Why Jay Matthews is Wrong

7 06 2009

I’m repeating myself, but so’s he, so I’m unashamed.

It is that time of year again for the Newseek list of the 1500 most over the top overzealous unaware moronic high acheiving high schools as measured by how many dollars their students send to Monopol…er, College Board for AP tests. That’s right, AP test = rigor. Getting crap scores? Who cares, you’re taking a college test!!!

Jay Matthews has once again asserted that college classes for high schoolers make everything better. This can mean one of 2 things. Either our standards have fallen so low that grade level material for high schoolers isn’t taught until college (I don’t think it’s THAT bad yet), or Jay Matthews is wrong.

You see, not everyone is significantly above average in some area. In fact, most people are well within the middle 60% or so across the board. They are not sufficiently outside of the normal range to need college level material, or even to be sufficiently prepared for it. That would be because they are not in college.

Throwing students into material they are not prepared for does no one any good except those who benefit from the Newsweek rankings that are based almost solely on APs taken. That is, the people responsible for such indexes (Jay might have a slight conflict of interest here…) and the administrators of schools vying for a high position on said index. Who cares if the students aren’t ready? Many school administrators do not look first to students’ needs anyway, so it is not difficult to imagine that they push students into things that are bad for the students but good for the school’s prestige (which helps them personally, and also artificially inflates property value because “Look how great our schools are!!!”).

It’s all crap. APs are not a magical cure for schools’ ills, nor are they even able to bring significant improvement when so abused. They have a purpose. Jay Matthews’ position is contrary to that purpose.

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One response

15 06 2009
ibyea

Amen! That was what I was arguing my father against going too much for the ranking. Not to mention that the charter school in Wilmington (yeah, I am a Delawarian) only sends smart kids in, thereby getting into ranking 100 something. I tell you, that was the most retarded index that I have seen for quiet a while.

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