Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Meanwhile, Our Schools are Slipping

Don't know if many will catch this article given the Roberts hearings, but it looks as though our schools are slipping in comparision to the rest of the industrialized world.

The United States is losing ground in education, as peers across the globe zoom by with bigger gains in student achievement and school graduations, a study shows.

Among adults age 25 to 34, the U.S. is ninth among industrialized nations in the share of its population that has at least a high school degree. In the same age group, the United States ranks seventh, with Belgium, in the share of people who hold a college degree.

By both measures, the United States was first in the world as recently as 20 years ago, said Barry McGaw, director of education for the Paris-based Organization for Cooperation and Development. The 30-nation organization develops the yearly rankings as a way for countries to evaluate their education systems and determine whether to change their policies.

McGaw said that the United States remains atop the "knowledge economy," one that uses information to produce economic benefits. But, he said, "education's contribution to that economy is weakening, and you ought to be worrying."

My next door neighbor is a public middle school teacher - you know, 13 year old population - I bumped into him on his way out the door as I was finishing my run this AM. He said, "I recently had to yell at one of them to get him to stop disrupting the whole classroom. It's the only thing that got his attention and him to stop."

My question is this, when a child, 13 years old, acts out in the classroom, who's to blame and who should be held accountable? Is it the student, the teacher or the parent(s)?


nedhead said...

I am curious, what are "international tests scores" and who released them? Are apples being compared to apples?

I agree that our education system, as a general rule, does not seem so stellar. Our college system is still excellent, generally, no? And are graduation rates an accurate barometer for the "intelligence" and "employability" of a population? Are educators and analyzers trying to standardize the situation too much? I hate standardization, which is a big part of No Child Left Behind.

My bro taught in both inner city and rich, prep schools. His opinion was that the inner city kids had a higher percentage of individuals who wanted to learn. He had serious problems maintaining order and respect in the prep school. Guess the race of the respective student bodies and the race of the teacher.

My opinion, blame should fall as follows: 70% parents, 20% the individual student, 10% school system. No facts to back up my opinion, just anecdotal evidence.

Anonymous said...

What's worse?

Regression toward the mean.

If you're on top you have no where else to go but down. Better to be on top and slipping than on the bottom and improving by 20% per year.

Ken Grandlund said...

no child left behind is a qualified joke meant to reduce federal funding to schools by giving them a "failing" score and then cutting their funds.

all part of smaller government...or is it all part of subjugating the public?