12 May 2006

Zero always equals zero


Today a California judge will decide whether the state’s graduation exam is fair to students who made it through school without mastering basic reading and math skills. Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks ignorance is no excuse.

Arturo González, the attorney who wants to overthrow the exit exam requirement, has argued that the test isn’t fair because schools are not equal. Judge Robert Freedman of Alameda County Superior Court apparently agrees. The judge will issue a final ruling on Friday, but already has said he is inclined to grant an injunction to allow seniors to graduate even if they failed the eighth-grade level math test, the 10th-grade level English test or both.

It’s sad but true: All California schools are not equal. The question is: What do you do about the inequity? Do you sanction the inequity by allowing students to graduate ignorant? Is that fair? Or do you require that all graduates be able to read a news story and know what it means when a sale sign says “25 percent off?”

Only the hardest questions require 10th grade English and 8th grade math skills. And these are four-option multiple-choice tests with a pass rate of 60 percent for English, 55 percent for math.

Standard socialist solution to inequality — destroy the value of everything involved (e.g., other student’s diplomas) to prevent inequality.

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When the facts aren't on your side, spin the table

[source, source]

In one corner, we have the New York Times, who cites two officers and a couple of professors (one of whom is a veteran) in their article, without stating if any of these four men have any knowledge of the M249. They do not profess any specific knowledge of the weapon in question at all, and the Times does not provide one fact in this story. It’s all opinion. Also in this corner, CNN’s Jamie McIntyre who cites completely erroneous information to make excuses for a terrorist.

In the other corner, you have a couple of bloggers who did what the professionals should have, and “Googled” facts about the M249 and similar weapons. The bloggers were in contact with and verified facts through current and former SAW gunners from two countries (United States and Canada).

One side has facts, the other opinion. You choose who you want to believe.

Isn’t it odd that the news gathering / analyzing capabilities of Old Media have atrophied so much just as technology made them so readily available? They’re starving in a field of cornucopias.

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