European countries have it.
You work hard for 12/13 years to get admitted to the tests (there are usually 4-7 for every student in various subjects) and then you do the test (they take up to 5h - at least in germany)
Well and youhave to pass them all in order to get your (higher level) diploma.

I know it is like that in the netherlands, france, spain, belgium, lithuania etc as well

what's the big deal? To me it looks rather like the usual resistance to educational change.
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Old 02-10-2006, 06:56 PM   #17
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Originally posted by a-mole

what's the big deal? To me it looks rather like the usual resistance to educational change.
Go back and reread the posts in this thread.
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Old 02-10-2006, 06:58 PM   #18
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Originally posted by Dreadsox

In 2007 apparently NCLB will be up to be renewed...and...the rumor is they are going to make it so that if your top scores drop, you lose points towards NCLB.
Dread, let's start a movement to get the twits who write these damn laws to come do our jobs for just a fortnight. That'll help them see the mess they're making.
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:07 PM   #19
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The whole notion of having to pass a test to graduate strikes me as absolutely ludicrous. It's supposed to be able to measure skills in various and sundry areas, but how do you test writing skills? I can see testing mathematical skills, now that makes sense, but you can't test communication skills with a scored exam. And if writing skills are irrelevant in education, I'm a monkey's uncle. Plus, the test is a one-shot deal. That strikes me as being rather arbritrary. I had a high score in the verbal part of the SAT and a slightly below average score in math. Do you get one score for the whole test, or are scores given on various subjects? One score for the whole test can be really screwy if you can write but can barely do math, which is very true of me. I passed an advanced algebra class despite flubbing an excruciatingly difficult final.
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
The whole notion of having to pass a test to graduate strikes me as absolutely ludicrous. It's supposed to be able to measure skills in various and sundry areas, but how do you test writing skills? I can see testing mathematical skills, now that makes sense, but you can't test communication skills with a scored exam. And if communication skills aren't important in life then I'm a monkey's uncle.
the test we had to take to graduate had a writing portion (Indiana)
It was a two-part test, with an english section and a math section, and you had to pass both.

I don't have a problem with the idea of an exit exam, but I think in practice it tends to lower the quality of education. Also, the exam is to make sure you have a certain level of math and english skills, right? I thought that's what grades were for.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:48 PM   #21
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Originally posted by martha


Dread, let's start a movement to get the twits who write these damn laws to come do our jobs for just a fortnight. That'll help them see the mess they're making.
Martha....

I miss teaching full time...
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:58 PM   #22
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Doug, I see what you're saying and that was actually my one idea in favor of this test, but then again, the test is allowing the state to completely bypass the issue at hand - that kids are being passed and moved on when they're simply not ready or aren't smart enough. I think the state could make much better use of the money by improving the schooling itself implementing a new test.

You pass high school because you've done the work, understand the concepts and made the grades. It's not about what you know, but how you know it. For example, in Advanced Algebra I miserably failed a test (54% in a grading scale where 98-100 is an A), but I finished the class with an A total and 102%. Why? Because what I messed up on that ONE test that was REALLY hard for me, I made up for in dilligently doing my homework, taking up every opportunity for additional credit, working really hard on the creative projects, and doing better on my other tests. I think standardized tests, especially ones that cover ALL subjects, just aren't realistic. Another example: I work for a helpdesk as a computer technician. If I were to take the A+ certification test today (a computer skills kind of test), I'd probably fail. Funny since I'm the most knowledgable person on our team and get assigned the most phone shifts because I have the best people skills. So what if I'm not certified? I know I'm good at what I do and I know the material on that test is stuff that I don't encounter everyday at work.
The reaction to the exit exam is as if California just started trying to improve the quality of education and it is an unfair burden. The exams are the results of years of review and analysis and change. The complaints of the meaningless diploma have gone on for decades and you are seeing yet another step to raise to median level of understanding for students.

Changes have occurred at multiple levels and in the different styles of teaching. For example, California previously used a “whole language” approach to reading in the past. The humorous description of the approach was “it doesn’t matter how you spell the word, just as long as you feel good about it.”

The exit exam is not akin to a final exam in any class. It does not test cumulative knowledge over an entire educational career. It tests a more basic understanding of core concepts (math, reading and writing). The test just isn’t that tough. And children are given multiple chances to take it – needing a fairly low score to pass.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:00 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Kristie
Also, the exam is to make sure you have a certain level of math and english skills, right? I thought that's what grades were for.
I guess the value of grades as been diluted when an honors student with a 3.84 GPA can't pass a basic English test.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:01 PM   #24
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but how do you test writing skills?
Isn't this done every day in school, in some fashion?
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The exams are the results of years of review and analysis and change.
True, but not that many.


Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

For example, California previously used a “whole language” approach to reading in the past. The humorous description of the approach was “it doesn’t matter how you spell the word, just as long as you feel good about it.”
An incredible oversimplification of what whole language really is/was.

Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The test just isn’t that tough.
I'm not sure you can say this.

Maybe it should be retroactive and the folks who run the state DOE should be required to pass it.
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:45 AM   #26
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


Martha....

I miss teaching full time...
I bet you do. I was thinking about this the other day; how much I don't want to go to a district position because I'd miss the kids and the interaction too much.
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:52 AM   #27
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I guess the value of grades as been diluted when an honors student with a 3.84 GPA can't pass a basic English test.
Absolutely.

Why do you think you see kids from some schools with a 3.9 GPA and a 21 on the MCAT or 155 on the LSAT?

If you cannot pass a basic English test and have a 3.84 GPA, there is something wrong with the school you are attending.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:04 AM   #28
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Absolutely.

Why do you think you see kids from some schools with a 3.9 GPA and a 21 on the MCAT or 155 on the LSAT?

If you cannot pass a basic English test and have a 3.84 GPA, there is something wrong with the school you are attending.
That kinda brings up the whole other issue of GPAs no longer being standardized. What the hell is a 4.2 GPA?!?! BETTER than perfect? yeah right. It's annoying that now your GPA isn't accepted for what it is. When I applied to the University of Oklahoma, since I was the first from my high school to do so, I had to also submit a paper from the school explaining our grading scale and how our GPA is calculated to prove that my less than 4.0 was harder to get than all of the 4.0+ GPAs from some of our other local high schools.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:07 AM   #29
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Oh yes, that's because some schools give out 4.33 (WTF?) and that's really, really unfair to the rest of the applicant pool, because it artificially inflates their GPA.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


Dread, let's start a movement to get the twits who write these damn laws to come do our jobs for just a fortnight. That'll help them see the mess they're making.
Sign me up. Washington State has a similar test requirement beginning this year. I taught ESL and I can tell you that this will be a very big problem for some very bright students.
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