Is meeting the minimum standards established under No Child Left Behind good enough? That was the question Heidi Bennett, Legislative Chair from the Washington State Parent Teacher Association (Region 6) posed to parents gathered last night in the Northshore School District.
Bennett told parents at Lockwood Elementary that students in our state are getting a cut rate, mediocre education, citing figures reported in this blog previously: 45 states better prepare students for college and careers than does Washington (as reported previously - the requirements don't match the minimum requirements for entrance into the state's publicly supported colleges), ours is one of nine states in which the achievement gap is actually growing and, overall, Washington gets a "C" in its education of school-age children.
In citing statistics from the 2009-2010 Measurement of Student Progress scores (one measurement of the achievement gap), Bennett pointed out that while White, middle class students fair better by comparison to students of color, they're actually not scoring all that well themselves.
When you examine the statistics more closely, only one-quarter of all Caucasian 5th grade students exceeded the minimum standards on the last MSP and only 76 percent passed the test. Bennett questioned whether that is an acceptable measurement of academic success. Bennett said it is the state PTA's hope that schools - and parents - would instead encourage students to strive toward exceeding the standard.