Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's the Response?

It's nearly a week after Supt. Dorn's announcement regarding math and science graduation requirements ... and what's the response? Take a look:

Gov. Chris Gregoire: "We're not backing down. The superintendent is concerned about the graduation rate. I am concerned about the bigger picture — preparing kids for life. I think parents share that concern."

From The Seattle Times: (11/20/2009): "Dorn lets students off the hook with a proposal to delay graduation requirements until 2014 for math and until 2017 for science ... Another delay is unacceptable. It sends a disheartening message to students who want to excel and who understand that the route to higher education — whether college or trade school — is by meeting high standards."

From The Tacoma News Tribune (11/20/2009): "Dorn’s plan is exactly the wrong approach for tough economic times. Settling for less from Washington’s students means settling for a lesser future for the state. Our collective well-being depends on high school graduates whose diplomas mean something, on students who are ready to compete in the world. Math and science are increasingly important factors in that equation."

From The Everett Herald (11/20/2009):
"It's too early to raise the white flag. High expectations are useful motivators, as was shown when the state's graduation requirements in reading and writing kicked in four years ago. The year those tests first counted, test scores saw their biggest jump."
From The Spokesman-Review (11/21/2009):
"The problem with math instruction has been well known for years. It’s confounding that other states can teach the subject competently but Washington keeps turning in an 'Incomplete.' The rationale for extending deadlines is always the same: 'Are we really going to block the graduation of large numbers of students?' By that logic, the state will only institute math and science requirements after it’s been demonstrated that a higher percentage can pass. This is like watching high jump practice and then deciding where to place the bar so that most competitors will clear it. When the consistent message is that the state will call off accountability, then it’s impossible to gauge students’ best efforts."
From The Tri-City Herald (11/24/2009):
"We're reminded of that Orwellian euphemism for retreat — 'Advance to the rear.'"

From The Wenatchee World (11/24/2009):
"This is an interesting way to hold students accountable, by not holding them accountable. It is an interesting way to set the bar high, by lowering the bar."

From The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (11/24/2009):
"Dorn is taking education — and education reform — in the wrong direction."

What are your thoughts on Supt. Dorn's proposal for changing/delaying the math and science graduation requirements? And what kind of a reaction are you seeing in your schools?

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