April 19, 2012

Dueling headlines

Dueling headlines this week about proposed high school graduation requirements for the nation's second largest public school system:

From the Los Angeles Times:
LAUSD considers lowering the bar for graduation

From the Los Angeles Daily News
LAUSD plan calls for raising graduation standards 

This is latest fallout from the Gates Foundation bullying the LA school board in 2005 to require that to graduate from high school, students must pass with at least a C all the "A-G courses," such as Algebra II, required to be eligible for the University of California or California State University. And, yet, by law, those systems are intended for the top 1/3rd of California high school graduates.

The Gates Foundation was deep into Magical Thinking, and school bureaucracies are not flush with incisive thinkers who have an La Griffe du Lion-like grasp of the impact of rule changes on probability distributions. Implementing this plan has been delayed, year-after-year, in large part due to one elderly black lady on the School Board, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. Her view is that a lot of her constituents aren't college material, but she'd like them to be able to go through life as high school graduates, which is a lot better than going through life as a high school dropout just because they aren't college material.

The Daily News reports:
By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer

All Los Angeles Unified high school students would have to take advanced courses such as algebra, physics and a foreign language and earn at least a "C" in order to graduate under a sweeping change in curriculum being considered by the school board. 
The proposal outlined Tuesday is part of an effort to make every LAUSD graduate meet the minimum standards for admission to the UC and CSU systems. 
Besides requiring the advanced courses, students would have to earn a "C" in those classes to get their diplomas. Currently, LAUSD considers "D" to be a passing grade.
To help students meet those tough new standards, the district would shrink the graduation requirement from 230 to 170 units, making it optional to take any electives, such as health or technology classes.

A one year course is ten credits, so, currently, students take six classes a year for their first three years, and five as a senior (assuming they pass everything). This would reduce requirement for graduation to three years (6, 6, and 5 = 17), leaving time to take Chemistry, Physics, Geometry/Trig, or Algebra II over.
That would leave students' schedules open to repeat classes or get tutoring during the school day, officials said, because summer school is no longer an option after budget cuts. ... 
But several board members and a dozen speakers voiced opposition to eliminating the requirement to take some electives, particularly the health-education class. Typically taken by ninth-graders, the class covers such topics as nutrition, AIDS/HIV, pregnancy, mental health, obesity, diabetes, bullying and teen relationships.
 LAUSD has been pondering the college prep A-G curriculum for several years. The Board of Education passed in 2005 a nonbinding resolution recommending that every student entering ninth grade be required to pass it, beginning in 2012. Nothing was done until last year, when Aquino was tasked with coming up with a plan.
In 2005, some teachers urged the board not to approve the college prep plan, as many LAUSD students were not able to meet basic academic requirements and there was concern the new curriculum might lead to more dropouts. LAUSD already has an estimated 50 percent dropout rate. 
The challenge facing the district in implementing A-G and getting students to pass it with a "C" is demonstrated with an analysis of the Class of 2011. Had the new standards been in place, roughly 8,000 of the 53,900 students in the class would have met the requirement.

In other words, an 85% dropout rate!

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a plan. The more dropouts in LAUSD, the better. Most Hispanic and Black kids shouldn't be in high school, anyway. 50% was probably the HS completion rate for Depression era White America.

The big question has always been how to accommodate a growing low IQ population in our society. Time to set up reservations, where inhabitants give up the vote for free food, clothing, shelter, intoxicants, and pornography.

David Davenport said...

Steve, he eats dogsm and siad do in Dreams ...

You should have noticed!

Glaivester said...

Time to set up reservations, where inhabitants give up the vote

And their reproductive capacity, for extra security.

JJT said...

"Time to set up reservations, where inhabitants give up the vote for free food, clothing, shelter, intoxicants, and pornography."

That's almost exactly what has already been done.

anony-mouse said...

Why not just pass everyone in everything?

That would help their self-esteem.

This is Southern California, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Time to set up reservations, where inhabitants give up the vote for free food, clothing, shelter, intoxicants, and pornography."
It's called Section 8.

Anonymous said...

Chemistry and Algebra II will cull a lot of these estudiantes. Good luck to them if these standards are implemented.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand all of this education promotion by the elites. It can't be explained other than as a means to keep money and employment flowing into the education complex.

Because the elites are eliminating the jobs that would normally go for well education, skilled Americans:

http://www.cringely.com/2012/04/not-your-fathers-IBM/

"The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.

Reducing employees by more than three quarters in three years is a bold and difficult task. What will it leave behind? Who, under this plan, will still be a US IBM employee in 2015? Top management will remain, the sales organization will endure, as will employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone."

Mr. Anon said...

"Implementing this plan has been delayed, year-after-year, in large part due to one elderly black lady on the School Board, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. Her view is that a lot of her constituents aren't college material, but she'd like them to be able to go through life as high school graduates, which is a lot better than going through life as a high school dropout just because they aren't college material."

Wow. An elected representative who actually looks out for the interests of her constituents. How novel. Hats off to Mrs. LaMotte.

RKU said...

The Gates Foundation sets very low standards. Clearly LAUSD should only graduate those high school students who pass quantum field theory while also becoming fluent in Attic Greek.

The soft bigotry of low expectations has no place in our society...

ifallnowhere said...

Re: reservations: like the 'terrafoam' system, in Marshall Brain's Sci-Fi 'Manna': http://marshallbrain.com/manna4.htm, brought on by robotization.

Anonymous said...

O/T, Sad to see the passing of Levon Helm - Southern Rock legend.

Gilbert Pinfold

Anonymous said...

It's all about algebra.

I never buy or read the Los Angeles Times but in 2006 I saw this article on the front page and couldn't believe it:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dropout30jan30,0,5363803,full.story

"Of all the obstacles to graduation, algebra was the most daunting."

The stats were amazing. Now, six years later, what can these classes be like?

Rev. Right said...

I assume the majority of these kids are not going to enter the UC college system, so why force them to learn algebra and geometry that will likely be useless in their getting through life?

Teach them practical math skills like how to balance a check book, prepare a household budget, and enough statistics so that they can tell when the President or the LA Times are lying to them.

Anonymous said...

"Time to set up reservations, where inhabitants give up the vote for free food, clothing, shelter, intoxicants, and pornography."

It's called Section 8.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.... Somebody could explain me why America is hellbent in going to self-destruction???

beowulf said...

in large part due to one elderly black lady on the School Board, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte.

That's awesome, I have a mental image of the elderly black lady in The Ladykillers who outwits the criminal gang led by Bill Gat-- err, I mean Tom Hanks.
http://www.moviezeal.com/wp-content/uploads/ladykillers.jpg

Anonymous said...

"I really don't understand all of this education promotion by the elites. It can't be explained other than as a means to keep money and employment flowing into the education complex.

Because the elites are eliminating the jobs that would normally go for well education, skilled Americans"

The only reason I can think of is misdirection. The longer people believe the more education canard the longer they aren't demanding that their children's future not be sold off to the lowest bidder.

Maya said...

1. Nothing's wrong with a 85% drop out rate. High school diploma used to mean something. Perhaps it could become a certificate of achievement once again.

2. Perhaps my district should send consultants over to California. We'll teach you what to do when some guy at the top demands that students get certain grades in certain subjects- give the students the damn grade in the damn subject. Problem solved! For example: all our kids pass AP English in order to graduate, and a certain set percentage even gets 'A"s! The fact that almost half of the graduates can't read what's written on their diplomas is completely irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation:

Addition: IQ 90
Subtraction: IQ 92.5
Multiplication: IQ 95
Division: IQ 97.5
Fractions: IQ 100
"Fractions -> Decimals" & "Decimals -> Fractions": IQ 102.5
Algebra I: IQ 105
Geometry: IQ 110
Algebra II & Trigonometry: IQ 115
Freshman Calculus: IQ 120

Now these estimates are for serious versions of these courses, with plenty of word problems [aka "story problems"] to separate the winners from the losers.

So for a serious version of what I'd call "Algebra II/Trigonometry", requiring an IQ out around 115, I'd say that only 16% [Mean + 1 SD] of the WHITE population could pass the course.

And if they think that 15% of a heavily NAM'ed population [average IQ down around 80, maybe lower] can pass "Algebra II/Trigonometry", then it's been watered down beyond anything that we'd recognize as such.

Anonymous said...

Since LAUSD serves mostly illegal Latinos and their (necessarily) illegal spawn, it should simply be shut down, and the illegal spawn should be consigned to a life of ignorance, drudge labor, and low, low, low wages. As should their spawn in turn, for all time.

One makes no bargains with a swarm of locusts. They came here illegally, and so have no claim on the American Dream, nor should their heirs, ever. They agreed to something entirely different: they skulked into our country without our consent, basically agreeing to be meek low-paid helots in exchange for living in a First World infrastructure to which they have no claim. That was their offer.

Thus, their children, and their children's children and so on, are not Americans, they are helots.

Close down the schools, to which they have no right, and let them pick lettuce forever at low, low, low, low, low wages.

That was their offer, and now they're trying to welch on it. No.

If they want a dream, let them dream it in Mexico.

David said...

>The longer people believe the more education canard the longer they aren't demanding that their children's future not be sold off to the lowest bidder.<

You've described Tom Friedman's mission perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Algebra I: IQ 105
Geometry: IQ 110

I disagree.

Those should be switched.

Geometry is easier than Alg 1.

Anonymous said...

"Reducing employees by more than three quarters in three years is a bold and difficult task. What will it leave behind?"

Women, minorities and alpha males.

Who, under this plan, will still be a US IBM employee in 2015? Top management will remain, the sales organization will endure, as will employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone."

To get the ratio of white male to female/minority that the government demands, you have to eliminate work of the productive type. Chicks can do some stuff. Minorities are filler and the white male alphas stay at the top of a mostly offshore empire of cheap foreign worker bees.

Anonymous said...


"Reducing employees by more than three quarters in three years is a bold and difficult task. What will it leave behind?"


Women, minorities and alpha males.

Who, under this plan, will still be a US IBM employee in 2015? Top management will remain, the sales organization will endure, as will employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone."

To get the ratio of white male to female/minority that the government demands, you have to eliminate work of the productive type. Chicks can do some stuff. Minorities are filler and the white male alphas stay at the top of a mostly offshore empire of cheap foreign worker bees.

Gene Berman said...

"Wow. An elected representative who actually looks out for the interests of her constituents. Hats off to mrs. laMotte."

More than that, anon. Sounds like she favors the plan that will be good for virtually everyone. Rare.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/jj8rMwdQf6k

jgress said...

My impression is that ultimately it doesn't matter whether the cognitively challenged are culled at the high school or college level. Employers quickly figure out how get the best candidates. If high school grades become worthless, they look at college grades, and if those become worthless, they look at the extracurricular resume.

Certainly, though, it would be easier if high school and college grades actually meant something; it would save hiring officers a considerable amount of time and effort.

NOTA said...

The point is, there is value in having multiple credentials. It's okay that some people graduate high school but wouldn't be able to get through a worthwhile college education, just as it's okay that some people get education or English degrees in college but wouldn't make it through an engineering program, and some people get engineering degrees but wouldn't make it through a PhD program in physics or math.

If a large fraction of kids can do high school level work, but not college level work, then it's useful to the kids and their future prospective employers to let them graduate high school but not admit them to college.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Those should be switched. Geometry is easier than Alg 1.

It's possible that there's some non-standard-ness to the terms here.

When I took "Geometry" [the year after "Algebra I"], it served as an introduction to "formal proofs", and it was a MASSIVE step up from the previous year [for that matter, it was a massive step up from anything that any of us had ever seen before].

In fact, it was the first time in my life that it was suddenly [transparently] obvious that I had a special talent for math - up until that time, pretty much anyone could hack it [even the girls].

Anonymous said...

Women, minorities and alpha males.

Almost feels like a conspiracy.

Whiskey would say that the conspiracy must have started with the women [who hate Hate HATE beta males], but you gotta wonder if maybe the conspiracy actually started with the alphas [who would be all too happy to dispense with any possible competition from the betas].

Anonymous said...

"When I took "Geometry" [the year after "Algebra I"], it served as an introduction to "formal proofs", and it was a MASSIVE step up from the previous year [for that matter, it was a massive step up from anything that any of us had ever seen before]."

Geometry was the first honors math class I ever took. I thought it was extremely easy. Loved doing proofs. I am extremely visual-spatial, though.

jody said...

here are the public high school graduation rates for every state, in 2009:

http://tinyurl.com/8x58v24

just to scare the pants off you, i took the 10 largest states, and grabbed their graduation rate:

79 pennsylvania
72 illinois
72 ohio
71 michigan
70 new york
68 california
66 texas
66 north carolina
61 florida
59 georgia

bleak future for the united states, as far as a middle class society goes. expect the gap between the wealthy and the poor to continue to grow.

if you have a nation where 35% of everybody drops out of high school, then growing inequality will have nothing to do with "the rich" not paying their fair share. it will be due to simple stuff. like 35% of everybody dropping out of high school.

Anonymous said...

maybe the conspiracy actually started with the alphas [who would be all too happy to dispense with any possible competition from the betas]

What are the alphas so worried about? Good old fashioned competition? Aren't they the ones who say competition is good, great, sacred, holy, and American as apple pie?

This sounds like the famous paranoia at the top ... "The masses are conspiring against us and need only a leader to unite them."

Anonymous said...

bleak future for the united states, as far as a middle class society goes. expect the gap between the wealthy and the poor to continue to grow.

Welcome to iSteve.

;)


This sounds like the famous paranoia at the top ... "The masses are conspiring against us and need only a leader to unite them."

Welcome to iSteve.

;)

WH Gates (III, if we're counting) said...

"http://youtu.be/jj8rMwdQf6k"

Get with the program, people! If you're too lazy or stupid to figure out how to do something as rudimentary as embed a link, you don't belong on the Interwebz.

Mr. Anon said...

"Get with the program, people! If you're too lazy or stupid to figure out how to do something as rudimentary as embed a link, you don't belong on the Interwebz."

If you are too lazy or stupid to cut and paste a URL into a browser window, then perhaps you don't belong here.

Anonymous said...

Like an army camp that spreads dysentry because of such high density, a high school spreads mal-adapted memes and anti-social attitudes.
Trayvon Martin is a non-dropout.

Anonymous said...

Like an army camp that spreads dysentry because of such high density, a high school spreads mal-adapted memes and anti-social attitudes.

And they call it socialiation.