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Shocking News: American Schools Suck Everywhere
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Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

America's Education System Compares Well to Finland's, Canada's, and South Korea's

One of the most heartening findings from the paper is that Americans are awesome readers. Literally, world-class. Our most advantaged students not only perform better than our European competitors, but also they perform about as well as any top-scoring country in the world.

[T]he story is equally inspiring for our poorest students, who are closing the gap in reading in Canada, Finland, and Korea.

Rich countries attract multicultural immigrants, Carnoy said, and it's predictable that immigrant children initially would have trouble with a new language barrier. In the U.S., a country with a long but decelerating legacy of Spanish-speaking immigrants, our schools along the border might be better prepared to deal with the language barrier than European countries whose African and Muslim immigration trends provide fresher challenges.

There are also comparisons with France, Germany, and the UK. Disadvantaged American students do well against the EU3's disadvantaged students.

The problem is that our top-scoring kids do worse than every country we compared them to, except Great Britain.
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Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: Shocking News: American Schools Suck Everywhere Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
Your Child Left Behind

Even if we treat each state as its own country, not a single one makes it into the top dozen contenders on the list. The best performer is Massachusetts, ringing in at No. 17. Minnesota also makes it into the upper-middle tier, followed by Vermont, New Jersey, and Washington. And down it goes from there, all the way to Mississippi, whose students—by this measure at least—might as well be attending school in Thailand or Serbia.

Maybe it is all those immigrants and poor people that make the US look bad right? Nope, afraid not:

On a percentage basis, New York state has fewer high performers among white kids than Poland has among kids overall. In Illinois, the percentage of kids with a college-educated parent who are highly skilled at math is lower than the percentage of such kids among all students in Iceland, France, Estonia, and Sweden.

So what did Massachussets do to improve its schools? Spend more money? No. Reduce class size? No.

Massachusetts made it harder to become a teacher, requiring newcomers to pass a basic literacy test before entering the classroom. (In the first year, more than a third of the new teachers failed the test.) The state also required students to pass a test before graduating from high school—a notion so heretical that it led to protests in which students burned state superintendent David Driscoll in effigy. To help tutor the kids who failed, the state moved money around to the places where it was needed most. “We had a system of standards and held people to it—adults and students,” Driscoll says.

Pretty sensical stuff. The good news:

However haltingly, more states are finally beginning to follow the lead of Massachusetts. At least 35 states and the District of Columbia agreed this year to adopt common standards for what kids should know in math and language arts—standards informed in part by what kids in top-performing countries are learning. Still, all of the states, Massachusetts included, have a long way to go. Last year, a study comparing standardized math tests given to third-graders in Massachusetts and Hong Kong found embarrassing disparities. Even at that early age, kids in Hong Kong were being asked more-demanding questions that required more-complex responses.

Better late than never I suppose.

White for white, black for black and so on shows the American system to be extremely effective.
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