I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More 'Truth"

To finish up on NJLB's post about the NJEA's "misconstruing" of the facts:

I already took on NJLB's claim about NJ's relative standing in NAEP scores. The next claim:
We’re also the only state in the nation that permits low-achieving students to bypass the traditional proficiency assessment and use an alternate test. 
Yeah, uh, no:
A law adopting statewide high school exams for graduation took effect in Pennsylvania on Saturday, with the goal of ensuring that students leaving high school are prepared for college and the workplace. But critics say the requirement has been so watered down that it is unlikely to have major impact. 
The situation in Pennsylvania mirrors what has happened in many of the 26 states that have adopted high school exit exams. As deadlines approached for schools to start making passage of the exams a requirement for graduation, and practice tests indicated that large numbers of students would fail, many states softened standards, delayed the requirement or added alternative paths to a diploma. 
People who have studied the exams, which affect two-thirds of the nation’s public school students, say they often fall short of officials’ ambitious goals.
Seriously, is NJ so sui generis that no other state would have soft high school graduation tests? Really? We're that special?

Here's NJLB's last complaint:
Next NJEA claim: “Among the best in the nation in preparing students for higher education: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education ranks New Jersey near the top for how well its schools prepare students for college.” Actually, the NCPPHE says “New Jersey performs well in preparing its young people for college, but there are large gaps in ethnicity.
Yes, that's a problem, which is why NJ got an A-. Isn't that awful? Unlike our neighbors:

PA: B-
DE: C+

And CT, which got an A, is a state where:
However, only 81% of Hispanics have a high school credential, compared with 95% of whites.
As opposed to NJ;
However, only 80% of Hispanics and 88% of blacks have a high school credential, compared with 97% of whites.
Boy, that 1% is a bitch.

As I've said before, I really admire NJ Left Behind's commitment to the disadvantaged kids in our state. Somebody's got to be standing up for them.

But bashing the NJEA is not getting us where we need to be. When you bring the fight to the teacher's union, you are distracted form the real culprits.

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