In a stack of papers called Testing.

  • Mar
  • 20
  • 2006

Does the existence of a high school exit exam imply that there should be a whole host of other tests? If students take a test to prove that they can leave high school, shouldn’t they have to take a test to prove they can enter? A High School Entrance Exam (HSEE)?

Even if a freshman has low skills, if s/he isn’t a special education or English language learner student, the schedule will say English 1/9. The course a student is enrolled in does not necessarily reflect the course that student is ready for, it often reflects simply what course a school has to offer. Read that sentence one more time.

If the courses they find themselves in are not necessarily the courses that they are best suited for, then simply making progress with that student from year to year should be enough to show that a school is successful. But how do we track that without creating a whole new level of administration to follow kids around, charting progress all the way?


1. lnjacks says:

[3/20/2006 - 8:36 pm]

I completely agree! The idea of least restrictive environment needs to turn into most appropriate environment. We are expected to place 30 kids in a room and give them individual learning plans. Impossible. Back to ability grouping.

2. Todd says:

[3/21/2006 - 10:17 am]

Classrooms need to be heterogenious and I believe that firmly. I do not advocate for ability grouping across the board. It seems to me that puts us back into tracking mode very quickly. Also, that puts low-level students in classrooms without any models of higher thinking. Some will argue that to place high-level students in a room simply to provide a model for others does little to help those high-level students advance, but I disagree.

I sat in on a blogging workshop at the National Writing Project convention this past fall where a group of AP Literature students (senior-level high school students) worked with 8th graders. The literature the 8th graders were reading was clearly low for those seniors. But the confidence the project built into the seniors enabled them to better handle their own literature study; talking with the 8th graders about literature that the seniors had a clear grasp on put those seniors in a position where they started to really see how and why literature works. Through the low-level discussion, these high-level students advanced in their own thinking and reading, helping out the 8th graders along the way.

3. Tim says:

[5/25/2006 - 3:14 pm]

Entrance, hell why noy a weekly progress check, fail and it’s off to GITMO

Tests prove who can test not what you know, so the government, who has proven they know less than an average APE need to let teachers teach and stop this race to excellence in an unknown thing. We need to test congress on their knowkledge of astrophysics it would make just as much sence as the HSEE or SAT or LSAT or RICA or the MSAT/LSAT. Why you are at it make the HSEE cost $500 to pay proctors $5,000.00 to give the tests as long as they have a PHD/JD.


4. Todd says:

[5/26/2006 - 8:11 pm]

I think you misread something, Tim. Your military reference is a ludicrous overstatement of my argument, but it did make me chuckle. Some schools and some parents do regulate weekly grade checks, you know.

My point here is that we expect all students leaving high school to be at the same exact phase of development. But we never give consideration to the fact that they enter at all sorts of different levels. How can it be a feasible expectation that high schools take students and bring them to the same level in four years? For some students, that doesn’t represent much movement at all because they are already bright and curious. For other students, that represents an impossible movement because they stopped paying attention in 2nd grade.

If we’re going to say that all students exiting high school have to be at this level, isn’t it fair to say that all students entering high school have to be at a certain level, too? Otherwise, it simply ensures that high schools fail to reach all students. It’s not possible to move from 2nd grade reading comprehension to 10th grade reading comprehension in four years. It cannot be done.

And your assertion about what tests prove is only true if the test is poorly written. Most standardized tests, despite the millions of dollars spent on their creation, are poorly written.

5. Tim says:

[6/7/2006 - 1:21 pm]

Yes my “military statement” was radical but if students fail the HSEE it will place them at greater risk for jail time. In education we need benchmarks, ie entrance exams to have the initial benchmark.

Have you been to some schools, the often total lack of basic skills in a pleague that can be the one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch. For example remediation classes cost money and time. Why not spend the same amount on advanced classes?? But NOOOOO we must embrace the masses and hope we can teach them what we feel is important..

6. Tim says:

[6/9/2006 - 1:44 pm]

So the arguement appears to be against the current HSEE, but there is no logicial replacement. My exit exams from college were quaint at best, the thumbnail test gave only a glimpse of what was learned. The State Bar is another exam that has little use.

When students fail the HSEE it may be logicial to have a dna marker test on record. I do not think all students that fail the HSEE will commit crimes but it is our state money which might prove to be a better investment than welfare, remember the cost of trials, maintaining courts, and the dna results might eliminate investigation costs.

YES I am radical BUT I am peeved that I know children that need medical help but because they are American and the parents are stupid enough to work they are punnished.

7. Tim says:

[6/9/2006 - 1:45 pm]


Make parents more responsible, Reading was first taught at church to read scriptures and families read together in one room at one time. How novel, FAMILIES FIRST

8. Todd says:

[6/9/2006 - 2:46 pm]

Ok, Tim. You’ve completely missed the point of the post and are writing about an entirely different subject. Normally, I wouldn’t mind, but you seem to think that you are right on topic and you’re not. Can you please go back to what I wrote in this posting about HSEE? My idea was with an ENTRANCE exam, not an exit. And it certainly wasn’t about “children that need medical help.” What are you talking about?

As far as your earlier comment, like so many other people, you are trying desperately to make public education everything to everybody. You create a failing system anytime you try to do that.

Do you have proof, Tim, that reading was first taught in churches? That’s a pretty tall charge to trace reading instruction back to a single institution. It’s an even further charge to trace it back to an institution that’s preferred a little ignorance in its members. Do you really think so much of Catholicism is in Latin to help members follow along? Do you think things are in Latin to allow the common man to easily understand?

You’re flat wrong that everyone “read together in one room at one time.” Women were often forbidden to learn reading formally and plenty of cultures have a history of not being able to read, as things were transmitted verbally. And any of that reading in religious contexts was more about indoctrination that reading instruction.

Anyhow, I really think you should go back and read the original post, Tim, instead of just picking something completely out of context and responding to that (your interpretation of what I meant by HSEE is misinformed).