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EDITORIAL: Failure a first step to success

It’s official. The student body of the State of New York is comprised of failures. This is hardly unexpected.

Around 70 percent of students in grades three through eight couldn’t manage to pass state-mandated standardized tests this year. You can read all the details in our story found at spotlightnews.com, which also includes figures on how students at North and South Colonie schools performed.

The South Colonie Central School District’s best performance overall was in fourth-grade math with 43.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards, and its lowest overall score was in fifth-grade math with almost 79 percent of students falling below proficiency.

In the North Colonie Central School District, the best score overall was in eighth-grade ELA with 57 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards, and its lowest overall score was in fourth-grade ELA with nearly 65 percent of students falling below proficiency.

The reason for all this is the Common Core Standards. We took a comprehensive look at the new set of testing requirements before kids sat down with pencils in hand this past April. Then, education officials told us this year’s test scores were likely to be terrible.

The Common Core is harder, plain and simple. And kids were being thrust into it. There was, and still is, an outcry from educators and parents about the tests. They’re causing massive anxiety, it’s been said. It’s just not fair, the opponents argue, to seemingly set students up to fail a test.

We’re here to say failure is OK. It’s often necessary on the path to success.

As of a few years ago, only 37 percent of high school graduates in New York state met college preparedness standards (that discounts the roughly 26 percent of students who enter high school but never leave with a diploma). Combined with the high cost of an education, that lack of readiness contributes to the fact less than 60 percent of college students make it to graduation at the state’s four-year public schools – and less than 40 percent manage to do so in the standard four years. The rates aren’t much better at private institutions.

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