In case you missed the recent report about American students’ math and reading scores, the news is not good. The National Assessment of Education Progress is a report card on the nation’s learning trends and it shows that nearly 40 percent of high school seniors scored below the basic level on the math test and more than 25 percent failed to meet the basic reading test.
It’s troubling to find in the report that reading scores were lower now than in 1992; the math scores cannot be readily compared with previous tests because the composition of the test was changes and updated to reflect current curriculum. One thing that jumped out at me is that the highest math scores in the country are in the Midwest. Maybe all those students in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois know that their future in manufacturing, one of the dominant sectors in the region, is tied to being skilled in math and science.
While the report showed that high school students’ grades are rising and they are taking more difficult courses, it’s not showing up on the tests. The report didn’t have a definitive answer for this poor performance. It’s not comforting to see these numbers and realize that these are the leaders of tomorrow’s business, finance,education, arts and government. We need an educational system that prepares youth for a highly competitive world but we don’t seem to have the formula for it. Hopefully this report will galvanize attention on these key benchmarks.
For a link to the report, click on the report above.
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