Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Will Dropping the TAKS Improve Education?

I was chatting with someone recently. She said if Plano did not have to spend time with practice TAKS tests then instruction would improve.

I told her that since the educational philosophy at Plano ISD is flawed, more flawed instruction would not lead to more education. The fundamental flaw in Plano is that the administrators do not believe in teaching knowledge. You will notice this when you hear an administrator say, "A teacher is a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage."

Yes, I heard a Plano administrator say that.

Our children are getting short changed because the administrators do not believe in knowledge. You have heard me talk about math, now let me mention reading. Instead of emphasizing looking words up in a dictionary and increasing their vocabulary when reading, the Plano ISD emphasizes guessing the meaning of words. Plano teaches guessing strategies from elementary all the way up to high school.

Parents must provide personal tutoring or pay for tutoring if they want to ensure their children get grounded in the knowledge they need to succeed. Many parents in Plano send their children for extra instruction or tutoring, but it should not be necessary. The schools could and should do more.


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