0 + 0 = 74

How’s that for “new math?”  It’s not exactly what’s taught in our schools, but it is the math used by our state education system to determine how schools can get credit so students who fail the TAKS test can be counted as passing.  I know that sentence doesn’t make any more sense than the math, but evidently students that get zero correct answers in math and reading can be listed as “showing improvement” and move a school into the exemplary category.

Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-Houston) discovered that “the number of school districts given the top rating of "exemplary" based on TAKS scores had risen from 43 in 2008 to 117 in 2009,” according to Rick Casey, writing in the Houston Chronicle. That’s 74 new, exemplary schools which took advantage of a new program that lets a school count students that get zero questions correct as “showing improvement.”

It reminds me of the old story of accountants being interviewed for a job.  The interviewer asks one question of each applicant: “How much is 2 + 2?”  Almost all candidates answered 4. But the one that got the job answered: “What do you want it to be?” In our school systems it looks like 0 + 0 is whatever you want it to be. I guess that means we also have “new English” where words like exemplary don’t mean what they once did.

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1 Response to 0 + 0 = 74

  1. Bob Owen says:

    Rick Casey did a follow-up article on the House Education committee hearing in which a well informed Rep. Hochberg (D-Houston)got to the bottom of the confusing and misleading testimony about how students with zeros on test scores can be considered as passing. It is fascinating. You can find it at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/casey/7096582.html.

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