14th Jun 2005

Blog :: Un-Constitutional

Kudos to the Bee for its editorial stance on the 8th grade constitution test!  (BTW, I'm still waiting: Open your archives!)  I've followed this controversy with some measure of amusement.  Starting this year, 8th graders must pass a 40 question test on the Constitution in order to "Graduate" from 8th grade.  In point of fact this is a meaningless distinction: "graduating" just means getting a certificate and walking in a ceremony, even if you don't graduate you still go on to 9th grade.

That fact makes it all the more silly that a lawsuit was filed demanding that students who failed the test still be allowed to walk.  Are there no academic standards anymore?  Graduation has a variety of other requirements (a "C" average, good Citizenship standing, etc etc).  Additionally, students who have serious disabilities are already exempt from taking the test.  Whose left?  Students whose disabilties don't prevent them from maintaining a C average but that won't let them answer correctly 24 out of 40 questions with a retry if you fail the first time!  Congratulations to the school board for maintaining even some small degree of academic rigor, and congratulations to the Bee for supporting them in their decision.  Is it too much to hope for that the Bee might consider the positions Odessa Johnson takes when deciding whom to endorse?

Also of interest (mostly of the hilarious kind) was the statement by a Roosevelt Jr. High parent.

Modesto immigration attorney and Roosevelt Junior High parent Solange Goncalves Altman said these eighth-graders face more rigorous standards than residents seeking citizenship.

"I find it ironic," she said.

So do I!  But I can think of an easy way to remedy this situation.  Can you?

Posted on Jun 14th 2005, 06:58 PM