Everyone knows our schools are failing. In fact, in a "report card" survey taken a few years ago, a paltry 16 percent of Americans gave the nation's public schools an A or a B.
But the more interesting results from that survey came when people were asked to rank their local schools: a much larger 45 percent gave them an A or B.
Even more interesting, when asked to rate the school their own child attends, fully 67 percent awarded them an A or a B.
What's going on here? It's simple: when we rate our local school, we know what we're talking about, and when we rate the nation's schools, we don't. We don't have first-hand knowledge, only snippets we've heard from the mass media. And the mass media doesn't do reports titled, "Nation's schools not that bad; many parents satisfied."
Source: Bet You Didn't Know, by Cheryl Russell.
PS. Here's some more education news beyond our borders, from Charles Kenny in Getting Better:
|Ratio of female to male literacy worldwide:||59%||80%|
|Literacy in sub-Saharan Africa:||28%||61%|
PPS. This stock photo was described as "a young boy looks up with excitement and happiness with his A+ grade" but I think it equally could have been known as "a young boy curses the universe and vows revenge as his heavy backpack causes him to topple backwards."