September 11, 2006

This is truly Horrifying

Blogger TMAO tells us abouthis new seventh grade class. The lack of basic skills possessed by these kids is truly horrifying.
  1. 20% of my students earned a zero percent on my parts of speech diagnostic (Ex: write the definition of a noun; which of the following is a verb, etc.) 100% failed.
  2. 35% of students earned below ten percent on a writing diagnostic assessing specific writing skills that, according to a Board of Trustees presentation I recently attended, are being taught in classrooms across the District. 100% earned a D or below.
  3. The average independent reading level is 2.5 -- that's second grade, fifth month, for those scoring at home. (If only we used Open Court and Reading First...)
  4. The average fluency score is 83 words per minute, nearly 100 words below benchmark.
  5. 33% of students failed the alphabet quiz, which asks students to print each letter in capital and lowercase letters, and then circle the vowels.
  6. Then there's this, from a student who's been in the U.S. four years, responding to the persuasive essay diagnostic about lengthening the school day: "I tenk the es net god to go in the dark. I cot get hor en yu ren gen the en mi opor non of os to get or. vi car cut hat os en the dark en mor es uy pas the estuits."
My understanding is that many of these kids have been in the public school system since K.

Let's see six years of elementary school--years when these kids were easily controlled and could be motivated to learn if properly taught.

In 2006, there is absolutely no reason for kids to know so little after seven years of schooling.

All of you pro-public education people need to reconcile this abysmal performance with your rosy rhetoric before I can take you seriously.

1 comment:

Kilian Betlach said...

Yes, throw the rosy rhetoric overboard, but do not abandon ship.

All things being equal, I can have these kids proficient in 2-3 years. Some of them will get there in one.