As a former educator, I strongly disagree with a May 25 editorial. I find it regrettable that students who attended Toledo schools in good faith for several years are being denied the privilege of walking across the stage with their classmates to receive a diploma.
What would be wrong with receiving a certificate of attendance ? Effort is worth something.
To blame the teachers and administrators for not providing proper preparation for the tests and the parents for not giving support and encouragement is ridiculous. Maybe these students do not test well because they suffer from anxiety when taking a test.
I personally would like all government officials to take a proficiency test so we could publish the percentage who did not pass. Those who implement the tests would then know how it feels and not be so quick to make judgments.
My heart goes out to these seniors. What a way to defeat and knock down the self-esteem and self-confidence of students who at least attended school and had the necessary credits to graduate. They certainly deserve to walk the walk!
Many men and women now in their 60s, 70s, and 80s became successful members of our society. They were not required to pass a test. It may be a technological world, but tests fail to measure a good work ethic, honest values, positive attitudes, and common sense.
If the purpose of the Ohio Graduation Test is to measure what the students have learned and the students are not passing the tests after several attempts, shouldn t we look at the way we are teaching students, or what we are teaching?
Obviously what we are doing is not working. The seniors have made it up to the 12th grade; somehow they were able to pass each year but cannot pass a test that is at the 10th-grade level?
Maybe it is time to look at the curriculum and tweak it so it coordinates with what is on the test. If the material on the OGT is the standard for the state of Ohio then it should be implemented before 10th grade.
The Board of Education and TPS administrators need to understand there is a problem and fix it. Let s hold their paychecks until the seniors pass the test. I guarantee that would bring about some creativity and quick changes.
Colleges and universities allow their students to participate in graduation ceremonies before a final requirement is met. They hold the diploma but still allow the graduates to walk with their class.
The majority of these seniors have worked hard, stayed out of trouble, and deserve to celebrate their four years of high school. Let s not punish them for staying in school when so many drop out. Let them walk with their class until TPS administrators can figure out a solution that is favorable to all.
90.1% passed, so TPS deserves an A
In most schools, when 90.1 percent achieve the stated goals, then a grade of A is usually given. So congratulations, TPS, on achieving an A grade for the high school graduating class of 2007. Especially on a test with as wide a scope as the Ohio Graduation Test.
Is there something amiss when a 4.0 GPA student fails on one of five test sections? Not necessarily when GPAs of 4.5 and better are not uncommon, a student with a 4.0 GPA may not be an all-A student.
Truly, I am heartened that such a high percentage passed the Ohio test. During my years as a TPS teacher and counselor, one major disheartening practice was social promotion. One of my tasks as a counselor was to compile a list of pupils who had failed the requirements to be promoted to the next grade, with their ages. Those deemed too old to remain at grade level were socially promoted to the next higher grade.
If they were unable to achieve the requirements of that grade, could they really be expected to achieve at the next? They rarely did, and often the next promotion was either again a social promotion or grade inflation.
Please note my distinction between pupil, student, and scholar. A pupil is an enrollee of a school, a student is a pupil who studies, and a scholar is a student who investigates and goes beyond the curriculum.
In the TPS populations, not all are students or scholars. But with social promotion and grade inflation, pupils do get promoted. They do not often pass the Ohio Graduation Test.
West State Line Road
Do we really want to be more like China?
The Blade s recent TV commercial suggests that Toledo needs to make positive changes based on the example of the economic miracle that has occurred in China. That s a great idea!
First we can eliminate all environmental regulations so we too could have eight of the 10 most polluted cities in the world.
Next we can eliminate worker safety legislation so that we too can have 10,000 workers die each year in industrial accidents.
Finally if we eliminate the minimum wage and the National Labor Relations Board, we too can pay our workers 50 cents an hour and cheat them out of their overtime pay. Given these reforms I m sure we too could have a rebirth of industry right here.
Don t hold China up to me as an example of progress.
Newspaper carrier rescues U.S. flags
On Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend, someone took the flags we had put in neighbors yards and ours. My husband informed me of the missing flags when he left for work early Sunday morning.
That morning, while delivering his papers, our Blade carrier knocked on our door and asked if we were the family who had our flags taken. My heart was touched when he opened his car door to say he had found them in the street several blocks down.
Some were broken, but up they went again, standing proudly thanks to a thoughtful and caring Blade carrier.
Cost of gas is more than supply, demand
The past several months has produced talk about the supply and demand when it comes to the price of a gallon gas. Even in the days following the events of 9/11 there were worries that the supply of gas would come to a screeching halt.
What I find amazing, is with all the worry about supply and demand and the rising cost, in the 20-plus years of driving a motor vehicle in the Toledo area, I have never gone to a gas station and was turned away because the pumps were dry. I have always been able to put fuel in my cars, boats, lawnmower, weed-whacker, and snow blower.
Is there really a supply concern? What if the oil companies dropped the price of gallon of gas 50 percent, and their profits dropped, in theory, 50 percent; wouldn t they still have a profit in the billions of dollars?
Clinton s woes don t compare to Bush s
The gentleman from overseas who submitted a letter Bush s moral stance makes up for mistakes must be living in a very remote area with a limited number of friends to write such nonsense.
The rest of the world considered former President Clinton s affairs to be a nonissue. Only a minority of self-righteous busybodies in this country tried to make a big deal out of nothing.
But now, nearly the entire world disapproves of or despises George W. Bush for his unjust war, his arrogant disregard for the environment, and his abysmal policies on human rights. And with recent polls indicating that three out of four Americans disapprove of Mr. Bush s handling of the Iraqi war and his overall job performance, he certainly will be a leading contender for the title of worst ever.
The picture of the protesting student, on the front page of The Blade recently, holding a sign that said, 'I wanna walk,' only confirmed why the Ohio Graduation Tests are needed.
C. L. VAUGHN
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