Post about "Reference and Education"

Education Issues and The Politics of Standardized Testing Considered

Not long ago, there was an interesting piece in Newsweek on the reality US education versus the rest of the world. The article was written by Robert Samuelson, and he touched on a few very interesting points. Namely, if we separate out the ESL Hispanic test scores and the low-African American test scores then the US test scores when pitted against all of Europe, Canada, etc., actually come out the same or better. And if we take the Asian American students and put them up against China, Japan, South Korea, etc., the come out right in the same ball-park.Now then, so you can follow along on my comments, I surely hope you will go read this article in Newsweek; “A Different View of The Education Dilemma” by Robert Samuelson. Then come back to my article here and let’s have an honest and frank discussion without the political correctness shall we; Deal? And while you are at it, please also read the article; “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” by Amy Chua published in the Wall Street Journal on January 8-9, 2011.Okay so, Robert Samuelson said some things which are not politically correct, and it is sure to cause a stir, but of course he’s right, we know he’s right – that is observable. It may not be observable on an individual basis, but percentage wise it certainly makes perfect sense. Still, I have a few points of contention. Namely, I do not feel the US should be anything but Number 1 in everything!So, even if we separate out all the ESL Kids, and Black Kids from the survey, our Non-Hispanic or Anglos are not number 1 according to his article and data references and they should be! However, with regards to those cited surveys – I do not trust ANY survey done by the OCED, or coming out of Belgium or Paris, I don’t trust such surveys.Why you ask, well it is my opinion that the French cannot even win their own bicycle race, and are busy selling military assets representing the strength of NATO to Russia – so I I am not sure I believe or even really care what they have to say. Often I feel as if they’d say anything to put themselves ahead of the US and themselves on podiums and pedestals.Now then, I’d hate to see the “No Child Left Behind” turn into a mandate for “No Child Allowed to Advance” with regards to those kids who excel for whatever reason, be it genetic expression, positive family role models, or sheer will. Each individual child excels at different times in their physiological and mental development in various areas of math, abstract thought, reading, and creativity – when they are ready and start to excel, let them go conquer that niche, express themselves, and move forward, as they are able, help them find their niche and succeed.Indeed, these skills will transfer to all other areas of their development. Success skills are similar in all areas of human endeavor, holding them back is pure evil, it’s like putting a child in a room with nothing but blank walls.Let’s talk about that WSJ article with regards to Chinese Moms, I believe it is correct, and Asian families push their kids harder, not just to be in the top tier of the class, but to be the best in every class. That to me seems “so American” in thinking, why aren’t white anglo parents doing the same, or Hispanic or Black parents? You see, there is nothing wrong with being number one.In fact, I was talking to a teacher out of North Las Vegas many years back, and she was new, loved her job and went to each student’s home to meet the parents and she could tell which kids would excel and which would have problems in reading based on the number of books and magazines lying around and the number of book shelves in the home.She’s right, that’s “real world” too, and perhaps this is why I am not surprised with anything in that Newsweek article. The only question is what to do about it? It seems that the politics behind academia is often in denial, and the political correctness, lawsuits, politicians, parents, and unions all have demands that are unfortunately counter-productive to simple solutions. Please consider all this.