It has been nearly 30 years since the landmark “A Nation at Risk” report launched the education reform movement and still, as Obama noted last month, American eighth-graders rank ninth in the world on international math tests and 11th in science.It's the teachers, right? Wrong. Every study ever conducted to see what has had the biggest impact on a child's education points to SES (socio-economic status). Period. There is not one bit of evidence to support the craziness that is RTTT, value-added measures of teacher effectiveness, longer school days/years, more homework or any of the other crap being touted.
A work force report by the Business Roundtable warned that the U.S. is the only major industrialized country with a younger generation that has a lower level of high school achievement than the older generation and is second to last in college completion.
And, as Obama pointed out Monday speaking to the America’s Promise Alliance, a third of U.S. children fail to graduate from high school — including half of all minority children — condemning most of them to a life of poverty and huge cost to society.
We need to do the right thing for our kids. We should teach them how to think, not what to think. This requires students who are ready. Let's make sure they have food, health care, a decent place to live, a job for their parent(s) and teachers who are free to do what they do best--teach.