Devaluing diploma exams will ruin Alberta education

Re: Worth of Alberta diploma exams drops to 30 per cent from half Low academic achievements will come home to roost if parents, students, and teachers do not stop this edict by Education Minister Gordon Dirks.

Re: Worth of Alberta diploma exams drops to 30 per cent from half

Low academic achievements will come home to roost if parents, students, and teachers do not stop this edict by Education Minister Gordon Dirks.

In the not too distant future, Albertans will question the rationale for lowering academic standards when their students start achieving the same low academic results in the four core subjects as their American counterparts.

For decades, this province had a reputation for producing top academic results. Why? Because the tests were tough, the curriculum was tough, and the standards were maintained throughout the province by using a provincewide curriculum, by using common texts and materials, and by using provincewide diploma exams.

So, ask yourself these questions: If America’s academic achievements are so much lower than Alberta’s students, and lower than most western European countries, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, why is this province going the American way of education?

Do we want wishy-washy, feel good, no pain, no-failure policies that plague American schools today?

Do you realize that an American high school diploma is not worth spit, and that is why colleges and universities must use their own entrance exams because they cannot trust the quality of academic work done in American high schools because there are no overall academic standards maintained in the four core subjects since the states allow individual school boards and individual teachers to establish their own standards and their own tests?

There is an old adage in sports: “No pain, no gain.” The same holds true for academic results. Watering-down standards do not produce top achievements in sports or in schools.

George E. Thatcher

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