In a few weeks students throughout the state will be taking the California Assessment Program (CAP) tests. It is a test that measures the performance of a school program and compares it to the programs of other schools. The results are published in this newspaper. The process causes anxiety among school board members, school administrators, teachers and parents.
I am not in a position to state whether the practice serves to hinder or help the educational process. I am, however, surprised that in this age of protecting individual rights, there has been no objection by parents that their level of education becomes part of the information that is required of their children when the test is taken.
The disclosure of such information becomes a real problem in the junior high school where peer acceptance is often the "end-all" in these students' lives.
No eighth-grade student wants to admit that his or her parents have less education than the parents of his or her classmates. This is particularly significant in a school in an affluent neighborhood that also serves students from another social stratum.
When students report more education than their parents actually have, the results are skewed in a downward direction. As a result, a false picture of the school's achievement is projected.