U.S. School Children Losing More Ground to Other Nations…

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U.S. fourth-graders have lost ground in reading ability compared with kids around the world, according to results of a global reading test.

Test results released on Wednesday showed U.S. students scored about the same as they did in 2001, the last time the test was given. During the interim, there has been an increased emphasis on reading under Bush’s No Child Left Behind act.

The U.S. average score on the Progress in International Reading Literacy test remained above the international average. However, ten countries including Hong Kong and three Canadian provinces, were ahead of the United States this time. In 2001, only three countries were ahead of the United States.

The loss of academic ground is

The 2002 No Child Left Behind law requires schools to test students annually in reading and math, and imposes sanctions on schools that miss testing goals.

The U.S. performance metrics on an international test of 45 nations differed from results of a U.S. national reading test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation’s report card. Fourth-grade reading scores rose modestly on the most recent version of that test, taken earlier this year and measuring growth since 2005. During the previous two-year period, scores were flat.

On the latest international exam, U.S. students posted a lower average score than students in Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg, Hungary, Italy and Sweden, along with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Interesting how the U.S. metrics showed progress while other countries’ metrics seem to indicate we are getting dumber. 

Hong Kong and Singapore have taken steps such as increasing teacher preparation, providing more tutoring and raising public awareness about the importance of reading, said Ina Mullis, co-director of the International Study Center at Boston College, which conducts the international reading literacy study.

The results:

Countries that improved since 2001 included Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Singapore, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

Countries that declined included England, Lithuania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden. Sweden still outperformed the United States this time around, but average scores in England and the Netherlands were not measurably different from the U.S. average.

Overall, girls scored higher than boys in the United States and all other countries except for Luxembourg and Spain, where the boy-girl scores were the same.

The average U.S. score was above the average score in 22 countries or jurisdictions and about the same as the score in 12 others. The U.S. average fell toward the high end of a level called “intermediate.” At that level, a student can identify central events, plot sequences and relevant story details in texts. The student also can make straightforward inferences from what is read and begin to make connections across parts of the text.

Background questionnaires administered to students, teachers and school administrators showed that the average years of experience for fourth-grade teachers in the United States decreased from 15 years to 12 years between 2001 and 2006. The international average was 17 years.

U.S. kids seem to get more reading instruction than others. U.S. teachers were more likely to report teaching reading for more than six hours per week than those elsewhere.

In my opinion the public education has devolved from the classical approach of character plus basics (reading, writing, arithmetic, respect, and responsibility), to skills, to psychological-social engineering. Today, education “experts” celebrate their doctrines of multiculturalism and values clarification, but sadly, the experts have been too preoccupied with experimental education, diversity training, evolution-instruction, to wake up and realize that 68 percent of students are unprepared for college. 

The long and short of it is…what they are doing…isn’t working.

Check the Nation’s Report Card here

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Posted on November 28, 2007, in Education Policy, George Bush, Law, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reading is one thing, comprehension is another. What conclusions can be drawn?

    1. There is no loss of reading ability in the US.

    Test results released on Wednesday showed U.S. students scored about the same as they did in 2001,

    2. The US is still above the international average.

    The U.S. average score on the Progress in International Reading Literacy test remained above the international average.

    3. Since when did Canada become divided into countries four countries?

    However, ten countries including Hong Kong and three Canadian provinces, were ahead of the United States this time.

    4. The actual countries testing ahead of the US.

    Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg, Hungary, Italy and Sweden,

    ****Meaning in real life only four countries have surpassed the US since 2001.

    5. In conclusion

    Literacy in the US which has long been among the best in the world remains true. American literacy has not decreased yet the REST OF THE WORLD IS CATCHING UP (is that such a bad thing?). Literacy is one thing but comprehension of reports is another.

  1. Pingback: US School Children Losing More Ground to Other Nations… | Political news - democrats republicans socialists greens liberals conservatives

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