Solid Evidence

Scores Stagnate at High Schools – WSJ.com

New data show that fewer than 25% of 2010 graduates who took the ACT college-entrance exam possessed the academic skills necessary to pass entry-level courses, despite modest gains in college-readiness among U.S high-school students in the last few years. . . .

“High schools are the downfall of American school reform,” said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington. “We haven’t figured out how to improve them on a broad scope and if our kids aren’t dropping out physically, they are dropping out mentally. . . .”

In the recent results, only 24% of the graduating class of 2010 scored high enough on the ACT in math, reading, English and science to ensure they would pass entry-level college courses. This is a slight uptick from last year, when 23% were ready for college, and from 2008, when 22% were ready.

Still, 28% of students didn’t score high enough on even one subject-matter exam to ensure college readiness. . . .

Despite a decade of high-school reform efforts, including breaking larger high schools into smaller ones and pushing more students into college-prep courses, there is still no solid evidence on how best to boost achievement.

Actually, there is solid evidence on how best to boost achievement: Remove your child from public school.

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7 thoughts on “Solid Evidence

  1. I couldn’t help but remember John Davison’s hangings on around here.

    John Davison with time to spare

    There’s something wrong with that guy. At the very least, he has a total lack of self-discipline.

    But something’s also wrong with Mark Chu-Carroll. Why does he feel a need to go on and on with John Davison?

    Mark and John’s dumb back and forth

    It’s good to know there are people worse off than me.

    That begs the question of why I visit such blogs. A blogger mixing dry technical subjects with entertainment meant to inflame is obviously one means of getting some traffic.

    But now that he’s not on scienceblogs.com anymore and can display his sitemeter, which according to him is about half down, I’ll be able to see whether his association with scienceblogs.com was what gave him his credibility. Of course, all he probably needed was that initial jump on the scienceblogs.com bandwagon to get him going. And now that he’s getting others to jump on his new scientopia.org bandwagon, he’ll be able to keep the perception of credibility. But, hey, it’s a free-for-all, and there’s strength in numbers.

    Sitemeter

    I tested out the HTML above on another WordPress blog of mine, and for the first time I saw some Google ads showing up on a blog of mine. I hate Google ads. The ad is gone now. WordPress.com is sneaky about sneaking the ads in. Ignorance is bliss.

  2. I kind of like Davison. I appreciate his spirit, and he tends to annoy people that I wish would be annoyed. I might be like him when I get older.

    “That begs the question of why I visit such blogs.” Yes, indeed. Quite a mystery. [Silence except for foot tapping.]

    For the time being, I have sworn off all blogs, even those by people I like. It is just too hard to do three paid jobs, do one unpaid job, and play in a band, while still reading blogs.

    I try to save time while still scattering my semi-literary debris by not logging in to WordPress if I can help it. Instead I use Scribefire on Firefox.

    Once upon a time, one of your doppelgangers asked if I might not get a PhD sometime. This summer I have resolved never to do so. I have been completely immersed in a cesspool of PhD-level “green” stupidity for the last three months. I now despise the PhD as a sign of utterly insensible boorishness, priggishness, sloppiness, irrationality, and pretense. The thought of being enslaved in a Matrix of PhD discourse for the rest of my life is a source of unending terror.

  3. Scribefire might be a possibility. I suppose you have used an RSS reader. I use google.com/reader. I can still end up spending too much time on blogs sometimes, but it can help me scan the recent posts faster.

    I suppose you’re playing the harmonica. Blues.

    Working 3 paid jobs, you must be in $100,000 range these days, a 6-figure salary, as they say.

    With math, I’ve never come close to adapting the attitude that higher degrees are a waste, that is, unless a particular math program was wimpsville in order to get and pass students.

    I don’t consider having to attend classes and take tests as the best method of learning, but it’s probably the most practical way for the system to work. Still, with certain technical subjects, a person needs the culture and expertise that one gets from rubbing shoulders and being guided by people at a higher level.

    As far as others subjects where people don’t have to produce a hard result in the here and now, I’m sure much of a PhD is a waste.

    I don’t know what PhD-level “green” means.

  4. Actually, the worst thing for you is that you’ve been involved in the PhD system too long, allowing you to analyze it all too long.

    I’d say that, like degrees at a lower level, what a person gets out of a PhD and what a person accomplishes by getting one is dependent on the individual.

    So, in spite of all the bad things, if the cost/benefit analysis shows you should do it, then you do it. For example, if you get to do it on company time, then that might mean you should do it.

    If all the signs say you shouldn’t do it, then you shouldn’t. For example, if you know you would end up ABD because some committee would doom you, then I guess you wouldn’t do it.

    But because you “despise the PhD as a sign of utterly insensible boorishness, priggishness, sloppiness, irrationality, and pretense”, that’s not a good reason to write it off.

  5. I pretend to play the bass guitar; the rest of the band pretends they can’t hear me; and the audience pretends they can hear me. It’s working out for now, anyway.

    3 paid jobs => less than $40,000 per year

    green writing = Gaia worship; sustainability by dismantling Christian ethical norms; and save-the-planet-by-eating-vegan moralizing

    Maybe it’s just certain losers in the humanities who give the impression that PhDs are bogus. I’m sorry to say I am too much of a dilettante to be admitted into a PhD program outside of the humanities. And I don’t really want to associate with pretentious losers in a humanities PhD program; I don’t want to have to read and analyze the works of incoherent losers for my dissertation; and I don’t want to submit myself to desperate losers as dissertation advisors.

    Too much suffering with no short-term benefit.

  6. Humanities sounds interesting on the surface. I guess it’s like anything, which is that most anything good can be messed up.

    There’s probably a few decent programs. The University of Dallas is a Catholic university, and their program is classics oriented.

    It seems like there would be some companies in the private industry who would value your skills.

    Yea, things can suddenly get on one’s nerves. I used to think that Doestovsky was the greatest writer. I re-read his novels, and I decided that contrived, melodramatic, and overly-sentimental are better descriptors.

    I can imagine the mental grief brought about by continuously reading stuff where the academic or academic wannabe interprets most anything to be saying that everyone and his brother is a homosexual.

    Have fun making music.

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