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News from Mathnasium of Zionsville

American Education Lags Behind

Dec 28, 2019

Education professionals have been worried about American schoolchildren falling behind other developed nations’ children in their level of education since the 1950’s when Russia beat America to space with Sputnik and Muttnik. Owing to these fears about education many tests have been constructed to determine where American children are lacking in their education, and these tests have, for the most part, validated these fears. One of these tests is called the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) test which is given to students all over the world to track their progress in education. According to the New York Times, “American 15-year-olds who took the PISA test scored… below the middle of the pack in math”, and in reading, ”a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the PISA test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old” (Goldstein, 2019). Initially the No Child Left Behind act was introduced in 2001 and used standardized tests which were used more to evaluate schools and the teachers, looking for poor performance, rather than actually test the students. Over the past decade the common core curriculum has been used to test American students and hopefully bolster their education by improving instruction and lessons given in the areas students show weakness. Hopefully this improves education by focusing on the students and their areas of need instead of using tests to fund or punish schools based on performance. Outside instruction and help can be a great way of boosting a child’s education and bringing them above and beyond what traditional education methods have been able to achieve so far. 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/us/us-students-international-test-scores.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/podcasts/the-daily/education.html