15 June 2011

How Are The Education Experts Doing?

No so hot:

The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that U.S. schoolchildren have made little progress since 2006 in their understanding of key historical themes, including the basic principles of democracy and America's role in the world.
"the basic principles of democracy and America's role in the world?" Gee, that kinda sounds like American Exceptionalism, doesn't it? As you'll see in an upcoming post, the "experts" are anything but. Story here.

Perhaps educating children is best left to the amateurs:

Homeschool student achievement test scores are exceptionally high. The mean scores for every subtest (which are at least the 80th percentile) are well above those of public school students.


Jan D. (from Denmark) said...

Sorry to say it, but thats not an US-problem alone.

The "problem" is the same in Denmark (where I am living), Sweden, Germany and lots of others countries in Europe.

During the last 15-20 years the youth' knowledge about history and daily politics (national as well as international) have being going downwards.

All education-systems (in all countries) have the weight laid upon math, IT-science and economics and so on (not that it helps a lot) which is leaving the "soft" things as history, lyrics, litterature, art, spelling and reading as secondary items to learn about.

So - your are not alone in this matter.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thank you Jan - nice to hear from Denmark! Part of the problem here, at least in my opinion, is the way in which history is often taught. Much of what was once taught in our schools is seen as "over the top" American Exceptionalism. America's greatness must be tempered with, again, in my opinion, an over-emphasis on America's sins. Therefore, students are less interested, as a source of pride, in the United States. I realize that is an over simplification of the problem, but I hope that explains it somewhat.

Lindsay said...

I agree with the original poster, this is a rampant problem resulting from the emphasis on math. It is evident in any public school that most of the focus is there, and maybe a close second is reading. Writing/history/science/arts are not considered as important, therefore our students do not understand even the most basic historical concepts - it is sad, but true.

I have yet to have a sixth grader who has come to me knowing where the states in the U.S. are - and don't even try to ask them their capitals.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Lindsay. I recall as a young boy in elementary school, discovering the child biographies of great Americans. They were inspirational and encouraged a love of, and fascination with, American history in me at a very young age. That was all I needed.