The results are in from the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the United States scored below average, as usual. “Among the 35 industrialized nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. now ranks 31st,” writes The Hechinger Report. U.S. students performed worse this year in science than they did in 2012 (the last time the test was given) and were stagnant in reading. Singapore scored at the top.
The Washington Post‘s Valerie Strauss says our kids are doing poorly because public schools are “under attack” and the test is flawed (although apparently not “flawed” for everyone):
Here we go again. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has just released the latest results from the test known as PISA, or Program for International Student Assessment, and guess what? American 15-year-olds who took the test in reading, math, and science didn’t do well.
In fact, U.S. students have never done well – not in the history of international tests, including when the American public education system wasn’t under attack by reformers as it is now. That won’t stop people from saying the sky is falling over the results of a standardized test, especially one that many critics say is flawed.
The American public education system might be on its way out, but it’s still quite far from the back burner. Judging from the steady decline of the United States on the international test stage, however, I’d say it’s time to signal the “attack” more vehemently than ever.
SOURCE: The Washington Post
IN THIS ISSUE:
- HOMESCHOOLERS: Although parents say they’ve followed the rules, the New York Department of Education is harassing homeschooling parents with the Administration for Children’s Services.
- NEVADA: As Nevada families continue to wait for education savings account (ESA) funding to come through, parents who tried to block the ESA program vow to make even more trouble.
- DeVOS: The San Francisco Chronicle says Trump education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos will make school vouchers a priority.
- WISCONSIN: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Future of the Family Commission recommends the state expand taxpayer vouchers allowing students to attend private schools.
- CODE: It’s “Computer Science Education Week,” and millions of kids will spend one hour learning to code as part of Code.org’s “Hour of Code” program.
- COMMON CORE: Notre Dame law professor Gerard Bradley, a leading Catholic scholar, outlines reasons why Trump should focus on getting rid of Common Core.
- IDAHO: A group finds Idaho school administrators ignored laws or did not understand how the system worked in 99 percent of teacher evaluations.
- FLAG BANNING: House Republicans introduce a bill to keep federal funds from schools that ban the American flag.
- PADDLING: A group of Alabama teachers wants to ban all corporal punishment in schools.
- BOSTON: Hundreds of Boston students walk out of class to protest President-elect Trump.
- COLORADO: Colorado is going to face a severe teacher shortage, a state report predicts, as the number of people finishing teacher prep programs in the state continues to drop.
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