AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: THANK YOU, STANDARDIZED TESTS

Mr. C.S. found this one, and it's more bad news for Amairkuhn edgykayshun: the latest ACT test scores are in for 2018, and the results are... well, disastrous, disappointing, and entirely to be expected:

Thanks, Common Core: ACT Scores for Class of 2018 Worst in Decades

There were two things that occurred to me as I read this latest in a long litany of bad edgykayshunal nooz. Here's what sparked my first observation:

The creators of the ACT test announced on Wednesday that scores for the class of 2018 are the worst reported in decades. Math scores, in fact, are in freefall among ACT-tested U.S. high school graduates, falling to their lowest mark in 14 years, according to The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2018, the ACT’s annual report.

The report includes ACT test results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

"The percentage of ACT-tested graduates who met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math—suggesting they are ready to succeed in a first-year college algebra class—fell to its lowest level since 2004," the report declared, with only 40 percent of 2018 graduates meeting the benchmark, "down from a high of 46% in 2012." (Emphasis added)

"Wait a minute," I thought. Algebra?!?  In college? That one stunned me, because when I had algebra, I had it in the 8th grade, geometry in the 9th, algebra II and linear algebra in the 10th grade, and so on. And at the time, that program was more or less required of everyone. And that requirement was more or less common in the region of the country I came from. Now, of course, it is always erroneous to extrapolate general patterns from a "sample of one," especially when that sample is oneself, but I cannot help but do so, for if this is indicative of a general trend, it now means that what used to be done in junior high school, or middle school, is now pushed back into college, and our students are still not prepared for it. In short, not only has there been "grade inflation," but college is no longer genuinely college.

So what, then, are they doing in all that time leading up to college? Well, to get to that we have to take a short trip around Harvey's Barn.

The rest of the article is the usual lament about Common Core, the increasing "one size fits all" federalization of edgykayshun, and so on. We've all heard it before, so there's no need to rehearse it here. If you're interested in the ins and outs of federalization, including the link between standardized testing and the surveillance state, MK-Ultra mind control projects, and so on, see my book with co-author Gary Lawrence Rotten to the (Common) Core.

What were they doing? The answer is hinted at in the following three paragraphs:

"The percentage of ACT-tested graduates who met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math—suggesting they are ready to succeed in a first-year college algebra class—fell to its lowest level since 2004," the report declared, with only 40 percent of 2018 graduates meeting the benchmark, "down from a high of 46% in 2012."

The average score on the ACT math test dropped to its lowest level in 20 years — 20.5 on a scale of 1 to 36. American students scored 21.1 in 2012 and 20.7 last year.

...

"Readiness in English has also been trending down over the past several years, dropping from 64% in 2015 to 60% this year, the lowest level since the benchmarks were introduced," according to the report." Readiness levels in reading (46%) and science (36%) were both down one percentage point from last year but are showing no long-term trends either upward or downward. Science remains the subject area in which students are least likely to be prepared for college coursework." (Emphasis added)

It's that "showing no long-term trends either upward or downward" that caught my attention, when considered in the context of the overall trend downward. One might indeed argue that there is no trend since the Common Core standards are relatively new.

But standardized tests are not new, and since their successful mass introduction after World War Two, the overall trend is downward. One need only look at the disjointed, fourth grade level thinking (if that), and the illegible scrawls (which might as well be Mandarin ideograms) in a modern Amairikuhn high school term paper - the inability to think, analyze, synthesize, and then write in an adult, coherent and reasoning way - and one sees the trend immediately. I know, I used to teach at the college level (and that was in the 1990s!), and it was obvious and evident. So the answer to the question "what were they doing all that time?" seems perfectly clear and self-evident to anyone with a modicum of common sense: teachers were forced to teach to the tests which, with but few exceptions, required no thought, analysis, synthesis, and writing and arguing a case. Teachers were being separated from their own students, and the disciplines they were expected to teach.

John Taylor Gatto recently died, but it's worth recalling what he said, and why after a lifetime of trying to teach in this system, he finally threw up his hands, and quit: the system is not fixable. No amount of money, of tinkering, or of "education" or "certification" courses will fix it. No amount of federal involvement will fix it. More administrators and standardized tests will fix it. It is irretrievably broken. As Mr. Lawrence and I pointed out in our book, there's a long list of people in western cultural history who never attended a modern Amairkuhn school, nor ever sat for a "standardized test"; they're familiar names: William Shakespeare, Virginia Wolfe, Jane Austin, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, and so on.

This abominable system has, however, had one success: it has dumbed down most of the population.

Just like it was designed to do.

See you on the flip side...

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: THANK YOU, STANDARDIZED TESTS”

  1. Robert Barricklow

    One could look at this “education” as a product. In fact what used to be a citizen became a consumer became a product. A product in a mercantile 21st Century that needs to retrain and reinvent themselves not once, but many times. In this AI lead power curve; people in the 21st Century will encounter massive reeducation systems for adults[at least in the U.S.]. That is, unless those going through the ongoing U.S. education eventually become a useless class w/o sufficient mental stamina to continue learning new skills.
    Perhaps in the 21st Century, populist revolts will be staged not against an economist elite that exploits them; but that does not need them anymore?

    1. Robert Barricklow

      AI led.
      Definitely not lead.
      AlphaZero beat the Ai that beat the humans[out of a 100 games it won 28 and tied 72-it didn’t loose once. Yet AlphaZero had not been taught any chess strategies, not even standard openings. It just stuck to machine learning tools, playing chess against itself. From scratch it took it 4 hours to learn it well enough to become the world champion. The moves it made appeared crazy, not human. In fact now, when a human makes such crazy moves; they think he or she is cheating w/AI help.
      AI’s strength lies in data, the 21st Century’s most important asset. Politics/education will be a struggle to control data’s flow. Education needs to counter this flow in exploring and developing human consciousness to it’s potential. At least, in balancing AI’s lead in the power curve.

  2. Why should anyone be surprised… there is an enormous brain drain in this country, why I argue with all the talk of going into space, where will NASA get engineers capable of doing complex solutions. My first acknowledgement of this vast stupidity is when Tim Cook took over Apple…. what was Steve Jobs thinking when he did this. Now I have been with Apple for over 20 years. Programs get dropped out of their system because I am told they are too complex for users. Subsequently, Apple has become no better than Microsoft. Do you have any idea to this day how many adults can’t turn on a computer, make an attachment, do email & don’t know how to do a search…. Computers are dumbing down because our population is so dumbed down….

  3. Schools are not there to promote education but to prevent education to paraphrase Mayor Daley’s police are not there to prevent disorder but to preserve disorder.

  4. Robert Barricklow

    First thing I thought was the students weren’t trying to fit “right” answers into three boxes of questionable solutions. For example: 9/11?
    A) cave dwelling, box-cutting Arabs

    The next was the test was engineered for X results.
    After all, the education system is not about education. NO! The bottom line of good old USA education is: Profit$.

    Even though English is on the downstroke; Spanish is going to the Moon! Alice!

    Meanwhile in Asia they’re cutting their educated teeth razor sharp! The harder they work; the more luck in solving perplexing problems.

    1. Sure that’s easy to explain…5 of the 8 are Asians, and that’s not racist, that’s a fact.
      As I recall this “Common Core” system emerged when “W” was Pres and his brother Neil just happened to have a “Edumackation company” that just happened to land a big contract to supply the software, etc.

  5. anakephalaiosis

    Relativism and inclusion are locusts and caterpillars. Biblical plagues are not human. That is demons and devils.

    The anagogical level in the Runic system predicts angelic omnipresence. It defines identity, knowing God by logical deduction.

    Patristic exegesis is a geometrical vessel for the spirit, that brings no peace, only sword, to separate sheep from goats.

    ANGELIC SAXON 25a
    Oak is food for fire,
    keeping faith over bird bath,
    withstanding ocean.

  6. I would argue that “standardized testing” is only a small component of the general decline:

    Most important is the elite’s wish for a worker class which is dumbed-down enough to essentially be unable to comprehend the situation that they have been maneuvered-into. Cue cows lowing in a field…

    Also important is the ‘meta-programming’. This involves the rewards/sanctions that are indoctrinated into the society. Sports figures are elevated into godhood. Being smart is rewarded with terms like ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’. Drugs are pushed as the in-thing. Music and art are trivialized and debased. “Greed is Good.” Etc., etc. Why would you study hard if all of society’s ‘signs’ point in the opposite direction?

    If the above ‘intents’ were not primary in our system, I suspect that students would prosper – even with “standardized testing”…

    1. anakephalaiosis

      Nerd-ism is standardized cul-de-sac. It implies being labeled, like a can of beans in supermarket.

      Personally, I love being labeled. Because anyone, who puts a sticker on me, becomes free game.

      Mice, that play with lion’s tail, get eaten.

      1. “Nerd-ism is standardized cul-de-sac”
        Strange, your posts usually seem to have some depth to them. In this instance I feel it’s nowt more than Fail.
        Without nerds/geeks NONE of us would be able to share our views in this format as there wouldn’t be the internet and therefore no world wide web, maybe don’t be so dismissive…
        As for the dumbing down of humans I do see and hear at times some unsettling examples of people just repeating, for want of a better term, the party line. I live in England, I’m in my early 40’s and can’t recall a time when the curriculum was not being messed about with. I feel very glad that I had a passion for reading from a young age. Between reading a lot of non-fiction coupled with listening to generations older than me as I was growing up has made me feel that I learnt as much through those channels of information as I ever did at school. That is a sad state of affairs and unfortunately it does not seem to be improving.

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