My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


I Told You Not To Get Too Worked Up 

If only the political class had any such restraint.

CSAP may be on its way out

Essentially flat scores since '01 signal need for different approach

. . . .Ritter is calling for a "revolutionary shift" in public education, one that includes revising academic standards and developing new tests to measure them.

His plan, the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids or CAP4K for short, is working its way through the legislature

I don't even know where to begin the deconstruction of this one. So I'll defer to Ben, who does so very well:

The problem here is that some people want to get rid of the CSAP because having kids learn to read is not exactly their primary goal for schooling. Others don’t like the fact that it highlights the failures of some schools in the public education system. While updating the CSAP may yield some measure of success, don’t think that getting rid of the test will make Colorado’s education problems go away.

If there's anything at all useful coming out of the discussion of CSAP these days, its that maybe--MAYBE--we need to truly examine public education and start to have a fundamental discussion about the purpose of public education in a democracy. If we're so distracted by other things that we can barely get 2 out of 3 third graders to read, then clearly we've lost our way.

If, as happens, every year our students drop more and more off the map, as fewer and fewer of them pass "the test", then we have lost our way.

If, on the other hand, we are allowed to take a good, honest look at our kids, our society, and the respective needs thereof-IRRESPECTIVE of political correctness--then maybe we cand start to move this thing forward again.

Otherwise, we are going to continue to have a system that produces good results in neighborhoods where parents are there for their kids and read to them from day 1, and produces bad results in places where our students start out behind, anyway.

There MUST be a better way to handle this!

So if flat CSAP scores are the impetus to really look at what we're doing, then I welcome those scores, as unfortunate as they are for the 3rd graders.

If, on the other hand, they are simply the impetus to eliminate public school accountability, then the forces of Big Education need to be called on their failures.

And, by the way, this is a discussion that conservatives MUST get involved in, to bring elements of personal responsiblity and accountability to the table. If we are unwilling to engage, or simply run and hide behind a blanketing idea like "vouchers", then we deserve to have to deal with whatever Big Education comes up with.

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