The reason our "educators" reject all the standardized tests like SAT, GRE, ACT, NAEP, IAEP, and TIMSS, and claim that "these tests tell me nothing", and insist that admission to college be based on everything but this objective way of measuring academic performance, is that most of these tests show that "educators" are the least educated people in the country. They just don't want you the taxpayer to know it. They don't want you to know for example that math majors score higher than education majors by 20% in ACT Composite, 35% in SAT Math, and 39% in GRE Quantitative. For that reason, they have ensured that the scores are obfuscated by using different scales and other methods to conceal the facts about their low academic skills. For example, it's difficult to detect from the following comparison of raw SAT, ACT, and GRE scores exactly how low our educators themselves score on these tests.
To be able to see on a graph how the scores compare it's necessary to multiply ACT scores by 22 and divide GRE scores by 1.15, which produces the following graph which shows how their test scores stack up to other majors. In other words, it shows just how low our educators' academic skills are. No WONDER they don't like tests, and no WONDER they refuse to be tested. No WONDER they claim that people who major in education "don't necessarily enter the field they claim they will enter". No WONDER they want to admit people based on inflated high school grades and letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities, rather than demonstrated academic performance.
Bear in mind when reading this graph that the above percentage differences don't tell the whole story. There is a minimum level below which almost nobody scores on all of these tests. No engineering majors score below 300 in GRE Quantitative. Not even many other majors score lower than this--less than 2% of elementary education majors and less than 1% of economics majors do. So where the difference between math majors and education majors appears to be 703 vs. 507, or 39%, the real difference is 403 vs. 207, or 95%. Half of education, home economics, library, and social work majors or 21,300 score lower than 490 on GRE Quantitative, whereas two thirds of engineering, math, physics, computer science majors or 47,900 score higher than 700. This is what our educators don't want you the taxpayer to know because if you knew how poorly educated are the educators who you expect to teach your children, you would refuse to even permit them to be around them. You would recognize right away that it is tantamount to child abuse to expect such people to be role models to your children. What could be a worse lesson for your children than to permit educators, whose disdain for our free enterprise system and the competitive spirit is legendary, to dumb down your children to their own level? This unfortunately is all American public education does today.
This is exactly the opposite of what our Forefathers had in mind.
The brainless members of the following education board are proof that affirmative action is destroying this country. Debra Sanders said it perfectly when she said:
These are people who could never compete in the marketplace and get a real job. They are being propped up with artificial means and our children are suffering for it. They are proof that the only way to "fix" the education system is to bannish it from the face of the nation.
IF YOU KNEW that students at the Edison Charter Academy, which is run by Edison Schools Inc. of New York, were reading appreciably better, would you still oppose the school? (According to School Wise Press, a private company that provides parents with public school statistics, the percentage of Edison students scoring above average in reading jumped from 14 percent in 1998 to 32 percent today and those scoring above average in math rose from 24 percent in 1998 to 42 percent.)
"Yes," he would still oppose Edison, San francisco Unified School District board member Mark Sanchez told The Chronicle's editorial board Wednesday. "I am personally saying that. I am philosophically against a corporation running a school, and I don't want you to ignore the fact that the population has changed."
That last comment has to do with Sanchez's argument that even though scores at Edison have risen significantly since Edison Inc. -- it's a coincidence both the school and the company share the inventor's name -- took over, he believes the scores are better because the school's student population of the school has changed.
He sees Edison Inc. as operating "on the backs of new teachers." Would he go after Edison even if it helps more kids? "Yes," he answered, "I'm a teacher. "
Some teacher -- he supports firing Edison, even if it means more kids will read below average.
Fellow school board commissar Jill Wynns said in the editorial board session that the question poses a false choice. She too maintains that Edison scores have risen because Edison had recruited more middle-class students. She berates Edison Inc. for not presenting "matched scores" -- that is, tracking the progress of individual students -- while she herself failed to present matched scores to prove that Edison isn't working minor miracles.
Why not? "That's something that we're not able to do yet or that we haven't done," she explained. Huh?
Funny. I called the proper district department and was told the district had crunched matched scores for Edison students months ago. The numbers demonstrate "significant" improvement in reading and math between 1999 and 2000.
Figure Wynns and company don't want to know if the kids are learning more than before.
Wynns and Sanchez style themselves as advocates for fairness.
It's not fair, they argue, that Edison kids get more money than other students. (Is it fair to take away Edison management so that the school's poor,
minority students don't get all the extras that help them learn more?)
It's not right that Edison uses less experienced teachers, they say. (It doesn't matter if those less experienced teachers manage to get better than usual results?)
Wynns faults Edison Inc. for being too corporate, for teaching as if there's "one answer to education." The anti-corporate bureaucrat finds this approach unconscionable. She apparently recognizes no irony in using her weight to make sure that her board is the sole power at the school.
(Wynns argues that former school district Superintendent Bill Rojas purposefully dumbed down Edison so that Edison Inc. would have to save it. "That was sort of part of the plan," she told The Chronicle. "You needed to make it as terrible as you could. You had to have had places that were so bad that you could say, 'I have the solution. I'm the savior.' ")
What about parents who love Edison? The commissars explained that parents shouldn't expect to have a choice on this issue. Might makes right.
What about the kids? Sacrifice them to the fairness gods. If the board can't distribute learning evenly, must it settle for distributing ignorance all around?
What about the board? In the course of some 100 minutes before the editorial board, Wynns wondered which math and reading programs taught in the city work better. She didn't realize how bad she looked for never having bothered to find out the answers to those questions. Wynns wouldn't even take a position on the district's math curriculum. Isn't that her job?
Sanchez seemed more outraged that Edison was recruiting a smaller percentage of black students than he was at the abysmal reading scores for black students. It seems illiteracy is, if not acceptable, then excusable when the board runs schools.
The enemy should be ignorance, yet with Wynns and Sanchez the enemy appears to be modest success.
They say they oppose corporations. Odd, they are pushing for capitalism (read: more money) for teachers, but communism (an even distribution of ignorance) for the kids. Politically correct board members may not know what works in public schools, but they know fairness.
E-mail Debra J. Saunders at email@example.com