Oct 27, 2006

"Holding the white student as a standard of comparison" [LINK]

Any standard favors one group over another, so why have 'em at all?

"Words matter," says Mary Conner, and increasing MCAS requirements raises issues that are "complex and intertwined." One of the "problems" Ms. Conner identifies is that by raising the bar we are "once again holding the white student as a standard of comparison." If words do indeed matter, can we dispense with such pointless racial rhetoric? It's equally valid to say that we are holding forth Asian and Jewish students as standard-bearers at the expense of whites as a whole, since they score higher.
If there is a "problem" with MCAS, it is that we need to admit there is an optimum rate of failure. If we raise standards impossibly high, nobody graduates. If we dispense with standards, nobody learns except by accident. Somewhere in there is the sweet spot.

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