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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: California, where anyone can graduate

Are you a 12th-grade student who isn’t doing too well in school? Or, maybe you’re just not that interested in doing the work? Does playing games or hanging out with your friends at the 7-Eleven sound way more interesting than studying and just hoping you’ll magically pass high school?

Well, if you’re in the public schooling system, you’re in luck, because here everyone passes. You pass, and she passes, and he passes, and just like Oprah handing out a prize, everyone’s a winner and everyone passes!

That’s the situation according to the California public schooling system. To be more accurate about this lottery scratcher guaranteed prize money, the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE, which was created in 2004 and focuses on reading, writing and math, is being given the boot. Anyone that failed it and wasn’t able to graduate high school will retroactively be awarded a degree.

The state will even go back to whoever didn’t graduate since 2006 to ensure no one misses the boat.

The public schooling system is garbage and, besides laying off teachers left and right because every city is nearly broke, they’re making it as easy as ever to get a high school diploma.

This makes entering college an easy option for those who weren’t given the proper tools for life outside of high school. I don’t know if this decision was made to make graduation numbers go up, but now students are entering college with their pants down.

Any major university is tough as nails compared to the majority of public high schools, and letting kids slide right on by is a treacherous move that can only lead them to a lifetime of failure.

The tests that students need to take before graduating aren’t to make sure that they fail, but that they’re ready for higher education. Some of the benchmarks, even if passed, are not indicative that a student is prepared for higher education. Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards is notoriously easy. College might not be as hard as some people make it seem, but pretending that students are prepared is simply irresponsible.

It’s like a minor-league-level baseball player leaving the farm and entering the major league before they even get a chance to spend a few years in the minors. He enters the batter’s box and instantly realizes that he doesn’t belong there, yet. He will one day, maybe. But not that day.

Just shipping these kids off to college with as little education as possible is ensuring that they’re going to fail. We need these tests to make sure that they’re ready and qualified to engage in the more difficult and more rigorous environment that college presents.

“Jimmy failed the test. Okay, now we know what his deficiencies are. Where did we go wrong and what do we need to do to make sure he passes and is ready for college?”

This is the question educators and legislatures should be asking. That’s what needs to happen. It should not be “He failed, but let’s let him pass anyway so he quits being a burden on the system.”

The tests are there for a reason. Not to be mean and hold students back, but to make sure they’re ready to move on.

This is one step above giving every kid in little league a trophy, even if they never won a game. At least then it’s used to help build self-esteem. However, the trophy itself is moot, just like a modern-day high school diploma.

Follow Daniel Geffre on Twitter.

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