Saturday, December 20, 2008

Judge blocks 8th-grade algebra testing in Calif.

The AP reports:
A judge on Friday blocked a plan to make California the first state in the nation to require algebra testing for all eighth-graders.

The ruling sidelines an ambitious mandate approved by the state Board of Education in July after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended it over the concerns of California's school superintendent and education groups. ...

About half of California eighth-graders receive full algebra instruction, but only about a quarter of those who take it score proficient or above on standardized tests. The rate is even lower for black, Hispanic and poor students.

Critics say pushing students into higher-level math too early could increase the dropout rate, but Mitchell said the ruling was a "roadblock to higher academic achievement in California." ...

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Camille Anderson said the governor still believes in algebra testing for all eighth-graders.
I thought that Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph was the only California judge who equated teaching math with child abuse. At my child abuse trial, one of the main complaints against me was that I taught my girls that was more advanced that what they were learning in the local public school. According to the testimony of Sally Mitchell, the CPS agent, I might do this for as much as two hours a week.

Ms. Mitchell wrote a report in which she complained five times about girls having to learn math. I would quote directly from her report, but Cmr. Joseph has threatened me with five days in jail if I do.

In Cmr. Joseph's final judgment in Jan. 2008, he said this about me entering my kids in a math contest:
He does not understand how it makes them feel when he proposes that one enter a contest that she is unqualified because of her age or grade level to enter and she knows it, but Dad insists that she do it anyway.
Of course Cmr. Joseph doesn't know how they feel either, as he never met the kids and no one testified about how they feel. He just assumes that it must be abusive to ask a girl to take a challenging math test.

Now another California judge has wiped out algebra testing for 8th graders in the whole state! What is with these judges who think that taking a challenging math test is a terrible thing?

A couple of months ago I met a woman who moved here from Brazil with her 8th grade son. She said that her kid sat in Santa Cruz public school classrooms for three whole years before he learned something that he had not already learned in Brazil.

My kids are in schools where the teachers hate math. They only teach what they absolutely have to. The level is below the rest of the world. I was only trying to teach them at a level that is taught for their age in other countries. Now, thanks to Cmr. Joseph, I am prohibited from teaching them. Thanks to another California judge, every 8th grader in the state is prohibited from taking an algebra test.

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