Scarecrow passed

To pass California’s graduation exam, Los Angeles students worked hard to boost their reading and math skills, reports Bob Sipchen, the LA Times new education blogger, who met “Scarecrow” on the bus to boot camp.

It’s tough boosting students over obstacles – economic, societal, cultural, psychological. Now, (administrator Simone) Charles said, there was another hurdle: some kids’ smug certainty that authorities would again lack the nerve to hold them accountable.

I talked to Charles again last week, before Judge Freedman finalized his injunction blocking the test results. She had just received students’ scores from the test for which they’d been preparing at that boot camp. She was on the verge of rapture. Almost everyone at the boot camp had passed.

If the judge’s ruling stands, their achievement will be nullified; their earned diplomas will be worthless.

Thinking about Scarecrow ticks me off.

I don’t care that he says he supports his friends who don’t think it’s fair that they’ve been unable to conquer that test. I care about what I heard in his voice when he called and blurted, “I passed.”

What I heard was joy and pride in an accomplishment that, for a moment anyway, had really meant something.

Sipchen was nice enough to mention Cathy Seipp’s review of my book, Our School.

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