Judge Robert Freedman is an idiot. I know this news is a week old, but this guy just exudes so much stupidity that he could give Bush a run for his money. This man struck down the statewide standardized high school exit exam, further devaluing California school systems and the students who are produced from them.
The exit exam tests graduating seniors for their aptitude of what they have learned during their school careers. It tests at an 8th grade level. Students can take it a multitude of times. Read those last two lines again.
This was the first year the exit exam was actually being put to effect (it had been postponed two years ago to 2006) but because 47,000 students were not going to graduate, Lawyers representing those students sued the state in order to get the exit exam thrown out.
The lawsuit attempted to claim that low income and english learning students were at a disadvantage; they couldn’t attend the fancier schools; they had responsibilities like work; they don’t speak english; they’re poor. Most telling was the fact that the lawyers stated the exit exam was racist, favoring wealthy caucasians, while ignoring latinos and blacks because those minorities are at an economic disadvantage. In essence, the exit exam isn’t fair to latinos and blacks, therefore it is a racist test.
Well, that’s tough. You know what? Life isn’t fair. It’s true. Students who come from a wealthier background do have it generally a little easier in school, while students who come from a poorer background often have to work a little (or a lot) harder in order to maintain good grades, and yes, pass exit exams.
And this is what’s racist–the lawyers who brought this lawsuit and the people who supported it. They’re saying that latinos and blacks are just too stupid to pass this test. Yeah, latinos and black are too damn dumb to pass an 8th grade level test that can be taken over and over and over again until it’s passed. That’s preposterous, and I don’t buy it. They’re the racists.
All this motion by the judge does is devalue California schools. It hurts students who worked hard in school. It means those students who did pass the exit exam are just as good as the ones who didn’t–that you can simply show up to school, and get a diploma.
A diploma is not a right. Though Freedman seems to think so. You don’t deserve it. You have to work to deserve it, and while some students will have to work harder in order to earn that diploma, I would hope they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for it, and not fall back on racist arguments as to why they feel they should just get one.
And finally, let’s just go ahead and throw out ACTs, SATs, and any other standardized test while we’re at it, because that’s also what this ruling declares. No standardized testing. Hell, no tests period.
Here’s a little clip from an article about this…
Liliana Valenzuela, an 18-year-old senior from Richmond and the lead plaintiff in Valenzuela vs. California, was in an English class at Richmond High on Friday when she got a cell phone call informing her of the judge’s decision. Containing her excitement, she quietly told her teacher, then slipped from class to meet her lawyers.
“I feel very happy,” she said later in Spanish. “Now I’ll be able to have my diploma and fulfill my desire to become a nurse.”
And do you really believe you can be a nurse when you can’t even pass an 8th grade level multiple choice test? Best of luck.