I recently spoke to a handful of young women at a high school in North Carolina who had taken an international test that is getting a lot of attention today–the PISA, a test taken by half a million 15-year-olds in 69 countries. Tanatswa, Keshal, Anisha and Hope understand something that seems to elude a lot of adults, even the ones… Read more →
For more than a decade, fourth-graders in Massachusetts have been, on average, the most literate children in the country. They also compute at higher levels. The same is true for eighth-graders. And for overall K-12 achievement. Yet the predominant sentiment in school hallways and policy offices around the state is discontent. This stands in striking contrast to Washington, where students’ scores have hovered at middle-of-the-road status for years, and schools chief Randy Dorn recently trumpeted an uptick in graduation rates, though they lag behind the national average by five points.
If there’s anything more depressing than reading another news story about just how badly our nation is falling behind other nations educationally, it’s reading the public comments that try to excuse-ify it all away. In this case, I’m talking about the National Public Radio piece about a newly released federal study on PIAAC, the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies,… Read more →