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Friday, July 10, 2009

Here It Is In Black And White..

As a homeschooler I have often heard that schools twist the truth a bit when it comes to test scores. I believed it but hesitated to comment much here about it as I didn't know for a fact, I couldn't find proof. I had heard from several current and former public school teachers that test scores are creatively altered, but lacked actual proof. Well, HERE is an article that talks about just that in Texas schools which is where one of the teachers I spoke of formally worked.

Please take the time to read this. While this may not be your state, I can almost guarantee something like this is happening in yours!

This upsets me for several reasons, not all of which I will go into here. I will share why this upsets me most personally. As I have shared here several times, we are having a great struggle to get my privately homeschooled son into the armed forces. It appears they are still hung up on this "accreditation" issue I have blogged about frequently as of late.

As I have shared, my son without studying, scored rather high on the ASVAB(their standardized test to get in) Generally a score of at least 35 is needed to be allowed enlistment for my sons desired branch of service. My son without studying went in and scored about double that. Meanwhile we personally know several public school graduates with accredited diplomas that flunked, some of them more than once, and after studying for some time. We even know of one homeschool mom who has been tutoring a young public school graduate who before he sought her help had flunked this test twice!

Now, where I get upset is that my son who easily scores to get in, can't because my diploma isn't accredited. Meanwhile these kids who had to take the test 3-4 times to get in and finally barely pass are allowed entrance, while we are having to fight to get in. Clearly my child is more well educated, but that is not what the military seems to care about, they are concerned about that accreditation.

What exactly does accreditation mean these days, when schools are allowed to skew test scores the way they do? Thanks to No Child Left Behind children are passed on through the ranks, whether or not they know the material. Children are given passing scores when in truth they didn't pass.

I wonder, do the parents or children ever find out they didn't actually pass or are they too told they passed? If this was your child wouldn't you want to know? Parents, YOUR tax dollars are going to pay for these schools, you ARE paying for your child's education, are you getting your money's worth?

I've often wondered how these public school students graduated with an accredited diploma yet can't pass this rather simple test to get into the military, and now I know. It is just sad. I know in my homeschool my students don't pass until they know the material. For one that meant he was held back a year, for another that meant we did Algebra 1 every year for three years until I knew without a doubt he KNEW Algebra 1. Sure, that means on his transcript his math only goes to Alg 1 and he will have to take extra math if he chooses to go to college, but he KNOWS Alg. 1. I now am sitting here wondering how many kids have transcripts that show Alg 1, Geometry, Alg 2, and they hardly know their basic math facts? Sound far fetched? It's not, I assure you.

I know everyone will be shocked and appalled at this article, but I am sure every one's thinking, "not at my school." Think again, it's happening, all over, how can you be so sure it's not at your school? There are bad public schools and good ones. Likewise there are good homeschools and bad ones. I really believe even if the worse of schools, students can still get a quality education if they're motivated and mom and dad are involved and on top of things. If mom and dad are sitting down and looking over homework and school work they will know what their children are doing. So this isn't about bashing public schools, this is just trying to open eyes to what is really going on, and to once again point out the injustice I am feeling about having to fight so hard to get my clearly well educated son into the military simply because my school isn't accredited. I may not be accredited, but my grades, test scores, etc.. are not fudged or doctored up, they are what they are and the fact that my son can easily test in the upper half of this enlistment test is all the proof I need!

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