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National test scores verify learning proficiency

Teachers, parents and students have heard stories of procrastinators who rely on late-night flourishes at Starbucks to finish their essays. And often the procrastinators complain of “too much work” as the reason for not competing their essays earlier.

However, American students receive a significantly lighter homework load than foreign students according to a survey done by Brookings for the 1995-1996 school year.

A survey done by the Higher Education Institute at UCLA, shows that only 33.4 % of high school seniors spend five hours doing homework each week. Campus students also have confirmed that this disturbing trend applies to them as well.

“Last year, homework was optional with Mr. [Josh] Tosland,” Sara Wiens, ’04, said. “You could forget about every assignment and still get an A through good test scores.”

The National Education Association reported that students should receive at least 10 minutes of homework per grade every night. For example, it is suggested that freshmen receive 90 minutes of homework each night and seniors receive 120 minutes each night.

“This year Tosland must have lost his soul,” Brandon Diaso, ’05, said. “He almost gives homework everyday; I think he spends too much time around Mr. [Lonnie] Godfrey.” Changes in teaching standards, such as these, seem to be bringing campus academics up to suggested homework standards.

Honors mathematics instructor, Godfrey, feels that his job is to teach students the skills necessary to maintain a career in mathematics. He sees homework as an effective way of insuring this. However, Godfrey expressed a great dissatisfaction with the low number of students taking honors courses.

“There is a chronic problem among students,” Godfrey said. “I like to call that problem intellectual lethargy.”

Even though students do not take advantage of honors mathematic courses, the mathematics program still has distinguished itself.

Students have exceeded California educational standards for mathematics and often rise above national standards in standardized tests. Mathfax scores prove this campus is on par with many high schools in the nation.

Many would agree that English skills are just as important as their mathematics counterparts.

“My goal is for students to be able to write clearly and intelligently concerning any topic,” Molly Sargent, senior and sophomore English teacher, said. “If their reading comprehension and understanding of the world increases then I’ve done my job.”

Sargent felt this campus’s English department exceeds most in the Valley based on campus scores on national tests. For the most part it is these tests that determine whether or not a school meets educational standards.

“We mainly rely on the Sat 10s to determine whether or not our teaching needs refining,” Jon Endicott, vice principal, said. “Based on the Sat 10s there’s no doubt in my mind that we exceed California standards and most public schools.”

In comparison to the national average the freshman class placed above the 70th percentile and the junior class lies in between the 70th and the 80th percentile. Perhaps scores such as these influence universities to appreciate the alumni of this campus.

“When a graduate from Fresno Christian applies to Fresno Pacific they have a certain edge over the competition,” Dina Gonzales, director of admissions for Fresno Pacific University, said. “We expect good students from Fresno Christian and we appreciate their Christian background and similar ideology.”

For more information concerning national education standards, got to www.education-world.com/ or try www.ed.gov/.

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