Tuesday, November 09, 2004


The kids in the entire K-5 grades in our school district, save a few errant classes, will get "standards-based report cards", all based on meeting California state standards set for each grade level.

We'll get them the week after our parent-teacher conference, undoubtedly because I think the parents will be so upset about the changes, nothing constructive will come of the meeting.

This will be a huge paradigm change, from the regular A-F grading system to 1-5, where it will be virtually impossible to get 4s and 5s at this point.

All the kids should get 3s, unless they are grossly not meeting standards.

I see the advantage of keeping the pressure off grades but the focus on 'standards' whatever they are no matter how they were determined seems relentless, sterile, and deterministic.

But the larger problem is this will be just the first part in indoctrinating the next generation of parents and kids into the new 'ed reform' frame developed by our wonderful conservative thinktank friends.

The box within which we think education is all about has gotten tighter, the walls more rigid.

How can one measure intangibles such as 'creativity', 'critical thinking skills' and 'imagination' with grade appropriate standards?

The other very minor detail is that we'll have all the uppercrust parents panicking because it'll be harder for them to get their kids in private schools with this grading system. They'll probably end up bypassing public school altogether, which leaves our public school system with fewer resources and support since we rely so much on our parents for the extras.

Which might be the point, as our public ed system is careening and lurching towards the desired goal of all charters and private schools all the time. I'm afraid it will become even more of a two-tiered system than it already is.