10 Dec

Your Child Left Behind

s.note: finally looking at what is taught rather than how and blame the teachers for the bad results… not that the teacher or the method are not important, but how could all the teachers in this country be all that bad… maybe what is taught is not that good… those huge manuals that we rip pages off and we never actually have to review what’s been learned or not…

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.

More interesteng quotes:

“The United States does not do a good job of educating kids at the top,” he says. “There’s a long-standing attitude that, ‘Well, smart kids can make it on their own. And after all, they’re doing well. So why worry about them?’”

As it turned out, even these relatively privileged students do not compete favorably with average students in other well-off countries.

Is it because Massachusetts is so white? Or so immigrant-free? Or so rich? Not quite. Massachusetts is indeed slightly whiter and slightly better-off than the U.S. average. But in the late 1990s, it nonetheless lagged behind similar states—such as Connecticut and Maine—in nationwide tests of fourth- and eighth-graders. It was only after a decade of educational reforms that Massachusetts began to rank first in the nation.

“People will find it quite shocking,” he says, “that even our most-advantaged students are not all that competitive.”


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