The usual hand-wringing accompanied the Department of Education's release late last year of new statistics on how U.S. students performed on international tests. How will the United States compete in the global economy, went the lament, when our students lag behind the likes of Singapore and Hong Kong in math and science? American fourth-graders ranked 12th in the world on one international math test, and eighth-graders were 14th. Is this further evidence of the failure of the nation's schools?
Not exactly. In fact, a closer look at how our kids perform against the international "competition" suggests that this story line may contain more than a few myths: . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Monday, January 22, 2007
Five Myths About U.S. Kids and American Schools
A must read from Paul Farhi in yesterday's WaPo: