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HOW FAR DO WE LOWER THE STANDARDS?

 
 
nycdad
 
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2021 08:12 pm
How far do we lower the educational standards? Back in my school days, students needed to prove their test scores to get in and out of college. I vividly recall the much-feared COLLEGE WRITING EXAMINATION (CWE) at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. Everyone needed to take and pass the exam regardless of major.

I took the CWE and passed on the first try back in 1992-1993. The exam was removed as a graduation requirement not too long there after. I am not nor have I ever been a writing scholar. Passing the CWE does not require anyone to be a best-selling author. At 56 years old, I daily try improving myself and learning as much as I can before my time on Earth comes to an end.

It is ridiculous to pretend that a college degree can be earned without proving that actual learning took place. One day soon, a pencil will be the only requirement to enter college. Do you have a pencil? If so, you're ready to take calculus or physics. How far down do we lower the educational standards? Better yet, stay home and we'll mail the degree to your house.

You say?
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 07:10 am
@nycdad,
I don't think we are lowering the standards.

I have two daughters - one just graduated college and the other is a freshman. Most of the colleges they applied to required SATs or I forget the other tests. Now granted my younger daughter they ended up waiving SATs due to the difficulty and limit of available testing sights due to covid. But one thing I learned going through this process is most colleges realize these tests are NOT a good indicator of how a student will do in college. Most admissions offices feel that a student's gpa is better indicator. That is true of my older daughter who only did average or maybe slightly above average on her SATs - she graduated Manga Cum Laude.

To graduate college - most colleges do not have exit exams - I know even when I graduated many moons ago there was no exit exam requirement and I went to a highly regarded college that is difficult to get into. You have certain requirements within your classes in which they require exams including final exams or a final project. And then a final overall GPA and number of credits to graduate.

It is no different than what my daughter(s) have to do currently. Although in graduate school I did have to take an overall final exam in order to graduate. It was one that was put in place only for my particular major and at my particular university- not sure if was put in place instead of a thesis or why - but that is really the only one I have ever heard of until you mentioned your school and this was 1989. If I were to guess on your school's exit exam - it was likely due to the fact that they found it really did not serve a purpose.

I do think there are some colleges that have lower standards. But to be honest I do not see an issue with that. It does open up the option for those students who are not as strong academically to have the opportunity to further their education as well.

Future employers will know which colleges have higher academic standards and may hire accordingly. But I do think these have always been in place. You have Ivy and "little Ivy", then you have colleges considered highly selective, moderately selective, and so forth. So the idea is for a student to find a college that fits them the best.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 07:24 am
@Linkat,
Standards are always going down.

WhenI did my PGCE one of the first things we looked at was from the 1920s about falling standards.

People look back on the past with tinted specs and have little understanding of the current curriculum.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 07:28 am
@izzythepush,
People don't seem to know how to spell or apply punctuation any more. I'm constantly finding grammatical mistakes in books and newspapers. It used to be a sign of illiteracy but I don't know if that's true these days. With all this texting shorthand, maybe good English is a thing of the past. My niece wrote a piece for her application to university. It was absolutely appalling, but she got in. Her mother and I sat here shaking our heads. The standards have been considerably lowered, IMO.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 07:38 am
@Mame,
The standard of computer programming has gone down?

Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 07:41 am
@izzythepush,
"...maybe good English is a thing of the past."
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 07:58 am
@Mame,
Skills change, as do demands.

As far as English goes people have been complaining about standards since Shakespeare.

Language changes, what was common fifty years ago is unheard of now. People can take a prescriptive approach to grammar, saying how they should talk compared to a descriptive approach which looks athos people talk.

I had problems with kids using gotten, it's not English, it's an Americanism and if they use it they will lose marks.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:00 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

People don't seem to know how to spell or apply punctuation any more. I'm constantly finding grammatical mistakes in books and newspapers. It used to be a sign of illiteracy but I don't know if that's true these days. With all this texting shorthand, maybe good English is a thing of the past. My niece wrote a piece for her application to university. It was absolutely appalling, but she got in. Her mother and I sat here shaking our heads. The standards have been considerably lowered, IMO.


I was always a horrible speller - I was once told by a teacher that the capability of spelling is not an indication of intelligence. I think in part that spelling is often times not logical - either that this particular teacher was also a horrible speller and thus it was an out for him!

In any case I think all this mis-spelling is being too dependent on spell check. We used to look up spelling in a dictionary when we were unsure but now we have spell check to help us and often times it is a curse as it "fixes" our errors and chooses the wrong word and we miss it.

However, this should be caught by an editor when you make references to newspapers, etc. Yes our editing has become horrible. Part of my job is checking other people's work -- in the financial field - my focus of course is to ensure our numbers, calculations, etc are correct and also our legal and technical disclosure that often times explains risk and financial crap - basically stuff that no one really reads other than our client - so I see typos everywhere.

But to be honest this part shocks me:

Quote:
My niece wrote a piece for her application to university. It was absolutely appalling, but she got in. Her mother and I sat here shaking our heads. The standards have been considerably lowered, IMO.


This is the opposite of my experience. My older daughter (who went to public high school) for her essay for college, wrote a piece. It was part of their English class so not only did they get guidance on how to wrote their piece it was reviewed by her teacher and also part of her grade for her class. So it was pristine when sent to colleges for her application. There are also other students who pay for services to review their essays. I would be shocked if there were grammar and/or punctuation errors for these essays - at least to the quality universities.

My other daughter who went to private school even had a college admission officer come to their school and discuss the importance of the college essay - things that admissions officers look for and what they don't want to see. It is then looked at by the English teacher and their guidance officer and for even for input I sent it to an outside vendor that is offered free from my work place.

The bonus is - they also look at essays that you write for any scholarships. These services inside and outside the school will NOT change the premise of your essay - just give suggestions on where you should expand or cut back and help with any spelling and grammar items. I have to say that my younger daughter had hardly any corrections and was commented on by why her essay was so strong.

It also helped her get more money via scholarships. So my experience has been the opposite where they seem to be pushing for higher standards for these students - no one ever reviewed my essay for grammar or punctuation I did it all myself.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:04 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

I had problems with kids using gotten, it's not English, it's an Americanism and if they use it they will lose marks.



Well my kids and not any that I know use "gotten" - maybe some when they are trying to speak "street" but not in class and not in written work and not any young people - meaning those out of college - that we have hired.

I don't think you give them credit - I do think this young people are more smart than you give them credit. They know when to use proper English and when to use short cuts (ie text, hanging with friends) - when they are in a professional environment they know not to say "gotten" and other short cuts at least most.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:08 am
@Linkat,
Like I said, it's an Americanism, you're in America.

There is a problem with kids using American English unwittingly, gotten is just part of it.

They didn't know, they needed telling.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:13 am
@Linkat,
Einstein was a genius but he couldn't spell. I'm talking overall - grammar, punctuation, spelling, composition. Clarity of communication.

Drives me nuts when I hear people, more and more each year, incorrectly use pronouns. "She gave it to John and I"... "Him and her went to the store". God, it's so simple, but people care less or are lazier or never learned. Who knows?

I know they don't teach cursive writing anymore. And some schools don't teach grammar. Not that I think we should all be parsing our sentences, but if you don't know what a bloody verb or adjective is... Good Lord.

Maybe it's just the way of the future - language is always changing - but good English is essential to communication, is it not?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:21 am
@Mame,
Over here we have Key Stages,where kids are expected to be at the end of certain years.

Key stage 1 ends at 7, Key stage 2, 11 and Key Stage 3, 14.

After that they take GCSE exams.

Cursive,( double,) writing is a requirement in KS2 but not KS3. In effect once kids get to secondary school they can get away with printing, and in a lot of cases they're better off doing it.

And most letters are typed today, the only thing they need a pen for is the signature.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:34 am
Nothing has changed.

Kids are just as smart (and just as stupid) as they have always been. Old people are just as critical and bitter as they have always been.

Robert Russel circa 1695 wrote:
... I find by sad Experience how the Towns and Streets are filled with lewd wicked Children, and many Children as they have played about the Streets have been heard to curse and swear and call one another Nick-names, and it would grieve ones Heart to hear what bawdy and filthy Communications proceeds from the Mouths of such...

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:42 am
@izzythepush,
So I had always considered gotten to be a slang not a real word in a sense whether an Americanism or not - just a slang word so I decided to see how it originated. So imagine my surprise when I found not only is it a word but it originated in England not America.

Origin: 1150-1200(v.) Middle English geten < Old Norse geta to obtain, beget; cognate with Old English –gietan (> Middle English yeten), German-gessen, in vergessen to forget; (noun) Middle English: something gotten, offspring, derivative of the v. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gotten

“Just seeing the word is enough to set the hair of some British English speakers on end. Yet, despite the many claims that it is an Americanism, it is most definitely of British origin and the Oxford English Dictionary traces its first use to the 4th century.

You just never know

Since then, it has been used by many notable British English writers, including Shakespeare, Bacon and Pope and it was one of a number of words that were transported across the Atlantic with the settlers. But then it slipped out of use in British English, along with such words as fall for “autumn” (British English having opted to adopt the French word) and guess in the sense of “think”.” http://www.miketodd.net/encyc/gotten.htm
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:48 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:



I know they don't teach cursive writing anymore. And some schools don't teach grammar. Not that I think we should all be parsing our sentences, but if you don't know what a bloody verb or adjective is... Good Lord.


I know Mame you are not in the US - both my kids were taught cursive. My experience is they teach it in the younger grades and then move onto printing. One teacher explained it to me that as you get older - you are requested to print more (ie. on various applications) and that is why it switches. I also used to help out at inner city schools by being a mentor and penpal - at the school year end we would have a lunch where we met any students that we mentored over writing with them - writing was supposed to help their writing skills - grammar and spelling as well as to have a positive role model to write/talk with. Well in speaking to one of the teachers he talked about the importance of cursive writing and how it actually helps in learning to read - something with the flow of the letters.

Anyway grammar is by far very important in schools here. They have various English classes - usually a combination of grammar, writing and reading from pre-school all the way through 12th grade. English is one of the few subjects required in all years.

Actually to add onto this - in the US it can be different by state. Each state sets up their own parameters. So it is quite possible say in CA that students do not need English through 12th grade. I know that is MA a student needs English through 12th grade which includes I forget exactly how much grammar, but for sure my kids definitely had grammar in high school especially as they need to pass MCAS to graduate which includes grammar and reading comprehension.

And SATs (except most recently with COVID) also test for grammar which most colleges require as part of admissions.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:54 am
@Linkat,
It's not alone, other terms that have fallen out of use over here are still used over there.

It looks like we're arguing over the definition of Americanism. You appear to be saying it's something that originated in America which would mean gotten isn't one.

I don't see it as that, because there are plenty of words that derived in America that are in use over here that would not be viewed as such. I define Americanism as a feature of language used in America but not elsewhere, in which case gotten is an Americanism.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just different that's all.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 08:56 am
@Linkat,
I think cursive writing has always been about elitism. It is about showing your social status.

The only time I have ever used cursive writing is when I was writing a letter and a card and felt it looked more formal. I have never found any other practical use for it. I was taught cursive in elementary school. My daughter wasn't taught it. She was busy mastering two languages.

It seems like a waste of time to me.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 10:21 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I think cursive writing has always been about elitism. It is about showing your social status.

The only time I have ever used cursive writing is when I was writing a letter and a card and felt it looked more formal. I have never found any other practical use for it. I was taught cursive in elementary school. My daughter wasn't taught it. She was busy mastering two languages.

It seems like a waste of time to me.



https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/raise-a-reader-blog/cursive-writing-practice.html

This is in part what this teacher was referring to. One thing I did learn when I was trained to be a trainer as far as for work purposes is that people learn differently - this may help certain types of kids depending on how they learn best.

Good teachers use all methods so that reach each type of learner.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 10:40 am
@Linkat,
We were taught to print and then in Grade 2 or 3, we were taught to write and it coincided with starting to use a pen instead of a pencil. The schools had large banners above the blackboards instructing how to form upper and lower case letters. I generally write inn casual cursive which is some letters connected, some not. It obviously had nothing to do with "elitism" or "showing your social status" since it was province-wide and everyone learned to write. What an idiotic assumption.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2021 11:04 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

It obviously had nothing to do with "elitism" or "showing your social status" since it was province-wide and everyone learned to write. What an idiotic assumption.


True - similar to me when I was in grade school - we all learned cursive - and I went to school in a city (that was far from a "high-brow" city quite the opposite)
 

 
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