Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How Not To Fix Education

The big education story of the week was the poor showing of US students relative to their peers from other parts of the world on tests covering science, reading, and math:

The most important news and commentary to read right now. - The Slatest - Slate Magazine
Chinese schoolchildren have trounced students from other countries on an international education test, reports the New York Times. The 5,100 15-year-olds from Shanghai, who were chosen to give an accurate representation of students across the city, came out on top against other nations in science, reading, and math. The United States, by contrast, placed 23rd in science, 17th in reading, and 31st in math.
For some perspective on this, it's important to look back at the other big education stories of the year.

In October Michelle Rhee resigned as Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor. The coverage of her tenure primarily focused on her efforts to fire poorly performing teachers.

In August, there was an uproar over an analysis produced by the Los Angeles Times that rated teachers and that allowed the public to review the rating for an individual teacher.

And right here in Wisconsin, we had this item from the Journal Sentinel:
Sex education classes in Wisconsin public schools will have to teach
students about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases under a
bill Gov. Jim Doyle signed Wednesday.
All three of these items are conspicuous for their lack of focus on students and learning.  Given this, is it any wonder we fared so poorly on a test of science, reading, and math skills?


Dad29 said...



ACTUAL education?


D said...

How to fix education:

After getting rid of the unconstitutional, anti-economic propaganda machine called the Department of Education.