Education in Crisis: A Reference Handbook

Education in Crisis: A Reference Handbook

Education in Crisis: A Reference Handbook

Education in Crisis: A Reference Handbook

Synopsis

A description and critique of education reform in the United States since the 1950s, focusing on the current condition of American schools and efforts to increase both educational opportunity and overall excellence.

Excerpt

Public education in the United States is in crisis. Nearly every day there is a media report that keeps the failures of public education at the forefront of our national consciousness. Our government and media fuel that fire with reports that describe schools that are failing and that place the blame for our economic woes on our system of public education. Nearly everyone knows that there is a crisis in education. But not everyone agrees on what the nature of that crisis is.

Some say that the crisis is one of quality, predicting a dismal future for the economic viability of the United States in the global marketplace based on what they perceive is the inadequacy of our system of public education. They point to international rankings that purport to show that the scores of children in the United States fall short of those of our international competitors. The most recent Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) show average student scores from the United States on these tests rank below the scores of students from several other developed or industrialized countries in reading, mathematics, and science. More information about these tests and test scores can be found in Chapters 3 and 6 of this book.

Interestingly, many of the countries whose students score higher on the tests than U.S. students look past the rankings of test scores in their determination that what makes the United States strong in the global marketplace is the creativity and innovation that U.S. students learn. Those countries, including China and Japan, understand that standardized test scores do not measure creativity and innovation. China, Japan, and several other countries are seeking to implement curriculum and teaching practices that foster creativity and problem solving, curriculum and . . .

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