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(LA Times)   100,000 California high school seniors fail graduation exam, which tests against 8th-grade math and 9th-grade English skills   ( divider line
    More: Sad  
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7806 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Sep 2005 at 8:27 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-09-30 10:36:42 PM  
But the report by the Virginia-based Human Resources Research Organization showed that tens of thousands of students particularly those in special education and others who speak English as a second language may fail the test by the end of their senior year despite remedial classes, after-school tutoring and other academic help.

I would say "obvious" trumps "sad" in this case.
2005-09-30 10:37:23 PM  

" Why only for black kids? Why not white kids, there are plenty of white kids in the same poverty level too."

White kids have plenty of private schools. What were the proportions of black kids in poverty vs. white kids in poverty again? What!?? Predominently black kids?! You don't say!

"Why do they deserve an upper hand? They don't, of course. Why should they be treated any more than equal? Your logic is flawed IMO, NO"

Yes, they deserve an upper hand. Because they've been given the kick to the ass for so long. My logic contains compassion and justice... something you seem to not be displaying with your comments.
But it's easy to play the vistimized white guys isn't it.
2005-09-30 10:38:09 PM  
Minnesota has a similar problem. A few years ago, they passed a law that, in order to graduate, you had to pass the math and reading test. Well... that became a big problem when only about 1/2 of the kids passed. Especially bad at inner-city schools like Abraham Lincoln High School in Minneapolis, where nearly 90% failed. So, they changed the law, and now it is up to "the dicretion of the principal".

I've seen the test, which is, by the way, an "open book test", so you'd have to be a complete idiot to fail. In the English test, you read a short story, turn the page and answer a few questions about the story. Don't know? Turn back and look up the answer.

We're in trouble, and when the school administrators announce proudly that "over 50% passed", they expect raises.
2005-09-30 10:39:29 PM  
but if it says anything, my family is hispanic(among 50 million other races)
2005-09-30 10:41:29 PM  
"I'm Irish American and I guess I can demad reparations "

I would suggest that you "demand" reparations.......

signed, descendant of slaves that knows how to spell

p.s. "poor treatment" and non-paid slave labor are a tad different, not that either have anything to do with passing a test
2005-09-30 10:43:27 PM  
White kids have plenty of private schools.

Name one school in this country that only accepts white kids. Just one.
2005-09-30 10:44:17 PM  
I't outta here... finished with my angry rants for the night. I only post these angry rants because I used to be what I now hate... a farking self-righteous right-wing white guy that felt victimized. I did a complete 180 and now have to occasionally vent to remind myself of what I was.
2005-09-30 10:44:29 PM  

Whenever someone points out a sad, unfortunate reality about black people, just scream "RACIST" as loud as you can. That way you can continue to ignore the sad, unfortunate reality about black people.

They ain't all like Barack Obama. Knowum sayin'?

For balance, I should also point out that many white people are useless chattle too. It's more a matter of stupidity than race. (I'm whitish)
2005-09-30 10:45:51 PM  
yeah Milf, thats true.

But it's also true that certain demographics tend to have negative trends that run in cycles. One example, Alcohalism in Irish americans, is one such trend. It started centuries ago and continues to this day, and there are programs and support groups that focus on breaking the trend.

Other trends like domestic violence also carry through generations. Illiteracy is another one.

Basically, black americans were denied education by the american legal system during slavery. This continued until about 30 years ago, but in some cases longer. (in Virginia, schools were actually padlocked to keep black students from attending). As a result, a cycle was created IN SOME AFRICAN AMERICANS THOUGH NOT ALL and perpetuated by bad teachers and low expectations (bennett's statement is a fine example of that).

some Hispanics also have the same problem, thanks to poor education systems in their old countries. Even if they attend schools that are better in america, the cycle of illiteracy and low expectations is so ingrained in their communities that it is difficult to break independent of a type of reform. The government should be getting into it, but of course- in america- you have to help yourself.
2005-09-30 10:47:18 PM  
I hated some of the required classes in school. Four required years of English Lit? Yah! Thanks! I remember wanting to take an auto mechanics class, but because of the required B.S. I couldnt fit it into my schedule, and was denied training in something i was actually interested in. But I know Iambic Pentameter! Hooray! Jackasses.

Blah. The current education system is archaic. Having a good education is no longer key to success. The reason test scores are getting worse is because kids dont care. And guess what? They dont have to. As long as you get that stupid diploma or G.E.D that says you aren't a total retard, you still have a ton of options.

And wake me up when schools start making financial literacy classes required. The expanding gap between the rich and the poor is one of the biggest problems to date, and you aint gonna solve it by making kids do quizzes on The Scarlet Letter.

End Rant.
2005-09-30 10:47:32 PM  
Finally a motivation for idiot highschoolers to get work done, my personal solution would have involved hot cattle irons and Elvis impersenators, but i guess thats why Im not a school superintendant or anything.
2005-09-30 10:48:04 PM  
This reminds me of something utterly profound that Keannu Reeves once said in "Parenthood."

"You need a license to fish, but any idiot can have a kid."
2005-09-30 10:49:17 PM  
Ok, really going out of here now... bye!
2005-09-30 10:50:34 PM  
U.S. public schools are fantastic institutions for learning. I almost got that out without laughing outloud...Almost.
2005-09-30 10:51:29 PM  
It's late, I'm calling it a night guys. I'll let the rest of you continue the fight on this article.

To CableGuy, Rodrido Hernandez, and Bonzo_1116, thanks for the comments.

2005-09-30 10:53:14 PM  
I meant Rodrigo. sorry :o(
2005-09-30 10:59:49 PM  
me being hispanic (look white as fark) but for arguments sake NOT BLACK
my husband being black as these letters im typing---
have had MANY arguments about race-its inevitable-me not liking him say 'nubian' to his friends,kind of ironic, I dont call my mom or girlfriends 'spics', you know? But anyways, through all the heated discussions (yelling matches, sometimes) we have had on the issue, he has never said anything about his education getting effected. Mostly, (sadly) it was the 'adult' world , sales people in stores-cops-guys in LA that look at us like they want to kill us-etc. But never his HS or education
2005-09-30 11:02:25 PM  
This is surprising? Read some of the fark threads on the torture photos.
2005-09-30 11:14:04 PM  
I wasn't saying that reacism is not existant and to dismiss it as a spectre of the past, and I know how to distinguish the reality of racism and classism. What I said may say idiotic to you, but I made the mistake of not conveying my thoughts fluently enough. As for making fun of my spelling, it seems very petty


"I am a black woman who come from a two parent home"

Please don't correct my spelling or grammatical errors when yours are clearly visable as well. I mean no offense in this but I just get the feeling that you took offense from my statement.
2005-09-30 11:14:15 PM  
Darn that Governor Schwarzenegger, how can he ever understand what it's like to be a poor immigrant to a new country that speaks a different language?!?!
2005-09-30 11:14:47 PM  
What's interesting here is that the test scores seem to parallel the general finding that African-Americans as a group (and let me make this screamingly clear: NOT AS INDIVIDUALS) consistently and reliably score about .90 - 1.0 standard deviations below caucasians (and usually Asians) on standardized intelligence tests. Everyone agrees that the difference is there, but there's of course acrimonious debate why. This finding in and of itself isn't racist -- it's just what the research has shown time and time and time again over the past 30-40 years, with only mild and insignificant changes. Even when controlling for income, socioeconomic status, etc., these differences persist.

I'm not going to touch the "why" debate with a 10-foot pole, but I mention all this because this same trend appears to be replicated here in the CA graduation exams.

As I posted in a recent thread, different means between groups on any standardized measure are never prima facie evidence for test bias. It could be bias, or there could be a true group difference. It's when there are significantly different variances around the means between groups that you should start to get suspicious.

Lest this difference between ethnic groups surprise anyone, always remember that whenever this trend shows up on standardized tests, the differences within groups are ALWAYS bigger than the differences between groups. In other words, knowing someone's race or ethnicity alone will tell you much, much less about his or her likely test performance than you could pick up from talking with him or her as an individual for 10 minutes and getting a good read on their general smarts.
2005-09-30 11:14:56 PM  
I don't care if the kid is goddamn orange, if he's of average intelligence and his parent(s) force him to sit at the kitchen table and do homework/reading in silence for 2 hours every weeknight (really not asking much) starting in 7th grade, he will be able to get into a state university.
2005-09-30 11:15:02 PM  
Shadowlore: How else can you explain the gift for RHYMING that is so prevelant in the 'african-american community'?

Rhyming does not = spelling or grammar.

Here in Dee-troit most of the high school graduates, if you can call them that, are functionally illiterate. They know enough to get them through a year or two of low grade community college, (yes, I mean WCCC), but when they try to get out in the real world they just cant cut it. They either end up taking a second rate job or popping out some kids to get government benefits. Sick and sad state of affairs.

At the same time, the few who do try to excell get shut out by their peers for "trying to act white".

Like they say at the crab races, "Don't point your fingers and don't stomp your feet".

BTW, I know this because I went to the second rate community college and saw it first hand.
2005-09-30 11:15:41 PM  
"It is likely that they are just dumber...genetically/culturally."

I said I was calling it a night, but then I read this. Yes, your title is correct, you are a majority of one, you ignorant biatch.

oops, did I say that?

2005-09-30 11:18:08 PM  
[image from too old to be available]????

Actually it is:

[image from too old to be available]


[image from too old to be available]

/East Side!!!
2005-09-30 11:20:32 PM  
Fireproof: I graduated High School last year, and I've had multiple teachers tell me that many students actually graduate without knowing how to read. I still wonder how at least 12 teachers pass them only for social reasons.

Out of the mouths of babes....... me you are a babe (young un')

Get used to the inequality of life, this is just one of the first examples you'll encounter. But, in each instance, it's truly mind boggling.
2005-09-30 11:20:48 PM  
My mother becomes agitated if I buy used books, because when her mother was young she had to use nasty hand me down books from the white public schools. Sometimes the books were wrecked, drawn on, and completely inadequate for learning. Their schools were only sent these books only after the condition of the books were deemed to be too ruined for the white kids to use.

Their schoolhouses (if there were any) were dilapidated, old buildings. That was what was going on under the iron curtain of segregation. That was the "separate but equal playing field". Several books will reiterate this scenario as well. It is true. All of this was, of course, paid for by their tax money.

In school, I have had teachers who hold absurdly low expectations for me. I have learned to find the humor in their assumptions.

If your husband doesn't think his education was affected, then he's not telling you the complete truth. If he was an American, and if his family was American here for a century- he was affected.

My family is basically 100% black American and most of us carry PhDs or equivalently terminal degrees. We've basically been highly educated since the beginning of legal education for black Americans. Expectations toward education are extremely high in my family, and I've always scored 97th+ percentile on IQ tests and standardized tests. The SAT is an easy, rediculous test and my score surpassed the white and Asian demographic. My siblings have the same achievements. We do not culturally exist within the cycle of poor education and illiteracy, but we have been affected.
2005-09-30 11:24:39 PM  

Unfortunately, now you've turned the other way into a pansy left-winger who yells "racist" whenever people point out that some cultures just flat-out SUCK.

I've been trying to figure out why your accusations of racism have pissed me off so much, and now I think I know why:

You don't seem to understand that it's the CULTURE people can't stand, not the color of the people's skin. Why do liberals always scream "RACIST!" when people point out the honest truth that stupid cultures SUCK?

You've gone from a blinded by the Truth right-winger to a blinded by the compassion left-winder. That isn't helpful.
2005-09-30 11:29:13 PM  
The doubter, I agree with your reasoning.

Two Suspects, props to you. That's great.
2005-09-30 11:29:38 PM  
Enemy Combatant

hitory? You mean history? Yes true many many races have been slaves but the discrimination against your family isn't less than 50 years old. Just 50 years ago Black people were considered 2nd class citizens. Our government systematically put it's boot to their throats. To say "hey let's just drop it because it's in the past" is not only disingenous but idiotic. Maybe you should start learning history and stay away from hitory.

This'll go for ylikone too, and all the rest of you.

Black people were considered 2nd class citizens. As in, past tense.

The point is, they're not systematically discriminated against any more. If there's any discrimination going on, it is probably based more on their economic status, rather than skin color.

And yes, more hispanics and blacks are poor. The point that was being made, however, is that in our society, you aren't bound to stay in your parents' economic circles. Do well in school, and you can go to college, with a scholarship. Heck, even if you can't go to college, if you're willing to do well at school and work, you can get a decent job anyway.

Now, this is just as much an issue for poor white folk as poor black folk. It's just that, discrimination being sanctioned just 50 years ago, blacks haven't had time to pull themselves up very far from their lower starting point. This isn't a failure on their part, merely a fact of the economic situation. So there are more, percentage-wise, poor blacks than poor whites.

But the problem is poor folks and the attitude they have. It isn't the skin colour, it isn't their cultural background, it isn't the discrimination they experienced in the past. It's that they are poor now. Rich black kids do well. Poor white kids do poorly. It's not a racial issue. It's an economic one.

And, for what it's worth, I'm a Newf/Native American/Scot mix. My family, on both sides, was decidedly blue-collar until my parents' generation. They're fairly well off, because they busted their humps at school and college, with family who couldn't afford to send them. My mother faced discrimination on two levels; that she was part Native, and that she was a woman. Despite being told she shouldn't go into sciences because she would just be a schoolteacher, she got an MA in marine biology. The difference between her and black kids today? Attitude. She knew she wouldn't get anything she didn't grab onto with both hands and hold onto for dear life. If a poor black kid had that same attitude, and even a 90 IQ, he could have passed that test.

Not that I'm not saying race shouldn't be considered. Just that it's only incidental to the real problem; race is why more black people are poor today, but it has nothing to do with why poor people are giving up without really trying. Nor am I claiming I've been through discrimination. But my family's got some recent history, and came from the same kinds of roots many of these kids are coming from today.
2005-09-30 11:33:03 PM  
I feel the need to vent a bit more. I have been an english teacher in Los Angeles for 4 years now. The parents are the first educators. It is their responsibility. However, this doesn't stop parents from yelling at me over the phone because I wasn't able to fix in 10 months what took them 15-16 years to brake. I have had plenty (too many to count) black and hispanic students whose parents do not take any crap when it comes to their kids' education. They are at parent's night, open house, award night, as well as practices and games. I have had many black parents yank their kids off of the basketball/football team because of grades slipping. Are these kids in college now? Of course. Is it a coincidence that my most involved parents are the parents of the honors students? Of course not.
When a korean student who has been in the country less than 3 years is more advanced than a monolingual african-american in grammar, composition, and formal speech, there is a deeper problem that trumps any sort of race issue. You don't have to be rich to give a fark. If you can afford relative silence, a flat surface, and a galvanzing personality, your kid has a real good shot.
2005-09-30 11:33:17 PM  
Oh, and sorry if I'm coming across as an asshole. I'm tired and cranky.

2005-09-30 11:36:12 PM  
Thanks? Don't thank me. Thank your parents, which I'm sure you've done repeatedly.
/was in another thread
2005-09-30 11:37:37 PM  
It makes me angry and frustrated because in my profession we are expected to take students from the area colleges for internships as part of their education.

There are certain colleges that we consistently get "bad" students from based on their abilities in spelling, grammar and over all ability to interact appropriately with the general public.

Documentation is very important in our job performance and when students can't even write a complete sentence we are forced to fail them.

I think that it all starts at home, if parents place blame on society for poverty, I think that they disempower their children and make them feel that no matter how hard they try to get ahead society will just knock them back down. Also peer groups have a huge impact.
2005-09-30 11:37:47 PM  
This is why I homeschool my five children. My 2 oldest 16 Y.O. have not only already GRADUATED high school (almost 3 years early) but are attending college full time.

They have their own cars, purchased with their own money, and also each have girlfriends. (which girlfriends are not hedgehogs, either)

It's amazing what kids can do when they aren't wasting 7 hours a day being taught how boring it is to learn.

[image from too old to be available]
GIS for "boring" - would you have read this post if I didn't put this here?
2005-09-30 11:38:58 PM  
California's school system is legendarily dysfunctional. However, while it should be blamed for its confusing, questionably constitutional, and byzantine organization, its resistance to basic concepts of pedagogy developed by the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and its widely uneven and unworkable distribution of resources, I think it's unfair to blame the system for not passing every single kid. The notion of completely universal education is historically recent and there are damn few examples of any societies that have done it successfully; only a few very wealthy and culturally homogenous nations have done a halfway decent job of getting "everyone" educated. And if you scratch the surface of their statistics, you'll find a number of students quietly diverted into vocational tracks along the way, inflating the final successful numbers.

The quote about the girl wanting to go to college was heartbreaking. It's a perfect example of people mistakenly equating college degrees as magic tickets to success, without any understanding of what they are supposed to represent. Many people feel *entitled* to a college degree, because they feel entitled to succeed. I wouldn't be surprised if California eventually passed a referendum requiring the government to just mail a degree to every resident, in order to be completely egalitarian.
2005-09-30 11:40:04 PM  
I find that humerous, that you would tell me that MY HUSBAND, someone you do not know, have never been around or talked to, is OBVIOUSLY lieing to me, or not telling me the truth, because of a point that you are trying to make. Your opinion is so right, that you would go as far as to telling someone that their husband is lieing to them about it? wow, how bout you say a few more things that you obviously know nothing about (who my husband is).You want his number to call him and ask? even if I did you would probably write it off, make some other excuse to make up for it, to try and show everyone that its your word and no room for anything else. How bout you open you mind a little , that some things are not just your way and no one elses? He would have told me, through the many discussions about it, to point out one more way that he might be right in an srgument (like we both try to be alot of the time). He did not have problems in school, he didnt 'excel' in HS but he was no where near the line of dropouts. That makes you sound kind of stupid to say that about someone you dont know. Try again though, im here all night.
2005-09-30 11:41:56 PM  
whydoIlovethevikings: brake


Other than that, you're preaching to the choir, parents form attitudes, including attitudes about learning and what it takes to get ahead. What about peer pressure? How much of that do you see affecting how your students perform?
2005-09-30 11:43:54 PM  
At the start of 11th grade I took myself out of school and took the GED, which is aimed at adults. It was so rudimentary that I shudder to think what the high school exit exam would of been like. That said, I think anyone who failes the exit exam should be kept back and/or forced to study for the GED, which, unfortunetly, would probably be harder.

/Had 2 jobs by 11th grade because school was such a waste of time
/slept in all classes from 9th grade up because it was so repetitive and boring.
2005-09-30 11:47:03 PM  
Some lousy spelling in some of these posts.

Not a white or black thing...I have a niece, love her dearly but, she says "gots". As in, "He gots a new car". I hope she is enjoying her career choice as a cashier because I am afraid that is about as far as she is going to get in life.

She picked this little grammatical error up from her mother who is about as smart as a bag of hammers.
2005-09-30 11:48:18 PM  
b33rnutz: Had 2 jobs by 11th grade because school was such a waste of time

Just curious...what are you doing now?
2005-09-30 11:52:01 PM  
how about me, who was a hispanic pregnant girl in her senior year. Everyone looks at you as if you are the scum of the earth, another whore who got knocked up in HS, prolly dont know who the dad is, another one to suck welfare and medicare off the state. Oh, and your a female too. Guys who get girls pregnant dont show anything different, how long ago was it that they would ship girls away from their schools bc they were 'bad' and set a bad example for all the other school kids. You were to be ashamed of the entire pregnany and shipped off to 'deal with your problem' No, I busted my ass, passed all my final exams (and my daughters father, he was an asshole and used me in more ways then one, so I had double senior work) and I still graduated with a 3.6 (not bad for me) But when I would go to this class for new mothers (mostly dropouts, they were just amazed that I was still in line for graduating, oh , and not to mention, I only went to school half day bc of how many credits that I had and worked the rest to be able to pay my car insur and car note(no, not one lucky enough to have a rich parent to pay all my bills) So dont tell me that it has to do with any thing, disriminatory/racial/etc. I did all that bc my mother was a single mother with 3 kids and busted her ass day and night to make a life for us, while teaching us morals, work ethic and determination. I thank God that I have a mother like I do, and I really owe everything that i have and am to her, because of how she raised me. thats it
2005-09-30 11:53:07 PM  

I mean I agree with everything you said in that post... especially the "turn off the TV and get involved into your kid's life" part
2005-09-30 11:53:33 PM  
wow...I'm embarrassed by teh simple spelling error...

To your question, Larjmarj, If you think about it, kids who are consumed with peer pressure are the same ones who think that being 20 years old is ancient. Not being accepted is devistating to a kid who doesn't think about postgraduation, but to a sophomore or junior who is looking at and applying to colleges (due to, again, parental involvement) the bigger picture is already more important. I'm not underestimating peer pressure either, it's just that a majority of the failure comes from huge schools, and every school (including ones that are minority-dominated) has their own crowd of "cool-nerds" etc.
2005-10-01 12:01:43 AM  

You have a tough job...........

It must be amazing though when you are able to "get through" to the occasional student who is willing and able.
2005-10-01 12:02:52 AM  
This calls for an immediate enormous tax increase to expand the Dept. of Education. That will solve everything.
2005-10-01 12:03:16 AM  
Milf4life: because of how she raised me

That is EVERYTHING......

Set the example, and set the bar HIGH
2005-10-01 12:05:11 AM  
NitneLiun: This calls for an immediate enormous tax increase to expand the Dept. of Education. That will solve everything.

hmmmmmmmmmmm.........How about silver rings to "promise" to get a certain grade point?

(couldn't resist)
2005-10-01 12:06:38 AM  
In some ways, this thread has renewed my faith in Farkers, as much for what isn't said as what is, and their capability to have a reasonably civil discussion when it may be so tempting to do the opposite.

/great, now you got me crying
2005-10-01 12:06:42 AM  
thats what I was trying to get across, kind of hard with closed minded people who always want to blame something else other then the responsibilities of the parents AND the child in question.
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