State of General Educ LO6842

William J. Hobler, Jr. (
Sat, 20 Apr 1996 20:22:40 -0400

Replying to LO6678 --

In a previous post I mentioned an article in the Washington Post that
cited contrary statistics that indicates that our educational system's
perfromance is improving. The article is in the April 7, 1996 edition in
the first page of the Opinions section. The title is 'A Textbook Case of
Hype.' The authors are Cynthia Patrick and Robert Calfee. They wrote a
book titked, "Teach Our Children Well" Cynthia Patrick is a professor of
education at Stanford University. If anyone on the list knows of her or
her research perhaps they can add some detail to the following.

SAT scores tumbled 30 points between 1965 and 1975 and remained fairly
constant since then. Today a third more students take the test than took
it in the 1970s. Moreover The current 50th percentile is where the 60th
percentile was 15 years ago.

For the Advanced Placement tests. In 1978 90,000 high school took the
test. In 1995 324,000 students took it. On a 5 point scale the average
score went from 3.16 in 1978 to 3.05 in 1990. That is from 63 per cent to
61 per cent.

The article goes on to discuss current History performance compared to
performance today. It also compares performance measured against the
Japanese and as compared against other country's preformance.

Whatever, this article raises some doubt about the state of education in
the US.

Recently Rol revealed a conversation that iindicates that Americans are
not ready to change our education system. I think that until we hear a
consistent set of data that raises the pain level high enough to provide
'fire in the beely' for change. Bill


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