Friday, October 12, 2007
An Easy Out - Just Don't Take The Test
When Slovenia outperforms the United States in Math and Physics then perhaps it is a cause for concern. Apparently that happened in 1995, when the test, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS-A), was given.
The test is given to graduating high school seniors and covers geometry, algebra, calculus, mechanics, electromagnetism, heat and atomic physics. It compare performance internationally and assesses competence in those areas of study.
This time around the United States has decided not to participate in the test/study. Our government also argues that we wouldn't be adequately compared since we'd be in a group, or cohort, of countries along with Russia and Iran. (And we can't have that by any means!) And then there is the $5 to $10 million dollar entry fee to participate; a once in a decade cost.
Sounds like someone is making some grand excuses this time around.
The bottom line here is that we can't show poor performance or do poorly if we don't participate in this study - right?
What's our government really afraid of? or what does it really know about the state of our education that it doesn't want to readily admit? Government education in this country is a failure - and the folks in Washington D.C. just want to be spared further global embarrassment. That has become pretty evident with this piece of news.
Never mind No Child Left Behind... what about No Country Left Behind?
Read the excellent op ed from Robert M. Thorson