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Thursday, August 14, 2003

On Educational Standards:

RTB custodian SKBubba has some insight into Florida's standards for getting a high school diploma. He is outraged by the idea of a mandated 2.0 GPA for graduation. I respectfully disagree. My response was this:

"Average" is a misnomer. A more accurate assessment would be "baseline". Anyone who cannot meet that standard does not pass. To call a child "average" assumes a zero-sum scenario, where if one child is above average, another must be below. Educators should strive to make sure all children meet or surpass the baseline.

As for SKB's complaints, I honestly cannot see where setting a 2.0 as a baseline is asking too much. Neither is testing. Just look at the ignorance of our youth now (and of our adults, for that matter). If we, as parents, and educators, push the envelope, the students will meet the expectations.

To which KAHole retorts:

I have to say that, with as much compassion as a jerk like me can muster, many of the commenters here are idiots.

A "C" is not average? Do you dipshits even know what a bell-shaped curve looks like? If we live in a society where anyone below the median, or even mean for that matter, is deemed a failure, then society as a whole is doomed to fail. By the way, if a D is now failing, what the F does an F represent?

My contention is that a 2.0 is not too much to ask, because kids will meet standards when those standards are implemented. If you lower the bar, the kids will lower their effort also. My posted response:

In my college organic chemistry class years ago, a C was not the average grade. In fact, out of 100 students, only 35 made A, B, or C. In many instances, the average is NOT average work.

On the other side of the coin, I had a math class where 29 of 30 made A. What was the average, KA? You guessed it. An A.

So, if you set aside the pejoratives, and simply listen to the argument, you will see that a C is, in fact, NOT always average. It is much more accurate to call it a baseline for acceptable work.

Incidentally, if you want your child to go to a school that refuses to raise the bar, and has relaxed expectations, that is your prerogative, and I support that option for you. However, I support the choice also to send my own child to a more rigorous school. This is what makes school choice such a wonderful thing.


.: posted by Dave 12:01 PM

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