June 15, 2009

At a professional development conference this week, I have discovered that the kind of department testing I advocated and said there was no reason students shouldn’t be able to do is regularly given to high school students. Why don’t we do something similar? Because “most” of the students wouldn’t pass. And Dr. DSN didn’t want to be bothered with the flak it would allegedly cause. Instead of seeing that as a sign of problems in our courses or in the student population, it was seen as almost ridiculous to expect college students to think on their feet—or their ass, as in this case. So what was the fear? That we wouldn’t as a department be able to defend our choice to actually challenge students and make them learn skills that are taken for granted for any college graduate? It’s offensive to find that [some] high school courses are more rigorous than our department’s exit exam.


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