School reform advocate Derrell Bradford and policy writer Andy Rotherham hit on it. Illinois education writer Tracy Dell’Angela has a blog focused on it. Teacher/education writer Robert Pondiscio said it was a factor in the anti-charter vote in Massachusetts last fall. And former Education Secretary Arne Duncan famously broached the subject in 2013. “It” is the long overdue conversation about… Read more →
Only four states — Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas — have accountability systems that encourage high schools to focus on high achievers, concludes Fordham’s High Stakes for High Schoolers Alabama, Idaho, Louisiana and New York are moving in that direction. Most states measure proficiency in English and math: Schools get no credit for helping students move from proficiency to excellence. Twenty-two… Read more →
When I published a commentary in my local newspaper a few years ago entitled “Why Do Our Public Schools Never Improve?” the comments posted by readers suggested that questioning the performance of our nation’s schools means one thing: I must be a right-wing ideologue in thrall to our corporate overlords. I certainly understood the negative reactions. Questioning the comfortable status quo never… Read more →
Huffington Post, 4-27-16
The gap in literacy performance between star students and struggling students is getting larger. While the nation’s top students continue to attain higher, more impressive reading scores, the number of students left in the dust with scant skills is also growing, according to new results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 12th-graders.
The latest NAEP results for 12th-graders — released Wednesday — do not paint a rosy picture. On the whole, reading scores stayed roughly the same from 2013, although a closer look at the numbers shows an increase in students on both the high- and low-achieving ends of the spectrum. In math, the average scores for 12th-graders declined slightly.
Overall, only 25 percent of students performed at a proficient level or above in math in their year before graduation. Thirty-eight percent of students who took the exam — a higher portion than in previous years — showed “below basic” skills in math, the lowest score designation given by NAEP.
As a part of my parent volunteer duties, I assist in elementary school writing classes. I won’t candy coat this. I’ve been a professional writer my whole adult life. It was painful – really painful – to watch how the students were being taught to write. I witnessed first-hand writing instruction as a formula – kind of like what’s in… Read more →
In a recent survey of public school parents, 90 percent stated that their children were performing on or above grade level in both math and reading. Parents held fast to this sunny belief no matter their own income, education level, race or ethnicity. The nationally administered test known as the Nation’s Report Card, or NAEP, suggests a very different reality. About half of white students are on grade level in math and reading by fourth grade; the percentages are lower for African-Americans and Hispanics.
Morgan Polikoff, who researches K-12 education policy at the University of Southern California, says the “Lake Wobegon effect” is actually no surprise. “Kids are getting passed on from grade to grade, a large percentage of kids graduate high school on time,” he explains. “So certainly parents have been getting the message for a long time that their kids are doing just fine.”
This post first appeared on the blog, JoanneJacobs.com Tracking in eighth grade — usually in math — correlates with higher scores on AP tests at the end of high school, concludes the 2016 Brown Center Report on American Education. In eighth grade, the tracking question currently boils down to whether high achieving students who are ready for a formal algebra… Read more →