Friday, February 23, 2007

We're sleeping through a crisis!
Dismal reading scores for High School Students

From The Boston Globe:
"I think we are sleeping through a crisis." said David P. Driscoll, the Massachusetts commissioner of education, during a Washington news conference convened by the Department of Education. He called the study results "stunning."

Bruce Fuller, a professor of education and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, said he found the results "dismal." After years of reforms aimed primarily at elementary schools, Fuller said, the studies "certainly support shining the spotlight on the high school as a priority for reform efforts."

The reports summarized two major government efforts to measure the performance of high school seniors as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. One was a standardized test of seniors conducted in 2005. The other was an analysis of the transcripts of students who graduated from high school that year.

The transcript study showed that, compared with students in similar studies going back to 1990, the 2005 graduates had racked up more high school credits, had taken more college preparatory classes, and had strikingly higher grade point averages. The average GPA rose from 2.68 in 1990 to 2.98 -- close to a solid B -- in 2005. That was the good news -- or so it seemed. But the standardized test results showed that 12th-grade reading scores have generally been dropping since 1992, casting doubt on what students are learning in those college prep classes.

The reports also showed that the gap separating white and black and white and Hispanic students has barely budged since the early 1990s. And while the results were not broken down by state, a broad regional breakdown showed that the West and Southeast lagged well behind the Midwest and, to a lesser extent, the Northeast.

David Gordon, superintendent of schools in Sacramento County and a participant in the Department of Education news conference, said he found it especially disturbing that the studies focused on "our best students," those who had made it to the 12th grade or who had graduated.

Go to:

And more at:,1,1407397.story
And see previous posts for more on this crisis.

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