Saturday, October 30, 2004


They teach political ideology instead

What could possibly sound more innocuous than a general education English 100 course? To me, it sounded like my semester at California State University Long Beach would be full of reading classical literature, struggling through another play by Shakespeare and then writing an essay on symbolism or some other literary term that English teachers love to use. However, I knew that this would not be the case the first night of class when Dr. Snider, the English 100 composition professor (a general education course required by the university for all students to take in order to graduate) at CSULB, handed out his course syllabus. I quickly thumbed through this syllabus, like a typical student does, trying to find out how many tests we would have, when essays were due, the basics. Instead, I found a document that seemed more suited for a political training course.

The first paragraph of the syllabus states that the professor’s goal for the course was to "promote tolerance and open-mindedness" through "the open discussion of controversial issues"- however the rest of the syllabus proves to be anything but. Instead of any attempt to be "open-minded" the syllabus was entirely stacked in favor of Dr. Snider’s leftist ideologies.

The last three class meetings have been spent watching Fahrenheit 9/11 and writing on the moral issues that Michael Moore rises in the film. This assignment consisted of each student writing a paragraph on a single moral issue in the film, and then listing all the evidence that Michael Moore uses to prove it.

The moral issue I chose to write my paragraph about was "the controversial decision made by President Bush to lead the United States into a pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein." I stated that in the "documentary" Michael Moore argued that President Bush made this decision in great haste and failed to investigate the true threat that Iraq posed to the United States. I then went on to describe the "evidence" that Michael Moore uses to prove his point as " a single advisor saying that he overheard President Bush" and " inserting a series of clips of President Bush on his Texas ranch". I wrote my paragraph very tongue in cheek and purposely ridiculed the insufficient evidence that Michael Moore used in his film. However, when I received my paragraph back, I found it marked up in red ink by Dr. Snider with comments like, " You miss the point of the film", or that advisor "was Richard Clark… a terrorist expert!" I was blown away by these comments. I didn’t realize that I was being graded on the way I interpreted the film! From what I understood about our in class paragraphs, Dr. Snider was only supposed to grade grammar, spelling, and mechanics, of which I had no corrected errors. Funny though that I still received the lowest grade in the class on this assignment (after receiving all A’s on past assignments), while papers with numerous spelling errors and mechanical corrections but with an anti-Bush perspective received A’s.

More here


So blame the testing, of course

Nearly two-thirds of California schools improved academically in the last year, but half of the schools failed to meet their targets for standardized test scores, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said Thursday. Last year, 90 percent of California's schools improved their Academic Performance Index scores, while 78 percent met their API targets - which is a 5 percent increase over last year's score.

O'Connell characterized the results as disappointing, but stressed that overall, California's public schools are still improving. "While our schools continue to grow, their rate of improvement has slowed," O'Connell said. "Frankly, this is unacceptable and I know, and educators around the state know, that we can do better."

The API gives schools a score between 200 and 1,000 - depending on the school's previous scores and how much they increased over the previous year. The statewide target for all schools is 800. The index is calculated based on results from the California Standards Test, which tests curriculum unique to California classrooms, and the California Achievement Test, or CAT-6, which allows educators to see how California students compare to children around the nation. High schools are also judged by graduation rates and scores on the California High School Exit Exam. Some basic API data was released in August, when the state released schools' progress toward federal No Child Left Behind goals. The federal accountability program set a goal of having 100 percent of children proficient at English and math by 2014.

About one-third of California schools fell short of this year's federal goals, but that was an improvement over last year, when about half the schools didn't reach that goal. O'Connell has long criticized the federal system because it doesn't look at whether schools' academic performance has grown, just whether the schools have made the current target. "The starting line isn't the same for all of our kids," O'Connell said. "The API lets people know exactly where the schools stand."

Mike Bowman, spokesman for the California Business for Education Excellence, defended the federal accountability system as more true representation of what's going on in classrooms. The NCLB measures "are looking at whether kids are performing at their grade level," he said.

More here


American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.


No comments: