Went to after school forum held by the San Bernardino city unified school district. The topics were school safety and the high school exit exam. The superintendant (and school board member) Mr Delgado did a good presentation.
Safety... Basically said "help us by teaching your kids to be good kids and care about learning"... talked about the 26 sworn officers and other several hundred non sworn officers patroling the campuses in SB.
Then he spoke on the tests... I could tell he did not agree with the mandate that all kids must pass the test in order to get a diploma. he conceded though that he had no choice, that until the courts change their ruling he cannot pass anyone withouth them passing the exit exam.
He was also very careful to note that they do not teach to pass the test as that would be illegal, but he then talked about a system that does just that.
He says throughout the school year they benchmark the students. If they fail, they then go back and redo those areas they fail in.
While I want my child to pass the test, I ultimately want my child to learn new things each day and continue to learn more and more, not be subjected to rehashing of old material.
My daughter had 2nd grade testing this year, she passed it easy.
Teach the basics, enrich the childrens lives with science, math, english and history. Leave the social engineering to the parents and their social structures at home.