The latest test results of 4th graders and 8th graders compared to many other countries are in, and the results are not all that great for the supposedly greatest nation on Earth.
American schoolchildren continue to lag behind those of major competitors in math and science exams given globally, despite progress on some of those tests, according to results from international achievement exams released Tuesday.
and Finland, among others
fourth- and eighth-grade students on the 2011 Trends in International
Mathematics and Science Study, known as TIMSS. U.S.
So what’s the cause of the problem? No single thing. There is the economic diversity of the student body, the lack of adequate resources and of course in many school inadequate teachers. Now before everyone jumps on the “teachers are horrible” bandwagon, a huge majority of teachers are dedicated to their profession and their students. Many work long hours and many provide classroom resources out of their own pocket because school boards are more interested in lower taxes than higher education.
But perception rules reality and results like these drive perception. So the message to the teachers unions is this. Get better at delivering education to your community and your community will get better at providing economic benefits to you. Or the other message, keep giving the impression that your unions come before you students, and your students will end up at charter schools and your budget money will end up at private schools.