Tuesday, October 8, 2013

American Kids Aren't the Only Ones With Low Test Scores

For years concern has been raised that American children do not fair as well as children from other countries in academics. Public education has been trying, in my opinion unsuccessfully, to rectify this problem by introducing standardized curriculum and standardized testing across the country, but it hasn't seemed to make the impact that was desired.

Unless you ask the companies who create the standardized subjects.

From MSN:

WASHINGTON — It's long been known that America's school kids haven't measured well compared with international peers. Now, there's a new twist: Adults don't either.
In math, reading and problem-solving using technology — all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength — American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday.
Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a salesman, sorting email and comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags.
Not only did Americans score poorly compared to many international competitors, the findings reinforced just how large the gap is between the nation's high- and low-skilled workers and how hard it is to move ahead when your parents haven't.

The study does note that children of college graduates do preform better than those children of parents who did not attend college.

The point is this: we are too concerned with teaching political trends in our school systems today, especially at the younger ages, than we are in teaching our children how to do one simple thing, the art of thinking. We have removed the thought process, the practice of using intellect and reason, from our classrooms and school systems, teaching a watered down, spoon fed, agenda driven curriculum in the classroom, that agenda mainly being the content of what will be on the standardized tests that students take at different points throughout their school years. Our kids are becoming experts on filling in the little bubbles on a card that will be scanned in to check their responses, but give them an essay examination  and the results are often frightening. Correct grammar is hard to find, as text message lingo often is used in place of correct grammatical entries. Throwing in the allowance of cell phones into the classroom,  kids today have learned a new way of getting answers that they've found on television, most notably from game shows, by using the "phone a friend" method of getting answers to questions they don't know themselves.

If the United States (I still, personally, cringe at using the generalized "Americans," as there is no nation called "America") is to succeed internationally in competition with other countries, then we're going to have to revert to an older method of teaching, and that is to include using rational thought processes back in the daily curriculum

Sic vis pacem parabellum


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