A blizzard of education reports and studies appears every year. This swirl of information, analysis, and commentary -- some of which is contradictory -- makes it difficult to understand the condition of America's public schools. In short, are the schools getting better or worse?
In many ways, the popular storyline that U.S. students get crushed in international comparisons is a distortion of the actual record. Truth is, our fourth- and eighth-graders consistently score above average, and do especially well in reading and science.
In the early 1990s, Maryland put in place a complex, performance-based assessment to determine if elementary school students could demonstrate complex problem-solving and think critically across disciplines. The state was in an uproar.
We are not getting the job done in our high schools nearly as well as we are at earlier grades. Our students are entering high school better prepared, but along the way that advantage is not being translated into proportionate gains among 17-year-olds overall.
Will access to the Internet be transformative? It will be for some children, of course, but if access alone were transformative, the developed world would be transforming like crazy in terms of learning, and it is not.
The good news is that teachers and parents are open to the idea of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. The bad news is that parents and teachers don't have a lot of information about what the Common Core really is
We are once again at a critical turning point for our children and nation. Despite all the harsh lessons of the past and all the lofty rhetoric about who we want and need to be as a 21st century multicultural nation in a multiracial and multicultural world, we’re heading in the wrong direction.
Education, Republicans believe, is not an unalienable right that makes the pursuit of happiness possible. Instead, Republicans believe education is a commodity, and your access to it is limited only by money and time.
The Nation's Report Card on Science 2011, released last week by the federal government, showed modest improvement but raised even more concern about America's ability to grow the science-literate workforce needed in the 21st century.