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Sweepstakes Winner 2006 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Staff Editorial THE WICHITAN VIEWPOINTS Finalist 2004 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award Sept. 26, 2007 Testing woes Fail this test and you will not move on to the next grade. This is what many elementary and secondary students are being told about their scores on standardized tests. Increasingly, schools, school districts and states are pressuring students to make higher test scores. This national “goal” is now not only a national problem but also a national embarrassment. Instead of concentrating on subject matter, teachers end up teaching what questions are likely to be on the tests and how to answer them. It’s often referred to as “teaching to the test.” Nice guys do not always finish last High-stakes testing puts the wrong kind of pressure on students and ultimately has no important influence on academic performance, according to a study by the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University. The research also showed that a larger numbers of students are being held back or dropping out because of increased testing pressures. According to an article posted on the National Education Association Web site, the rising dropout rate could be blamed on some districts that encourage struggling students to leave so their low scores will not count in the annual No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress report. NCLB, put into effect in 2001, established that standardized tests are an indicator used to hold schools and school districts accountable for student achievement. In a poll conducted by the National Parent-Teacher Association, most parents do not think standardized testing should be the only means of measuring learning progress. One point is often overlooked. To raise the standards for students means doing the same with teachers and learning materials. Textbooks need to be continuously updated, something most school districts are unwilling to budget for. Ditto more teacher boundaries and won’t try to push his luck. He has no problem just sitting and talking; physical contact isn’t necessary. He’s not one for confrontation but will step in if he’s needed. Now comes the hard part. I’ve described what I see as the perfect guy. I have him right there in front of me, and I find it so easy to walk all over him. Maybe it’s because I enjoy a challenge. I feel the need to change all the immediate character flaws I find in a not-so-nice guy. Or maybe it’s because the idea of a guy actually being nice is so rare, I don’t recognize it until it’s too late. The opportunity loses itself before it was ever even presented. I like to play games, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I can play games with jerks and know I won’t hurt them. I know they are playing back. I know their motives, and I know when to stop. Simply put, I think the jerk is jaded and self centered. He knows what he wants and will do whatever it takes to get it. I gave my previous relationships (or utter lack thereof) some thought, and I realized that out of the numerous guys I’ve liked, I can count the truly nice guys on one hand and still have fingers left over. My current situation is, well, just that: a situation. I’m not even sure how to describe it. I think I’ve actually found a nice guy, but it’s been so long, I’m not really sure what to expect. I should really know how to handle this dilemma – I witness it a lot when I’m out with my dad. He was the nice guy back in the day. Any time he runs into a former female classmate, they always question him as to why they never dated and why they always flatly turned him down when he asked them out. Now, he’s even more appealing to the average 50-year-old-divorcee that wouldn’t give him a second glance in high school. I look at my parents’ marriage and I know I want that for myself one day. And I know I won’t find it with the type of guy I’m normally attracted to. I want the comfort and security and happiness they have, even after being married for 30 years. However, I’m at the age when comfort and security isn’t all that important in a relationship. Sadly, I think I would rather have the typical Laguna Beach hottie attached to my arm to showcase to the world. Believe it or not, I am trying to grow out of that mentality, and it’s probably going to take a really sweet and patient guy to do it for me. And at that point, if he’s stuck around long enough, he probably will be a keeper. I don’t think the nice guy does actually finish last; he just has to wait his turn. Eventually the once popular jock will turn into the fat, balding, middle-aged man, while the average nice guy has actually made something of himself. N o w that we are a few w e e k s into the semester, everyone is starting to get back into CARLY BURRES the swing FOR THE WICHITAN of things. Football is well under way, everyone is finding that special person that they are “just meant to be with” (at least for the semester), students are finally starting to feel comfortable enough with their classes that they are skipping them. While the people and classes may change, there are some things that will always be the same from year to year. I could talk about any of the things never change around MSU (or most schools for that matter.) But I’m not going to. Because what I want to talk about is the parking. Every year for the past four years I have listened to people whine and complain about the lack of parking. Not to say that I haven’t put in my fair share of moaning and groaning. In fact some people might say that I’m the worst about it. Part of that is because I’m still pissed at the commuter who said that residents have too much parking, and it wasn’t fair how it was right outside of where we live. I politely responded to that person: “I pay to live on campus. This is my home. I don’t go to your home and park in your driveway and then tell you to park three blocks away so that you can walk your happy ass home.” Then there are also the teacher complaints. I don’t know how many complaints I heard from my professors when some of the reserved spots right around Fain Fine Arts were turned into resident parking. I feel as though this subject is tired and even a bit annoying to hear about. But before I graduated I wanted to get my two cents in about it. As half a journalist (that’s a whole other complaint on its own), I feel that I should join in on the ranting fun. My first issue with the parking is that the Sunwatcher campus apartments were built about 100 spots short to begin with. I understand the room issue, but it is still very annoying. My second issue is that instead of finding a way to make the parking situation better MSU decided that we needed to wipe out even more spots to put in a softball field. Was that really the only place? We don’t even have an actual football stadium, but we get this softball field on top of our parking spots? YIPPIE!! And third, I’m just freaking tired of coming home at 10:30 and I have to park way down by the mercantile building. That’s a fun walk after I’ve been at an internship from 8 to 4:30 and then work from 4:30 to 10:30. What makes it even better is when I have to be back at work or my internship at 8 a.m. the next morning, and I have to wake up extra early to get to my car which is about ten minutes away. Mornings suck enough without having to walk through that mess that is the Catholic School drop off time. And since there is no sidewalk on that side of the road, then I get to either walk through the grass or hope that I don’t get killed by someone else who is rushing off campus because they too had to be at work early and had to walk ten minutes to their car. And seriously, if you’re gonna make us park down there, then put in a sidewalk. We will use it. I promise your money, (cough... our money... cough) will not be wasted on a sidewalk. There are so many more things I can think of that my money has been wasted on. My last complaint is about the parking decals. Besides the fact that I truly do feel bad for the commuters because their decals look like a piece of gold crap, I have failed to see a valid reason as to why students can’t purchase their parking stickers by the semester. How hard is it to break down the cost and charge a little over half for one semester? If you buy for the entire year then the sticker is just under $35. If a student would like to purchase a sticker for just one semester then why not charge them $20. I would pay it. This might seem trivial, but I am graduating in December which means that I now have this bloody parking sticker that is paid for up until August, and I’m not going to be here. If anyone knows any incoming students in January who would like to pay $20 bucks for a parking sticker, send them my way. I do realize that MSU has it better than a lot of other schools. Some schools won’t let students bring their cars to campus until they have a certain amount of hours built up. Not a bad idea if the school provides enough NICE campus transportation. Don’t get me wrong, I love MSU, but the parking situation is one thing I will not miss at all. I won’t miss the people complaining about it in every single class I have, I won’t miss having to park two miles away whenever I come home after 10 p.m., and I won’t miss the campus cops writing me tickets for knowingly parking illegally. What I am sad about is that it took me four years to find MSU’s best hidden secret as far as parking. But today I found it. And I will have to walk long distances no more. I would tell you what my secret is but then it wouldn’t be such a great secret… now would it? Parking complaints rage within reporter training. For some students, test-taking is their common weakness. They know the material but at test time their brain freezes. In other cases, students may not fully understand the test directions. Is Washington denying such students exists or is the number simply too small to be of any concern? The solution to the problem is quite simple but it involves the support and help of the parents, teachers and community. More emphasis needs to be placed on students learning. Teachers need to exert more focus on classroom performance rather than testing for testing’s sake. This would include observing the students in the classroom, keeping track of how each student grows throughout the year and meeting with parents to discuss any problems or concerns about their child’s learning. Continuing to place too much emphasis on standardized testing will only hurt more students in the end. Schools need to forget about meeting a quota and start caring more about their students. 3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 • Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk (940) 397-4704 • Advertising Desk (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 • E-mail Web site: I had a question thrown at me the other day and I deemed it impossible to REBECCA FERGUSON a n s w e r , but I’m AD MANAGER going to dive deep into my feminine psyche and give it a shot. Why does the nice guy always seem to finish last? As a girl who tends to always fall for the jerk, you’d think I would have a plethora to write about, but honestly, I’m not sure that I do. Maybe I should start by defining the “nice guy” in my own terms. He’s humble and doesn’t take credit for his actions. He’s almost a behind-the-scenes guy. He’s willing to drop whatever he’s doing if it’ll make you (or in this case, me) happy. He respects women and their Copyright © 2007. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. First copy of the paper is free of charge; additional copies are $1. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters. THE WICHITAN Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Krystle Carey Managing Editor Brittany Norman Entertainment Editor Konnie Sewell Op-Ed Editor Christian McPhate Sports Editor Josh Mujica Photo Editor Patrick Johnston Reporters Richard Carter Rachel Tompkins Courtney Foreman Advertising Manager Rebecca Ferguson Photographers Joel Abeyta Copy Editor Haley Cunningham Graphic Artist Robert Redmon Adviser Randy Pruitt

Sept 26, 2007

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