Education

Despite Praise, Massachusetts’ Standards Don’t Measure Up

April 28, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The secretary of education and others have praised Massachusetts for the rigor of its academic standards. But the state’s standards aren’t challenging enough to prepare high school students for college, according to a new study. Thirty-seven percent of college freshmen took a remedial course in the fall of 2005. See the Boston Globe story on the study.

The study highlights “the fundamental dilemma” with NCLB, says openeducation.net. If Massachusetts sets its standards any higher, it would turn low-performing kids into dropouts, writes Thomas J. Hanson, the superintendent-turned-blogger who runs the site. What such kids actually need are viable educational options that actually prepare them for the workforce, whether as a plumber or an auto mechanic.

Only when raising standards is discussed against a back drop of creating meaningful options for students who cannot handle the academic rigor associated with college level work will we be able to increase expectations without increasing our drop out rates. Despite proponents spin on the law, NCLB fails to address this fundamental dilemma. In fact, it likely prevents school districts from taking the steps to increase standards because increasing standards will only bring about more penalties for schools. And because the law governs the actions of our public schools, we have situations like that of Massachusetts, where 100% proficiency goals get confused with the goal of college readiness, and students are caught in the absurdity of it all.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.

Events

Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read