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<<<"A truly professional teacher," as Harold Howe II noted in
these pages some years ago, "does not want to be told what or how to teach. Making decisions on such matters is the essence of academic freedom that accompanies professional standing.">>>

It's been awhile since I posted here, but I thought I'd add this:

I sympathize with a quality teacher who's stuck "teaching to tests," but after my high school experience, I believe there must be some standards as far as what is taught. My HS math and science programs were woefully inadequate for college, compared to what was offered in nearby towns.

Rather than an entire year of calculus for advanced math, the senior year consisted of a semester of Analytic Geometry, followed by a semester of calculus. Problem is, all the useful stuff from Analytic Geometry can be taught in a month (as it was in college), and should have incorporated into a year-long Calculus class. I ended up graduating with a BS in Math, and much of the crap we covered in the HS Analytic Geometry class, I never saw again; it was worthless. My classmates in college were shocked to hear that my HS didn't offer a full year of Calculus, when some high schools in my state offered *two* years of it! It should be mandatory for a high school to offer at least a full year, in my opinion.

My HS Chemistry/Physics teacher had a rep for being good, and I scored very highly in his classes. However, when my cousin from another district once asked for help, I noticed that she'd been covering material we never touched, and I couldn't help her. When I got to college (Purdue), guess what? Same problem -- I had stuff thrown at me I'd never seen, though most other students from nearby high schools had covered it. I don't feel that this type of variation should be permitted.

In any subject, I feel that the actual material being covered should be monitored somehow, so that students cannot be penalized by lazy teachers who simply don't want to cover the hard stuff.


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