I must admit that I have not always been a serious reader. Like the vast majority of consumers of art, I was more interested in the escapist element of fiction and cinema. I would read a book or watch a film as a way to escape into another world for a couple hours. I was enthralled by the likes of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Stephen King’s The Shining.Read More
Commentary: One-Size-Fits-All Education Doesn’t Work Well, but Diversity Advocates Are Hitting the Accelerator
There’s a world of difference in the abilities of elementary school students in the Trotwood-Madison City School District, outside Dayton, Ohio. Some low-performing fifth graders are only capable of reading first-grade picture books with basic words like dog and cat, says Angie Fugate, a district specialist focusing on gifted education. In the same classrooms, the aces read at a sixth-grade level, devouring thick novels that adults also enjoy, including the Harry Potter series.Read More
Not a Single Student Is Proficient in Reading or Math at 55 Chicago Schools: Report
In 55 Chicago Public Schools, not one student met grade level expectations in either math or reading during the 2021-2022 school year, according to a Wirepoints report.
Out of 649 Chicago Public Schools, 22 schools have zero students who met grade level expectations for reading while no students were proficient in math in 33 schools during the 2021-2022 school year, according to a Wirepoints report. The data analyzed is from the Illinois State Board of Education annual report which details how schools within the state are performing.Read More
Commentary: Everyone Should Read Great Literature
When I first attended a Shakespeare play, I have to admit that for the first few scenes I was pretty lost. Shakespeare’s English is of a much older and more formal style than ours, so sometimes experiencing his work is almost like hearing another language. Confused and concerned that the play wasn’t going to make any sense, I began to fear that most dreaded of sensations in our modern age of instant entertainment: boredom.Read More
Commentary: The Importance of Reading Difficult Books
In his work The Western Canon, Harold Bloom wrote that a “reader does not read for easy pleasure or to expiate social guilt, but to enlarge a solitary existence.” The apparent message in Bloom’s flourish is that a reader ought to be after something more difficult to attain than mere pleasure. Passive consumption of entertainment will simply not do. Instead, readers are to be fully engaged with the work in front of them, especially when the process is difficult. It’s through this difficulty that a reader inevitably enlarges what Bloom refers to as a “solitary existence,” or, put another way, an existential engagement with the human condition.Read More
Commentary: Large Racial Reading and Math Performance Gaps Persist as Children Age
The dominant response to the recently-released NAEP Report Card on 4th and 8th grade proficiency scores has been to focus on the adverse effects of school closures: declining competencies, particularly for the lowest performing students. What is buried in the report is the continued alarmingly low black student scores on both reading and math sections and their inability to close the racial gap as they move from the 4th to 8th grade.Read More
Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Blames Abysmal U.S. Student National Test Scores on Trump
The Biden education department announced Thursday that U.S. students’ plummeting scores in reading and math during the COVID-19 pandemic is all due to former President Donald Trump.
“Today’s data confirm the significant impact the prior Administration’s mismanagement of the pandemic has had on our children’s progress and academic wellbeing,” said Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Thursday, following the report that U.S. students showed their steepest decline in decades in math and reading scores during the COVID school shutdowns.Read More
Report Card Measuring U.S. Grades in Education Shows ‘Concerning’ Results
For the first time in nearly 50 years, the National Assessment of Educational Progress results showed that the reading and mathematics scores of 13-year-old students fell from 2012 to 2020.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results showed no change in the scores of 9-year-old students since 2012, according to the assessment, also known as The Nation’s Report Card. Among lower-performing students, scores declined in both the 9 and 13-year-old groups in both reading and mathematics.
“This was the first time in the almost 50-year history of the long-term trend assessments that we observed declines among 13-year-olds,” said National Center for Education Statistics Commissioner Peggy G. Carr in a press release. “These performance drops are especially notable among lower-performing students, who no longer demonstrate competency in skills that students were able to do almost a decade ago in both subjects and age groups.”Read More
Utah House Passes Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory in Public Schools
Utah is one of many states in America considering banning critical race theory in public schools.
Republican State Representative Steve Christiansen sponsored a bill that takes direct aim at critical race theory concepts being taught in public education. The bill passed the Utah House and is awaiting the signature of the Speaker to move onto the state Senate.
That bill, HR901, calls on the Utah Board of Education for a re-evaluation of guidelines to weed out critical race theory in publicly funded classrooms.Read More