The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Second City Ruse"

"When President Obama chose Arne Duncan to lead the Education Department, he cited Mr. Duncan's success as head of Chicago's public school system from 2001 to 2008, " says Saturday's Wall Street Journal article "Second City Ruse."

Obama lauded Duncan for improving Chicago's test scores so that 67% of students meet state standards, instead of just 38%. Despite the fact that a majority of Chicago public school students still drop out or fail to graduate.

What he didn't mention was the way state standards had been dumbed down by the creation of a new state test for the No Child Left Behind act.

An easier test - it miraculously improved Chicago public school students' scores by 29%!!

"On the 2007 state test, for example, 71% of Chicago's 8th graders met or exceeded state standards in math, up from 32% in 2005. But results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam, a federal standardized test sponsored by the Department of Education, show that only 13% of the city's 8th graders were proficient in math in 2007."

We natives are not surprised at Chicago shenanigans, but sad for the students.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why aren't Arizona high school students teaching civics?

"Just in time to celebrate Independence Day, the Goldwater Institute will release its new report, "Freedom from Responsibility: A Survey of Civic Knowledge Among Arizona High School Students," which reveals only 3.5 percent of Arizona high school students have learned the basic history, government and geography necessary to pass the U.S. Citizenship test."


Note that 92.4% of citizen applicants (i.e. immigrants) passed on the first try.

Read the whole story here at the Goldwater Institute.

(Hat tip to Stephen Hicks.)