Lowering the bar for this generation and the next one

I remember a time when I worked for a large pharmaceutical company in New Jersey (I will reserve the name because they are not the only company that has such policies) decided to lower their annual goal of selling $20 Million of a specific drug in that year. They realized that by the second quarter of the year they had only sold $5 Million, hence deductive reasoning meant that at that rate they might only be able to sell $10 Million by the end of the year. One of the major incentives for the vice president of the sales division to want to lower the bar is that the bonus he and his staff receives is dependent on meeting the stated goals. To make certain they met their annual goal they proceeded to set a new goal for the year of $8 Million in sales.

This is what we are now trying to do to our kids in this beautiful country of ours, the USA. Now schools throughout the country are and have been routinely lowering the bars to reach the goals of graduating students per year.  I just read an article on the Herald News this past week where the board of education in Clifton, New Jersey wants to lower the passing grade from 70 to 60 or 65.

What in the world are we thinking? Are these people serious? The USA as it is, is behind when compared to other countries in the education of our children.

The three-yearly OECD Programmed for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

I urge parents to fight back on these suggestions that lowering the bar are going to help our children be successful. We are making our children mediocre when we tell them that in order to help them pass an exam or a class we need to lower the passing grade.  If you read between the lines, you will notice that this is a scape goat for our administrators and our teachers and even the parents. It is saying that since we cannot educate our children to excel and they are not excelling, then lets safe face and lower our expectations of them and us. It is certainly much less work and need for creativity for the school administrators and teachers. Now, please do not take this as an assault on teachers and administrators of schools. It is merely a reality that we are living and nobody perhaps know who started it, but we do know that most in the education field are allowing it.

It is obvious that when these things happen they are not created nor invented by the majority in that field, but by just a few who have the power and make the case for the powers to be to follow.

Let’s not allow this tragedy on our children. Let’s make administrators, politicians and everyone involved accountable. Do not make it easy for this destruction of our youths minds to continue.

One teacher defending the lowering of the grades in Clifton stated “taxpayers also would benefit, because lowering the passing grade would help more students graduate within four years, sparing the cost of educating students an additional year” What is this guy drinking? Let our children fail, because it might cost too much to educating them. Does he know that the USA is amongst the countries with the highest cost per student to attend school, at every level? Even with the massive money spent in education we can’t compete with poorer countries in excellence in education. I will tell him that the money is not the problem; it is the system and the great profits that education yields to the ones who run the system. In the USA it costs $129,327 for kids K-12 and for other students it averages $94,589.

If you want to fix the education problem in education, you must start with eliminating the system. It is broken and it will not work. It hasn’t worked in the last 20 years. It needs to be a performance based system for everyone involved, the vendors, the school boards, the administrators, the teachers, the students, everyone.

So far, Garfield, Passaic and Woodland Park have a passing grade of 65. Paterson has a passing grade of 60. It must stop. This in no way can be positive for our children. These kids will become disinterested in everything that just seems a bit hard. How can we feed our society with engineers, scientists, doctors, and all these professions that are vital to our way of life. I guess we can make the attorney’s pockets fatter and the insurance companies since everyone will need malpractice insurance and everyone will need an attorney to defend them.

I leave you with this: You have a saying on this. You can put the pressure needed to change this broke system. Just talk about it and write about it and send letters about it…

Think of the children!

If you want to discuss this topic or others, please call me at 973-390-2926 or via email anibal@anibalalcantarajr.com