The academic achievement games just keep changing….

“Kentucky is considering the implementation of an enhanced high school diploma, called Kentucky Rising, which could take effect as soon as the 2016-2017 school year. The new diploma would allow graduates to receive scholarships as well as early college admissions through criteria showing their readiness to enter the global work force.”

Sounds innocent enough………

I guess that some folks do believe in a common core of standards after all….. As long, that is, as those common high standards are not commonly applied. When there is a qualitative title change in the definition and designation of a diploma; there is always an associated qualitative and quantitative change in the knowledge and skills that separate the “enhanced diploma”, from the less than enhanced diplomas (or why call it enhanced!) The communities led by leaders suffering from a shortage of educational literacy and interest, will miss the underlying rational for this move. The least knowledgeable and politically disconnected parents will miss it. And the students least prepared to earn this new diploma will probably miss out on receiving it. This new “enhanced” diploma will have a common list of standard content and skills; sounds like a “common core” of standards to me. The truth(open secret) is that a national “common core of standards has always existed; and these standards are measured by the: AP, SAT (PSAT), ACT (PLAN), LSAT, MCAT, GRE, AHPAT, DAT, GMAT, MAT, OAT, VCAT, along with thousands of state based standardized “screening” exams i.e. NYC Specialized High School Exam, etc. K-12 standardized exams presently exist to screen (keep out), and place children (based on the education they have received) into future “life opportunity tracks”. They are not designed to discover student talents, and focus the quality of instruction in an appropriate and effective way. The children and communities who are the least aware of the already existing common core rigorous standards; are the students who are most likely not receiving these high common standards. When I hear folks protest the “common core standards”; what they really mean in many cases is, don’t lower the high common standards to a lower common denominator of standards; and thus slowing and hindering my child’s access to a rigorous educational experience. It is interesting that some of the most agitated “protesting” common core standards states; are states with some of the lowest academic achievement performance levels in the nation. But more to the point; the universal implementation of real high common standards would expose the gross separate and unequal quality of education that presently exist in our public schools; this revelation would be so shocking and startling, that even the most least involved parents would be moved to march to their neighborhood schools, and demand a better education for their children.
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Meanwhile, the college football game changes not…..New Playoffs, but the same old exploited payoffs…

“Front Row? Too Far Away
Universities Sell ‘Experiences’ That Allow Fans to Connect Directly With Teams”—NY Times

“Some of the auctions have been won for less than $100, others for thousands of dollars. The record price on the site run by CBS Sports was $15,800, for sideline passes and entry to a party before Southern California’s 2008 football game against Ohio State…”

Even in a rotten no good NCAA system, the HBCU’s are at a disadvantage. Yesterday, as always I watched the annual Army-Navy game. It is so enjoyable to watch a real college varsity sports game; being played by true scholar athletes. There is no reason we can’t have true student athletes compete on the college level (oops forgot all of the money being made by everybody except the students!) The good news for all of those playing in the Army-Navy game is that all of these young men have a professional future ahead of them. Unlike the majority of “big time” college football players who will be exploited for their talents for 4-5 years; and then they will be shown the door; they will never see the inside of an NFL stadium except as an admission paying fan.