Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Education Scores

In the last two weeks, we've heard news about how American kids are falling behind the world in test scores. Last week, it was 4th graders and today it was math and science scores. You could interpret this a several ways:

  • The Europeans Know Best way: We need to put our students on a track and withdraw funding if they change their minds. No wishy washy teenagers!
  • The South Korean way: Students are lazy. They need to go to school from 9-5, then 7-10, and Saturday morning. They bring shame to their family if they score low!
  • The Bush Republicans way: We need to strengthen the Department of Education to hold schools accountable to test scores. Federal Power can be used for good...it can cure racism, poverty and stupidity.
  • The Democrats way: See "the NEA way"
  • The Christian Right's way: See, that's what happens when you take God out of schools...Hell in a handbasket, ah well, the rapture will be here soon anyhow.
  • The Socialists way: see "The Democrats Way"
  • The Student's way: What do you mean? I got straight A's!
  • Milton Friedman's way: Competition! We need competition to cause poor schools to fail and replace them with high quality.
  • The Founder's way: Use the Bible, Shakespeare and McGuffy's Reader. Reading readiness? What's that?
  • The Classical Liberal's way: Allow local control of the schools. Praise achievement whereby students gain confidence. Break up the monstrous districts that treat students like widgets. Use more than four textbook publishers so that texts don't all emanate from the same echo chamber. Study classic philosophy grounded in reason. For goodness sake, stop using students in social educational theory experiments! Education is not complicated.

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