As I’ve probably noted — I’m sick of the topic because the school reform movement continues to be a massive failure — here is Lindsey Burke explaining current test scores:
Federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” mandates. Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. Smaller learning communities. Improving Teacher Quality State Grants. Reading First. Early Reading First. The dozens of other federal programs authorized via No Child Left Behind. School Improvement Grants. Race to the Top. Common Core.
All of that has been just since 2000. Over those past two decades, while federal policymakers were busy enacting new federal laws, creating mandates for local school leaders, and increasing the Department of Education’s budget from $38 billion in 2000 (unadjusted for inflation) to roughly $70 billion today, the math and reading performance of American high school students remained completely flat. That is to say, stagnant.
The U.S. is now above the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average in reading, but alas, not because U.S. reading performance has improved. Rather, other countries have seen declines in reading achievement, despite increases in education spending.
In mathematics, however, U.S. performance has steadily declined over the past two decades.
Those are the findings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA exams, released last week.
About a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the PISA test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old, according to Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers the exam.
What’s more, the achievement gap between high- and low-performing American students has widened.
The international findings mirror last month’s National Assessment of Educational Progress report, which revealed that math and reading scores across the country have continued a yearslong stagnation, with students largely showing no progress in academic achievement.
Read more: Intellectual Takeout
Image credit: www.intellectualtakeout.com.