Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Education: How Bad IS It?

T Berres delivers news which is not really news for most of us.

The record of public education in Wisconsin is impressive relative to the national average.

...The problem, however, is that the current national average grossly underestimates the potential performance of American students. The difference between the relative and absolute performance of a school system is illustrated by the new Cato Index of Education Market Performance; Wisconsin has the highest score of any state on this index but with an absolute score of 26 on a 100 point scale. Professor Caroline Hoxby of Harvard has estimated that the average productivity of American schools declined by around 55% (based on math tests for nine-year-olds) or 73% (based on reading tests for seventeen-year-olds) between the 1970–1971 and 1998–1999 school years. The average seventeen-year-old in the 1970–1971 school year had a score that fewer than 5% of American seventeen-year-olds now attain.

Someplace around here there's an article from a Wall Street Journal of about 20 years ago. That article reprinted a graduation-test for grade-schoolers in the early 1800's--which test would force most of today's HS juniors to start HS all over again.

1 comment:

diana said...

My husband works with quite a few Ivy Leaguers and is continually surprised (or maybe not) at their utter lack of writing skills...and here he hails from the UW system.