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High Schools Fail Thanks To Grade Inflation And Social Promotion
Toogood Reports ^ | December 5, 2001 | Vin Suprynowicz

Posted on 12/05/2001 5:50:33 AM PST by Starmaker

Faced with criticism — much of it based on pernicious assumptions of racial inferiority — over a proposal to beef up admission standards at UNLV and UNR to the point where a 3.0 high school Grade Point Average would be required for entering freshmen by 2006, Nevada's university regents are already backing down, talking about a compromise 2.75 standard or even extending the deadline to 2009 ... which might as well be forever, in the world of politics.

But some of the information that's come out in the course of this debate far overshadows mere angel-counting in an attempt to divine an appropriate entering GPA.

It's becoming clear that — thanks to epidemic grade inflation and social promotion — a vast number of students being accepted by the state's major universities lack the proficiency to do college level work, no matter what grades they've been awarded in high school.

Even among college freshmen who arrived at UNLV in the fall of 2001 with high school GPAs of 3.0 or higher, nearly 40 percent ended up enrolled in remedial English and math classes at the university, as Review-Journal education reporter Natalie Patton revealed in a front page story on Nov. 30, 2001.

Professors are reporting these kids — having consistently seen A's and B's on their high school report cards — are shocked to learn they are in no way prepared to do college work, reports university Regent Mark Alden of Las Vegas.

"Until now, I don't think there's been a clear picture of how kids are unprepared even though they have the grades," Alden comments. "These kids are ending up in developmental ed. It's worse in Las Vegas and Clark County, but it's all over the state."

Yes, raising the bar would reduce the demand for remedial education slightly — fully 52 percent of entering freshmen with high school GPAs between 2.5 and 2.74 turn out to need these catch-up courses. But once we realize that fully 38 percent of UNLV freshmen who arrive toting GPAs higher than 3.0 also need the remedial courses, the endemic nature of the problem grows obvious.

It's not as though the expectations for college freshmen have exactly grown more rigorous over the past 60 years. Entering freshmen at four-year colleges before the Second World War were expected to be able to read Latin (that's why preparatory schools were often called "Latin schools") and at least have a passing acquaintance with French or German — expectations for their detailed knowledge of mathematics and American history were also correspondingly higher.

Yes, those who enter today's local high schools without English as their first language may present a special case. But that excuse only goes so far — have the kids in question at least mastered secondary-level math and science in their primary language? Only if they got their schooling overseas, one suspects.

(Ask any European exchange student how hard he or she finds the high school curriculum here. After a few polite demurrals, they will usually admit, "We had all this material several years ago.")

"Maybe we don't have a good understanding with the high schools of what they do and what we expect of the students who come from our high schools to our universities," says grandmotherly Nevada Board of Regents Chairwoman Thalia Dondero, in a classic understatement.

In fact, the education bureaucracy has been de-emphasizing and then virtually eliminating memorization requirements for everything from multiplication tables to spelling methodology to the diagramming of sentences for decades, replacing solid and proven academic lesson plans with feel-good nostrums and the glorified equivalent of show-and-tell on the theory that students will fare better if they "feel good about themselves" than if they're occasionally brought to tears by having to confront the fact they're failing and just may have to knuckle down.

It hasn't worked, but this feel-good alternative fantasy world has been allowed to metastasize now for more than 30 years, until all involved realize — no matter what their deflective protestations about how hard it is to teach the ill-fed and the unloved — that the shock of a cold water reality check (giving today's high school juniors the same test their grandparents would have been expected to pass to get into a four-year college before 1960) simply cannot be allowed to happen, lest a failure rate above 90 percent expose their whole shambling bureaucratic cadaver for what it really is.

(No, the answer that "technology changes and most of that stuff would be out-of-date" does not hold water. Today's students should still know what James Watt had to do with steam power, even if they're also taught how to design a microchip — which they're not. And their ignorance of the debates over ratification of the Constitution and of Jackson and Van Buren and the National Bank would be hideously dangerous even if they were taught the real, detailed story of the ill-considered embrace of socialism by the Farley-Roosevelt administration instead — which they also are not.)

Setting admission requirements "is not a process intended to be exclusionary," simpers UNLV president Carol Harter, thereby summing up the whole problem in a nutshell, since the exclusion of the unprepared is precisely what a college admissions department must do, if our best students are to have any chance of moving head at a competitive pace.

What difference does it make where the GPA "bar" is set, if even those earning A's would be laughed out of their freshmen year at any self-respecting university in Europe or Japan?

Only those who refuse to admit the evidence of their own eyes can fail to recognize that what we are witnessing here is the nearly complete failure and implosion of the government welfare schools.(It makes no more sense to say "My taxes pay for my kid's school" than it does to say "My taxes pay for my Food Stamps" — the subsets of recipients and "donors" are never the same, or the whole exercise in redistributionism would be pointless.)

Since those in charge resist any course change as this engine hurtles towards the cliff, the only solution is to get your own kids out while there's still time.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: educationnews
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To: Starmaker
Here’s some links to some education threads (also containing numerous helpful links)


Source: Accuracy in Media; Published: December 4, 2001
Author: Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

The Failing Teacher and the Teachers' Code of Silence
Source:; Published: December 3, 2001
Author: Glenn Sacks

Time for outrage! Linda Bowles reports latest results in America's public schools
Source:; Published: November 27, 2001
Author: Linda Bowles

Illiterate in Boston: Samuel Blumenfeld explains U.S.'s ongoing reading problem
Source:; Published: July 20, 2001
Author:Samuel Blumenfeld

NEA - Let our children go!
Source: WorldNet Daily; Published: June 23. 2001
Author: Linda Harvey

Why Do Schools Play Games With Students' Minds ?
Source: The Detroit News; Published: April 1, 2001
Author: Thomas Sowell

The Public School Nightmare: Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?
Author: John Taylor Gatto

Dumbing down teachers
Source:; Published: 2/21/01
Author: John Leo

Free Republic links to education related articles (thread#8)
Source: Free Republic; Published: 3-20-2001
Author: Various

Are children deliberately 'dumbed down' in school? {YES!!!}
Source: World Net Daily; Published: May 13, 2001
Author: Geoff Metcalf {Interview}

New Book Explores America's Education Catastrophe
Source: Christian Citizen USA; Published: April 2000
Author: William H. Wild

Deliberately dumbing us down (Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt's, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America"
Source:; Published: December 2,1999
Author: Samuel L. Blumenfeld

Could they really have done it on purpose?
Source: THE LIBERTARIAN; Published: 07/28/2000
Author: Vin Suprynowicz

From the Littleton Crisis to Government Control Littleton Crisis to Government Control

The UN Plan for Your Mental Health The UN Plan for Your Mental Health

21 posted on 12/05/2001 9:49:31 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Engine82
Good grief Engine82, while your sentiments are sound, your grammar is lacking. Do you teach in a publik skool?
22 posted on 12/05/2001 9:56:23 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
I am a middle school technology education teacher. Please do not confuse typo's (is instead of in) with bad grammar. I do struggle with writing however. That is why I do not teach language arts (LOL).
23 posted on 12/05/2001 11:14:38 AM PST by Engine82
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To: Engine82
Well, my weakness is math! We all have our shortcomings!
24 posted on 12/05/2001 12:20:33 PM PST by ventana
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To: innocentbystander
Just yesterday I had to rescue a young cashier at Walgrens who was about to have a stroke from the stress of making change from the $20 I gave her for a prescription.

The other day I spent $11.19 at the grocery and asked for $40.00 back with my ATM payment. The clerk got out a pencil and paper and scribbled for a while. I thought she was going to cry, but the supervisor came by and rescued her.

25 posted on 12/05/2001 12:28:11 PM PST by js1138
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To: summer
You may find this of interest.
26 posted on 12/05/2001 12:34:35 PM PST by PogySailor
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
I want to smack their teachers for letting this get by, the school system for letting it get by, and their parents for not wanting their children to be smarter and more successful than themselves.
28 posted on 12/05/2001 12:50:13 PM PST by js1138
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To: PogySailor
Thanks very much for the flag on this, PogySailor. Yes, it is of interest to me! :)
29 posted on 12/09/2001 4:53:10 PM PST by summer
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