Archive for October 17, 2011
Interesting report in Education Week. They claim that the low performance of US students on international tests is really not that significant for competitiveness nor for getting more students into STEM. They cite data from the World Economic Forum and from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to support the argument that there is no correlation between test scores and competitiveness or STEM labor shortages.
For decades, our rhetoric and education policies have been based on the premise that the ranking of U.S. students on international tests will lead to a decline in our nation’s economic competitiveness and a shortage of American scientists and engineers.
It is ironic, then, that given the rhetoric and policies surrounding international test-score comparisons—much of it unsupported by evidence—little attention is paid to two of the most powerful findings of these comparisons: the strong negative effects on student performance of both family poverty and concentrations of poverty in schools.