There's a new system that 's been much a buzz for the past several years and it is in regards to AIMS testing for graduation. I've been having issues with the current level (or lack thereof) of education in the valley as of late and after reading this I just shake my head and wonder who really knows what the hell is going on.
The real problem at hand IS the AIMS test. Schools are set up from grammar school, like 3rd grade and on, to test kids on AIMS and teach kids based on AIMS and to ensure they know and are prepared for AIMS. This test is to make sure kids, at graduation time, are capable of displaying a 10th grade reading, math, and English level of knowledge. Sounds good, right?
Most everyone who is online in chat rooms and the like have probably seen the atrocious spelling and grammar used. Hell it is protocol for those environments to acronym the hell out of everything or slang up any form of the English language possible. Problem is, it isn't left in the chat rooms; it is actually brought into the classrooms as well. I've seen work turned in that is ridiculous and would have never even been accepted 10 years ago. But today, it's graded and handed back.
I know I've mentioned reading, reading, and reading for this up and coming generation to get the mind working on how to really talk, spell, and write but the problem is, why isn't this taught in school?
I have a Freshman in HS at home who still is unable to formulate a thesis statement, the basic5 paragraph essay, and the differences between an adverb, a preposition, and a pronoun. Is this her fault? NO - yet as long as she passes the final test she will graduate. Hello!? She's a freshman?!
Furthermore, I have an 8th grader at home who is quite capable of writing a cohesive paper and has no difficulty in math, science, etc. However, he is lazy (typical teenage boy) and doesn't turn in his work or it's shoddy work or what have you. He has received an F in 2nd and 3rd quarter English with a D his 4th. He has an F in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter for math. He has an F in wood shop??? and an A in gym. I think he now has a C in science? Not sure on that one but you get the point.
This kid is graduating 8th grade. How you may ask? Beats the hell out of me. The only way I can rationalize it is because they know he CAN do the work but opts not to. Is this more of the leave no child behind rhetoric that gets him moving forward? No clue, but next year he'll be a freshman and I can only imagine the shock he is destined to receive there(or maybe not). So while I don't care for the editor's stance of PRO AIMS I can agree with her, on the above article, that sueing the school may not be the smartest answer for the girls involved as AIMS is evidently the ONLY thing schools are teaching. I have two kids at home suffering from the process of today's system regardless.
There's one that isn't being taught the information she should and the other who is being shuffled along regarless of his lack of effort. Something is wrong here, VERY WRONG. And on almost a daily basis I shake my head confused at how our country is just growing dumber and dumber by the generation. I'm not trying to make fun of today's kids and I'm sure on some level each older gen feel this about those in HS etc. But a D was a D and you didn't pass on a D. When did this change?
You can't blame the teachers because they are dictated to teach this stuff. If they go off on their own they can get in trouble, lose their jobs, take a chance the kids don't pass AIMS...
I'm not a teacher and frankly do not have the patience for it. I've tried going over the material at home that they should know and help fix their papers but an hour after work 3-4 times a night doesn't sink in when they've spent 6 or so hours in school not having this info and learning something entirely different. They don't even have vocabulary in HS anymore? Maybe just not for Freshman? and the school district and schools themselves were rated quite high w/o incident. Go figure. I guess we'll see next year.