November 26, 2003
depends on education of young people
school exit exams are now being changed again to be made
easier. As the global economy heats up and competition
increases, how can we expect the next generation of young
Californians to be competitive - let alone succeed
- if our educational system does not insist on academic
excellence? Where is educators' integrity if they
are bowing to pressure from lazy students and irresponsible
parents who say standards are too high?
testing is a sophisticated discipline that combines what
is being learned with how it is communicated by the student
in a formal testing situation. Recent reports overseen
by the independent National Assessment Governing Board
and the U.S. Department of Education indicate California
students are improving on certain national tests.
though California's performance is not yet stellar,
state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell
said he continues to "believe our state standard
tests are a more accurate reflection of our children's
progress in the classroom."
mentions that California has unique challenges, including
the largest percentage of non-native English-speakers
in any state. Even so, the world economy will not slow
down or change its demands to accommodate the educational
challenges faced by Californians.
advantage is almost always on the side of those who are
prepared intellectually and practically to increase productivity.
When those in authority do not direct younger people to
both understand and commit to the essential sacrifices
necessary to remain competitive, then they have lost the
moral authority to lead.
future is in jeopardy for those who are not prepared.
Language and math knowledge combined with social and communications
skills, are the foundations for effectiveness in the technology-driven
world of the 21st Century.
educators and parents carry an important burden: the responsibility
to motivate and sustain serious interest in lifelong learning,
which begins formally in those earliest classroom encounters.
family and community support systems must encourage learning.
Regardless of history, culture or economic position, all
who are responsibly guiding the next generation become
(by choice or chance) the pillars upon which it builds
strong and productive citizenship.
rest of the world does not much concern itself with our
social and cultural assimilation challenges. If we are
casual in our approach to preparation for the future,
even the present, we will be left behind: economically,
culturally and politically. If we do not regulate and
in this instance, demand, the best of what we are capable,
then the world as we have known it will change and leave