"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, June 11, 2010

Massachusetts to Deny 2,933 Students Diplomas: 69% Are Special Ed, 12% ELL

The final test numbers are in for graduation, and four percent of Massachusetts seniors will not get diplomas this year because they did not pass a high school science exam.  Despite the cruel reality that would indicate otherwise, Commissioner Mitchell Chester has declared that he is "not going to give up on these students." Let's see what the Commissioner has in mind besides re-testing and re-testing and re-testing again.  Does that make the no excuses and high standards idiots sleep better at night?

So remember boys and girls, if you have a learning disability or mental impairment, that's no excuse when it comes to the MCAS or the exit exams.  And if you are just learning English, that's not an excuse, either.  And if your schools don't have science labs or textbooks or a real science teacher, same deal--no excuses. Tell me how this can happen in a civilized state.

From the Globe:
. . .The 2,933 students unable to earn diplomas represent about 4 percent of this year’s senior classes, according to data requested by the Globe from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. More than half of these students also have not passed at least one of the other MCAS exams, in English and math, that are necessary for graduation.

Mitchell Chester, the department’s commissioner, called the failure rate alarming. He said that school districts have pledged to work diligently to help these students pass future testing sessions and that some districts have created summer school opportunities for these students.

“I know our schools are going the extra mile,’’ Chester said in an interview. “We are not going to give up on these students.’’

. . . .
But some educators and school advocates say requiring that students pass a science test for graduation goes too far. Some students, they say, are not adept at the sciences, and some schools struggle to offer rigorous science programs because of difficulty in finding qualified teachers or a lack of modern science labs and other resources.

Of those who have not passed the science exam, 69 percent receive special education services and 12 percent are learning to speak English. . .

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