Keep Minnesota's high school graduation standards

  • Article by: Star Tribune Editorial
  • Updated: April 25, 2013 - 10:04 PM

It’s not too much to expect proficiency in reading and writing.

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bouchevilleApr. 25, 13 9:37 PM

Just love it when journalists give there take on education. Multiple choice tests like the MCA's are the worst way to assess students.They are expensive and do not accurately measure intelligence. Yet we should have kids pass them or they don't go to college? The language used is white academic language of which many ELL's are not up to speed with. This does not mean they will not do well in college or life for that matter.Children can show their knowledge other ways than reading a test on a computer.

regionguyApr. 25, 1310:35 PM

I have no problem with sound testing in core skills and knowledge as a requirement for graduation. The testing has to be good, and there has to be plenty of support for studnets who struggle. I find it troubling that instead of focusing on doing better testing and support there seems to be a move to apparently dump any testing that doesn't inherently reult in everyone passing. No testing is perfect, but I think we have seen the price over the decades of graduating students who have appallingly low core skills and knowledge.

lorentjdApr. 25, 1310:49 PM

regionguy: "I find it troubling that instead of focusing on doing better testing and support there seems to be a move to apparently dump any testing that doesn't inherently reult in everyone passing." If too many students can't pass a basic graduation test and if that results in decreased graduation rates or indicates a persistent performance gap between white and minority students, the teachers' unions (and the DFL politicians who are in the unions' pockets) have a "solution" to the problem: Eliminate the tests!! Problem solved!!

squeezemeApr. 26, 13 5:48 AM

"It’s not too much to expect proficiency in reading and writing." No, it isn't, except in inner cities where 50% of the students drop out of high school before graduation and the ones that do graduate have the LOWEST test scores in the industrialized world. In Detroit, 47% of the adult population is functionally illiterate. But look at the party they vote for. So you can understand why one side wants to do away with performance measures altogether: because it reveals what failures they and their voters are. I would also argue that colleges should not be allowed to lower standards to let in athletes.

owatonnabillApr. 26, 13 6:19 AM

"They are expensive and do not accurately measure intelligence." ................ True. But then again they're not designed to measure intelligence, but knowledge. But the oddest part of this entire "debate" is the slant that owatonnabill sees poking through time and again despite the best efforts of anti-test people to cover it: that somehow equality among students can be achieved by requiring LESS, rather than more knowledge to meet graduation standards. A high school graduation diploma should mean more than the fact that the student was just taking up classroom space for 12 years, and an acceptance of mediocrity as the gold standard certainly is not the way to achieve that.

comment229Apr. 26, 13 6:29 AM

"A uniform, statewide academic goal can help students understand what is expected of them." This translates into making our schools a factory with the one size fits all end result being students who are all smiling happy graduates and who are all equal. Nothing could be further from the truth. You cannot mould all students into the gimmicky models and programs that have been politically produced and mandated for the last twenty years. It's time to reform our schools, but please use the scientific method and identify the problem FIRST. I just absolutely giggle at the solution of more tests for kids who are failing, because they were failing on the old tests. Perhaps it is time in our country for kids to be allowed to take optional competency tests written at different skill levels? Let's have ten tests from the most basic first test on a continuum to the tenth level; mastery student and let the kids/parents set their goals. It would be easier for college admissions and employers to decide who to hire. But we have to put the responsibility (or is it irresponsibility?) back where it belongs, and it is not our schools.

martytoilApr. 26, 13 7:08 AM

"Backing away from the GRAD standards would send the wrong message, especially at a time when U.S. students need to ramp up academic performance to be more globally competitive"--Except for the fact that when compared to students of similar poverty levels, that the USA leads the world in educational outcomes.

mplsjohnApr. 26, 13 7:51 AM

Excellent point of view / editorial. Presents the simple facts and not the emotion and subjectivity of the past articles / comments.

bluebird227Apr. 26, 1310:10 AM

To say that the writing test ensures proficiency or indicates a student is ready for college is inaccurate. Students take this test in 9th grade. In order to pass, they need to write a coherent response that has a beginning, middle, and end. The "essay" could be written in about 12 simple sentences and earn a passing score. This is why pass rates on the writing test are so much highter than the reading and math tests.

pollngdooshApr. 26, 1310:16 AM

Keep them fat, dumb and happy and the DFL can win elections for generations to come.


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