California educators are all a-tizzy because their students now have to actually know something to graduate from high school. Democrats, particularly, are up in arms that graduation should be conditioned on demonstrating a minimal level of achievement. While the controversy is becoming acute now, as graduation day approaches, this story nicely discusses the issue in some depth. I was especially struck by the comments of Assemblywoman Bass, who complains that test anxiety might stop some from passing. Her solution? Certainly not teaching students how to overcome such anxiety. No, Ms. Bass wants to get rid of the test or at least make it only one of a multitude of indicators. It's nto clear what those indicators are, but you can bet the majority of them won't have anything to do with objectively demonstrating mastery over any subject matter.
The war against exit exams is just part and parcel of the war against achievement. We shouldn't keep score in children's sports. We shouldn't admit people to our colleges and jobs based on demonstrated ability but rather based on the color of their skin or their gender. We should teach our children self-esteem without requiring that they do anything worthy of esteem.
The Democrats in California combine this nonsense with the equally nonsensical, but absolute dogma in liberal America, that failure is always somebody else's fault. As the article reveals, it's not the students to blame. It's their parents! Heaven forbid we'd hold the kids responsible for their own actions. Oh, come on, most of these kids are old enough to vote, old enough to drive, old enough to sign up and fight for their country, old enough to obtain an abortion without even notifying their parents. Surely they are old enough to take responsibility for their own high school performance without blaming their parents.
Anyway, here's hoping those supporting the exams stand strong and continue to demand that kids earn their diplomas, rather than just having them handed to them.
P.S. I've had trouble displaying the article, but when I paste the address directly into my browser, I do get the article. Here's the address for you to cut and paste: http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/12500814p-13356392c.htm Let me know if this works.