US educational system continues to fall behind.
Alarming results from last year’s NAEP (National Assessment of Education Progress) tests have been released showing a drastic difference between 8th-year students from different cities and states. Southern states, in general, have ranked lowest when it comes to students proficient in math and reading, and students from urban areas also fared significantly worse.
Proficient in these critical areas are asking for a basic understanding of mathematical problems such as fractions, percentages, and algebra whilst in reading a student is to read a text and provide a demonstrable level of understanding of the content. It has been shown that on a test scale of 0-500, the average student is only scoring 282. The total statistics of these public schools show that 67% of students are not proficient in mathematics and 65% are below the line in reading.
Top of the chart are Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire who boast 50%, 46% and 45% of students proficient in these areas. From an educational standpoint, these figures as the best results highlight the ineffectiveness of the current education system. The lowest body of proficient students goes to Louisiana, New Mexico, and Alabama, with 19, 20 and 21%.
It has to be considered why proficiency is so low after so much money and effort that has gone into researching and implementing educational systems. In 2015, The Program for National Student Assessment test (PISA), an international study comparing educational systems and student results around the globe, released results pertaining to the academic abilities of students aged 15 in areas including maths, reading and science. Abysmally, the US ranked 38th out of 72 countries in mathematics and 24th for reading. Americans themselves don’t appear to think much of their education system, with Pew Research Centre releasing poll results that indicated only 29% of Americans thought their system to be above average or the best and 46% believing it to be below average or poor.
Interesting to note is that in the PISA test, Singapore scored top of math, science and reading.