Parental Choice to Reverse Poor Global Rankings
Education, one of the top issues President-Elect Trump focused on during his campaign, is very much on the minds of all Americans. In an important book, education reform expert and Independent Institute Research Fellow Vicki E. Alger, Ph.D., author of FAILURE: The Federal Misedukation of America's Children, shows us what the problems are and offers sound strategies toward improving on the failures of America's educational system.
By the year 2000, American "students must be first in the world in math and science achievement." That's what President George H. W. Bush insisted in his 1990 State of the Union address. Two leading international exams confirm we're still not even close.
Results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) show that eighth grade math performance has improved slightly from 2011. However, there has been no statistical improvement in average fourth grade math and science performance or average eighth grade science performance since 2011. That's the good news. By the time American students approach the end of high school, they rank in the lower half of developed countries.
Results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) indicate that the average reading and science performance of American 15-year-olds is essentially flat compared to 2012, and that math performance has declined. This performance is not because the U.S. has more socio-economically disadvantaged students. Nor is it because the U.S. doesn't spend enough. Currently we spend over $15,000 per pupil - more than every developed country except Luxembourg and Switzerland. [more...]