>Turning mediocrity into high standard
Board of education members claim they are obligated to meet state standards. School districts then purchase material based upon their alignment to those state standards. Tests are then developed and are given based upon those state standards.
In 2005, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington gave New Jersey core-content math standards a C, two Ds and a big fat F — an overall grade of D. Then, in 2007, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found New Jersey math standards to be poor.
So it comes as no surprise to read New Jersey ranked 17th out of 26 for difficulty in elementary school mathematics tests (“N.J. tests are far from toughest,” Page A-3, Oct. 4).
When our standards have set the bar so low, when education leaders purchase illiterate mathematics programs such as Ridgewood’s TERC (Investigations in Number, Data and Space) because they meet those low state standards (“Trying to solve problem in math,” Page L-1, June 25), all that is left to follow is the state tests to measure that low standard.
Even in high-performing districts, all education seems to be aiming for these days is mediocrity.