I appended the following article on to a BAP Blog post regarding the Republicon attack on our public schools as "failing", but it deserves it's own post, because of this big, but little known FACT: However, closer inspection of the numbers reveals that “the average American PISA reading score for higher-income schools exceeded that of all other developed countries . . ."
EXCERPT: The educational disadvantage for the poor is apparent in international exams such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In the most recent PISA exam, the United States placed average to below average when compared to other developed countries in reading, science, and math. These are the statistics certain politicians like to quote when they speak of “reforming” our education system. However, closer inspection of the numbers reveals that “the average American PISA reading score for higher-income schools exceeded that of all other developed countries while the average score for lower-income American schools was far lower. In fact, the PISA scores by America students were more influenced by their parents’ economic backgrounds than any other OECD country.” (“America’s Poverty-Education Link,” Howard S. Friedman) In other words, our educational system is not in dire need of reforming, but it is definitely not working for the children whose families are in poverty.
A side effect of the way Report Card scores are calculated penalizes schools with more economically disadvantaged students. For example, scores are lowered 5 full points because of lower attendance rates and another 5 points if dropout rates are more than 6 percent. Each teacher’s Personal Performance Review Score is now partially tied to their school’s Report Card score. Many districts are also moving to tie teacher pay to their personal scores in the belief this will make teachers more accountable. As a consequence, experienced high-quality teachers are likely to gravitate towards the schools and districts which have the best facilities and the lowest poverty — where their score and pay is not penalized. Alongside several years of budget cuts to education, these ingredients are not likely to encourage the best and brightest to enter or stay with educating our youth. Policies that indirectly favor wealthy districts are not a recipe for success for our nation or our children.
So you GOPsters can take your school "reform" and your false mantra of "failing public schools" and stick it righ where it belongs . . . in the garbage. It's the Poverty Stupid!