Brickbat: Practice Makes Perfect


Eighty percent of the students from Florida's Mainland High School who took the Advanced Placement Seminar test won't get any college credit no matter how high they score. That's because they took a "placebo" exam that doesn't actually count, but they weren't told that. Principal Cheryl Salerno talked the school district into allowing her to put almost the entire freshman class into the class, which teaches research and writing. But the district wouldn't pay the $60,000 for the entire class to take the test. So Salerno paid for 78 of the students to take the test and gave the remaining 336 the previous year's test, made to look like it they were taking the real test. Salerno said she did not realize the students might be able to get college credit for the test, saying she believed they could only get credit if they also passed the AP Research test. The principal is now under investigation.

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  1. What?

    1. What indeed.

  2. Let the lawsuits begin – – – – – –

  3. One more argument for eliminating standardized testing from the general educational process.

    1. Because we know the administrators are going to cheat?

      1. Hey, I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks! 🙂 Actually, I was referring to their general uselessness for actually assessing anything of actual value. (Such tests are can be sometimes useful, if very specifically directed, for testing specific “knowledge.”)

        1. Standardized tests are exceedingly useful for the bottom line of testing companies. Other than that – – – – – –

        2. They’re useful for measuring the academic performance of students. Because universities (and gub’ment grant programs) really want to know how well students do.

          Grade don’t cut it because every school is going to be grading differently, so you can compare students from different schools. A 4.0 from my high school meant something, but a 4.0 from the neighboring high school did not mean as much, and one from the “continuation” high school meant nothing.

          But a standardized test is… standardized. It makes it easier to evaluate the academic performance of a student objectively.

          BUT… teachers, schools, and students have learned how to game the system. They made sense when the point of schools was to teach, not to train for test taking. They made sense when the schools and teachers weren’t punished when their students didn’t do as well as another. Bad incentives have crept in.

          But that’s no excuse to toss out the baby with the bathwater.

          1. I think that back in the 90s, we had a good balance. We need a standardized test to prevent Forrest-Gumping, where a child is given passing grades just to push them through, or the curriculum getting so watered down that it’s useless. Many, MANY children, especially in poor, black neighborhoods, were pushed out with diplomas while being barely able to read. We need some objective measurement to keep schools accountable.

            However, this is just too much. My kids are missing 2-3 weeks of class a year due to all of these tests.

    2. one more argument for killing all school administrators…

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  5. I am imagining the nasally voice of the principle from the Suffolk County Charter School from the game Fallout 4:

    “Good news class! After the AP exam we will have a visit by Jangles the Moon Monkey himself!”

    p.s. For those not in the know, the principal of that fictional game school enrolled her students in a shady military experiment regarding school lunches. For funding purposes. And hints that the creepy pink zombies you fight are the former school children. Good stuff right there. In another school the principal fed his students brain boosting drugs to boost their test scores. Until one student got so smart he turned the tables on the teacher. Kids, don’t attend school in the Fallout universe. Just saying.

  6. I read the article and I still can’t tell what’s going on here.

  7. Practice makes you perfect and if you keep practicing something in wrong way then it will make it always brings imperfection in your work and this falls best into the context of assignment writing for students who hop over internet and ask
    write my cheap paper for me UK

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