I didn’t see the State of the Union address earlier this week. It’s not that I’m not interested. I just don’t like subjecting myself to advertising, especially political infomercials.
However, I did read the transcript (took less time) and, of course, I was most interested in what W had to say about education.
Third, we need to encourage children to take more math and science, and to make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country.
Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America’s children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.
I realize that this speech is not the place for details. But when – if – the administration finally gets to that point, I have a few questions.
Where are schools going to find that many people who both understand college-level math and science (Calculus, physics, chemistry, etc.) and are capable of teaching those topics at that level to teenagers? Not to mention willing to do it.
More importantly, where are you going to find enough students capable of learning college-level math and science to fill those classrooms?
Rather than preparing most students to study at a higher level, No Child Left Behind is gradually dumbing down the curriculum so that fewer will be prepared to take AP classes. At least AP the way it’s supposed to be taught.
Finally, when are our “leaders” going to wake up and realize that real improvement in American education is not going to spring from standardized testing programs?
Sorry. I’ll stop asking questions now.