“Reading Scores on National Exam Decline in Half the States” (nytimes):
Two out of three children did not meet the standards for reading proficiency set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Education Department.
The dismal results reflected the performance of about 600,000 students in reading and math, whose scores made up what is called the “nation’s report card.” The average eighth-grade reading score declined in more than half of the states compared with 2017, the last time the test was given. The average score in fourth-grade reading declined in 17 states. Math scores remained relatively flat in most states.
I was praying that this was statistical noise and we would find the the scores went up in half the states. But “Washington, D.C., was the only city or state to have significant improvement in eighth-grade reading, according to a federal analysis of the data.”
[Separately, looks as though Harvard will need to continue its program of race discrimination for at least another 4 years:
White, black, Hispanic, Native American and multiracial students all lost ground in eighth-grade reading, while there was no significant change for Asian students.
(Note how people with heritage from India, Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, and Japan are lumped together by the Diversity VirtueCorps as “Asians”.)]
Schools are consuming more taxpayer cash than ever. To what can we attribute the decline in performance? Some theories..
Maybe there is no decline in school performance, but the student population has changed as the academically successful have fewer children and the academically unsuccessful have a high fertility rate. Eventually most Americans will be descended from people who did not do well in school and who did not work or worked at jobs that did not require reading. If the parents did not like to read, why would the kids?
iPads, videogames, and smartphones are to blame. As in Being There, students liked to watch TV, but they love to play with tablets, smartphones, and Xbox.
The assigned books are less interesting. Our local K-8 school, soon to be in its $250,000/student new building, has adopted a reading list that concentrates on victimhood. Students are supposed to learn about the struggles of immigrants, people of color, women, etc. Maybe K-8 Americans just don’t care about these particular victims in the way that their adult teachers thought they would.
Readers: What do you think could account for this slide? Full post, including comments