Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What grade would you give our public schools?

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."

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