Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Monday, February 04, 2008

Who's Gonna Take The (Weight)/Wait?

I came across this Editorial, Graduating failure in the February 3, 2008 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. If the image looks a bit skewed, that's because I thumbtacked the article to my wall at school and snapped the picture with my digital camera. Click the image to make it larger.

The editorial points out several disturbing trends taking place in high schools throughout Pennsylvania and presumably across the nation.
According to the editorial, "More than 56,000 Pennsylvania high school seniors graduated with "empty diplomas" in 2006 because they failed state math and reading tests." The article goes on to point out that students were "given diplomas, in some cases, for just showing up. They left high school without mastering the basic skills to get a job or enter college."

Pennsylvania's Education Secretary, Gerald Zahorchak recently applauded the efforts of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education for proposing regulations that would establish the following: state graduation requirements: additional support for schools with struggling students, improved teacher training and a voluntary curriculum in English, math, social studies and science. Zahorchak said that the proposed regulations "will ensure that a diploma has meaningful, substantive value."

Hats off to the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Their proposals for change are realistic, forward thinking and a positive step in the right direction, however, the new regulations will not take effect for another six years! Can our students afford to wait (the weight) that long?

H. Songhai

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