Thursday, May 25, 2006

California High School Diplomas: Now Available in 2-Ply Sheets

When I was in college, many of the school's bathrooms had this phrase written above the toilet paper dispenser: "Harvard Diplomas: Take One".

For the record, I attended Columbia and Cornell where most of the student body had received a rejection letter from Cambridge as high school seniors. Thus, I can say with reasonable certainty that the bathroom vandal was basically echoing a 'sour grapes" feeling common to many of his classmates (including me).

Recently, I thought once again about the bathroom stall graffiti. This time, it was when Alameda County Judge Robert Freedman invalidated the California State High School Exit exam as a requirement for high school graduation. From last week's San Mercury News:

In his ruling, Freedman concluded that students would suffer great harm by being deprived of a diploma, both emotionally and practically. The prospect of having to spend a fifth year in a high school without sufficient educational resources or attend a community college instead of a four-year university shows ``significant risk of harm,'' Freedman wrote.

Arturo Gonzalez, a lawyer representing the students who challenged the exit exam, said Freedman's decision made clear that the harm to students greatly outweighed the harm to the state. ``I can't imagine any justice on the California Supreme Court would be eager to deny tens of thousands of students their diplomas,'' he said.
By a narrow 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court yesterday reinstated the state exam requirements for the high school diploma, subject to a review by the state's Court of Appeal. From the SF Chronicle:

In a split decision, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the exit exam--at least for now--and directed the Court of Appeal to hear legal arguments over its validity. It was unclear how quickly the appellate court would act after the high court's 4-3 decision to set aside an Alameda County judge's ruling that struck down the law requiring seniors to pass the test in order to receive a diploma. This year is the first time the requirement has been enforced.

Iris Padilla, a senior at Richmond High School who speaks almost no English and hasn't passed the exit exam, was in class Wednesday when another student received a phone call with news that the exit exam had been reinstated. "Several girls started to cry," Iris said, acknowledging she was one of them.

Iris has passed all her classes and otherwise would graduate if not for the exam. Her spirits were high earlier this month after an Alameda County Superior Court judge struck down the exit exam, saying it was unfair to penalize students who attended poorly performing schools and hadn't been given an equal opportunity to learn the materials on the test.
In other words, the liberals in the state judiciary would like to award California high school diplomas to students who speak virtually no English because it would cause them to suffer emotionally and prevent them from getting into college. How should we deal with high schools that give passing grades to students who barely speak any English? Or judges who are turning California's public unversities into a institutions of remedial learning?

Note to bathroom vandals: Don't put away that Sharpie just yet.

Crossposted at SF Moonbats

2 Comments:

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Gateway Pundit said...

I read your piece at American Thinker. Very good! Informative!

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger James Fletcher Baxter said...

Consider:
The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human' determines our view
of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and
future. Important? Only the Creator who made us
in His own image is qualified to define us accurately.
Choose wisely...there are results.

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

"To make any sense of the idea of morality, it must be
presumed that the human being is responsible for his
actions and responsibility cannot be understood apart
from the presumption of freedom of choice."
John Chamberlain

- from The HUMAN PARADIGM

 

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