Good Job VA Beach

10 09 2008

RE: “Plan’s Goal: Students as Critical Thinkers” Virginian Pilot – 10 Sept

Kudos to Virginia Beach Public Schools. They are actually admitting that all the state SOLs are good for is minimum standard. Passing the SOLs does not actually mean that you are top of your class. They just mean you that you can take a test and pass with proficiency. Virginia Beach is recognizing this and is actually creating a plan that would teach *gasp* critical thinking in schools. Perhaps the rest of Hampton Roads will follow suit and also teach students useful skills like how to think. I never had to take the SOLs because I went to a private school but I know that I am not a very good test-taker. I probably would have failed these tests had I taken them. That wouldn’t mean I was an idiot, but in public schools I would have been held back. It wouldn’t matter that I had a 12th grade reading level in the third grade or that I could comprehensively explain the concept of global warming, causes and solutions, in the 2nd. I knew what nuclear energy was and I could explain to you how it was produced. None of that would have been good enough for the state, however, because if I failed the SOL, I would have been held back. One day, the rest of the country may figure this out, but I can tell you know: if ALL you can do is pass an SOL then that is all you are when you go to the ‘real world’, S*** Out of Luck.

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