Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Doubling Down on Failure

California is abolishing standardized tests for college admissions. Not one to miss an opportunity to look uninformed, Joe Biden is all-in on the policy. Link here, via Maggie’s Farm.)

At an MSNBC public education forum recently, a woman in the audience asked Biden this question:

Given that standardized testing is rooted in a history of racism and eugenics, if you are elected president, will you commit to ending the use of standardizing testing in public schools?

To which Biden responded, "Yes."

At the same time the American Renaissance blog (via Maggie’s Farm) tells us that the valedictorian at a Detroit high school has been attending Michigan State University; there she is struggling with remedial math. As you can imagine, MSU has championed diversity, regardless of qualifications. 

Apparently, this is the norm for students who attended Detroit’s public schools.

But nearly  of graduates from Detroit’s main school district must take remedial courses when they get to college, Chalkbeat reported.

In 2016, MSU removed the requirement that all students at least take algebra in either college or high school. Algebra is taught in eighth grade in many schools.

Of course, the solution will be: to abolish math requirements. If that does not work the school abolishes algebra.

The more amusing part of this absurd effort is that it was tried before. It was tried decades ago in the City College of New York. The program failed. It was abolished twenty years ago.

Jackson Toby explained what happened in the Wall Street Journal, He quoted a book by  James Traub, wherein Traub discovered that the deficits were too profound to overcome:

Mr. Traub’s 1994 book, “City on a Hill,” revealed students with academic handicaps too severe to be repaired by their efforts or the efforts of their teachers. His anecdotal accounts were confirmed by statistics. A City College study of 155 students placed in its remedial English program found, Mr. Traub reported, that only seven had graduated after six years, and another half-dozen or so after seven years. Only 15% were projected to complete college after a decade. They weren’t flunked out; they gave up and dropped out.

In 1998 the City University’s board of trustees voted to end the open-admissions policy at four-year colleges, requiring applicants to pass proficiency tests in reading, writing and mathematics to gain entry. The experiment had revealed the limits of good intentions and remedial education alike.

Toby continued:

Democrats offering “free college for all” fail to realize that college is too late for students with severe academic deficiencies. For many of these students, the problem isn’t that they can’t afford college; it’s that they didn’t have sufficient academic commitment in the lower grades to get ready for college. To become ready, they would need new childhoods to replace the ones they had. Even generous taxpayers can’t give them that.

It is truly remarkable to see educators across the country adopting policies that have already failed. 


trigger warning said...

I have a solution to this problem. Just mail Detroit Schools applicants a degree in [Women's, Black, Fat, Queer, etc - choose one] Studies, and a domestic round trip airline ticket to a spring break destination. Simultaneously solves the student loan crisis.

David Foster said...

Why not establish a special class of FAA licenses, requiring no written examination but limited to flying any aircraft occupied by a senior politician of the Democratic Party.

whitney said...

That's a horror show. And why do they all want to become doctors and surgeons? I'm so happy to know we're going to be dropping standards completely for medicine also.

RGPM said...

So how ell they decide on who gets admitted without any test scores - let me guess, they will decide on skin color and ethnic background. Sounds like apartheid.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Eugenics? You mean like aborting inner city babies en masse as a form of birth control?

The kind the Democrat Party is all in for, including post-birth infanticide (you know, the “make the baby comfortable” kind of infanticide)?

That kind of eugenics?

Asking for a friend.

I don’t find any of this remarkable at all. Democrats hate standards. Standards make people feel bad. We cannot have people feeling bad.

UbuMaccabee said...

The are polls suggesting that large numbers of black voters might vote for Trump. This spells doom for the Democratic Party, just like losing the working class mining districts did in England. It also means that if a black voter insists that a spherical earth is racist, Democrats will insist the earth is flat. There is nothing they will not say to keep blacks on the plantation.