Diana Ravitch seems like the lone wolf out there howling…more people need to listen.—TBH
From her blog:
..When I went to the section of the website on education reform, I was not surprised to encounter the usual corporate reform ideas, like school choice, ending tenure, and evaluating teachers by student test scores.
What astonished me was the education reform sector opens with a little graph titled “America the Illiterate?” The graph is accompanied by this language: “Several decades ago, American students were at the top in every subject. In that time, public school union membership has increased 600%, and now we trail China in every category.” The graphic has three arrows purporting to show that American students dropped from #1 to #25 in math literacy, from #1 to #17 in scientific literacy, and from #1 to #14 in reading literacy.
None of this is true. The first international assessments were administered in the 1960s; twelve nations participated. We scored twelfth out of twelve. In the intervening half-century, our students typically ranked in the middle or even the bottom quartile on those tests. We were never #1. Maybe those tests rate test-taking skills but they surely are not a predictor of future economic success. Our nation continued to boom economically and to encourage entreprepreneurship, creative media endeavors, and new businesses despite the unimpressive scores on international tests.
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