Our best and brightest students don’t shine so brightly when compared to their counterparts around the world.
Compared with big urban centers, America’s affluent suburbs have roughly four times as many students performing at the academic level of their international peers in math. But when American suburbs are compared with two of the top school systems in the world—in Finland and Singapore—very few, such as Evanston, Ill., and Scarsdale, N.Y., outperform the international competition. Most of the other major suburban areas underperform the international competition. That includes the likes of Grosse Point, Mich., Montgomery County, Md., and Greenwich, Conn. And most underperform substantially, according to the Global Report Card database of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
The problem America faces, then, is that its urban school districts perform inadequately compared with their suburban counterparts, and its suburban districts generally perform inadequately compared with their international counterparts. The domestic achievement gap means that the floor for student performance in America is too low, and the international achievement gap signals that the same is true of the ceiling. America’s weakest school districts are failing their students and the nation, and so are many of America’s strongest.
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This parent believes “the idea that a kid should be forced to ‘get a job’ is abhorrent” and thinks it’s “pointless” for his 29-year old college-educated son “to be out working in a retail store or some other menial job”. Better for him to live at home for free while he waits “to get the job he deserves”.
I confess I’ve sometimes feared turning into this parent.
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9) An astounding 47 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.