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The Oxymoron of Corporate Education Reform Exposed by the Results of the International PISA Test

The foundation of the U.S. corporate education reform movement is built on a house of cards that alleges there are too many incompetent teachers in America’s public schools, and that using standardized high stakes test to rank teachers based on student test scores will reveal who those teachers are.

But today the corporate education reformers have unwittingly provided evidence that they are totally wrong with the same data they want to use to root out these alleged incompetent teachers and then also close public schools with the worst scores.

“New York State education officials released data showing that the top-rated teachers, based on student test scores, are less likely to work in schools enrolling black and Hispanic students.” NY State Released Junk Science Ratings by Diane Ravitch

Why are the corporate education reformers wrong?

Stanford.edu reports, “There is an achievement gap between more and less disadvantaged students in every country; surprisingly, that gap is smaller in the United States than in similar post-industrial countries, and not much larger than in the very highest scoring countries.”

If the alleged claims of the corporate education reformers were correct, that means—according to the results of the international PISA tests—teachers who work with disadvantaged students in every country are also incompetent and should lose their jobs.

But … here’s the twist: “Achievement of U.S. disadvantaged students has been rising rapidly over time, while achievement of disadvantaged students in countries to which the United States is frequently unfavorably compared – Canada, Finland and Korea, for example – has been falling rapidly.”Stanford.edu

This tells us that the alleged incompetent teachers in the U.S.—who work with the most disadvantaged students—are the most competent (incompetent teachers) in the world.

How can America’s public school teachers be incompetent when the disadvantaged students they work with are outperforming the disadvantaged students in every country PISA tests—even Canada, Finland and Korea? An oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one.

The corporate education reformers have hung themselves with the same noose they intended to put around the necks of public school teachers in the United States.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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Two Politically Correct Scams Supported by Corporate Owned Media that Threaten Democracy in America

The actual U.S. place in the international ranking of all OECD countries from the International PISA test was 6th in reading and 13th in math—not 14th in reading and 25th in math as reported. The 2012, PISA tested about 85,000 students in 44 countries placing the U.S. in the top 13.6% for reading and 29% for math. Thirty-eight countries ranked lower in reading and 31 in math.

This post is about the two scams that have led to the era of corporate supported, public education reform in the United States. The first scam was a report called “A Nation at Risk” in 1983, during the Reagan era. Because of this report, teachers, teachers’ unions and the democratic public schools have been painted as failures, and the corporate owned media turned “A Nation at Risk” into front page news with endless, never-ending chatter that focuses on the so-called failing public schools and lazy, incompetent teachers. This has gone on for more than thirty years.

The truth first appeared in 1990, when the Scandia Report was released revealing that “A Nation at Risk” was a misleading fraud. The corporate owned media ignored the results of the Scandia Report, and continued to attack public school teachers and teachers’ unions.

Eric.ed.gov offers its Straight Talk about America’s Public Schools: Dispelling the Myths. Hot Topics Series. Chapter 1 contains the entire text of the 1983 report, “A Nation at Risk”; a summary of the results of the 1990 “Scandia Report”, which contradicted many of the previous report’s allegations; and an article by Daniel Tanner, which describes how the Scandia Report was commissioned and why it was later suppressed by the federal government.

The second scam has to do with the OECD’s international PISA tests. The corporate owned media, using only the overall average comparisons of countries, has reported repeatedly and widely how poorly the U.S. public schools compare to the other OECD countries, but the average ranking used to condemn America’s public education system, teachers and teachers’ unions is criminally misleading.

The Economic Policy Institute, similar to the Scandia Report, studied the PISA scores and published an in-depth revealing report. What follows the video are a few key points from The EPI.org report that reveals that the PISA results have been manipulated by the corporate-owned media misleading many Americans to think that the democratic public schools in the United States are failing and must be reformed and turned over to corporations to teach our children, that will, of course, eventually profit off the almost annual $1 trillion in taxes that supports the public schools.


This video is filled with false claims and lies but also the truth. I suggest that you read the rest of this post carefully before watching the video.

  1. Because in every country, students at the bottom of the social class distribution perform worse than students higher in that distribution, U.S. average performance appears to be relatively low partly because we have so many more test takers from the bottom of the social class distribution.
  2. A sampling error in the U.S. administration of the most recent international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score.
  3. If U.S. adolescents had a social class distribution that was similar to the distribution in countries to which the United States is frequently compared, average reading scores in the United States would be higher than average reading scores in the similar post-industrial countries we examined (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), and average math scores in the United States would be about the same as average math scores in similar post-industrial countries.
  4. A re-estimated U.S. average PISA score that adjusted for a student population in the United States that is more disadvantaged than populations in otherwise similar post-industrial countries, and for the over-sampling of students from the most-disadvantaged schools in a recent U.S. international assessment sample, finds that the U.S. average score in both reading and mathematics would be higher than official reports indicate (in the case of mathematics, substantially higher).
  5. This re-estimate would also improve the U.S. place in the international ranking of all OECD countries, bringing the U.S. average score to sixth in reading and 13th in math. Conventional ranking reports based on PISA, which make no adjustments for social class composition or for sampling errors, and which rank countries irrespective of whether score differences are large enough to be meaningful, report that the U.S. average score is 14th in reading and 25th in math.
  6. Disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform better (and in most cases, substantially better) than comparable students in similar post-industrial countries in reading. In math, disadvantaged and lower-middle-class U.S. students perform about the same as comparable students in similar post-industrial countries.
  7. U.S. students from disadvantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the three similar post-industrial countries than advantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers. But U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada than disadvantaged U.S. students perform relative to their social class peers.
  8. On average, and for almost every social class group, U.S. students do relatively better in reading than in math, compared to students in both the top-scoring and the similar post-industrial countries.

In conclusion, what these two scams tell me is that everything that came after “A Nation at Risk” is based on misinformation at best and possibly fraud, meaning that No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and the Common Core States Standards with Bill Gates rank and yank agenda to fire teachers and close public schools is all based on lies and misinformation.

The only risk that the United States faces today is from the corporate owned media and the corporate funded fake education reform movement. Yes, we can improve our public schools, but we don’t need to reform and destroy them to achieve that.

Please Tweet this post and/or share it on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and as many other social network sites as possible.  In fact, also copy and paste it into an e-mail and send it to everyone you know.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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The Fake Education Reformers “Smoking Gun” that leads from Arne Duncan to the White House: Part 1

How do you deceive a nation? The answer is simple—by loading the dice, stacking the deck and dealing off the bottom.

It’s called deceit!

It’s called fraud!

It’s called treason!

And it’s a crime!

This “Smoking Gun” leads from Arne Duncan to the White House because Arne, who was appointed by President Obama, pulls the trigger repeatedly every time he opens his mouth about the PISA, Common Core and how great Charter Schools are, so if there’s a fall guy (and that depends on Congress launching an in-depth, honest investigation—don’t hold your breath) it will be Arne who gets fired and may end up in prison if the president doesn’t pardon him like President Ford pardoned Nixon for his attempted cover up of his Watergate guilt.

Hey Arne, you better start shredding all those memos and deleting all your private e-mails. All it takes is one to prove you’re guilty—that you are responsible for rigging the PISA test in the U.S., and can you trust everyone who was involved, because no one could do this alone?

The cornerstone of the fake education reform movement has been the PISA rankings of developed countries where 15-year old students were supposedly selected at random, but how were the schools selected?

Before I reveal the smoking gun that leads to the White House, do you know what happens to a student’s grade point average (GPA) when there are too many poor grades? The highest GPA a student may earn is a 4.0 without advanced placement and honors classes. The reason I mention this is because the method used to compute GPA is similar to the PISA average.

For instance, if there are 100 grades of equal value and 22 are failing grades and the other 78 are A’s, that student will have a 3.12 GPA (a B-). Those 22 poor grades have a lot of weight, and when the PISA test was administered to random students, the evidence suggests that Arne Duncan made sure there would be more than 22 poor grades to drag the U.S. PISA average down.

To discover how this was done we’re going to look at the results of two studies that analyzed the details of the PISA test from different sources. It was only by chance that I discovered both and connected the dots.

The first analysis of the PISA test was from the Economic Policy Institute that concluded: “The U.S. administration of the most recent (2012) international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score.”

In fact, the report goes on: “U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds (students who do not live in poverty) perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada …”

Then there’s the other analysis by Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).  Tirozzi reports: “The problem is that the United States has by far the highest rate of child poverty of any of the advanced industrial countries, and it is these children who perform very poorly on the (PISA) international tests. For example, U.S. students in schools with less than 10% poverty rank number one in the world, while students in schools with greater than 50% poverty score significantly below average.”

When Tirozzi compared the ranking of schools in the United States with less than a 10% poverty rate with ten countries with similar poverty numbers, the US was in first place with a PISA score of 551 and Finlandwith its public schools and unionized teachers considered among the best in the worldwas #2 with a score of 536. Then Tirozzi matched schools with a poverty rate of 10 to 24.9% with ten comparable countries, and the United States once again was ranked #1 at 527, and Canada was in second place with a PISA average of 524.

In addition, the U.S. PISA average of 502 for schools with poverty rates between 25 to 49.9% was still in the upper half of the scores—higher than twenty countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, France, the UK, Italy, Spain and Israel.

How bad is childhood poverty in the United States?

Of the 35-developed countries compared by the PISA test, the US was ranked 34th for childhood poverty while Finland’s poverty rate was less than 5%—in the U.S. 22% of all children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. That fact by itself without stacking the deck would drive the U.S. average down because the higher a country’s childhood poverty rate, the lower the PISA average would be.

Why did the Department of Education test more schools in the U.S. with higher rates of poverty than the other developed countries? Was this deliberate?

I think so—by rigging the PISA test to be given to students who attend more schools with the highest poverty rates led to an average that made all the U.S. public schools look bad when they’re not—just like a child’s GPA drops when there are more poor grades. Schools with high rates of children living in poverty resulted in a lower PISA average by offsetting the scores of the 78% of students who do not live in poverty.

Tirozzi’s analysis clearly reveals that the average score of 78% of America’s children (39 million) who don’t live in poverty ranked #1 in the world on the international PISA test when compared to the other 35 developed countries similar to the United States, but testing an unfair ratio of students from the 22% (11 million) who live in poverty dropped the U.S. average drastically creating a false sense of failure in the U.S. public schools.

In conclusion: “National efforts to improve public education—from the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind to President Obama’s Race to the Top—have been focused on the wrong problems, said Richard Rothstein, a senior fellow at the Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.” (The Washington Post)

Poverty is the problem!

The public schools and the teachers are not the problem, because when children don’t live in poverty, they score higher on the international PISA test in every developed country with the U.S. ranked #1.

What should we call this fraud—Education Gate or something else?

Continued with: Discovering the world’s best teachers—Smoking Gun: Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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The US versus the World—facts that reveal the truth about the International PISA test

On December 4, 2013, a New York Times headline shouted: “Shanghai Students Again Top Global Test”, and once again, America’s vocal critics of the U.S. Public Schools called for more reform.

Not so fast. In fact, maybe not at all.

In China, the first nine years of education is compulsory starting before age 7. Primary school takes the first six of those nine years; then there’s middle school for grades 7, 8, and 9.

Fifteen is the age of students who take the international PISA test—and in China [so-called] compulsory education ends at the age of fifteen and students who decide to stay in school have a choice between a vocational or academic senior high school track. That’s where the choice ends because in China the senior high schools pick students based on merit.

To explain how this works, the CCP has acknowledged a “9-6-3 rule”. This means that nine of ten children began primary school between the ages of 6 and 7; six complete the first five years and three graduate from sixth grade with good performance.

By the time a student reaches senior high school—grades 10, 11, and 12—most enrollment is in the cities and not in rural China. Most rural Chinese don’t value education as much as urban Chinese do. And many of the migrant urban workers from rural China still have some family back in the village where they often leave their younger children. And many migrant workers, when they retire from factory work, return to the village and the family home.

The United States, by comparison, keeps most kids in school until the end of high school at age 17/18. About 75% graduate on time and another 15% earn their high school diploma or equivalent GED by age 24—all on an academic track because there is no vocational public schools k to 12 in the U.S.

In addition, in China there is the Zhongkao, the Senior High School Entrance Examination, held annually to distinguish the top students who then are admitted to the highest performing senior high schools. This means that if the highest rated high school in Shanghai has 1,000 openings for 10th graders, the students who earn the top 1,000 scores on the Zhongkao get in and then the second highest rated high school takes the next batch of kids until the lowest rated senior high school in Shanghai gets the kids with the bottom scores on the Zhongkao.

Maybe actual numbers will help clarify what this means:

In 2010, 121 million children attended China’s primary schools with 78.4 million in junior and senior secondary schools. The total is 199.4 million kids.

According to World Education News & Reviews: “In 2010, senior high schools [in China] accommodated 46.8 million students (23.4% of the  199.5 million). But about 52 percent or only 40.8 million were enrolled in general senior high school, and 48 percent of those students were attending vocational senior high schools.”

That leaves 21.2 million enrolled in the senior high school academic track designed to prep kids for college—that’s 10.6% of the total. Then consider that Shanghai’s public schools are considered the best in China. This means that the fifteen-year-old students who take the international PISA in China are the elite of the elite attending China’s best public schools.

For a fair comparison—not what we’ll hear from the critics of public education in the United States—the Economic Policy Institute reports: “The U.S. administration of the most recent international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score. … But U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries [Canada, Finland, South Korea, France, Germany and the U.K.]” and “U.S. students from disadvantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the three similar post-industrial countries.”

In fact, “U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada. … and—on average—for almost every social class group, U.S. students do relatively better in reading than in math, compared to students in both the top-scoring and the similar post-industrial countries.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 7/9

To understand one of the most difficult challenges American public school teachers face, it is time to examine the Hispanic/Latino culture, one of largest student subgroups in America

In fact, Hispanic/Latino students as a subgroup often do not achieve the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) benchmarks and there is a reason why this happens.

According to American Renaissance.com, Only 33 percent of citizens of Hispanic/Latino origin consider themselves “Americans” first. The rest consider themselves either “Hispanic/Latino” or their former nationality first.

The host of this Blog taught in California public schools (for thirty years – 1975 to 2005) with large Hispanic/Latino student populations and often heard Mexican students complain about having to learn English since they weren’t Americans and did not plan to stay—many came with their families to make money and not to attend school. Those schools also had White, Asian and African-American/Black students attending the same classes.

It is obvious that two-thirds of these Hispanic/Latino students bring their attitudes of education, cultural beliefs and biases with them when they enter the United States.

American Renaissance says, “Hispanics drop out of high school in the United States at (more than) three times the white rate and twice the black rate. Even third-generation Hispanics drop out of school at higher rates than blacks and are less likely to be college graduates. From 1992 to 2003, Hispanic illiteracy in English rose from 35 percent to 44 percent. The average Hispanic 12th-grader reads and does math at the level of the average White 8th-grader.”

In California for 2010, 41.7% of Hispanic/Latino students achieved the NCLB benchmarks in the English Language while 46.7% made the benchmark for Mathematics. There were 2,385,282 Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in the public schools, which means 994,662 met the NCLB benchmark for English Language and 1,113,927 met the benchmark for Mathematics, but according to Mr. Morally Correct, teachers should quit their jobs because they are frauds and thieves if they cash their monthly checks since this subgroup did not meet the NCLB benchmark.


Unsupervised children are at increased risk for violence, drug abuse, and sexual activity.

Since this subgroup did not meet the benchmark set by California, many schools in the state are considered failures by the NCLB Act and the teachers/educators may be punished when 2014 arrives by possibly losing their jobs and/or having their schools closed.  The students may then be bused to other schools that made the benchmarks as if the teachers are the reason one school succeeds and another one fails.

It doesn’t matter that the failing schools may have met the benchmarks for the White and Asian subgroups attending the same classes with Hispanics/Latinos. All it takes is one subgroup not achieving the benchmark to be considered a failure.

Since most of the Hispanic/Latino students in California come from Mexico, it helps to understand a little of the culture that gave birth to and raises these children that drop out of US schools more than three times the rate of the White race and two times that of the African-American/Black race.

The results of the 2009 PISA reading literacy test for students age 15 in Mexico reveals that only one percent (1%) earned a 5, which is the highest possible score, while 28% scored a one, the lowest possible score. The CIA Factbook says only 86.1% of the population of Mexico age 15 and over can read and write.

In Mexico, most young children attend primary school but only 62 percent reach secondary school. At secondary level, about half drop out, which means 31% of students that started school at age six will finish high school, according to non-governmental organization Mexicanos Primero (Mexicans First). Source: Reuters

The dropout rate in Mexico’s schools is almost 70% compared to 8.1% in the United States.

However, in the United States, the Hispanic/Latino drop our rate is 17.6%, which is four times better than Mexico’s drop our rate. This evidence suggests that America’s public school teachers are doing an incredible job with the Hispanic/Latino subgroup even if it is not making its NCLB benchmark.

According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2005, 56% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 22% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America; 13% were from Asia; 6% were from Europe and Canada; and 3% were from Africa and the rest of the world.

In addition, about 3.5 million of those illegal immigrant students were from Mexico or Central America and almost a million were in California’s public schools, and there is nothing the public schools can do about this situation because in 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that states and school districts cannot deny education to illegal alien children residing here.

Continued on August 7, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 8 or return to Part 6

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 4/9

When it comes to The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the reason why I support nonviolent civil disobedience, such as helping students cheat on standardized tests, is because this act and the reaction of the critics is unfair to American teachers and is misleading.

In fact, the NCLB Act is a travesty and is unjust. In addition, the media does a poor job of reporting the results of the PISA Test, and the enemies and critics of public education in America take advantage of that poor reporting to influence the opinions of ignorant citizens such as Mr. Morally Correct.

Most Americans only hear that the US placed 17 out of 65 for reading literacy, 31 of 65 for math literacy and 23 of 65 for science literacy. Then being ignorant of the details, these people are easily mislead, and manipulated forming biased opinions.

One fact that we do not hear in the Media or from the enemies and critics of public education appears on page 48 of the 2000 PISA report, where the United States was listed as above average (compared to the OECD average of 65 countries) in reading literacy, mathematics literacy and science literacy.

In addition, for Math literacy, US students scored twice the OECD average. SOURCE: nces.ed.gov

When you actually study the details of the report, the US public education system does very well compared to other countries considering the structure of the American education system and the challenges it faces.

For example, China, which placed 1st in reading, math and science literacy (for the 2009 PISA Test), cannot be compared to the United States or any other country.

Compulsory education in China for primary education is from ages 6 to 12 and there were 121 million students enrolled in this system in 2001. However, in the US, compulsory education starts with ages 5/6 to 18 for more than 47 million students.

Almost half the students in China drop out of school at age 12 or enter vocational training, while the other half go on to the junior secondary education system, which educates ages 12 to 15 where only 66.8 million were enrolled  in 2002, which means 55.2 million students left the education system at the end of the primary system.

Another 54.8 million children leave the education system in China at the end of the junior secondary system at age 15.

China’s senior education system educates ages 15 to 18 where about 12 million students remain.  This is the student population in China that was tested in Shanghai for the 2009 PISA test, and Shanghai’s public schools are the best in China, which means China’s top 10% of all students.

To be accepted into the senior education system in China, students must take an entrance test called the ‘Zhongkao’, which is the Senior Secondary Education Entrance Examination held annually in China to distinguish junior graduates.

Admission for senior high schools is somewhat similar to the one for universities in China. Once the admissions and testing process is completed, the high schools announce their requirements based on this information and the spots they will fill that year.

For instance, if a school offers 800 spots, the results offered by the 800th intake student will be the standard requirements. So effectively, this ensures the school selects the top candidates of all the students that have applied in that academic year.

China’s school system operates mostly on meritocracy so only the best students move on, while the US keeps every student until age 18 no matter what their academic performance, attitude toward education or classroom behavior is.

This means that in China, the dropout rate by age 15 is 90%, while in America the dropout rate is about 8.1% by age 18 (drop our rate in 2009 – Asian/Pacific Islander 3.4%, White 5.2%, African-American/Black 9.3%, and Hispanic/Latino 17.6%).

It is not fair to compare a cross section of American students of all skill levels with China’s top 10%. With this discrepancy, there is no way America’s students selected at random from across the country from all racial and socio-economic levels will ever be able compete with China for the number one rank on any PISA Test.

Yet, 12% of American students that took the PISA test, on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest) scored a 5 with an overall average that was higher than China’s top 10%.

As you have discovered, there is a HUGE difference between the public education systems in China and Finland when compared to the United States and the ability of students selected to take the PISA Test.

However, the enemies and critics of America’s public school systems do not want you to know these facts.

Continued on August 4, 2011, in Civil Disobedience and No Child Left Behind – Part 5 or return to Part 3

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

 

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