Expectedly Stable

26 08 2015

Jefferson City

P-D:

Missouri’s graduating class of 2015 had an average of 21.7 on the ACT college entrance exam, an overall score that has hardly budged in the last five years, according to results released Wednesday.

The trend is also true for Illinois and across the nation, prompting those in charge of the test to say the lack of progress should be a wake-up call for the country.

“The needle is barely moving on college and career readiness, and that means far too many young people will continue to struggle after they graduate from high school,” said Jon Whitmore, ACT’s chief executive officer.

This was the first year all juniors at Missouri public schools had the opportunity to take the college entrance exam for free, but results released Wednesday won’t reflect that. The 2015 results consist of scores in English, math, reading and science for students who graduated this past spring at both public and private schools.

Missouri education officials have set a goal for student achievement to rank among the top 10 states by 2020. As part of the effort, the percent of students who achieve a qualifying score or above on a college and career readiness assessment is supposed to increase each year.

On the ACT, the percentage of Missouri students who did not meet benchmarks in English and reading dropped and stayed the same in math. But those who met college benchmarks in all four areas has risen to 30 percent, up from 26 percent in 2011. A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in a corresponding credit-bearing college course.

I don’t see why ACT scores would increase either in Missouri or nationwide.  If the ACT is actually or loosely a g-loaded test, assuming that every high school senior takes it, and that is not the case, I would expect ACT scores to be slowly declining over time instead of increasing.  The reason for that is that the political order of the day is open borders, not eugenics.





Success Track

26 08 2015

Brooklyn

Slashdot:

Wired positively gushes over IBM’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), saying it could fix education and tech’s diversity gap. Backed by IBM, the P-TECH program aims to prepare mainly minority kids from low-income backgrounds for careers in technology, allowing them to earn a high school diploma and a free associate degree in six years or less. That P-TECH’s six inaugural graduates completed the program in four years and were offered jobs with IBM, Wired reports, is “irrefutable proof that this solution might actually work” (others aren’t as impressed, although the President is drinking the Kool-Aid). While the program has only actually graduated six students since it was announced in 2010, Wired notes that by fall, 40 schools across the country will be designed in P-TECH’s image. IBM backs four of them, but they’ll also be run by tech giants like Microsoft and SAP, major energy companies like ConEdison, along with hospital systems, manufacturing associations, and civil engineering trade groups. They go by different names and are geared toward different career paths, but they all follow the IBM playbook.

See the original for the links, especially the one over “others aren’t as impressed.”

Translated into plain readable English, all this is IBM, MSFT, et al. sponsoring ghetto academies that shake out the zircons in the rough, give them the equivalent of junior college diplomas, then ship them off to corporate HR.  Therefore, when employee photo day comes, IBM, MSFT, et al. has some NAM faces in the photos.





Escape From Ferguson

23 08 2015

Florissant

The takeaway:

During the 2014-15 school year, 81 teachers resigned and 34 retired from schools in the Ferguson-Florissant district, putting its turnover rate at 14 percent, one of the highest in the area. To compare, the Mehlville School District also had high turnover this year, at 11 percent when it typically is about 6 percent.

Don’t want to live there, don’t want to teach there.

All because a white cop had the temerity to defend himself.

Though even if that didn’t happen, F-F wouldn’t exactly be killing it.  It has been in slow decline for a long time, and still would be, but for Darren Wilson defending himself.





Moving Goalpost (More Cowbell)

22 08 2015

Mountain View, California

Slashdot:

According to a study released Thursday by Google and Gallup, standardized tests may be holding back the next generation of computer programmers. The Google-Gallup Searching for Computer Science: Access and Barriers in U.S. K-12 Education report (PDF) found that the main reason given by a “comprehensive but not representative” sample of 9,693 K-12 principals and 1,865 school district superintendents in the U.S. for their schools not offering computer science “is the limited time they have to devote to classes that are not tied to testing requirements.” Which makes one wonder if Google now views Bill Gates as part of the problem and/or part of the solution of K-12 CS education. The Google-Gallup report also explores race/ethnicity differences to access and learning opportunities among White, Black and Hispanic students — but not Asian students — a curious omission considering that Google’s own Diversity Disclosure shows that 35% of its U.S. tech workforce is Asian, making it by far the most overrepresented race/ethnicity group at Google when compared to the U.S. K-12 public school population. Which raises the question: Why would the Google-Gallup study ignore the access and learning opportunities of the race/ethnicity subgroup that has enjoyed the greatest success at Google? Not unsurprisingly, the Google-Gallup report winds up by concluding that what U.S. K-12 education really needs is more CS cowbell.

Why are Asians ignored?  Because not ignoring them disproves the contention of the grievance industry, if you take them literally by taking their use of the word “diversity” almost literally, to mean any non-whites.  It also goes to demonstrate a running theme in this space, that the definition of “diversity” is a moving goalpost that can be moved back and forth to fit whatever agenda is afoot.  The only thing for sure is that cishet white gentile men can never be classified as diverse; everyone else is technically fair game for finding themselves on either side of the goalpost, and while blacks are rarely on the non-diverse side, if someone wants more “diversity” in terms of their non-white non-black minority group, blacks will be counted as non-diverse.  Asians are the racial group over whom the goalpost keeps swinging back and forth most often.

As far as “more CS cowbell,” (clever), I happen to think that that’s part of the whole “skills gap” mania peddled by, among many others, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.  If the schools are bad, then the solution is to fix the schools with Commune Core, but that, as Donald Trump would say, is thinking past the sale, because as long as we’re bickering over how to fix the schools, fix our supposedly bad schools, we are implicitly conceding the notion and implicitly confessing that the schools really are that bad, which is something I don’t believe.  But, it is a confession that greases the skids for the Gates-Zuckerberg-et al. demand for increased or even unlimited H-1B visas, because we have to, we have no choice, “because the schools are that bad,” they’re so bad that they’re not producing any native born white Americans or anyone else that could do CSIT-STEM.

More cowbell:





AFT Does the Look Squirrel Thing

22 08 2015

Downtown

P-D:

The American Federation of Teachers — one of the nation’s largest unions — has broadened its agenda beyond teacher pay and standardized testing, to racial justice issues affecting students and communities across the country.

About 40 members of AFT’s Racial Equity Task Force gathered in conference rooms at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Friday to dissect how racism is institutionalized in the nation’s public schools.

For black children, it results in lower achievement, disproportionately high suspension rates and lower graduation rates. This makes it harder to find a job. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the unemployment rate for black men — 10 percent — is double that of white men.

“Our job, as important as it is, is not to simply to put together a set of policy solutions,” Randi Weingarten, AFT president, said before the group embarked on its work. “That is important. But we have to figure out how to elevate it, move it and make it real. That’s going to be really hard.”

With about 1.6 million members, the AFT is the second largest teachers union in the country. In Missouri, its members include teachers and other employees in St. Louis Public Schools.

And I’m still anticipating a Randi Weingarten vs Davis Guggenheim lead pipe fight on the DNC convention floor in Philadelphia next July.

As for this current news, I think I know what’s going on here.  It’s the AFT’s (and soon also, the NEA’s) propaganda pushback against the Waiting for Superman style (speaking of Davis Guggenheim) neoliberal education “reformer” propaganda of blaming “bad” teachers and their “bad” unions for NAM academic dysfunction.  The more noise the AFT and NEA make about hating racism, this that and the third, the more they hope that the neolibs will back off from their anti-teacherunion jihad.





Top Seven

19 08 2015

O’Fallon

P-D on the seven best area high schools on the MAP test.  All three high schools in the Fort Zumwalt district, included.

A blogger slightly more cynical than yours truly might think the P-D is trying to get us to think that black students are part of the reason why two of these schools did so well.





Bright Idea

17 08 2015

Kingsway

The all (“black”) girl CSIT-STEM charter school in St. Louis City that started classes today?

The brain child of one of John Danforth’s daughters.

Why am I not surprised.








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