Thursday, November 5, 2015

School vs. Society in America’s Failing Students

From New York Times reporter Eduardo Porter, published Nov 3, 2015.

Here’s the good news: American schools may not be as bad as we have been led to believe.
Ah, but here’s the bad news: The rest of American society is failing its disadvantaged citizens even more than we realize. The question is, Should educators be responsible for fixing this?
The perennial debate about the state of public education starts with a single, seemingly unassailable fact. American students sorely lag their peers in other rich nations and even measure up poorly compared with students in some less advanced countries.
Americans scored more than halfway down from the top in the last round of the so-called PISA standardized tests in math, administered in 2012 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to 15-year-olds in about 60 countries. They scored about a third of the way down in reading and almost halfway down in science.
The lackluster performance has reinforced a belief that American public education — the principals and teachers, the methods and procedures — is just not up to scratch. There must be something wrong when the system in the United States falls short where many others succeed.
But is the criticism fair? Are American schools failing because they are not good at their job? Perhaps their job is simply tougher.
In a report released last week, Martin Carnoy from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford, Emma García from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington and Tatiana Khavenson from the Institute of Education at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, suggest that socioeconomic deficits impose a particularly heavy burden on American schools.
For the whole story go here.


  1. It would seem that Common Core and Race to the Top (and before that No Child Left Behind), which pretty much leave teachers out of the teaching process in favor of scripted lessons in math/ELA, aren't the saviors that Bill Gate and Arne Duncan promised us.

    1. You mean "Common Score and Race to the Stop (and before No Child Left Inside).


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