Monday, March 12, 2007

Conservative Kids Don't Need Dr. AimLow Ablow

In Texas kids are paid $100 for each AP exam passed.

A non-profit called Advanced Placement Strategies established the program. It was featured on the Today Show this morning. Two executives affiliated with Advanced Placement Strategies provided irrefutable data that clearly illustrated the power of the corporately funded project.
From 1991 to 1995 about 300 AP exams were taken in 10 DISD Schools in Math, Science and English about 150 passed.

In 2006, 3,965 tests were taken and 1,300 passed.
Wait for it.


Yep I heard it. This program discriminates against African Americans and Hispanics.

Not true Jessee.
From 1991 to 1995 about 25 AP tests were passed by minorities in the test schools.

In 2006, 532 AP tests were passed by African Americans and Hispanics. WOW.

US Public Schools have about 25 minority kids pass an AP test per 1,000. In the Texas test program that number is 3X.

The scores in Math and Science for all students went from an average of 70 in the early 90's to 877 in 2006. The program is working.

There are more results on the website.
Are the tests easier? No. Are the teachers better? Yes.

Teachers are given extra training and cash incentives too. Add in professional management (not government oversight), measurement and accountability and you have a successful program.

Of course the Today Show had to parade out a liberal psychologist (Dr. Ablow). Dr. AimLow told a very unconvincing theory about how this program will hurt the self-esteem of the kids who do not take AP classes or happen to be artists. Dr. AimLow, we have programs to reward artists, especially those high achievers who smear elephant dung on the Virgin Mary.

Dr. Aimlow did not seem to care about the improved self-esteem of the considerable number of additional students who not only challenged themselves to take the AP classes but also passed and earned college credits. His great evidence was the he had great passionate teachers who motivated him without paying him. Focus group of one, doctor. Thanks for the shallow insight. I agree that everyone has one or two teachers who touched them, but let's face it the vast majority of teachers were dull and quite forgettable.

And Doctor, you are not considering the other side of the equation. Teachers are given incentives to get better and more schools are encouraged to offer AP classes. Plus the program provides incentives to kids in the form of food and door prizes to show up to review sessions on a Saturday. I know this hurts the self-esteem of kids who hate prizes and do not eat.

Dr. AimLow you called this program a shortcut to getting back on track in Math and Science. I am not sure if you noticed but America is getting passed up in Math and Science by the rest of the world while the Bush / Kennedy No Kid Gets To Far Ahead Else Little Johnny Might Feel Bad and Start to Wet his Bed Again Plan sputters along in bureaucratic red tape and while child psychologists try to protect the self-esteem of the lowest common denominator at the expense of the self-esteem of the kids who work hard to get ahead.

Dr. AimLow went to Brown and Johns Hopkins but he got schooled today on Today.

The Today Show had another liberal, Robert Scheaffer, who was also against the program. He stated that this kind of motivation generally does not work. (Did you see the data?). And this program will lead to a cynical attitude in student who will not study unless paid. The consequences for not studying are the same with or without the program. Mr Scheaffer, we would not want to teach kids that they get paid for pushing themselves to succeed. That never happens in the real world. Please think before you talk on TV.

You all know that my oldest son has ADHD. (Story here and here) At home, he watches his brother and sister excel academically, socially and athletically. At school, his schoolmates jokingly call him a retard for taking the remedial classes. My son's self-esteem would not be changed in the least if an AP student earned a Benjamin or three.

Conservative kids need radical new thinking to compete in this world.

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