Sunday, October 09, 2011

Color-coded IDs draw support from some students, parents

Conservative parents and students in Orange County want kids to be assigned color-coded IDs based on test scores. We all know that standardized test scores tend to correlate strongly with socio-economic levels. Recent research also shows that innate ability has far less effect on the success of poor kids than it does on middle class kids. So why not just have kids go around with a name tag that shows how much their parents make?

This policy actually might discourage some kids who are working very hard. Test scores are related far more closely to socio-economic levels than to student effort. I suspect that many of the kids who support this policy don't need confidence-building. Why would a school do this? Because it's easiest to raise the scores of the above-average students, and thus raise the average score of the school, without changing the scores of the below-average students. This doesn't give us a better-educated society, it just gives us a better-educated elite.

Oct. 7, 2011
Color-coded IDs draw support from some students, parents

A group of about three dozen students at Kennedy High School arrived to campus Friday wearing their color-coded IDs to protest the Anaheim Union High School District's earlier decision to eliminate the controversial incentive program.

They said they wanted to show support for the program that assigned students color-coded ID cards and planners based on their state test scores, and required those who performed poorly to stand in a separate lunch line and awarded the others with discounts.

"Maybe it's just the conservative in me that says that it's just too bad that others didn't study or work hard enough for it," said Jason Seo, who helped organize the protest. "When I see what I do versus a person without a black card there are big differences. For one, I study a lot more than they do, so to call it 'intellectual discrimination' as some people put it, is stupid in it of itself."

The students taped, stitched and glued their cards onto clothing and backpacks to prominently show classmates, teachers, parents and administrators that they want the district to reinstate color-coded ID system.

...The program, in place Kennedy and Cypress high schools, was designed to urge students to raise scores on the California Standards Tests, but it also raised concern among parents and students who said it illegally revealed test scores and embarrassed those who didn't do well.

Anaheim Union officials announced on Thursday the district would eliminate the program after complaints from many students and parents, and after the state Department of Education called it unlawful.

...AnneMarie Conley, a UC Irvine educational psychologist who has extensively studied student motivation strategies in Orange County schools, called the system earlier this week "one of the worst ideas ever" to promote learning.

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