Disappointing CMT scores

Every sane person knows that the No Person Left Behind testing mania is merely going to prove, in the long run, how difficult it is to educate the most difficult children. They’ll be the youngsters growing up in poverty, with shattered homes and shattered lives all about them. Finding a way to help them learn enough to show proficiency at math, reading, writing and any other subject is going to be quite a chore.

I’m not sorry that we, as a nation, are trying to make certain every student succeeds. But we are fooling ourselves if we think that’s possible. All we can do is try ever harder.

So I can live with testing, though I wish there was less of it.

It does help us see that students in West Hartford aren’t doing as well as they should. This is a rich town with solid schools. The kids here, with some exceptions, are blessed with abundance. I’m concerned that they are using that wealth to master computer games, improve their soccer playing and watch plenty of movies that exceed their emotional depth instead of buckling down to secure the education they’ll need not just to do well as adults but to thrive someday.

This town should have higher scores than it does. We all know that.

And we ought to start asking ourselves why they aren’t better. From what I can see, it’s not the schools that are failing. It’s all of us.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Disappointing CMT scores

  1. James

    Alright, blame the students, the minority students. The superintendent will a raise to $188K is not to blame, the school principals who cost $3.7 million per annum aren’t to blame, and the teachers who teach like we were taught 30 years ago aren’t to blame. Blame those damn black and brown kids who belong in Hartford anyway. What the hell, they don’t vote and they don’t read your blogs, so blame the kids.

  2. Cynic

    If only the teachers did teach the way they did 30, 40, 50 years ag0! Maybe kids would be able to read, spell, write in cursive, and do simple math problems in their heads.

  3. Oh Cynic

    Your nostalgia is such fine fallacy. Tell me, what was so great about 30, 40, 50 years ago? Don’t you recall hearing folks back then saying, “If only it were like 30, 40 , 50 years ago.”

    So it 30 years, should you still be a alive, you can look back at this era as perfect.

    It is a reasonably argued that learning two forms of handwriting is a waste of time.. time better spent on something else, like typing skills, another language, music, math. What value is cursive compared to the other subjects that could be taught in its place? Perhaps you’d like the students to hone their calligraphy as well.

    –EoIC

  4. WH Alum

    This is not an argument about color. It is about how we as parents raise our kids, what our values are about education. I live in the Northwest corner of town and there are many families of color all around – Indian, African, African-American, hispanic, Brazilian. For the most part, they are all parents with very strong educational values, and in some cases lots of money. So, James, I don’t think WHDad was talking about color of skin. But there are families around us and all around town who don’t start the education at home, don’t support the schools and the teachers, don’t show up for conferences or school events and don’t give a hoot how their kids do in school. Some of them are working too hard and just can’t put in the time; some of them have their kids working in family businesses instead of doing homework; some of them are just non-attentive parents; some kids are growing up in an environment with gang violence and drugs. Is that the superintendent’s or teachers’ fault?

    The problem with NCLB is that we take into account all special ed groups and English as a second language kids, who have to take the test in – guess what? English. Or have to take the 4th grade math test even though they are at a first -grade level in math because of diagnosed disabilities for which they receive special services – but too bad you have to take the test anyway, without the services. And if you and others in your group fail, then the school fails and maybe the whole town.

    NCLB needs to be revised or just GONE. That’s what I am looking for in our next president: what they plan to do about NCLB.

    Our scores continue to go up. Problem with NCLB is that the bar keeps going up, as well. So as we catch up, the goals get higher. It’s like trying to score a basket in basketball, but as hard as you run across the court, at best with nothing in your path – someone keeps moving the basket farther away.

  5. Cynic

    Our scores do not continue to go up.
    If you look at the graphs put out by the administration last spring you’ll see they were up last year, but they have been playing a 0 sum game for ~ the last 6 years – up one year, back down the next.

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