Saturday, February 19, 2011

False Hope

Original Article

Summary goes here!

The original article is about a community college struggled to keep its open admission policy with tough budget time. With the low turn out of the remedial education, the article is intended to justify its move to move away from the open admission policy.

To offer my opinion, I would like to start with my believe of what education should be. Since human are not born equal intellectually, the best we can hope to come out of the education is for each person to reach their potential. In order for people to reach their potential, they need be inspired to be responsible and always do their best. Achievements may vary for each person, but the result is the best we can have.

This believe inevitably lead to the idea that college is not for everyone. However, this is a matter of 'to what extend'. To me, if all human being are doing their best, what left out will be those that are not capable. This is where the society should extend its helping hand for these people.

As point out above, the ultimate goal of education is, therefore, to teach and inspire students to be responsible and to do their best. Applying this to our K12 education, the question to ask is 'If all/most of our high school graduates did their best?' and 'How can we change that?'. To answer these two questions, we need to ask 'How do we know students aren't doing their best or reaching their potential?' and 'Why students aren't doing their best?'.

The answer to the first question can, at least, come from the comparing of students' achievement with their peers. The second question is much more difficult to answer since factors are many. Depend on what people believe, approaches differ. However, please remember that, no matter what approaches we take, we should emphasis the responsibility.

As we all know, like the intellectual, not all students are having the same support from home, family and communities. However, to focus our discussion on what school and teacher can do, we will deferred those factors for now.

In general, responsible is a much abstract concept that isn't easy to teach or evaluate. Common approach to teach responsibility, begin with some practical approaches like goal settings and progress evaluation.

My lines of thinking are students need be taught to understand the importance of taking up their responsibility and the importance of doing their best. Again, the basic idea is that, given nothing else is changed, doing their best is the best result we can come out of the situation. That being said, we understand that there are other things that we have to do to even teach students to understand the importance of being responsible.

As the history had taught us, we do not born with the inspiration of taking up responsibility and doing the best. The question is, then, how do we make them and how do we teach them and how do we inspire them?

To make them,

As I mentioned in my comment to the original article,

The open admission policy is a good thing. However, to be fair to the community, there isn't any reason to waste the public resources. If I am working hard to make my living, I expect anyone that I supported to pay the same earnest effort toward their life.

With that in mind, in my opinion, the open admission only make sense in a society where all citizen are inspired to work to their best. Given that not all our citizen are motivated to do their best, it is only reasonable to ask them to demonstrate their commitment by passing minimum requirements.

As an item I outlined in my 2008 campaign, the mission of a community college should be determined by the community, especially the remedial education.

=====My comments posted at =========
Connie is getting to the crux.

It is true that not everyone are intellectually equal. But for most people, the K12 curriculum is attainable. It is really a matter of studying.

If K12 were not able to bring students to that level, they should be hold accountable. So are those students and parents.

Community resources is not to be wasted. It should be used on people that put out earnest efforts. Otherwise, we are prompt people to cheat on the system.

The goal of the education, as always, is to teach people to be responsible and to do their best. The accountability measure is simply a passive safety net to ensure the minimum conformation. It will not produce a fast paced progress.

Our education have failed at its root, any effort of fixing it without addressing this basic concept is not going to obtain any significant progress.

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