Comments about ‘U.S. scores stagnant on global test; other nations surge ahead’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4 2013 9:16 a.m. MST

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worf
Mcallen, TX

I challenge people to sit in a third, or fourth grade classroom, and try to understand how basic math is being taught.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

The denial flow in Utah is over the banks and this story won't change that.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

When I was a public school teacher, nearly every one of my poorly performing students came from a broken home. It's easy to blame the schools and teachers, etc., but I believe that if the divorce rate was significantly decreased, there would be significant improvement in our student performance.

David
Centerville, UT

I agree with JSB. There is so much at play here.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "embarrassed Utahn!" how about we adopt some of the same methods used in other countries. For example, in Korea the elementary schools average 30 to 35 students per class, and highschool averages 40. In many countries you are tested before entering highschool, so that the low performers can be sent to trade school where they won't be tested. We can also figure out some way of changing attitudes on education, we can make it a high priority like in Japan or China.

When you look deeply into this type of testing, comparing the US to the rest of the world doesn't work because we educate all children through the end of Highschool, few other countries do that.

Big Momma
St. George, UT

@RedShirt

Your point is spot on. They are comparing all of our students to their elite top. Doesn't work for an accurate comparison. Why this is so hard to understand is silly.

worf
Mcallen, TX

In order to build a business, you take the very best engineers possible. It's worth the extra cost.

Right now, the very best engineers are not from this country!

If your big companies, such as Motorola, Ford, GM, etc, have twelve engineers,--ten of them are from other countries. Not because they can pay them less, but because they are more skilled.

European engineers designed many of our GM, and Ford engines. Germany, Japan, and France make transmissions for many American cars. Toyota builds trucks in San Antonio, and there are no American engineers in sight. American engineers simply can't compete.

kiddsport
Fairview, UT

Remember also that in many countries, children are their parents' security in their elder years. They have a vested interest in student success. Combined with what I have learned about filtering underperforming students out of the test pool, it stands to reason the data will be skewed. Interesting, though, the US is still performing well in reading- something we might attribute to the ubiquitous smart phones and Facebook popularity.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

One major cause of this ongoing issue is teacher's unions. They protect bad teachers from being fired and resist any new programs that might create more responsibilities for teachers.

Teacher's unions are still resisting the concept of vouchers which would allow public school students to have more choice of going to better private schools. Many inner-city schools are notoriously bad for their lack of results in teaching. A voucher system would allow those students much more opportunity to receive better educations. The facts are undeniable, and parents are begging for it. And yet the unions continue resisting.

Money isn't the issue, since the U.S. already spends more per pupil than any other country in the world. It's our system itself which is too politically controlled.

Big teacher unions supported Obama in his campaign. So now the nation's attorney general, Eric Holder, is suing any cities, counties and/or states who try to give parents and students more choices in eduction for students stuck in terrible public school districts. With that type of digressive attitude, it's no wonder whatsoever that more countries continue to pass the United States up.

And so it continues...

Tators
Hyrum, UT

@ embarrassed Utahn:

This article had nothing to do with Utah or any other individual state. But since you brought it up, what statistical proof have you got concerning Utah "denial being over the banks"? That's an extremely vague accusation.

Without any proof or evidence, you are simply spouting opinion and rhetoric... which is never helpful for this type of situation.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

This story may be a plant to force legislation through federal government to convert education in the united states from free education to propaganda common core education of the Obama administration so they can measure and manipulate the testing to fake our quality.

The united states lost the edge of education when NAFTA and business desertion moved off shore and skilled workers when broad eduction were beneficial and useful to industrial markets. Now the level of education to work high tech production lines is less than 9th grade education. We ahve married our schools with business and its time to divorce this unity and put education and broad knowledge back in the class room.

Forget smaller class sizes, the schools in Utah are deliberately over populated to maximize greed. Its a cost effective risk annalist thing to pretend that more students means fewer teachers, schools, and classrooms to build and heat and cool and imprison students.

Utah is always closing schools where workable class size of 30 or less is present to punish teachers and students in small classes. Small classrooms are not cost effective use of buildings where room for 100 is possible.

worf
Mcallen, TX

@ embarrassed Utahn:

I've been in many classrooms through out the country.

Trust me! Utah is one of the best.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

Tators,

I think embarrassed Utahn has about the same proof about denial that you do about the teachers unions being the problem. To quote you "without any proof or evidence, you are simply spouting opinion and rhetoric... which is never helpful for this type of situation."

It is really easy to blame the big bad teachers unions for everything that is wrong with education, and by doing so you live in the same state of denial that embarrassed speaks of. If you want to look at the real causes for poor test scores across the nation there are countless studies that show that parent engagement in a students education is the single biggest predictor of academic success. Other things that play a significant role include demographic issues such as poverty, single parent homes, level of education parents achieved etc. There are also school demographics that impact education as well. They include things we don't like to talk about in Utah like class size. The one thing that you did have right though is the need for a quality teacher in every classroom, and by the way no teachers union protects poor teachers. They protect teachers rights to due process.

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