Georgia registers small increase on 2012 ACT scores

State and national ACT scores were released today. At the national level, scores on the college admission exam were flat, while Georgia, where more teens are taking the ACT, saw a slight increase.  (SAT scores will follow in a few weeks.)

A record 52 percent of the the 2012  U.S. high school graduating class took the ACT.  More than a fourth (28 percent) did not meet any of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in the testing areas of English, mathematics, reading and science; 15 percent met only one of the benchmarks, while 17 percent met two. Only 25 percent of tested 2012 grads met all four ACT benchmarks, unchanged from last year.

“Far too many high school graduates are still falling short academically,” said ACT Chief Executive Officer Jon Whitmore in a statement.  “We need to do more to ensure that our young people improve. The advanced global economy requires American students to perform at their highest level to compete in the future job market and maintain the long-term economic security of the U.S.”

The flat ACT performance and the slight increase in the test score gap between racial groups over the last five years prompted a rebuke from FairTest, which said the lackluster scores were evidence that test-based strategies to boost academic performance and narrow achievement gaps represented “a sweeping, expensive failure.”

“Rational policy-makers would look at the evidence and change course,” said FairTest public education director Bob Schaeffer in a statement. “Yet, instead of abandoning what is clearly the wrong track for improving U.S. schools, policy-makers are actually putting more weight on standardized tests.”

Schaeffer cites U.S. Department of Education waivers of  “No Child Left Behind” that now require states to use tests for more high-stakes purposes, including evaluating teachers. “Why are policy-makers doubling down on a failed strategy? How much more data do they need to understand this approach is not working?” he said.

In talking about the scores with the AJC education editor, we discussed the perception that some high school students fare better on the ACT than the SAT. She may have a reporter examine that issue later this year. My own research has shown that the scores generally align; a student who scores well on the ACT will have commensurate scores on the SAT. Increasingly, Georgia parents have their kids take both tests.

You can read the Georgia report here.

You can read the national report here.

From DOE:

Georgia high school students saw a small increase this year on their ACT results as the national average showed no change, according to the 2012 ACT report. One-year increases were seen in the composite scores (+0.1), reading (+0.2) and science (+0.2). English results were flat and math results decreased slightly (-0.1). Overall results in Georgia increased this year even as the number of students tested increased from 47% in 2011 to 52% in 2012.

“I am pleased to see our students’ scores headed in the right direction and the gap closing between Georgia and the national average,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “I think it is significant that our participation rate on the ACT increased considerably and we still have growth in overall scores.”

ACT Composite Scores

Fifty-two (52) percent of Georgia’s 2012 graduating seniors (47,169 students) took the ACT and had an average composite score of 20.7. This average is up .1 percentage point from last year’s 20.6 and .4 percentage point less than the national average of 21.1.

Georgia students are also outperforming the national average when scores are broken down by race. The 2012 ACT report shows that African-American students had an average composite score of 17.6, considerably higher than the national average of 17.0. Hispanic students had an average composite score of 19.9, a full point higher than the national average of 18.9. White students had an average composite score of 22.8, .4 percentage point higher than the national average of 22.4.

“It’s clear from this report that we outperform the national average when our results are broken out by subgroup,” said Superintendent Barge. “However, we still have gaps between subgroups that we must address. If we’ re going to close the gap with the nation then we must close the achievement gap between our subgroups.”

College Readiness

The report reveals that more of Georgia’s students (10,377 in 2012 compared to 9,015 in 2011) demonstrated college and career readiness this year in all four areas (English, reading, mathematics, and science) of the test.

“I’m very pleased that more of our students are demonstrating college and career readiness,” said Superintendent Barge. “As we implement the Career Pathways initiative, I believe students will begin seeing more relevance in courses they are taking, which will translate into an even higher percentage of our students scoring at college and career ready levels.”

The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are based on the actual grades earned by students in college, define college and career readiness, and report student performance results relative to that goal.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

58 comments Add your comment

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
8:42 am

My oldest child took both tests. Her feeling was that while they were different types of tests, one was not really “easier” than the other. I do know that all but one of the universities she applied to apply the “super-score” concept whereby they will take the highest score of components (i.e. Math, Science) within the ACT or SAT.

Howard Finkelstein

August 22nd, 2012
8:44 am

That is, if the numbers havent been fudged…

redweather

August 22nd, 2012
8:45 am

It is not easy to see positives in these ACT numbers:

30% of students nationally met no benchmarks
27% of Georgia students met no benchmarks (but better than national average!)

22% of students nationally met all benchmarks
19% of Georgia students met all benchmarks

Asian students on average perform best; African-American students on average perform worst.

[...] 2012 report released Wednesday. The annual report takes into consideration scores earned … Georgia registers small increase on 2012 ACT scores Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

AnonMom

August 22nd, 2012
9:03 am

The SAT is more challenging on a more “gamesmanship” level and can be more easily learned and studied for — e.g. difficult math and vocal so if the child likes such “games” and can play along — the SAT may be a good test — boys generally do better than girls. The ACT is more straight forward but is more “time sensitive” — the child needs to go fast — there are fewer “tricks” that can be learned == timing and graph reading tricks but not too much else — you just take the test and answer the questions but may run out of time. Girls will often fare better than boys on it… (my oldest son did much better on the ACT than SAT — my middle son is better with the SAT but not by much — he could have worked a bit at it and done well on the ACT as well — I think I’m going to have my youngest son skip the SAT altogether and stick with the ACT — I think his “skill set” is more in line with the ACT and I don’t want to frustrate him (like I did with my oldest) with rounds of the SAT but if PSAT scores come in much higher than I’m expecting, I could change my mind).

AnonMom

August 22nd, 2012
9:04 am

vocab not vocal… sorry

teacher&mom

August 22nd, 2012
9:13 am

@Maureen: Correct me if I’m wrong….I seem to recall reading somewhere that GA’s 2011 ACT scores ranked 13th in the nation.

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
9:21 am

Wonder Why?

August 22nd, 2012
9:55 am

Thanks, Dunwoody Mom, for the link to the scores by state. What does it mean that most of the
top scores are from traditionally ‘blue’ states and, conversely, most of the lowest scoring states
are traditionally ‘red’ states?

catlady

August 22nd, 2012
10:55 am

I DO believe that one test or the other is more appropriate for some kids. My two oldest needed the ACT; they were much stronger on reading type questions than on math, and the ACT has only 1/4 of the score math-dependent. For my other daughter, the SAT was better because it was (basically) 1/2 math (as far as what colleges look at) and she was much stronger in that area. For kids without particular strengths/weaknesses, either one will do.

school_is_home

August 22nd, 2012
10:58 am

So the score edged up 0.1 – is that statistically significant? I am truly disturbed to see the Science score on the test. This is where students can score a lot of “free” points if they can just read charts and graphs and have ever conducted an experiment where they changed the the magnitude of one variable, or varied one of several factors that they thought might affect the outcome – well, they could do so much better. I’m talking about germinating peas inside, outside and in a box or growing the peas in the same conditions and varying the amount of water each plant gets and tabulating and plotting results. As a society our children can’t read charts and graphs ****runs around in circles afraid for the future of so many******.

Well, at least I know I’m doing my part to try and help some local kids.
Question: Can anyone tell me why the teachers need to be taught how to teach math under Common Core? Math is math, people!

Getting off the blog to go do some more educating!
BTW, ACT > SAT for so many, if only for the lack of penalty for incorrect answers. I wish more schools did PLAN and EXPLORE so that the kids, teachers and parents would get an earlier wake-up call.

Tony

August 22nd, 2012
10:59 am

There is an underlying assumption that the ACT is an appropriate measure of what kids must know in order to be successful. The testing advocates would have you believe things like that to be true and that “poor” performance on their test is bad for the US economy. The truth is they are pushing their test on everyone in order to make more money for themselves. There is no evidence that students must perform well on ACT or any other test to be successful in life.

If we remain focused on getting more kids to pass tests, then we are damning our kids’ future.

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
11:04 am

“At the national level, scores on the college admission exam were flat, while Georgia, where more teens are taking the ACT, saw a slight increase. ”

Does this mean more teens than previously took the test in Georgia or does this mean the standard (wrong) generalization that in Georgia, more of our teens take standardized tests than in other states? If it’s the latter, that is not correct and serves to fuel as ‘excuses’ for Georgia’s educational system.

If you click over to the scores by state chart (given to us by Dunwoody Mom) you will see the following % of students taking the test.

Compare these to Georgia’s 52% of students taking the ACT –

Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wyoming — 100%

Southern State Comparisons:

Arkansas 88%
Alabama 86%
Florida 70%
South Carolina 57%

Well, yes, in Texas, only 39% and in North Carolina, only 20% of students take the test. And there are other states that test fewer than Georgia, but certainly not enough to make the above sweeping generalization (if that was the way the statement was intended).

(btw, teacher &mom, if you sort the chart by composite test scores, you will see that Georgia ranked 16tth — from the bottom and 13th from the bottom in science)…

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
11:06 am

FWIW, I completely agree with you Tony. Education is the current, big, reliable source for big business to make lots and lots and lots of money. That is what is driving these curriculum standards, testing, coaching, etc, etc. Time has proven that it’s all ineffective. No one is addressing the real problems – the breakdown of the family and the expanding poverty in this country.

Jerry Eads

August 22nd, 2012
11:17 am

I’m glad for the politics of things that “scores went up” but y’all need to know that you can’t tell much of anything from the slight shifts, because neither the ACT nor the SAT are used to test everyone (nor is the “sample” random) – so the groups of students from one locality to another or one state to another – or for that matter from the state to the nation – simply aren’t comparable. At all. We do it all the time but it’s the height of folly.

It’s nice to know that a few more students scored above the ACT’s arbitrarily-chosen “pass points,” but that could simply be due to a slightly different selection of students who took the test, and MAY have something to do with a change in the state’s education, but more likely has almost everything to do with the fact that of couse there’s a different group of kids this year taking the test and, never forget, that linking one test to another is a very imperfect technology: the changes simply could be a slight change in the difficulties of the tests this year compared to last.

Much ado about nothing. Oh. don’t forget, the primary purpose of both the ACT and SAT – without doubt two of the best made tests in the world – is to predict first-year college success (which they don’t do very well), not judge the quality of P-12 education, which is what folks are trying to do here. I can use a pipe wrench to overhaul an engine – but it’s a terrible tool for the job.

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
11:20 am

Education has become a BIG money-maker for the likes of College Board, Pearson, etc. I even read somewhere they are coming up with a readiness test for Pre-K????? This is all so insane.

Ashley

August 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

Enough of the excuses and mindless theories, the fact remains are quite simple…..if you do not take college -prep courses or advance math and science you will not pass the ACT or the SAT. Dumbing down high school academics won’t cut it, students who are not taking college curriculum subjects will not do well and I don’t care how many charts, graphs or surveys school administrators take. Stop beating a dead horse and start encouraging students to take challenging subjects or else we will be hearing more of the same nonsense year after year.

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
11:42 am

Just a question based on the number of students in GA who take the SAT/ACT…are there more students taking these tests than actually graduating? I remember a while back that high schools were actually holding Pep Rally’s to get student to sign up for the SAT.

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
11:43 am

Sorry…make that “Pep Rallies”.

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
11:46 am

“I can use a pipe wrench to overhaul an engine – but it’s a terrible tool for the job.”

Great analogy Jerry!

Inman Park Boy

August 22nd, 2012
11:59 am

We have known for decades that the best determinant of academic success is family income. Parents with higher incomes are typically (not ALWAYS) college grads themselves, and hold their children to a high standard. Genetically, bright parents tend (not ALWAYS) to produce bright children.What we need to solve (obviously) is the income gap between white and Asian students AND black/Hispanic students. As we bring people out of poverty they will be more llikely to value an education. That’s the rub.

Variables

August 22nd, 2012
12:21 pm

The ACT should be viewed as one of many methods
that can be used to determine college readiness.
Many students struggle with the time constraints
on the test, but have the capability to be successful
in college. The ACT English test has 75 questions
and students have 45 minutes to complete that portion
of the test.Many variables will lead to increases and
decreases in the ACT scores, but the real focus should
be on the graduation rates of universities. There are
many students who are considered “college ready” and
they are not graduating in four years,because of other
variables ( Some are not graduating within six years).

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
12:23 pm

I agree @Inman Park Boy, but few people want to recognize that Poverty affects the education experience in this country. Why? Most likely because there is no “quick fix” for this and we are an instant gratification-seeking country. When the so-called “voice of education” of Gates, Rhee, etc., don’t even acknowledge the issue of poverty, this discussion will not take place.

Really amazed

August 22nd, 2012
12:23 pm

Ashley, you are so on it!!! If these students aren’t taking college ap classes they will have a harder time with SAT or ACT. Even though ACT has less math questions than SAT, the math goes up to Trig. SAT only goes up to Alg 2. The students that have been challenged and that know how to study WILL do better. Too many schools have dumbed down even the more challenging classes so be aware! Rigiors counts more now in college admissions then just 4.0 Be careful parents telling little Johnny/Susie to take basic and just honor classes to maintain that 4.0. Colleges are fully aware of this tactic and your child will not make it into UGA or Tech with no or just a couple of AP classes anymore. The average for GT last year was 8 throughout hs. UGA’s was 6 average. Plus a high ACT or SAT score. Challenge yourself students!!

mountain man

August 22nd, 2012
12:31 pm

“Georgia registers small increase on 2012 ACT scores”

Which means…what? Only those going to college usually take either test, and more students in Georgia take the SAT. So there is no statistical sense to be made out of this announcement. Now if EVERY student were required to take it… of course they might need negative numbers for the scores.

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
12:34 pm

This is what we get when we adhere to the self-reliant mantra. Although I do believe strongly in self-reliance, I also believe strongly in living as a village and providing a strong hand up for those who struggle. We have big holes in our public safety nets. In fact, our safety nets have become the ties that bind people in poverty: low education, poor access to quality food and healthcare, jail terms for drug crimes instead of treatment, welfare, food stamps and low-income housing pools.

Our tough on crime stance will get us to the point of living in a police state. The chasm between the classes will continue to widen until you are either in jail or living behind gates – armed.

The ultimate enlightened society offers a chance for a happy, productive, quality of life for all of its citizens. That begins with access to a safe home and a decent education.

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
12:36 pm

@mountain man: “more students in Georgia take the SAT.”

No they don’t. Please read my comment above at 11:04 am.

DeKalb Conservative

August 22nd, 2012
12:43 pm

@Inman Park Boy – how does your theory translate to Indians? One generation separated from having a caste system in place, they have been able to break out of what should have been predetermined social roles.

Dare I say that culture is the driver here? If you don’t embrace a culture of learning and studying to succeed, then you will likely fall short of academic excellence.

Gail

August 22nd, 2012
12:44 pm

From my experience with three children having taken the ACT &/or the SAT is that it depends on the child. Since the ACT does not count off for wrong answers it does not also test a child’s test taking strategy. Meaning the child doesn’t have to decide if they should skip the question or not. Also, there is the option with the ACT of not taking the writing section,

When my youngest took the ACT without the writing, she scored 4 points higher on her composite. I think the writing was the first section and it “wore her out.” UGA did require the writing, but she was able to improve her score by taking the test again without the writing section.

DeKalb Conservative

August 22nd, 2012
12:51 pm

The reduction of safety nets is what will lead to success. People have an amazing ability to perform when put under pressure. If there are less safety nets, more people will be forced to be self reliant and acheive.

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
12:54 pm

Yep, there is nothing like hunger and homelessness with which to raise academic success.

DeKalb Conservative

August 22nd, 2012
1:10 pm

@Dunwoody Mom – I’ve seen too many “poor” people on tv complaining about home heating and cooling costs while having giant flat screen tvs, video gaming systems in their living room to fall for this one. Equally, I’ve seen too many people playing on an iPhone using SNAP benefits at the grocery store to feel pity.

Just because a parent fails, doesn’t mean their child needs to be stuck in the same caste system. We fail as a society to educate young people on the impact of their choices and how their decisions can open some doors in life, or close others. Haven’t been on this blog in a loooong time. I think almost anyone can agree on my second paragraph.

Another view

August 22nd, 2012
1:13 pm

@Wonder Why? What is the difference? Most teachers remain local, so if GA produces poor high school students who become high school teachers, then they replicate the cycle. That is one reason. There are more, but those are red meat issues not to be fed on this blog.

Tag

August 22nd, 2012
1:16 pm

I’m surprised 50% can read.

Jerry Eads

August 22nd, 2012
1:41 pm

Maureen, perhaps it’s your moderating, but this is for whatever reason a great discussion. Kudos.

Cere, new here? WELCOME. your stuff above very nice. REALLY? More kids now take the ACT? That’s been a rapid shift. Thx for the pop on the analogy – After growing up on a tiny farm and having to learn how to fix things and then one of the several times having gotten too bored with graduate school ran my own car repair shop, and STILL having the Snap-On box (well, another, having given my first to my kid), tool analogies come maybe too easily.

@Another, that’s an interesting issue. “We” think lots about getting people who become teachers to go back home, as most folks want to come to or stay in the “big city.” In my experience (too many years as a policy geek at the state level in several states) rural districts do a really darn good job of it, but the GREAT teachers are all lined up hoping for work in places like Gwinnett. The research shows that inner city districts (across the country) have a tough time of it because their hiring systems are “less efficient” and, hence, end up with folks who don’t get hired elsewhere before inner cities get around to hiring. I haven’t heard a peep lately about how the “interim” supt downtown is doing, but he’s one smart, tough fellow. Given their superintendent problems have even exceeded the state’s insanity prior to John, I ask you all to wish Errol the best.

Mountain Man

August 22nd, 2012
1:42 pm

“jail terms for drug crimes instead of treatment”

I don’t have a problem with only treatment for the use of drugs, but when it comes to crimes committed to get the money to BUY drugs (robbery, burglary, fraud, theft), I still recommend jsil – and lots of it.

If you can pay for it – fine, hope you overdose and take yourself out of the gene pool – not my problem.

But being stoned and DRIVING – then it becomes my problem and jail is the answer – for legal as well as illegal drugs.

Mountain Man

August 22nd, 2012
1:57 pm

“Cere -@mountain man: “more students in Georgia take the SAT.”

No they don’t. Please read my comment above at 11:04 am.”

I will quote from the following article:

The SAT remains the dominant test for college-bound students in Georgia, with 80 percent of graduates taking that test in 2011.

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-act-scores-edge-1503544.html

Just because 52% of college-bound students took the ACT doesn’t mean that 48% took the SAT – they are not mutually exclusive. A LOT of students took both.

Mountain Man

August 22nd, 2012
1:59 pm

“More kids now take the ACT?”

Jerry Eads – don’t be taken in by what you read – see my 1:57 post. Some people don’t research before they post.

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
2:16 pm

True. Didn’t catch that you were speaking about the SAT. But truly, the fact remains that it is a myth that more Georgia students take college entrance exams than students in other states. That has long been an excuse for poor performance.

Dunwoody Mom

August 22nd, 2012
2:53 pm

Actually Cere, the State of GA had the 5th Highest SAT participation rate for the 2011 SAT reporting period:

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2011/tables

TheGoldenRam

August 22nd, 2012
3:40 pm

The academic achievement gaps in this story, like all of the other stories, is never going to be substantially closed. Never. We’ve come to use poverty as the great facade behind which we pile up all of our dirty laundry. It’s become such an abstract term. A distinction needs to be made about what kind of poverty we are alluding to when we use the word. I would argue that a far, FAR greater contributor to demographic inequality is cultural poverty. How one acts and behaves. As a measure of their beliefs, values and choices. In our society, economic poverty is mostly a consequence of cultural and/or intellectual poverty. Whether that mindset is inherited or consciously chosen. Bad choices are usually going to lead to bad outcomes. Our greater society can’t(or won’t) address the underlying social, moral and cultural choices that lead so many people down a path toward failure and dysfunction. Tragically, many of those people lead subsequent generations down that same path.
Why do so many lottery winners go from being poor, to being rich, to back being poor again? Why are there so many professional athletes and entertainers that reach a level of wealth beyond most peoples’ dreams, but then find themselves broke again within a decade of reaching the pinnacle of financial success? They may have overcome(albeit briefly) financial poverty, but the unresolved cultural/intellectual/moral poverty in their lives was what determined their overall trajectory.
It is an insult to financially impoverished people of good character, values, intentions and actions to so often be lumped in with those whose cultural impoverishment coincides with their economic impoverishment.
As I have said on this blog before, the more public education embraces the role of being society’s great social safety net, the more it contributes to its own eventual demise. Are you educators or are you social workers? Do you even think there is a distinction? Because for many conscientious parents, there is a big distinction. They are sending their kids to school to be educated. Not to be some part of the latest experiment to close the discipline gap by banning suspensions. Or, to participate in a watered down curriculum that emphasizes quantity of ‘graduates’ at the expense of quality. Or, to sit in overcrowded classrooms while being distracted by disinterested peers, that without threat of sanction, would not even be there.
Public education is trying to be everything to everyone, and in doing so, it is losing the war of public opinion in dramatic style. Imagine how educational laypeople(i.e. many parents) view the institution through the lens of the media. Cheating scandals, truancy statistics, discipline problems, low college readiness, fraudulent statistics galore, college remediation, etc, etc..
People in great public schools are happy. Many people in bad public schools are not. Either fix your schools by whatever means necessary or those dissatisfied people are going to run you over in their pursuit of other options. You can hold up all the studies and reports you’d like to argue on behalf of the status quo, but good parents will put their child’s future ahead of just about anything. And they won’t apologize for doing so. The excuse that public schools exist to fix society, and as such will always reflect the ills of society, will be your professional undoing.

Jerry Eads

August 22nd, 2012
6:43 pm

MM: yep – it was a question, not a belief, but indeed I finally looked at the paper – over half now take the ACT, but more take the SAT.

Cere: There are a number of factors that influence the average college entrance exam score for any group, and one of them is most certainly the proportion of students in the group taking the exam, simply because – generally – it’s the more capable and prepared students who take such exams first, and as the percentage increases the growth comes from the students who are less prepared than the usual takers. SO, when higher proportions of a normally distributed group take a voluntary test intended for high performers, their average MUST be lower. It’s a simple and inescapable statistical reality. Is that the only thing affecting Georgia averages? Perhaps not – just look at what a metro county just did electing a sheriff – - that might tell us quite a bit about the intellectual reasoning capacity of the population – -

GR, not a whole lot to counter in your piece, ‘cept that the public school system is BUILT to educate everyone, regardless of their station or ability or, for that matter, motivation. No exceptions. They are TOLD what to do, they don’t CHOOSE what to do and the vast majority of teachers work themselves to the bone to do their absolute best for each and every kid. Nonetheless, we seem to forever confuse schools with high income students as “good” and lower income schools as “bad” even though they’re simply doing their best with the deck of kids they got dealt. There are, I assure you, high income schools that coast and low income schools that do wonders – even though they’re keelhauled by inane, stupid and uninformed policies like NCLB. HOPEFULLY (but don’t hold your breath) some of the current evaluation efforts may ameliorate at least a bit of the damage we’ve done in that regard. And don’t forget that schools do typically – in spite of enormous external pressures not to – separate students by ability and motivation, so in most cases the education of high performing students is not disrupted by other students who aren’t as motivated.

Finally, public schools are continually saddled with more and more “stuff” by ill-prepared politicians (with some wonderful exceptions that may be redundant) who would rather pick on the public school system than directly address societal ills. (On the other hand, we tried welfare and that’s had its own set of issues.) You might find this page helpful: http://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html. This is a for profit page, but the list is interesting.

I could bring in issues with school leadership, and go on as you know endlessly about the enormous negative impact of minimum competency testing (CRCT, EOCT, etc.CT) on the education of high performing students, but I’ve gone on far more than enough.

Ole Guy

August 22nd, 2012
6:47 pm

Once again, we go merely along with the ages-old celebration of mediocrity. While this, in and of itself, warrants great hopes for a generational reversal of the “problems” unique to the current crop…let’s not go throwing babies in the air quite yet. After all, given the public investment in education, one would somehow come to expect half-decent showings in a test which is supposed to somehow guage the level of academic achievement within those hallowed hs halls. If we are to celebrate such “achievements”, after all, then why not celebrate the findings that more and more kids manage to keep feet dry while visiting the restroom.

While this psuedo-analogy may seem somewhat crude and unacceptable in “polite company”, it, nonetheless, points to the on-going celebration of “achievements” which are TO BE EXPECTED. “Good for you, little johnny…after years and years of dismal performance, you’re finally showing signs that you just might be getting it”.

I don’t (and all truly concerned adults should share this outlook) give a hoot in hell over glorious test scores and the ability to (euphamistically speaking) keep feet dry under conditions of duress. I don’t even give much of a damn over college enrollment…ANYBODY can get into the college classroom. What I care about are rates of graduation; the ability to stick it out for 4 years, maintain goal focus, and be a winner.

Now is that ole fashioned, or asking too much? Maybe after getting that degree, the kid might be able to COMPETE in the job market.

Cere

August 22nd, 2012
7:00 pm

I stand corrected on the SAT then. But I still say that the main problem in Georgia is too large a gap between those at the top and those at the bottom with not nearly enough in the middle. We created an inverted bell curve of the test scores at my child’s middle school once. Although the school posted an ‘average’ score in the 70s, the data showed that very few students scored in that range. Most were either scoring in the 40s and 50s or the 90s. And although it’s true that many of these low-performing students came from more difficult home situations with a history of mis-education, I still say that we can’t wipe our hands and leave them to their own cycle of poverty. Teachers as social workers? No. But social workers as social workers – yes. And very low class sizes for at-risk students would help. These children should at least be literate and able to balance a checkbook while holding down a decent job. LIFE isn’t all about financial success and material rewards. But the pursuit of happiness has become very difficult in this country.

William Casey

August 22nd, 2012
7:36 pm

Much has changed in America in the last 50 years, some good and some bad. One thing has changed dramatically: the concept of “college/university.” We now seem to believe that THE answer to all of society’s problems is to cram as many people as possible into some amorphous entity called “higher education” regardless of whether they are prepared. What actually happens there once they arrive seems an afterthought.

yagottabekiddingme

August 22nd, 2012
7:50 pm

If your student is not a good test-taker (either SAT or ACT) there are fabulous test-optional schools (www.fairtest.org) which to check in to.

Let's See the "Original" Charter

August 22nd, 2012
9:19 pm

@Maureen Thanks for the link. However, Drew started in 2000. This charter is for the 2005-2010 renewal. APS does not seem to have the original at the district office. Current APS staff members just saw the portion that is on the DOE site when they recommended renewal. The personnel that approved the original charter are no longer in the same type positions with the district or are no longer with the district. I guess my question should be can someone post a link of the “original” charter. It could be possible the educators at the school who mentioned they send students who fail back to their home school are lying about the charter giving them the power to do so or the school is acting outside the charter.

@Pride and Joy- Parents were given choice in schools (with transportation) under No Child Left Behind if the home school did not meet AYP. The State of Georgia also gave the parents the option to transfer their children within school districts to schools that had room. http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/pdf/hb251.pdf

Pride and Joy

August 22nd, 2012
9:53 pm

Inman Park Boy — there is a relatoinship to income and educatoin but not the one you suggest.
The amount of educaiton you have determines the income you’ll have.
To suggest that just because you’re poor means you won’t do well is a cop out.
I grew up poor and with lousy parents. I always did well in school and have succeeded where the rich haven’t.
Declaring that income determines your education is a built-in excuse that is handy for schools to use to explain away bad teaching.

William Casey

August 22nd, 2012
10:23 pm

@PRIDE: What you say about the relationship between income and academic success is PARTIALLY true. People DO rise beyond their circumstances. However, if you are given two lists of 1,000 students each, one list being high income kids, the other list low income kids, and asked to bet money on which list will have the most academic success, I suggest that betting on the rich kids is the way to go. BTW– I chose the number “1,000″ for a reason.

redweather

August 23rd, 2012
6:26 am

Some people have everything in their favor and fail to succeed; others with not much of anything in their favor rise above their disadvantages. That this is true does not negate the fact, and it’s a fact, that poverty more often than not will get in the way of success.