Level Playing Field, Too Talented To Be True
It seems a situation has developed across the nation that is asking (or to be more accurate – strongly urging) teachers to move away from building students all the way to outside the box thinkers and instead to stop their growth as they reach inside the box because this will “level the field.” I could speak at length of exactly who is reaching inside the box, but we will save that for another post, another day. Back to the point at hand. Teachers are being directed to move toward “from the text questions” and away from “how I feel” questions”. What?
Do we not want our FUTURE LEADERS to be able to, at minimum, tell us what is right in front of their faces, and then to be able to explain what their position is on that person, place, thing or idea – whatever it is right there in front of them that they can describe very basically? I mean being able to express one’s informed feeling about something is a movement toward thinking outside the box. Do we not want this level of thinkers?
Ok, so what is the author talking about? What is the author’s opinion of it? What details from the text when combined represent clear evidence for that opinion? Having the ability to answer these questions should be a basic requirement to the lowest leveled reading ability on the hall by the end of an academic year based on a minimum required number of days, hours, minutes (whatever you know what I mean) of instruction. Basic Requirement. Say, for instance, you came in here reading as Level 1 (Levels 1-10), by the end of the year, you should be reading at least as well as required to answer these questions at least in your native language if not also in a second language (English). Basically. Every student should be able to do this at minimum.
Dude, the minimum is not enough! The least possible is what has gotten us education notions that include words like adequate where the word’s connotation in general society has been forcibly interpreted as meaning great. Adequate means “barely sufficient or satisfactory” (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adequate). It doesn’t mean above and beyond.
These days, many parents and guardians who are told a school made “Adequate Yearly Progress” believe that is an incredibly difficult thing to do. It’s not unattainable in the slightest especially in light of the fact that data can be spun.
The least possible is what has gotten us education notions that include words like exceptional where the word’s general connotation in educational circles has come not to describe students who are truly exceptional, the best of the best, the top of their class. The word is used to label some who have to be accommodated and or have practices modified to give them the opportunity to become or seem to become exceptional.
The problem with the idea behind what we are being asked to do is this, I think (Careful now, Jeffrey, thinking can get you into trouble.). The playing field has never been level, isn’t level and never will be in the real world. Public educational institutions are becoming fantasy lands. Unless you have been fortunate to attend in my classroom and a few other classrooms (and I haven’t been into a great many) facilitated by actually exceptional educators who do not need their practices accomodated in any way and can reach any individual that is placed in thier charge. Inside every fantasy story is a real situation that one can see the truth through. These few classrooms are the truth.
What is being proposed now is like asking 50 people of varying ability levels to run an open trail back country marathon through woods, over mountains, and across large lakes in bad weather only after the forest is cut down, the mountain is leveled, the lake is dried up, and they are each accomodated with umbrellas. Never gonna happen.
When children schooled this way leave a debilitating educational system built to enable all their weaknesses and enter the workplace, they are shocked, unprepared, completely out-skilled. COMPLETELY. Because they never got the truth. I wouldn’t be surprised if the biggest reason why we have so many societal issues here in America can be tracked back through a series of causes and conditions to how many of the children are being intellectually stripped of higher order thinking skills and the ability to deal with the truth of their present situation.
And I should like to set some parents and guardians at ease. This is not about not accommodating children so that they can achieve to their highest potential. THis is about lowering bar to a new low for what a highest potential has to be as determined by test creators guided by state legislatures. Get that. This, what is being talked about here, is testing them on a lower level, so they can all pass. I think. I am all for accommodating for each individual’s needs, preferences, interests so each person who comes by me gets every opportunity to develop into their own greatest individual as determined by their own conception of a higher power whatever that may be or not. But to what extent should a person be developed? That is the concern of this post. Stop when they can tell us what the author is talking about and where the author stands. Don’t go any further. Don’t gain the ability (if it isn’t already there) to form your own opinion of the topic, and the author’s position on the topic, and if it is already there – if you already have the ability to form your own opinion of the topic, and the author’s opinion of the topic – don’t share it with me. That is what is seemingly being required of teachers to ask of students.
My plan could be that I’m going to get my kids to the point to where they (1)can not be outdone with basic inside the box knowledge-based text questions, and (2) can out think their hallmates outside the box too. For the record, since this is published for all to see, I’m going to do what I’m told. For the record. You can quote me on that.
We could go on and on here . . I’ll leave you with this thought. The more I look at it, the Common Core seems to be a reason to simplify a required assessment so anyone can do well on it. Yes, it will include more written items, but how low do they all have to be writing in order for the playing field to be considered level?
How ’bout bringing the rest up to their highest potentials, rather than bringing some down to meet them? Instead of digging more holes so we can all see eye to eye, how ’bout we fill in the ditches so we can all stand on higher ground?
I’m just saying. This is actually horrifying to me.
Guys and Gals, if this post has made any sense to you, you may be wide-eyed and sweating, tense and quivering with fear or optimism; students, teachers, parents, guests – feel free to comment on this below.
Level what? How is this supposed to help people. How does this make the economy better or help those who cant take care of themselves. This is creating a dumb America. Do you honestly think the worlds super powers are going to stop and wait for us to catch back up. In a world were jobs are tight, you want us to be less certified than our competitors. This does not help create a strong country, this makes other countries stronger. Isn’t this just teaching us to be average. An average school, community, state , and country.
the joy is in the journey. Don’t make it easier to reach.
Why would anybody want to do this? Do jobs look at this? Do you honestly believe that this helps the students in the long run? Doing this will cripple the students that have lower set standards. By doing this those students will be unaware of what they are truly capable of. All students need to have the same standards and be pushed to meet them. I understand some people believe they are making accommodations for the students. Although unless the child is mentally ill such as autistic or they are dyslexic, you are doing more damage than good.
I read Mr.Moshe’s article and everyone’s responses, and I agreed with everyone, but the topic geniuely made me sad. To think that the standard is being LOWERED for my fellow classmates and collegues is horrible. If anything, it should be raised. Each person is an individual, and to lower standards just so everyone can pass is very unfair. Students who work hard, put forth 100% of their effort for school, and make school a prioirity, should not be penalized so others can do better when they do not deserve what they are receiving. People should try and motivate the students and not change the tests, change the students attitude, so they will do better and actually become smarter, and think outside the box. By improving ouselves, we can better everyone around us and help future generations, but we can not when we are lowering ourselves.
I believe that lowering the education is bad. We want to push ourselves to do the best we can. By lowering the bar, we’re not pushing hard enough or even at all. How would lowering the bar make it any easier for students? When we get to college, everybody’s going to have to be the very best they can. It can affect our careers if we were given low expectations instead of high expectations. Students wouldn’t be ready for what lies ahead.
“Lowering the bar?” Those words should not even be in the same sentence. What would be the point of Honors classes, if they are filled with kids who aren’t stepping up? Students should not be proud of their bare minimum work. They should be pushing themselves above and beyond. The Government shouldn’t expect a certain percent out of whites or blacks, or hispanics, or any other ethnicity. Everybody should strive for their highest potential peak.
I am inclined to agree with Sam on this, by lowering the bar for large groups of people, some of which dont need help, we are not respecting the individual. We are treating everyone too much in the same way. We can not characterize entire races as one thing or another. I fully agree with the author’s point of view. Instead of grouping students by race, teachers should group them by our ability in our intelligence.
If you lower the bar, then students will not be as smart as the generation before them. And if this happens then they may do the same thing to the next generation…(and so on) Currently I am taking Algerbra and then Geomertry, both a full-year class, and trying to fit it into one year. Im also taking Spanish 1 part 2 this year as well. If you never get ahead, then you will stay behind and never meet the bar. Hopefully the bar will keep rising and you will be forced to keep up.
I’m going to have to agree with Mr. Moshé on this. It’s not fair for students to grow up in a society where they believe they have achieved goals to the best of their ability when in fact they have been cheated (out of their education of course). America needs to try to raise the bar instead of lower it. This just shows how lazy we are. Instead of trying to help students we decide to do the bare minimum just to get them by and I’m sad to say that that just won’t work. It doesn’t just hurt the student’s future but our society’s future as well. It’s a good thing we have people who care about stuff like this, who knows where we would be without that support.
I think this is unfair to all of the people who want to do well in life. Many people get rejected to the college of their choice because they aren’t “good enough” to be accepted, and this is going to happen to us if we don’t learn to be “outside of the box” thinkers and if we don’t receive a quality education. Why would they want to lower the bar for education? It’s not doing anything that will make people more successful, so why do they want to bring us down instead of trying to pick us up? Sometimes, its good to be different, so the people who want to be educated well should get a good, quality education.
This is crazy, I think the only reason that the only reason the bar is lowered is because the school board doesn’t to get fired. They know that when children are not doing good in school questions will be asked and jobs will eventually be lost. Instead of thinking of ways to make students smarter and highering the bar for education they take the easy way out. That is not being nice to students it is being selfish. In adittion, just because someone is black, haspanic or aisan doesn’t mean they are dumber than white children. That is being very prejudice. It seems like those schools that lowered the bar want segregation to occur again.
This is ridiculas! If you have to lower the bar for education just to make sure that everyone is equal then something is not right. Not everything, should have to be equal to be able to all work together. Students should just be able to read, write, and learn at their own pace and not feel like they have to rush just to keep. Children should be able to feel comfertable with the learning pace that works for them. When a child comes home at night they should not have to feel stressed and overwelmed with homework, classwork, and projects. That is my opinion on this article.
This is ridiculas! If you have to lower the bar for education just to make sure that everyone is equal then something is not right. Not everything, should have to be equal to be able to all work together. Students should just be able to read, write, and learn at their own pace and not feel like they have to rush just to keep. Children should be able to feel comfertable with the learning pace that works for them. When a child comes home at night they should not have to feel stressed and overwelmed with homework, classwork, and projects. T
This is an outrage! It seems to me that by lowering the bar on education in order to “level the playing field”, our society is moving more toward a society like in the novel “Anthem” by Ayn Rand where everyone in society is equal, and we are not able to have our own opinions about topics, staying in the protective bubble that society put up to keep us from reaching our full potential. Our generation is not going to have a sense of individualism and society will not move forward with everyone being on the same ability and intelligence levels.
i completely agree with Mr. Moshé. Why would the government want to lower the bar? this is bad thinking on their part. We are going to be the leaders when their terms are over, and if we cant face these decisions, then we cant do much of anything. And if the leaders of this country cannot decide what to do it a very sensitive matter then, in my opinion, America is going to drop its position from a world power. I am not saying that this is America’s future, I am saying that this is what COULD happen if we continue on this path.
The main problem is the falling success rate of students but the true problem is an underlying issue of a double standard. We as students have no motivation other than our own motives to succeed. Why would anyone give 100% if only 86% of white kids or 74% of black kids is expected. They keep lowering the bar in order to meet with us but as the expectations of students continue to go down, so do our grades and more importantly, our morale. There is no purpose behind achieving anymore. All that is expected is 80% plus and other standards like it, not pushing students to actually do more than that. In the real world, job requirements and other tasks will not just be lowered because some can’t meet them, those underachievers will just get fired. It’s not fair to kids to teach them that nothing is really expected of them and standards will change for them. Welcome to life after high school where most seem to wake up and realize it’s not all about them anymore!
I disagree with lowering the education bar because we want to push ourselves to do our best. I think this is why our school has different levels of classes, like standard and honors. The ones in the higher classes are not necessarily the smarter ones. These students are the one who are willing to push themselves to do their best. The ones in the lower classes don’t care. They are happy to be passing each grade. Lowering the bar would only make these students work less to pass each grade. This is not fair for the students who are willing to work hard for anything. If the bar was set higher then the ones who pass ore only the students who work hard at everything they do. It will make the students in the lower classes realize they have to work harder to be able to pass and keep up with their classmates.
I believe that lowering the bar is a terrible thing! It wouldn’t make sense for the state to lower the bar, when so many students are doing bad already, why would lowering the bar make it any better? There are so many students failing because they either, don’t understand the topic, or simply don’t want to understand, so, if the, let’s say, ‘grade to pass’, is lowered, for an example, to a 60%, that wouldn’t show understanding on the topic, and there could be so many questions you could just not answer right, yet you would still pass, only getting about half of the information correct, sometimes even guessing if it’s a multiple choice test. They wouldn’t show much understanding of the topic at all.
It wouldn’t seem fair to us, who are always trying to pass and make good grades, in some ways because we have gone a long way trying to get the grades we want and suddenly, they begin to let others fall in the ‘passing grades’? If we once struggled, like everyone else, and soon got better at it, then can’t anyone else do the same? We were all beginners before, and we worked to get better.
When we get to college, how is lowering the bar going to help us? The state is not thinking on how it will affect our career.
Again, let’s say, we wanted to be an engineer? (A very HUGE job!) We need to know A LOT of math, and we have to be good at it, as well as the science of how, for example, much weight can be put the…18th story of a skyscraper! If you want to grow up and be an engineer, we have to go through high school, learning the material very well, and actually have to know how to solve the problems. If you don’t know the material well, and you passed with 50’s, 60’s and up to a 79’s (%) on all tests, essays, whatever, (if the state has those percentage grades as passing) then the collages won’t accept those grades and you won’t be offered a job, because if you don’t know the sufficient material, how can a person hiring you, trust you with a job to build or plan out something that can hold hundreds of people?
Lowering the bar would make everything worse. People would fall back and wouldn’t be able to get a good job or go to collage. We were once one of the most educated countries in the world. We are now the 4th. Would lowering standards make us smarter?
Idisagree with students having to work at the same pace as other students because i believe they have the right to learn at their own speed. If I were put in place of someone having to work at the speed of everyone elso i would either be bored or rushed with work. I think everyone should work in their own speed and live their own school schedules in order to get everything they are give done correctly and neatly.
Ps: Good job on your article Mr. Moshe:)
This is completely unreasonable! Everyone keeps complaining about the American public not being well educated enough for the jobs that are needed in our society, but they are saying that we need to lower the education standers. It is unfair to those students who care about their future to lower the bar on education. If some students don’t care about their future then that is their problem, you cannot drag the rest of the students down with them. Every child can be exceptional; it just takes the right amount of effort and the right people to encourage it.
Why should we get held back for something that does not apply to us? Lowering the bars on education standards is not fair to everyone, because it doesn’t apply to us! These students can’t reach the expectation now, but is lowering the bar really the answer? NO. If anything, the bars should be higher because there are some students working their butts off who excel and go over the top, while there are these kids that slack and don’t care about their education, so why should they have the chance to excel in something that they should have passed in the first place?! Lowering the bar for these students isn’t fair for us who work so hard because it is basically saying that all of our work that we did was way over the top, when in reality, it met the expectation! These people (RATCHET PEOPLE) just need to put more effort into their education because our standards should not be lowered for them. Also, lowering the standards will not hurt us, but it will hurt those slackers as well.
I need to clarify something that seems to be misinterpreted or unclear in how I wrote it. The Common Core has great potential in and of itself. It seems to lay out the promise for very deep and meaningful personal understandings, and discourse between students, teachers and people in general. The issue I am having right now is what is being done in order to attempt to begin to meet the objectives set in the Common Core. While it was being developed, I supported the Common Core. You see law makers and leaders in education have a momentous opportunity here. The question is, can they meet the challenge that Common Core presents? You may wonder, what does Common Core require us to do now that we haven’t had to do before. Take a look at it here – http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
And take a look through the North Carolina Common Core – http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/acre/standards/
Now . . . . after you’ve done some of the additional reading on the “bell curve” and the actual common core . . . .
The author of the below referenced article supports lowering the bar. It offers a different perspective to take then the one offered by me in my post. There is definitely something to consider. Find out something about the bell curve before you read the article so you know what the author is talking about. . . .
What can you say about meeting each child’s needs?
What is your responsibility when it comes to your education? What is your parent’s responsibility, your teachers’? Is the bar being lowered in order to create the potential for great advantages to more children, people, society?
One example of lowering the education standards is New York. When I moved to NC from NY I was way behind my classmates. The environment filled with thugs on every street made the NY School Board think that none of the kids would care about school so we were only expected to reach the bare minimum requirements. The students here were way beyond the maximum requirements that I needed to pass the grade. Just because the majority of people don’t seem to care where their future is going doesn’t mean everybody does. As a student in NY I was expected to barely pass the grade, while here in NC high honors students are expected to go beyond the max. Lowering education standards doesn’t help students, I should know. It doesn’t help the country either. It only makes it harder for everybody, the students and the country as a whole.
I disagree with lowering the bar for students. Although lowering the bar is meant as a good thing, it’ll result in the worst for students. In the tough economy that we live in now, we don’t need lower level thinking people, we need the overachievers, the ones that go above and beyond. If the bar is lowered all it will result in is the lack of intelligence and good judgement for kids, basically kids will keep getting dummer and dummer. And For those kids that think lowering the bar is the best thing, they will realize how wrong they were when they end up homeless or without a job. In the article “In my opinion: Don’t Lower the Bar on Education Standards” it discusses that some states have been lowering the bar for kids just because their “different.” That’s similar to what mr. Moshe was speaking about above, except they’re planning to do it for all the kids. Lowering the bar will be a major mistake that will affect the future greatly. By lowering the bar for kids, once they go out into the real world, they will be unexperienced and will just worsen things. We should think twice before lowering the bar.
Personally, I haven’t been in many “outside the box” classes, but I do have a few now and I really appreciate it. I absolutely dread having to stop my performance just so I can let some other people catch up or vice versa. I have heard of many schools in many different places only accepting the best of the best…..of the best and I really doubt they got to that position by setting the bar low for their students. I don’t think you can learn by easing your way through class. You should be challenged and your brain should wipe off all that dust and start working. Setting the bar lower is going harm you not only in school, but out in the real world too. If you were asked to make a model of a building by your boss, are you going to draw sloppy 1-year old pictures on a lined piece of paper that you spilled some food on? Well, of course not! You want to beat all your co-workers(in a friendly way, of course) by turning your brain into a lean, mean, thinking machine. Better work, better learning, better thinking, better life. Nobody wants to crawl on their belly to get past the academic bar.(it’s kind of ironic because,physically, the higher the bar, the easier it is to get past. The lower the bar, the harder it is to get past. That’s not my point though. Just a side note.)
I totally agree, Mr. Moshe. Why is it we are lowering th bar for ourselves and not rasing it? Why does the school board feel the need to bring people lower, so the others won’t feel left out. We’ve gotten higher, by pushing ourselves. Now it’s time for the others to do the same. This article really made me pensive. I’m sitting here thinking, all the thoughts just swirling in my head.
Lowering the bar won’t get us anywhere. Soon or later, we’re going to trip- if we already haven’t.
I think that lowering the standards for some kids pretty much hurts everyone including themselves.
One thing it hurts is our generation and our country, as Mr. Moshe said. It’s hurting our country because as people expectations on kids go down the less the kids are going to learn. For example if you give a project and have to supply five PowerPoints to get an “A” many kids will work hard and get an “A”. But if you only need half of a PowerPoint for an “A” most kids would only do that if it got them an “A”; even if they knew that they could do so much more and make it 100 times better.
Another thing it hurts are the kids that can do less. Even though that they have the ability to what other kids do they don’t. Doing less than others will also result in learning less. Therefore you that kid is going to be even more far behind in academics in the long run because everyone is learning more than him.
this is one of the most crontroversial thing that i have ever read, for many reasons. 1 some parents, sad but true, dont care about their children’s education so they would be ok with their child doing the least they could. Other’s want their child to do best they can and exceed what is expected of them so they will be furious to know that the common core which is supposedly improving the school system is lowering standards just so that everyone will pass. Standards need ti be raised because the standards that are already set are easy to exceed and anyone can meet them if they put forth the effort. Such as my classmates and self we all have the same classes all day long because we work hard and put forth the efffort and work it takes to abundantly exceed what is expected of us. so of course most of us are going to be very upset with the fact that we have been working hard and put forth all our effort when others have already been doing the bare minimum to pass, and now the State legislator or whoever wants to make the bare minimum even less so that lazy students can do even less then what they doo now which is basicaly nothing as is. This is absurd and standards should be raissed like Derrick said not lowered the low standards that are already set is why the United States is number 1 in olympic gold medals but number 7 in high school graduates i dont know about anyone else but even though i love sports i would much prefer to be number 1 in high school graduates andnumber 7 in olympic gold medals because athletes are sort term entertainers but if you have a good education and a career to fall back on after your sports career is ended then not only are you still making money but you are helping the economy grow and can help to increase the number of educated society members creating brighter and better leaders for our country
Well this explains why my other teachers tell me to think inside the box. It made me really confused because i was always told to think out-side tho box. I felt weird starting school this year because of this. I think this is wrong because there are many people that are even past the high standards in their classes now. The people that are in the lower level classes are there because they don’t do their work(most) not because it is harder things for them to learn. The bar should be raised because the technology that is new still isn’t full proof so we need people that can make this technology better. Not so we can keep our technology at the level it is at.
I agree that we shouldn’t have to lower the bars to meet the needs of others. It isn’t fair that some kids can’t be challenged because other kids don’t meet the standards.
I agree with everyone who has commented and Mr. Moshe. It is very unfair that children nowadays are getting a lower education. If we are supposed to be the future leaders of America, possibly the world, then why are we getting held back from opportunities that could strengthen our education for the future? We are supposed to be outside the box; being on the inside doesn’t count! Also I wanted to give my opinion towards the Leonard Pitts article on Kelly Gallagher: I agree with Pitts’ position about this whole subject of education standards! Additonally, I think the education standards of expectancy for each race is just plain stereotypical. For example, how the white expectancy is higher than the black expectancy. There shouldn’t be expectancies at all because each child should be entitled to the best of their ability, equally among every other child, no matter what color they are. I’m just saying…
I agree that lowering standards to meet the needs of others is only setting those of greater ability back. In standard classes there should be not limit to what is required to learn. Above and beyond what is expected is the way to go.
I 100% agree with Mr. Moshe’s article because it is true and, as a student, I know. As high level students we want to exceed the expectations, but with the lowered requirements, our basics are their exceeding expectations. The students who do not care about the grade they get on their test are the ones who may think that they are benefiting from the lowered requirements, but in the long run, they really aren’t. They are just digging themselves deeper into their ditch with the teacher’s help because they are the ones that are telling the kids good job when it was horrible. I believe that we should not only raise the bar on education but keep it firm. Also, my favorite part of this article is when Mr. Moshe writes, “Instead of digging more holes so we can all see eye to eye, how ’bout we fill in the ditches so we can all stand on higher ground?” We all need to be pushing ourselves to be the best that we can be, not the best that we think we can be.
Educators in China and other countries, aren’t going to “level the playing field” with their students. So why should we?
I am outraged. This is ridiculous who would do such a thing for the sake of my brother and his generation we need to do something about this. Now if everyone is passing and it is not fair. It truly is depressing to think that there are stupid people in this world that think lowering the standard is a good thing. my one question is….. how can i prevent this from happening? i need answers before i freak out.
I am outraged. This is ridiculous who would do such a thing to take away the privilege of those students who enjoy and take away major experiences from learning enough to exceed the standard. Now if everyone is passing it is not fair. It truly is depressing to think there are stupid people in this world that think that lowering the standard is a good thing. my one question is….. how can i prevent this from happening? i need answers before i freak out
I agree with you Mr. Moshe. Our generation (people my age) should be raising the bar not lowering it. If people can’t give their own opinion on something (like i’m doing now), how do we expect to succeed in life with leaders like this. I believe most of the reason that the bar is being lowered is because the school board doesn’t want to hold anyone back. If they do hold someone back then they will have to deal with that person and their problems. So I believe that they don’t want to have this hassle. The school board should stop being lazy and fix and “upgrade” the problem, not let people fail and be okay with it. I personally want to succeed in life and not be “adequate” like you said in your article. I’m am glad that you brought my attention to this, and gave me the space to respond.