09 November 2010

Failure to Educate ~ Boston's Yearwood Reveals

Retired Boston Public Schools teacher Junia Yearwood writes in the Globe OpEd section Failure to Educate on how "the Boston school system is churning out illiterate students whose only skills are to pass predictable standard tests." She reveals deep systemic depravity...
"...most of my students [...graduating...] were not functionally literate. They were unable to perform the minimum skills necessary to negotiate society: reading the local newspapers, filling out a job application, or following basic written instructions; even fewer had achieved empowering literacy enabling them to closely read, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate text. [...they] could not write a complete sentence, a cohesive paragraph, or a well-developed essay on a given topic. [...] the system churned out academically unprepared students who lacked the skills needed to negotiate the rigors of serious scholarship, or those skills necessary to move in and up the corporate world. We instituted tests and assessments, such as the MCAS, that required little exercise in critical thinking, for which most of the students were carefully coached to “pass.’’ [...] Students practiced, studied for, and passed the test -- but remained illiterate. I also bear witness to my students’ ability to acquire a passing grade for mediocre work. A’s and B’s were given simply for passing in assignments (quality not a factor), for behaving well in class, for regular attendance, for completing homework assignments that were given a check mark but never read. In addition, I have been a victim of the subtle and overt pressure exerted by students, parents, administrators, guidance counselors, coaches, and colleagues to give undeserving students passing grades..."
Collectively this is a condemnation of centralized, state-run so-called "education", the gross incompetents in charge, and the political machines which protect and support this fatally-flawed status quo.

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