Uncategorized

Some Encouraging Signs for American Education

American students scored in the top four nations in terms of reading literacy on the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), posting a 16 point increase (from 540 to 556) since 2006.  The gains made by American students also outpace the gains made by the nations that the United States currently trails on the reading measure (Finland, Russia, and Singapore).  The marked improvements reversed a disturbing trend from the 2006 exam where American students’ scores declined by two points from 2001 to 2006.  Gaps in achievement are still persistent, particularly for low income students, and much more needs to be done to get American education on par with the top nations in the world.  But this improvement shows that targeted efforts to improve literacy in the early years across the nation are having the intended impact.

In terms of science and math achievement, as measured by the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), the United States remains above the average for participating countries.  However, Massachusetts scored higher than every nation besides Singapore in math and Minnesota trailed only Singapore and Taiwan in science.  The success of these education leaders demonstrates that the United States can compete internationally in science in math if thoughtful education policies are implemented throughout the country.

Both states have improved student learning by emphasizing critical thinking skills, elevating the teaching profession, providing high quality early learning, and linking educational interventions to cutting edge educational research.  North Carolina policymakers should look to these states for reforms that have proven international results rather than focusing on measures designed to cut funding, privatize schools, and punish teacher and students on the basis of test scores – none of which are being employed by the highest performing states or nations.

Check Also

A small bit of progress on Jones Street: House advances A-F school performance grade change

In case you missed it, the state House  ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The Senate voted along party lines Tuesday night to overturn a partial judicial redistricting bill i [...]

Viola Williams has been crunching numbers and working out possible solutions since last week, when t [...]

With midterm elections around the corner, lawmakers have, unsurprisingly, taken aim at last minute c [...]

On May 25, the news headlines read that Democratic state Senate candidate Jen Mangrum had been disqu [...]

“I’m speechless.” So began the heartfelt lament of Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) late last Friday afte [...]

The post SB 711 – The pig’s roast appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

In another effort to pander to the minority of Americans who want to make abortion and birth control [...]

The practice of loading down noncontroversial legislation with divisive and partisan provisions is a [...]