May 9, 2008

Setting our kids up for failure

It surprises me what students are expected to have *MASTERED* in the course of a year!

No wonder student retention in language programs is such a problem. They are set up to fail from the very beginning.

In my district, by the end of the first year, a student is expected to be able to write an unplanned essay within one hour. The essay must be one page long on a specific topic. There can be no pattern of verb conjugation errors. The same goes for grammar and spelling - there can be no pattern of errors. Furthermore, they are expected to correctly and accurately use transitions, proper paragraphing, introductions and conclusions. And that's just the writing portion of the test!

There are four exams to be given and each exam allows for little to no mistakes.

The really depressing part of that is that the first year exam is easy compared to the second year exam.

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