Aug 212002
 
Authors: Vincent Adams

Political Coffee Talk

Welcome freshman and upperclassmen on campus early.

For those not familiar with my column, let me introduce you.

My name is Vincent Adams and I have made it my duty to inform people about state and local political happenings.

Why? Well, all too often local political news is buried in the media, and I think it deserves more coverage because local politics most impacts your life directly.

I hate calling it politics because after that word is said/read, a lot of people tune the important information out. But I promise to you – the reader – that I will present this information in an interesting manner and always make it relevant to you.

I also promise to leave out a section at the bottom to allow you – the reader – to write a response and tell me how wrong my opinions are.

So without further delay, our first topic.

I read a couple stories Wednesday about the state’s overall drop in ACT scores. After reading the headline, I was hooked because I am always interested in the state of our state’s education system.

Turns out our scores dropped in Colorado because Bill Owens – Colorado’s Governor – made a law in 1999 stating that by 2002 all high school juniors HAD to take ACT tests, regardless of whether these people were college bound. The additional costs to taxpayers – yes you – is $1.3 million a year.

That is a lot of money going nowhere and plus testing doesn’t measure what Owens and others think it does.

Owens has this misconception that testing is going to cure our educational problems. Whether that be testing the schools and pulling funding if they don’t make the grade, or testing kids to see how smart the kids are.

Testing is not a method by which we should measure intelligence or accomplishment. Some of the dumbest folks I know get A’s easily on tests and some of the smartest people I know struggle for C’s. The wording in the tests means something different for many people, causing a wrong answer because that person did not understand the question being asked. Also, tests might stress someone out so bad that it affects performance.

We don’t need more testing and we don’t need to make some tests unnecessarily mandatory. Why make these tests mandatory for people who are not going to college? You just waste money. It is stupid to use this test as a measure of students’ intelligence, especially if a kid isn’t headed for college. He or she won’t be trying to do their best if the test is worthless to them anyway.

We need to have teachers, not tests, evaluate each student and determine his or her intelligence. In turn, we should base grades on what each person learns as determined by good, involved teachers, not by the bubbles they fill out.

The article I read continued to boast this new idea, saying kids that were not college-bound might become inspired to go due to a good score on the ACT.

In the words of Dr. Evil: Yeah, riiiighht.

Allard and Strickland

I am sure you have seen their commercials.

Both of these guys are parading around like the champion for people and would never be subject to corporate corruption.

I hope neither of these guys win – although unlikely – because both of them appear to be typical political fat cats who are more concerned with winning than making things better for the people they “represent.”

Reader Response

I leave this spot so you – the reader – can have a response published. E-mail me at Vincent.Adams@ColoState.edu and I’ll include your brief comments.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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