So, how bad are the P.A.R.C.C. education scores that the News-Democrat reported on in its Sept. 17 issue? Well, if the State Superintendent of Schools prefaces the results with the statement, “I do not want anyone to use these results to shame teachers or schools,” you know how bad they are. One of the reasons that we have had no significant improvement in our schools since the infamous 1973 Report that likened what is happening to American students as an “act of war,” is because we don’t or more accurately, can’t blame teachers or schools — or ourselves.
Parsing the data that the P.A.R.C.C. test enumerates provides the unsettling realization that the longer American kids stay in school, the dumber they get. When 36 percent of third-graders exceed or meet state math expectations, and only 17 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 exceed or meet the same expectations, it would make more sense, and save us a lot of money, if we just ceased schooling at grade three.
Matt Klosterman of District 118 says that “the changes are in a positive direction.” Like so much in our highly bureaucratic, socialist school system, the results are only positive for the bureaucrats and the socialists.
These results can also be disaggregated to tell us that the most important classes any American child can take are in foreign languages. That way our children can understand the orders that they receive from whichever foreigner will be their bosses.
Phillip E. Paeltz, Lebanon