Thursday, May 8, 2014

America's "Report Card"

America’s schools are failing. For reasons that have yet to be ascertained, high school seniors are largely incompetent in reading and math.

According to NPR:

Seventy-four percent of students scored below the grade-appropriate level in math, compared with 26 percent of students who scored at or above grade level. In reading, just 38 percent of seniors scored at or above grade level.

Let that performance sink in:

26% at or above grade level in math.

38% at or above grade level in reading.

By comparison, when the test was first administered in 1992, 40% of the students were at or above grade level in reading.

Unsurprisingly,  most high school graduates are not prepared to do college level work.

Bloomberg reports:

The high school class of 2013 showed no improvement from the previous year and fewer than half of the test takers were prepared for college-level work, according to the College Board, owner of the SAT. 

Since this sampling only includes those students who wanted to go to college, we can assume that these were the best high school students.

As for the achievement gap between white students and Latino and African-American students, it has widened. Asian students do best in math, though they tie white students in reading proficiency.

Bloomberg broke down the numbers by ethnic group:

Asian/Pacific Islander students scored the highest in math, with 47 percent proficiency, followed by 33 percent of white students. Those two groups also tied at 47 percent in reading.

The achievement gap between black and white students has remained steady at about 30 points in math from 2005 to 2013. The score gap between blacks and whites in reading widened by 5 points from 1992 to 2013.

According to the Washington Post, the results discredit the government programs that were supposed to help narrow the gap:

Moreover, despite more than a decade of federal policies intended to close achievement gaps, the margin between white and Latino 12th-graders in reading remains as large as it was 15 years ago. The margin between black and white seniors has widened — not because white students have improved, but because black students’ average reading scores have fallen.

Let’s see, we’ve had the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. We’ve had the Obama administration’s education policies, as well as the inspiration that the Obamas provided for minority children. Let's not forget, many American schoolchildren are now eating a healthier diet at lunch.

Of course, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan touted the fact that 80% of high school seniors graduate. Apparently, we should be comforted that America’s school are willing to graduate children who could not pass their courses.

Self-esteemism has indeed gone wild.

Now, the Common Core is supposed to solve the problem. Good luck with that.

It ought to be obvious that America’s schoolchildren are getting a raw deal from the American educational establishment. Teachers and school administrators are failing at their appointed task: to educate children. If the Tea Party were running the school system you would be hearing a constant outcry about how American schoolchildren are being robbed of their future.

True enough, many children have problems that are beyond the capacity of the school system to solve. One may ask about how well America’s children are being raised, but that would bring us back to the Tiger Mom… and we know how upset American parents become when they discover that their preferred, culturally prescribed childrearing strategies are a bust.

It isn’t an accident that so many children are uneducable. If parents are partly to blame, the onus falls on the culture’s childrearing practices.

And yet, at some point the educators and the teachers’ unions must step forth and accept responsibility for this debacle. After all, education is their job. Apparently, they are not doing it. 

America’s the school systems show what happens when progressive and leftist policies are implemented, unhindered.


Anonymous said...

It partly has to do with racial differences.

Sam L. said...

Soooooo, let's keep on doing what we've been doing, only moreso!

n.n said...

We need government reform, which return primary responsibility to parents. The experiment in sponsoring dissociation of risk through progressive centralization schemes has been a predictable disaster.

Anonymous said...

Let's keep education policy, funding and standards the same. Don't want to mess up a good thing! After all, as Americans, we have to make sure that what we're shooting for is working. It seems that we've found the secret formula for success. As long as we feel good about ourselves, we can get through anything and be anything we dream of being. Since we're talking about percentiles, maybe if we get down to the 1% mark we can be just like Mitt Romney! We'll have made it into the 1%! Awesome! Because being in the 99% sucks, ya know? Dang.


n.n said...


My only interest in the 1% is that they invest their wealth (i.e. avoid capital stagnation) and that they do not use it to dominate the 99%; otherwise, I do not begrudge Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore et al their enjoyment of a beachfront estate in Hawaii.