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Feds: Student Skills Worse, Grades Higher

Is our children learning indeed. AMNewYork: (h/t OK) Twelth-graders' reading skills have hit a new low, but their grades continue to climb, acco

Is our children learning indeed.

AMNewYork: (h/t OK)

Twelth-graders' reading skills have hit a new low, but their grades continue to climb, according to federal officials who suspect the nation's schools are inflating grades.

Suspicions that teens' rising grade-point averages may be unmerited are fueled by two new national reports released yesterday at a Washington, D.C., news conference. Both reports are from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a U.S.-sponsored program that tests representative samples of students in academic subjects.
According to one report, the latest nationwide test results in 12th-grade reading have hit their lowest point since testing in that subject first began. On average, students nationwide scored 286 on a scale of zero to 500 during the last round of tests in 2005 -- down one point from 2002 and six points from the first year, 1992.

Meanwhile, grade-point averages have continued their steady rise, according to a companion report on high-school transcripts. In 1990, the typical students' grade average in English was 2.52 out of a possible 4.0, or the equivalent of a C-plus. By 2005, the typical grade average was 2.82, equivalent to a B-minus.

Federal authorities say they can't be sure whether this reflects a conscious effort by schools to puff students' achievements, or whether it may involve other factors as well, such as teacher inexperience in grading.

The whole mindset of short term gains endemic to the Republican party is maddening. Everything is all about showing gains in the immediate, no worries about long term losses. Well, this is the ULTIMATE long-term loss: the braintrust of the future of this country. Teachers are so pressured to pass students who are not ready, to focus all their efforts on a limited set of skills to pass tests that our children are being gypped anything resembling a real education. I spent a few years working in college admissions and I was shocked by the lack of critical thinking skills of applying high school seniors.

Still think that world looks flat, Tom? Your version of globalization is missing the boat. Seems to me that we will be spending at least a couple of generations trying to keep up, just because our focus has been on passing, not educating, our children. Corporations may be able to get cheap labor elsewhere now, but you look at the skillset of the younger generations, and it is quickly evident we'll be offering uneducated labor.

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