Simplistic solution to non-existent problem


Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Looking over the Empire's editorial of March 25 regarding the unnecessary and destructive "exit exams" currently in the process of being foisted on Alaskans, it occurred to me that we really should add another question to this exam:

"Given that student academic performance is as good or better than it has ever been, with performance on objective measures like the SAT and ACT comparable with historic levels, and given that student subject knowledge is already measured repeatedly through tests, quizzes, papers, projects, exams and other proven determiners of subject command, why is there a need for 'exit exams' for high school seniors?"

A) High school students don't make organized campaign contributions to the Republican Party.

B) Teacher labor unions don't make organized campaign contributions to the Republican Party.

C) High school students are a politically powerless group, which makes them easy for the Republican Party to unfairly exploit and victimize for political gain.

D) "Exit exams" are a simplistic solution to a non-existent problem the Republican Party can pitch, rather than taking the meaningful steps of increasing school spending and decreasing class sizes.

E) All of the above.

If high school seniors are informed and aware enough to choose the correct answer (E), then we can rest assured that they are well prepared for life in the real world: a claim a distressing number of today's adults (including editorial writers at the Juneau Empire) can't make.

Donald R. Douglas


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