Friday, January 06, 2006

WA Schools Perform? No, But Prisons Better.

One would think it would be no skin off the back of the Washington Education Association for students to be required to take and marginally pass a standardized test (WASL) in order to graduate. Teachers are not required to take the test (scary thought what the results would be) and, if nothing else, it gives them a day to relax while their students are taking the tests.

But, we already know that “Education Association” is a misnomer, because the WEA is simply a labor union with only its own interests in mind, not education. This is why it is impossible to take any of their concerns about the WASL seriously.

Quoted in a Seattle Times article, the head of the WEA actually claims that the WASL will lower academic performance. As with many of the positions and statements of Washington State’s political interest groups, there is no logical basis for such an absurd claim, so there is no sense in trying to find one. What the WEA really wants is to hide the dismal performance of their members as measured by the dismal academic performance of students.

There is another fact they don’t want you to focus on. They admit that more than 20% of high school students in the state of Washington drop out of school before they graduate. Of course, they blame this on the WASL.

What they don’t point out is that most of these drop-outs are boys. The media and state politicians don’t want to talk about this fact. Neither does the WEA. What this corrupt triad of power doesn’t want any of us talking about is that schools are anti-boy territory.

In addition to wanting to protect their members from having to improve their own performance, the WEA also wants to hide its anti-boy bias. They obfuscate by pointing out that roughly 80% of blacks and hispanics do not pass at least one section of the WASL. This, they claim, shows racial bias and, of course, the need to spend more money. The biggest chunk of those racial groups not passing the test are boys, however, and the difference between boys and girls is even more glaring among white kids. Race clearly is an issue in education, but this results primarily for economic reasons - parent's income predicts WASL performance as well as race does. The difference in performance between boys and girls results from a system designed to punish the former and nurture only the latter.

The WEA is populated in part by politically correct members that still buy into the “girls are victims” and “girl power” ideology of radical feminists. Some of these people are actually interested in destroying the academic achievement of boys because they believe that destroying the future earning power of males in our society will destroy the dreaded “patriarchy.” Others simply don’t want us to see what a mess they have made, and test scores on the WASL is the clearest evidence.

In both cases, it’s much easier for the WEA if we give boys a free lunch and a basketball court to play on until they are 18, then usher them through graduation ill-prepared to participate in our economy. It's then a matter for the police and the state’s prison system anyway, so why should the state’s teachers suffer?


Blogger The Geezer said...

What he said.

My bonafides:
13 year school board member, and leader of the state assn.
10 year citizen volunteer in schools
22 year parent of kids in schools
3 years Faculty, WSU
Both parents public school teachers.

That said, I have seen it from all sides.

WEA is the teachers UNION, who spells it barGAINing. They are the ones who originated the phrase Mo' money, Mo' money, Mo' money, not In Living Color.

Care about kids? Not in the least.

Care about maximum money, mininum work time, and control of the system, yep.

WASL only tangentially tests "putting it all together" or the ability to synthesize the facts and apply them to a problem, but is very good at flushing out the mastery of facts.

There is none. I still cringe when reading my kids (who are excellent scholars) piss-poor high school papers, complete with spelling and grammar errors. And they went to a "good" school.

I pray for thier schoolmates.

The Geezer

1/08/2006 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Iguana said...

Any credibility that the WEA had should have evaporated when they announced a boycott of Walmart. Whatever you think of Walmart, that topic has nothing to do with education. The WEA was simply exercising the politically correct viewpoint of it's leaders while also lashing out at a company that has successfully kept destructive unions out of their stores.

But, this is Washington and it's too much to expect a majority of people in this screwed up state to think logically or critically. Meanwhile, their kids are getting one of the worse educations offered by public schools in the country.

Go figure.

1/10/2006 02:16:00 AM  
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1/11/2006 03:51:00 PM  
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1/25/2006 10:36:00 PM  

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