America’s academic accountant has developed sticky fingers. By distorted entries in two separate accounts, grading and the SAT, the country is being scammed. We are robbed of valid measure of school results, and student achievers are deprived of just rewards for real ability.
When 90% of Stanford students receive grades of A or B, the standard curve is destroyed. When over 40% of Harvard students make the honor role every term, flunking out necessitates a deliberate act of self-immolation.
If you regularly read articles like this, you are probably a member of one of several generations Americans taught to read by an approach known as the basal reader approach. If you can think back and hear any of your teachers saying, :Take out your readers,” or “Take out your workbooks.” or if you can remember flash cards, taking turns reading a story orally, working on worksheets, or following the adventures of one family, whether they were Dick, Jane, Sally, Puff, and Spot; or Jack, Janet, Penny, Tip, and Mitten, you were undoubtedly taught to read by the basal reader approach. And if you regularly read the daily newspaper, or popular or specialized periodicals, you are a literate citizen who can function effectively in American society.
Throughout America, the federal government is imposing a new educational program called “Outcome Based Education” (OBE). Under OBE, students no longer earn grades based on their mastery of a curriculum. Instead, students are evaluated on whether they have attained various “outcomes,” many of them vaguely-defined.