"Let Are Kids Walk!" [sic]
Tamara wrote a little riff, inspired by what specifically I don't know, on the movement of our society toward self-esteem, and away from self-respect. A bunch of us chimed in enthusiastically.
Predictably, I guess.
I mean, who doesn't like to think that he has standards? Being against earned self-respect would be akin to being against motherhood. But when you or yours are being denied a boon for not quite measuring up , are you going to quietly accept the standard, or are you going to loudly protest?
Locally, we've been having some parents protest that their kids, some of whom passed their classes with flying colors, are have been deprived of their "right" to walk across the dais to get their diplomas because they couldn't pass a basic skills test of reading comprehension and math.
One parent claims that her kid had a 3.5 GPA, but didn't pass the basic test. "It's disgusting."
You're damned right it is. And the parents may surely have a point to hold the school accountable over. How in the HELL can a child pass high school classes-- cum laude, no less-- when she can't even get a passing score on a standardized test? These tests are not hard, folks! Are they perfect? Far from it. But basically, if you can READ, you'll pass. If you had any right to pass middle school mathematics, you'll pass.
How do I know?
Because the same state those kids have been "educated" in declared that my achievement test scores in sixth grade met the state's expectations for a college-bound senior. I asked the guidance counselor what "12/8" meant on my assessment scores-- I had a line of them alongside things like Reading Comprehension, Logic and Reasoning, and the different fields of Math. Turned out that it meant that was the expected score for someone tested in Grade 12, month 8 (Apparently they didn't test in month 9.). At the time, I thought that it meant that I was pretty frickin' smart.
Friends, I'll let you in on a little secret that I figured out real quick, when I started taking upper-division Philosophy and Symbolic Logic classes my freshman year at U.T.: I'm not that damned smart. I never really was. Frankly, several of the kids that were taking those achievement tests right alongside me have grown up to represent real intelligence, compared to my blue-collar kind of horse-sense. Ask Scott-- he was there.
But don't ask my parents-- they still (bless their pea-pickin' little hearts) think I'm bright, because good parents are proud of their kids.
But you can bet your sweet bippy that my parents wouldn't have been out there campaigning and picketing to get me an honor that I had not properly earned, like these parents: Or if they had, they'd at least have spelled their banner slogan correctly.