Wednesday, April 19, 2006

This Day Is Very TAKS-ing to Me

It wouldn't be April without both a tax rant and a TAKS rant, often in the same week. (For those of you non-Texans who read this blog, TAKS is an acronym for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, the local version of those hateful standardized tests that I'm pretty sure students now have to endure in all fifty states.)

Just like the tax rant, there's not much I can say about the TAKS that hasn't already been said in previous posts (and this year, Ms. Worley adds her own rant, bringing up the good point that this is probably way too much stress to place on twelve-year-olds every year).

But I do want to make one more point; Ernie said something like this on his show as well, but I'm totally in agreement: I have no problem with TAKS being used--like the second word of its title implies--as an assessment, a tool to measure whether or not the students are learning the things they're supposed to know by the end of a certain grade level. But the whole thing about tying the test results to graduation is just absurd.

That's right--as rare as this may sound, there's a possibility that a student can go all the way through public school and pass all of his/her classes, but fail a section of the TAKS, and that student still can't graduate. Where's the sense in that? Plus, as Ernie has also pointed out, if that test is the be-all and end-all of public schooling, what's the point of having grades? Or classes for that matter? If someone can pass the test as a high-school freshman...well, congratulations, here's your diploma, have fun in community college.

I wonder if the citizens of Texas will continue to stand for this.

The top item on Kev's birthday list: Panasonic has unveiled a new plasma TV with a 103-inch screen. (Just kidding about the birthday list; not only would this thing not fit in my house, it would pretty much be my house.)

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I found out a while ago that that MAP test is now required, because people of the yesteryears (Ahem... me including) wouldn't take it seriously at all and BS'd it. Good thing is, it didn't count towards me, and there is no "real" record of how well you did going to anybody. The subjects were horrible though. Last year we focused on writing for a week, and the "big one" assignment they had was to write a letter to your cousin explaining why grandma and grandpa should stay with you on their trip, instead of at your cousins. Well if you knew anything about my extended family you'd laugh like I did, and come up with some hilarious stuff.