TSI test not worth fighting for

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Colleges need to design an entrance exam that’s written at a college level.

A lot of things strike a logical mind as nonsensical around the district and this college, but one thing the district can’t be blamed for is the joke of an entrance exam the state has been peddling.

It’s odd the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills has been replaced by end-of-course exams, but the TSI assessment — which a student could opt out of on the basis of TAKS scores — has yet to catch up.

If the two are equivalent, why is the latter being thrown away five years after the former?

This pathetic assessment of skills leads to students who are not thinking at a college level and are incapable of thinking critically being placed in courses that should be too advanced for them, but graduation pressures and student retention requirements force faculty to lower course quality to accommodate unprepared students.

It’s tragic to witness college students in English courses who don’t know what a thesis statement is or students in math classes who can’t solve for “X” in a basic linear equation.

Spending two weeks learning to produce a bibliography with Modern Language Association style citations cannot be the best use of anyone’s time.

Wasting time reviewing high school skills with college students may lead to a higher graduation rate and retention — any students with a semblance of high school education can ace the courses — but it holds this college back from producing the Ivy-League quality students it once did.

The colleges and public should not exert their energy fighting for the retention of a poorly crafted state project that fails to perform but direct their energy toward curing the ulcer that is the current education system at its core.

If this assessment is binned and our chancellor is hell-bent on creating new district positions, let him hire a vice-chancellor-of-successfully-testing-the-academic-level-of-incoming-students … and success.

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