Thursday, August 01, 2013

WA Public Schools--Most Earn "C" And "D" Grade

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Each year the more than 2000 Washington State public schools are rated according to the state Public Achievement Index.

The Index is based on the State Board of Educators Achievement index from the previous year.

The rating is based on reading, writing, math, science and graduation rates.

The latest report is out and it isn't pretty.

Most public schools across the state are, at best, "C" and "D" grades.

We have published the list.


Washington Policy Center (WPC) says, "Public education is in decline. Nearly one-third of Washington public school students fail to graduate, another third graduate without the knowledge and skills necessary for college or the work place."

This is the complete list of schools, alphabetically listed under school districts. WPC has attached a grade to each school.

Of 50 the states, WPC says that Washington schools graduation rates rank 42nd in the nation.

Of Washington freshman attending a four-year university or two year community college, 37% of them require remedial math or reading courses.

WPC says, "Student failure rates are so high, the legislature and the governor canceled the math portion of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning test (WASL).

WPC recommends these eight ways to improve public schools:

Eight Ways to Improve Public Schools:
  • Put the principal in charge
  • Give parents choice among public schools
  • Let teachers teach
  • Double teacher pay
  • Replace current state tests with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills
  • Create no-excuses schools
  • Transparency: Put school budgets and teacher qualifications online, and rate schools based on their ability to educate children
  • Make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed office

There is another issue with public or government run schools.

It has to do with mission and morality.

The National Department of Education says in their mission statement, "ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access."

Public education has become so obsessed with "equality" they have redefined "access" to mean "outcome."

Political correctness and cultural Marxism has caused public education to confuse "access" with "outcome" and "opportunity." And in attempting to manage the outcome, they have generally restricted high achievers and rewarded low achievers---all in the name of fairness and equality. Consequently, they are failing to properly educate in the areas of reading, writing, math, and science.

The stated mission has been further eroded by extreme social activism, using the classroom as a social experimental lab.

At times, public education is more focused on assisting a young girl in getting an abortion during the school day without parental knowledge (Ballard High School) than teaching the child how to read and write.

Public schools can successfully provide condoms on demand, all the time, but can't teach our children to read.

It is more important in public education to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism than to teach science. If not, then why the emphasis and effort on social experimentation?

The extreme social activism advanced in our public classrooms by the NEA, Planned Parenthood and a number of homosexual "rights" organizations has clouded the stated mission and caused public education in America to decline to our lowest global standing in the history of our country.

Public education has been hi-jacked.

Not only has government run education failed to "promote student achievement," it has also failed to foster excellence with many classrooms becoming ghettos.

Noah Webster is most often considered the father of modern public education. Our present condition does not reflect his vision.

He said, "Discipline our youth in early life in sound maxims of moral, political, and religious duties."

Our present system has no room for "moral duties."

Webster said, "Education is useless without the Bible." And he said, "God's Word contained in the Bible has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct."

Because of the extreme secular progressive influence in public education today, morality is only presented as a relative choice. Students are taught there are no absolutes, no enduring principles, no higher authority than one's self and no real consequences to our life choices.

Chaos in the classroom.

Welcome to public education in 2013.

In nearly every legislative session in Washington State, special sessions are held, the legislators meet over the weekend and the state spends money it doesn't have trying to find more money for education---for our kids.

There is no amount of money that will solve this problem.

A culture, particularly one founded on Judeo-Christian values and principles, cannot sustain itself if it abandons the very principles upon which it was founded.

Our Founders told us the Constitution would only function properly in a moral and religious society.

The founder of public education, Noah Webster said, "The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our constitutions and laws...All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

Public education both neglects and despises the precepts in the Bible.

In fact he said, "The Bible was America's basic textbook in all fields."

This is not a conviction found only among a select few in the late 1700's and early 1800's. This conviction continued into the 1900's. And America prospered. Only in more recent times have we discarded the strong advice of our Founders and the ancient wisdom of the Bible.

This conviction also predated our Founders. Martin Luther, the reformer in the 1500's said, "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one place his child where Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."

Strong language.

How did we get to this place?

Think about this. Public schools were originally called "public" not because they were government controlled but because they were open to the public, to every segment of society. These "public" schools were mostly run by parents or churches and emphasized Christ and the Bible as the foundations of education.

When a movement began to separate schools from Christianity and to tie them to government control, Princeton professor A. A. Hodge saw what was corning. He wrote in 1887, "I am as sure as I am of Christ's reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen."

Education is not an end in itself. It must have a solid foundation and a sound purpose.

If there is no absolute Truth or purpose in life, then education is pointless.

If so-called "public education" is ever salvaged, it can only be done by parents and concerned local leaders who invest themselves in local leadership with the purpose of restoring those values and principles which Webster and other early education advocates deeply held.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Active.

8 comments:

  1. I am a teacher and for the last 8 years I have been subbing K-12 all subjects. I have seen in the last 8 years that the math and reading skills are not being taught to mastery. When the students get to Middle School, they do not know their add, sub, mult and division facts. Schools seem to be adding more computer labs to teach the things that the students are missing, but the students have learned how to get around the system. I thought that I could teach the skills they need much faster than the computer, but who I am to talk. :O)
    When the students get to high school, they are in the same situation. The teachers who went to school to teach high level math courses, are now teaching remedial math courses, using the computers, of course. The remedial classes have doubled and tripled in the last few years. I am not against middle or high school teachers, but they are not trained to see what elementary math skills are missing and teach to that skill. I have tutored high school students the last 3 years. I find they do not know how to do basic math facts quickly. Once I teach that to them, they are usually successful in math. Same with reading. The students need to read out loud and someone needs to figure out if they are missing basic phonic skills that interfere with comprehension. If that does not happen, they will not succeed. I appreciate your program. I am from Yakima

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    1. I second what Laura has shared. I taught for 25 years, the last 22 as a sub teacher. I taught all grades, all subjects in southwest WA and Multnomah county in OR. Regarding Math, I was constantly amazed at how much students did not know. An often-encountered attitude was "Why learn times tables when I have my calculator?"

      On English/writing---Many students couldn't write a decent paragraph or paper. Some couldn't even write a good sentence. It was an extremely rare time that I saw a paper that was free of spelling errors. They would use the "spell check" on their computer, but no "spell check" is perfect because of the homonyms in the English language.

      There are always some students who are smart enough to figure things out and/or have good parental help at home. They get the A's and B's and go on to college if they want. Most, however, learn only enough to be good "educated slaves". They can read, write, and do math just well enough to function in society and, hopefully, at a job.

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  2. add to my other comment. This is my 30th year in education. Laura Yakima

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  3. Re: WPC says, "Student failure rates are so high, the legislature and the governor canceled the math portion of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning test (WASL).

    Note that WASL was thrown out in 2010. What you are referencing occurred in 2008 for the 10th graders.

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  4. A quick scan seems to show a connection between income levels and scores. Check Bellevue or Mercer Island for example. Does this mean they are good Christian school districts? We all know it's the money and parental involvement (which is oft times possible because of the money).

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  5. 11:08 Gary is talking about public education in general not being able to be fixed with money. Obviously you buy the line that eventually if the state and federal spend enough money the system will be fixed. Take it from a principal, money can't fix our problems. Thank you Gary, you are on the right track.

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    1. No, I don't think we need to just throw money at schools. But it's obvious that schools in more affluent areas with higher property taxes, fewer gang problems, more affluent parents with more stay at home moms in the classroom are the higher performing schools. It has nothing to do with kicking religion out of schools.

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  6. Wealth has nothing to do with performance, but parent involvement, and the education level of parents does generally affect student curriculums! And curriculums/content and the attitude of the teacher are EVERYTHING!!! A black teacher in Chicago 25 years ago, got fed up with failing public education there, so Marva Collins started her own school --Westside Preparatory Academy-- in a warehouse. She took the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low performance wise, and she proved that they could do well with a demanding curriculum, a loving, firm teacher, and parents who desperately wanted their children to receive a good education. Her performance levels are legendary......most of her students went to college and did well. Read the book available at Amazon.com. And check out her reading list....."Moby Dick"????? A stunning moral tale. (Unfortunately her school closed due to lack of funds. The public school/corrupt governing leaders of Chicago attacked her incessantly....but she made her case..eloquently.)

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