Absurdity Is the Rule

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice enters a fantasy world, encountering all sorts of unbelievable situations where normality is absent and the absurdity is the rule.

Absurdity is definitely the rule in Louisiana.

It’s time for Alice to return to the real world… where absurdity should be the exception, not the rule.

In April, Louisiana students took new, un-tried, un-tested assessments that took months longer to grade. The scores are ridiculously low, but Louisiana citizens had to file motions to get the raw scores released, scores John White would never have published. Now White is translating them to a scaled score from 650 to 850.

The SAT and the GRE are ranged from 600 to 800, so why did the DOE pick such arbitrary numbers?

Because absurdity is the rule.

A student can score as low as 22% on a test, and the BESE Board majority approved John White setting this score as a cut-off for basic.

Roughly one question right out of five is successful?

Because absurdity is the rule.

The Department of Education has set up an online process so that people can review Louisiana’s standards. The process is arduous and designed to promote acceptance of the standards.

Approving a standard takes one check of a box. Questioning a standard requires excruciating detail and several time-consuming steps.

Why? Because absurdity is the rule.

The legislature created a Standards Review Committee (SRC) to review all standards and must have a meeting in each of the eight BESE districts.

On Thursday in Crowley, responsible parents and educators, after hours of groundwork, made numerous recommendations to SRC. The fourth grade alone has some 28 standards, and Mrs. Shawna Dufrene, an appointee to the review committee, recommended 26 changes.

The meeting lasted over eight hours, but the Shreveport meeting lasted but two hours.

Absurdity is the rule.

The ultimate irony is that Holly Boffy, the BESE Board District 7 representative, came briefly to Crowley to congratulate the hard work the committee was doing to revise the standards.

Wasn’t it the responsibility of the BESE Board, Boffy included, to adopt an appropriate, competent set of standards in the first place?

If the standards are so badly-written that they need a 90% rewrite for one grade, shouldn’t one ask how carefully this BESE Board majority did their job before adopting these standards?

A BESE member thanking an outside group for fixing the mess BESE created? Absurdity is definitely the rule.

The Louisiana public is realizing that four years of John White and this present BESE Board majority have been an unqualified disaster. They have served the needs of billionaire donors, Common Core-aligned book publishers, and charter schools.

It’s time for Alice to return to the real world… where absurdity should be the exception, not the rule.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “Absurdity Is the Rule

  1. Well-written: Especially like the choral response.

    Agreed, the feedback process established by BESE/LDOE was arduous. It took me about three hours of personal time to complete the entire ELA for first grade.

    Agreed, BESE member Boffy should have rolled-up her sleeves and offered to help. If she was concerned her presence would appear as interference, she could have chosen to assist in some other fashion. “The servant shall be leader of them all.”

    I think the spirit of the CCSS, before Coleman and others who were failing or beginning to fail to create real capital (most $$$ “growth” now is an algorithmic shell-game, anyhoo) decided to come rape and pillage education. There once was a time when seasoned, experienced (decades, not three years or long enough to get noticed by ….) educators would be primary contributors to textbook editions and curricula resources. Wisdom wears a “hoary head” as the weightiness of decisions bears down upon those whose hearts and commitments are for their students and schools.

    Again, points well-made in an enjoyable piece, Mr. Barras.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s