Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dumbing down academic standards

. . . does not solve problems. Interesting Wapo story about Cardozo High in Washington DC and stories of members of class of 2005.

Danielle Chappell had no reason to doubt she was a solid student. She
earned decent grades, even scoring some A's in English and math, while balancing
schoolwork with basketball, track and a spot on the dance team.

Then she graduated from Cardozo High School and arrived at the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she bombed the placement tests so
badly that she had to take remedial English and math. She failed the makeup math
course twice before passing it. Low grades overall put her on academic
probation. Finally, mid-sophomore year, she was forced to withdraw.

Chappell sometimes thinks back to the Cardozo math teacher who, instead
of assigning algebra homework, would have students clip photos of motorcycles
from magazines and do other projects unrelated to math. "I thought it was
strange and weird," Chappell said, but she did not complain because the class
was "an easy A."

She wishes now that she had demanded more from Cardozo, and that
Cardozo had demanded more from her.


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6:39 AM  

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