Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » WHAT’S THE POINT, THEN?

    Filed at 9:21 am under by dcobranchi

    The Wilmington News-Journal has a lengthy piece on DE’s new three-tiered diploma (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly). The level is determined solely by the results of the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) tests that the kids start taking in 10th grade. Predictably, the N-J goes for anecdotes: the poor student who passes the tests and the valedictorian who will get a “Basic” diploma.

    Jean McClain, a special education teacher at McKean High School, said she would prefer to see a diploma that labeled an area of concentration, such as English or social studies. “I am concerned that a diploma is really weighted so heavily to one test,” she said. “I know many people who do not test well but are good students.”

    That description fits Delcastle Technical High School honors student Danielle Johnson. Although tied for first in her class of 381 and a potential valedictorian, she will receive a basic diploma if her test scores do not improve when she retakes them. She received a 2 in math and a 2 in reading.

    But, the real info is buried in the middle of the article: no one appears to give a d*** about what level diploma one receives.

    Louis Hirsh, director of admissions at the University of Delaware, said the tiered diploma would have a very limited effect. “The diploma would be awarded long after the admissions decision had been made,” Hirsh said, because colleges often make their decisions before the end of a high school student’s senior year. “We look at actual courses. Nothing we do hinges on a single test. We’re more focused on what the student’s record is over time. A transcript shows that in a way a single test cannot.”

    …Bank One Card Services said the tiered diploma would have no impact there.

    “It would not affect our hiring decisions at all,” said spokeswoman Anne Marie Taglienti. “Most of our hires are college graduates.” Those who work in the company’s call centers, most of whom are high school graduates, work out of state.

    If the state’s flagship university and one of its largest employers don’t care, what’s the point?

    One Response to “WHAT’S THE POINT, THEN?”

    Comment by
    August 18th, 2003
    at 1:19 am

    I do believe that Hirsh from UD is talking out his hat when he says that UD doesn’t care about the diploma awarded. They know what kind of diploma is mostly likely to be awarded based on the 10th or 11th grade scores on the student’s transcript in their application & not till after graduation like he suggests.

    Remember it’s optional to continue to retake this test in 11/12 grades. You don’t have to retest ( at state cost of $45 per test)If you don’t your 10th grade score decides your 12th diploma.

    UD has a bad rep for looking down it’s nose at Delaware public school kids & they can because of this weird status they have of actually being a “private” college that somehow gets “PUBLIC” money from the state. There’s no state accountability for a private school. Not to mention that many of our BIG employers give big bucks as well.

    UD actually recomputes student GPA formulas based on what highschool you’ve attended & bases a big part of their acceptance on that. A common test score for all the public schools can only help to compare those students.

    Many other states have the rule that they have to take state kids first at least for a year.

    Not UD, they like & favor the kids from NEW JERSEY at $17,000 a pop vs the $6,000 for homegrown kids tution. The college should be named what it isUNIVERSITY of NEW JERSEY-Delaware campus. Now the school says that they don’t have enough students in any one year from a small state to fill enrollment at UD which is why they recruit heavily from PA & NJ. (I’ve heard this myself from several speeches one at UD on tour w/ a bunch of NJer’s & once at a local DE high school.)

    What that tells me is that UD “does” have the room to take ANY DELAWARE KID that wants to try it out & then it should shop for out of staters.
    But they don’t.

    UD has also taken back acceptance letters given to some DE public high schoolers if their grades had dropped in June or they dropped a difficult class after application time in the FALL.

    In fact UD warned the students in the highschool speech I heard that after they graduate & UD gets their final transcript & sees that their grades have gone down hill from Nov when they applied –UD may very well drop them over the summer to make room for kids on a waiting list or
    prohibit the DE student from taking classes on campus & put them on an academic probation program their first year(which means they spend UD prices $6000 to take sister classes at the local community college)till they’ve proved they’re UD material.
    Tution at the community college if enrolled there-$2500. WOULD AN OUT OF STATE KID SETTLE FOR BEING TRANSFERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE at $17000/yr??? Why do DEer’s do it??? because we have so very little to choose from in state big schools.
    Anything out of state will be well more than $6000.

    I’M BETTING THAT THIS DIPLOMA RATING WILL IN SOME WAY BE USED TO FURTHER DESCRIMANATE DE STUDENTS AT UD. but most likely they’d never actually put that on paper where it could hurt their status with our legislators that give them tax dollars. There’s going to be plenty of angry parents next JUNE.

    Oh & if this diploma isn’t important why can you can retake the test for up to 5 years after you graduate to up your diploma?

    What they didn’t say in the article is that last I heard/read at/in some stuff at Leg Hall in June of 2002 was that the cost of retaking the test post grad is $500 to be paid by the test taker not the $45 state cost. THERE WILL BE ALOT OF PEOPLE SIGNING UP FOR THAT–NOT!!!!

    In fact a Senator (that some of us know well) had a plan at one time to tie a distinquished diploma to automatic acceptance at UD. This was a selling point in his last campaign on the DSTP testing program( which he helped pass) to calm the complainers who were starting to question the consequences of these tests vs the benefit for the students.

    Oh and another point I’d like to say is that I find it quite amazing that now the DE state testing is all the fault/blame of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. That is political spin at it’s finest.

    These tests & accountabilty program were put on track & started by our former democratic governor now a Washington Senator almost 10+ years ago. The current Democratic governor & admistration “chose” to use them as the state test for NCLB and
    just a few years ago trumpeted the news that DE was so far ahead in inacting NCLB because it’s brillant Democrat leaders had already had such a great testing program in place.
    In fact until lately (as the real consquences for the kids have been discovered by angry parents) those leaders were proudly taking credit for reforming bad schools & getting more fed $ to help do that.
    Now that the public is not so fond of what icky details have been coming out somehow the current Republican Federal Government is to blame for a State testing program designed by state democrats & their appointees.

    I’m still trying to figure that out???? Stay tuned there will be more fallout to come from DSTP’s I’m sure. Will anything be done to really address the problems– I doubt it. The blame/buck will get passed & spun so many times only those of you that read this will remember where the trouble started & that everyone will be so exhausted from blaming each other that they won’t have energy left for fixing the problems but they’ll tell themselves in the end tha they did all they could (after all they are exhausted)so please vote for them again they are working hard for you.

    ANOTHER UGLY CONSQUENCE OF DSTP’s THAT HASN’T YET BEEN BROUGHT TO LIGHT IN THE NEWS> If you move to Delaware from another state anytime during highschool after 10th grade you still must take the Delaware test & pass to get a STANDARD diploma from the state. (ZIPPO CREDIT FOR YOUR OUT OF STATE TRANSCRIPT)

    What parent in their right mind would accept a job offer or buy a house here in DE if their kids were of highschool age & they couldn’t afford a private school??
    Watch those Delaware housing prices drop!!!!!!!& the employers like ASTRA ZENECA (which was wooed w/ state money to move their PA people to DE) stay here again if word gets out that the state punishes students of employees that transfer here.

    DE has alot of out-of-staters that transfer in & out of here at some time for BIG business & banking during their careers. It’s a rare thing here to really know alot of Native DE people.

    Sorry for any typos & spitting so much venom in one sitting. I’ve tried to proof this but right now I’m just too peeved at the injustice of this stupid testing program to see straight & its time for me to go wipe off my fangs.

    I really feel that life is full of do overs & sometimes the person/student you were in highschool isn’t the person/ student that you are in college & so on through life. I just don’t want to see students being told at 10th grade that they’re failures & decide to drop out cause the deck seems stacked against them.

    Just the other day I spent time on the phone with a woman who is trying to find out how to start homeschooling her high school son to save him from quitting his education ( not just school) because he’s just had enough of the negativity at school he just can’t find the joy in learning anymore. It breaks my heart to hear it. Thankfully this kid has a Mom who is willing to go the extra mile & not give up on him.
    I hope he finds the joy in learning again & continues to grow as a person. Why do I care?? I see him as our future.