Guest essay by Eric Worrall
US academic standards are stagnating, despite huge investment in trying to improve the education system. Maybe its about time politicians and academics started asking why.
‘It Just Isn’t Working’: PISA Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts
An international exam shows that American 15-year-olds are stagnant in reading and math even though the country has spent billions to close gaps with the rest of the world.
By Dana Goldstein Dec. 3, 2019Updated 11:47 a.m. ET
The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe.
And the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening. Although the top quarter of American students have improved their performance on the exam since 2012, the bottom 10th percentile lost ground, according to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal agency.
The disappointing results from the exam, the Program for International Student Assessment, were announced on Tuesday and follow those from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, an American test that recently showed that two-thirds of children were not proficient readers.
Over all, American 15-year-olds who took the PISA test scored slightly above students from peer nations in reading but below the middle of the pack in math.
Mr. Schleicher said that differences in school quality affected the performance of American students less than it affected the performance of students in many other nations — meaning that in the United States, there is more achievement diversity within schools than across schools.
Some education leaders said they saw no reason to drastically change policy directions.
…Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/us/us-students-international-test-scores.html
The PISA report is available here.
Why do I think this stagnation might be related to climate activism?
Last September, a prominent Australian drug rehabilitation specialist testified before a government committee that fear of climate change and lack of economic security is contributing to the drug epidemic.
… Fifth, efforts to reduce the demand for powerful psychoactive drugs in Australia have had limited benefit and require a new focus. Unless and until young Australians feel optimistic about their future, demand for drugs will remain strong. Young people, understandably, want more certainty about their future prospects, including climate, education, jobs and housing affordability. Change will be slow and incremental, like all social policy reform. …Read more: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/27/drug-inquiry-fear-of-climate-change-is-destroying-the-lives-of-young-people/
What do you say to convince a child to study hard and do their homework, if they believe the world is about to end?