CRT: An Excuse for Educational Failure

Critical Race Theory is an Excuse for Educational Failure The socioeconomic disparities Critical Race Theory cites as evidence of racism are primarily the result of public education’s failings. Insensitivity to the unique educational needs of disadvantaged children-­both white and minority–has resulted in substandard learning outcomes for both. Minority children, however, have suffered greater harm because more of them are economically disadvantaged and educationally delayed at school entry. Some school districts are confronting the problem but many deflect responsibility … Read More

Tennessee Teacher Prep Change Would be First in the Nation

A bill before the 2019 Tennessee General Assembly could lead to dramatic improvements in teaching, learning, and college readiness for Tennessee’s PK-12 students. The bill would require the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to incentivize Tennessee’s public universities for producing a greater percentage of highly effective new teachers.  It would do so by incorporating the percentage of newly graduated teachers who produce above-average achievement gains into THEC’s Quality Assurance funding program. Although Tennessee’s universities have historically produced many excellent teachers, a decline in quality … Read More

Early Reading Success Predicts Later Educational Success

In most states, a school district’s number of proficient third-grade readers is highly predictive of the number of 8th graders who will be proficient five years later.  The significance of this fact is that 8th-grade reading skill is highly predictive of high school outcomes and preparedness for work and college.   In other words, third grade reading success is vitally important because it predicts the trajectory of a child’s educational career.  The above chart school district reading scores illustrates … Read More

Are states reporting the truth about student achievement?

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) vs State Self Reports Are States Being Honest with Themselves About Student Achievement? The charts below compare the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reports on reading and math achievement with the state self-reports required by the No Child Left Behind Act. The discrepancies are shocking and they clearly illustrate the need for higher standards, but not necessarily for Common Core. What these discrepancies more directly reveal is a continuing … Read More

States Compared to International Standards

Phillips and AIR correctly argue that weak state standards serve to create a false sense of security about state educational outcomes.  In most states, school outcomes are distressingly weak compared to national and international standards.  In the past, the U. S. led international rankings. In recent decades, however, other countries have moved ahead despite American school reforms. Whether these facts argue for the nationwide adoption of the Common Core, however, is another issue.   The National Assessment of Educational … Read More

Reversing American Decline

From A Nation at Risk, 1983:  “We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” The SAT scores since since 1967 clearly document the decline and … Read More