Why Pessimists Like Me Are Wrong About Our Education System
It’s become the fad to bash our nation’s education system. The media constantly reminds us that we in the USA are falling behind other developed and developing countries, especially in science and technology. They point to a plethora of problems — standardized tests, lack of accountability, not rewarding top teachers, etc.
Jumping on the bandwagon, I’ve written about the Somber Situation for Allendale Education, while on a more positive note, I also explained some thoughts for how we can Improve our School Report Card. Despite my borderline optimism, I am still concerned with the future of our country’s education.
So, I was immediately skeptical when this article from The Atlantic accused me of being wrong.
“A eye-opening new paper comparing U.S. students to their international peers by social class finds that the richest Americans are world-class readers, and in math, our disadvantaged kids have improved more than almost any other country.”
What this study does is break down the test results (yes, I know, standardized tests are not perfect, but what other data are you going to use?) based on the socioeconomic class of the student, instead of lumping all students together.
One explanation for low test scores in the US — compared to other high-scoring countries — is that we have a relatively high percentage of low-social class students taking these tests. Read the full article for a deeper explanation.
But what strikes me is that the solution to improving our overall education is not solely dependent on improving education per se. We need to work to eradicate poverty.
How does this happen? Here are some previous posts that touch on this subject:
- Attacking Poverty Through Relief, Rehabilitation, and Development
- Poverty Cure
- Stop Serving the Poor?
- Mentoring: A Gameplan for Poverty
And here are some related links on education:
- Education, Skills, Jobs: How We Broke the System
- 2 Thought-Provoking Videos About Education
- Education Articles for the First Week of School
- Patrick Henry and Allendale: More Alike Than Different?
- The Water Is Wide: Pat Conroy’s View of Education, Leadership, and Humility
So maybe I have been wrong on the condition of our education system. But maybe I’m right about how to improve it — by addressing the issue of poverty.
(Hat tip to Taylor for sending me this article.)
**image courtesy of woodsy via rgbstock.com