The key word here is "entitlement." Social and educational apologists seem determined to show that we simply can't expect our kids to pass tests geared to at least two grades lower. We need to give the poor dears their diplomas so they can get into colleges that accept substandard skills. The usual excuses apply:
- Inadequate materials.
- Underqualified teachers.
- Unmotivated kids.
- Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I really hate to say it (since I'm no fan), but Jack O'Connell has probably the most cogent statement in this article:
"It's important to keep one core principal front and center: awarding a student a diploma without the skills and knowledge to back it up does the student a disservice," said O'Connell, who added that his staff would study the options spelled out in the new report.
(Quick note: Could it possibly be that a Times staff writer goofed on the proper usage of "principal" vs. "principle?" Just askin'.)
The thing that really galls me is that these kids should have been preparing for this test for twelve years. What have they been doing all that time? According to the apologists, they've been sitting in overcrowded classrooms with no materials and underqualified teachers. Which is why they have no motivation. Which explains why we need to give them more money, I guess.