In his state of the union address President Bush said that thanks to his No Child Left Behind legislation, American children are doing better in school.
That is true only for fourth grade students, but they are doing only a little better. Eight grade students are doing about the same. So the rule holds true. The longer our children attend our failed school system, the worse they do.
American college graduates score almost no better than high school graduates in tests of reading comprehension designed for tenth grade students.
The older our students are, the worse they score compared to students of the other 22 industrialized nations on tests of math and science.
More than half our high schools have no course in physics. Many schools use coaches and shop teachers as science teachers.
The main benefit of No Child Left Behind is that at least we now have national tests which show how badly our school systems have failed our nation.
But we need national tests done more frequently, perhaps monthly, so we can catch learning failures while there is time to fix them. Bush’s system just shows when we have lost a child, and is too late to save the child from a lifetime scarred by ignorance.
“May you live in interesting times. . .”
Tune in tomorrow. . . .
Frank Lynch www.franklynch.org/