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GOAL: The best quality in the world,
without any doubt !
and - without any excuses!!
of Education Quality & Productivity
(proven with color graphics)
(http://grandfather-economic-report.com/) is a series of reports showing in picture-form
threats to the economic future of families and their children, compared to prior
generations - - from education quality to debt to savings to incomes to voting to
healthcare to international competition to national security. You are now at the summary
page of the chapter on Education, a very important chapter since unacceptable education
quality is a very real and serious threat facing our young generation and their nation.
Welcome. Some call this site one of the very best concerning education quality issues. It
displays vital information in picture form, since 'a picture is worth a thousand words.'
We hope your visit will find useful information to help you and your loved ones.
4 Questions asked by 2 grandfathers
with 11 grandchildren
DO OUR CHILDREN DESERVE TO RECEIVE:
- A better quality education than received by children of other nations without any doubt,
instead of lower quality? (one-third of our economy depends on trade - 3 times more than
before - and global challenges to America are accelerating).
- To be better prepared to meet future economic challenges than all prior generations, or
- The highest quality education at the lowest cost per student reasonably attainable?
- Or, less quality at high wasted cost and seriously compromise both their economic and
personal futures, and that of their nation?
This is the summary page of a two-page picture report on education quality. First you
will see 3 summary graphics, after which the table of contents to
Let us first examine the trend of education quality up to the mid-1990s - - and then
the situation afterwards -
The poor level of education quality
domestically and vs. foreign nations places our young at great risk.
This seriously impacts the economic future of our youth,
including their future living standards - as they face the most internationally and
technologically competitive era in history.
Here's a picture you may not have seen. It demonstrates
the 71% decline in the
education quality productivity index for the 34-year period up until SAT tests were
revised in scoring methods and made less rigorous.
This index shows the relationship between education quality (SAT
scores) and education spending (inflation-adjusted, '93 dollars) per student is worst than
34 years earlier - 71% worse. Despite rapidly rising inflation-adjusted spending
per student over this period SAT scores declined. As a result, education
productivity fell 71% - - as seen in the chart. (quality continued to deteriorate in the
years following this chart, covered down the page).
(Note: Some say if one wants SAT scores in the future
that cannot be compared to higher scores in past decades, without improving student
learning, simply make the test less rigorous and change scoring as has been done - - just
as if the distance to the left field baseball stadium fence was reduced to produce more
This chart confirms: 'The
quality of schooling is far worse today than it was in 1955,'' Dr. Milton Friedman,
And, this decline in output quality occurred despite more spending per student and
smaller class sizes, and despite more non-teaching employees per student, than before.
This chart further confirms the statement of another well-known economist: "There
is an inverse relationship between spending and quality." Additionally, National
Review reported, "students in the top 5 states in per-pupil expenditure fare worse on
the SAT than students in the bottom five spending states."
The chart decline would be even steeper if costs of rising remedial courses
required in colleges due to poor high school output were charged-back to secondary
education costs - - which should have been done for accountability.
And how about today?
Answer: quality problems are worse, and more serious - not better
How have we done since the SAT tests were revised in
content rigor and scoring methods? Following are later comparisons showing continued
dismal quality performance - -
Were you surprised that in the Third International Math & Science
series (TIMSS) U.S. 12th graders scored behind every nation, except Cyprus and
(Conducted on a four-year cycle, the
first round of TIMSS was in 1995, the second in 1999 and the third in 2003.)
This chart shows the results. Note the red line for the U.S. ranking of our seniors.
Even comparing our elite to the elite students of other nations, Americans were near the
And, Asian students (Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.) did not participate in this
latest test series - - although in prior such tests they scored well above the best in the
chart you are looking at. This U.S. picture would have looked even worse if Asians had
been included, and the average would have been much higher. Not a pretty sight.
- In Advanced Math U.S. students scored next to last, world-wide. In Physics the U.S.
scored at the very bottom of the heap.
- Data released for the OECD PISA international test
series in 2006 showed U.S.A. 15 year olds came in below average, at country
ranking #29 in science and rank position #35 in math.
- Data for the Paris-based OECD's 'Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math test series for 2003 reported America's 15 year old
students performed "significantly below average," ranking 29th out of 34
- While scoring at the bottom, the February 2002 AP report on grade inflation in high
schools and colleges: "more than 44 percent of freshmen entering four-year
colleges fall 2001 reported they had A averages in high school, according to survey by
researchers at the University of California."
- Were you surprised with the December 2000 report showing today's 8th graders
in the recent international math & science test scored no better than their dismal
performance 4 years ago, when they scored behind 27 nations on the same test?
- Were you surprised several years ago when the international 'Organization of Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD)' reported, : "the effectiveness of the U.S.
primary and secondary education system can be characterized as mediocre at best."
- Were you surprised in August 2011 that education standards are to be lowered,
as U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned that 82 percent of U.S. schools
could be labeled failures next year if the No Child Left Behind Law is not
changed. The goal of the 2001 law is to have every student proficient in math and reading
by 2014. States have been required to bring more students up to the math and reading
standards each year, based on tests. The step-by-step ramping up of standards has caused
heartburn in states and most school districts, because more and more schools are labeled
as failures as too few of their students meet testing goals. Response planned > waive
- How about grammar school? Were you surprised in April 2001 with this: 'Two-thirds
of U.S. fourth graders read below grade level and the weakest ones are falling further
behind', according to the U.S. Education Department's reading ''Report Card'' released on
6 April 2001. Students reading at a proficient or advanced level from private schools
performed 57% better than public schools.
- Were you surprised in June 2004 when Achieve, Inc., a bipartisan,
nonprofit education organization formed by governors and prominent business leaders, found
that math and English tests for high school diplomas require only middle school knowledge,
and that those math graduation tests measure only what students in other countries
learn in the seventh grade?
- Were you surprised January 15, 2001 when the Associated Press reported research results
(headed by Professor J. Hubisz, President of the American Assoc. of Physics Teachers)
showing 85% of middle school students are using science text books so full of errors
and inaccuracies to make them unacceptable, and that honors high school texts are no
more difficult than an eighth grade reader 50 years ago? Called 'terrible books' from
a science standpoint and many science teachers have little science training.
- Were you surprised last year when 200 mathematicians and scientists, including four
Nobel Prize recipients and two winners of a prestigious math prize, the Fields Medal,
deplored the Dept. of Education for math teaching methods, saying they are
'horrifyingly short on basics'.
- Were you surprised that the April 2001 OECD report stated "60% of
Americans aged 16-25 are 'functionally illiterate', meaning that when it came to, say,
filling in a form they were stumped - - and that on the simple numerical (reading a
timetable, etc.) test they scored at the bottom of all industrial nations." -
The Economist, 14 July 2001, pg. 84.
- Were you surprised in 1996 when the President called for volunteers to teach reading and
threw money at it, yet in the 2000 campaign all candidates complained of lousy education
quality? (this is further evidence at the highest level that our government education
system is not performing, despite record spending). How many candidates in the past 15
years have said education quality is a big problem? Answer: all of them. So - why does
poor quality continue? Answer: it's the system - - not lack of money.
- How about the poll reported by AP: Voters consider public schools Mediocre or a Failure
- 67% cite low academic standards. Or, the Gallop poll showing that 48% of whites
and 57-65% of minorities want parental choice for private vs. government education.
- Were you surprised with numerous reports (1997-2001) that home-schoolers scored 70%
higher than public school students on standardized national achievement tests,
regardless of race, economic status, or regulation levels?
- Were you surprised with the USA Today report: "Of the 12 California state
university colleges, 60% of students need remediation courses; a Florida study
shows at least 70% of recent high school graduates need remedial courses when they enter
community college - - in other words they need to learn material they should have mastered
in public high school - but did not - - costing an extra $59 million per year." That
averages out to two-thirds of high school diplomas are bogus - even to attend less
demanding state and community colleges. Why were these two-thirds allowed a high school
diploma? Where is the accountability? Where is the quality?
- Were you surprised to learn that despite smaller class sizes quality has not improved,
yet foreign schools of larger class size score higher?
- Were you surprised on January 22, 1999 when the 'The Economist' (pg. 55) reported more
than 40% of American 10-year-olds cannot pass a basic reading test, and as many as
42 million adults are functionally illiterate. And, the January 29, 1999 edition reported
over 40,000 Texas nine to ten year-olds failed the states standardized test, yet 90% were
- Were you surprised in June 1999 with this: "70% of Florida's 10th graders scored
below the basic reading level." (quote from June 1999 newsletter by State
Representative Mark Ogles to his constituents).
- Were you surprised in February 2002 to learn that poor inner-city Cleveland students
with vouchers and selecting local Catholic schools had a graduation rate of 99.6%,
compared to only a 30% graduation rate in local public schools.
- Were you surprised in March 2001 with the BusinessWeek report showing the decline
in the number of U.S. citizen science graduate students continues, and that the growth
of business administration PhDs lags so far behind population growth that major business
schools now employ professors to teach graduate level business courses that, according to
the dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management "don't know a lot about business?"
- Were you surprised in April 2004 when the Houston Chronicle reported > "Houston
high school students who've failed core subjects such as English or math would get to move
on to the next grade under a proposal trustees are considering as part of the district's
effort to reduce its dropout rate."
- Were you surprised in September 2004 with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute finding that
"more than 25% of public school teachers send their own children to private
school," and in some areas the ratio is higher than 40%? (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040922-122847-5968r.htm)
- Were you surprised in February 2005 to read that China produced 4 times more BS
engineering degrees than the U.S., and Japan twice as many. Nobel Prize-winning
scientist R.E.Smalley of Rice University reported "by 2010, 90% of all Ph.D.
physical scientists and engineers in the world will be Asian living in Asia."
The International Math & Science Study reported U.S. 12th graders were
out-performed by 90% of other nations in math and 76% in science. In advanced
math the US was out performed by 94% and in science by 100% of other nations. The American
Association for the Advancement of Science reported 90% of math books and 100% of
science text books are unacceptable.
- Were you suprised in 2005 when the National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) reported that testing of 300,000 students nation-wide showed that 82%
of 12th grade students were not proficient in math and science - - even worse
than 10 years earlier. 73% of 4th graders failed to gain proficiency scores. 8th graders
showed no improvement in the past 10 years. (Imprimis, Feb. 2005, page 2)
The above statements are just representative of the voluminous evidence proving the
sorry state of today's school quality well beyond the period shown in the first chart.
Clearly dismal performance continues, relative to ourselves and especially relative
to foreign students.
Clearly, poor quality output of public schools is not because of too little spending
per student - - its a system problem.
Here's additional proof of zero improvement, this one in reading:
"What you are seeing in the left chart is the impact of ever
more money being tossed at elementary and secondary public school education. The ever more
money (in real dollars) is represented by the line that streaks upward, while the impact
on public education--in this case, scores on reading tests--is represented by the line
that is about flat. The results for scores on math, science and writing tests reveal about
the same situation: a flattish line showing little improvement over the past 30 years.
For three decades, American taxpayers have obediently given the education establishment
what it said it needed--mostly more money to lower student-teacher ratios. Well,
student-teacher ratios, over a 35-year period, have fallen to 17.3 in 1995 from 25.8 in
1960. Yet, as Eric Hanushek, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues:
"Overall student performance has not improved, nor have U.S. students shown any
improvement in international achievement tests."
And so, as you can see, while funds devoted to public school education have trebled,
students' performance has languished. It's not as if this miserable result is a secret,
either. The tests were conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a
project mandated by Congress and run by the U.S. Department of Education. At any rate, you
can see all this for yourself by visiting the Web site http://nces.ed.gov. The
remedy can only come from introducing competition into the public school market." - Source: Opinion Journal from The Wall Street Journal editorial page - 20 Dec.
2000 at http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=65000811
This is just a sample of the type pictures you will find
in this Education Report series - with backup and comments by students, teachers, parents
Further, you will learn about the 'dumbing down' of standards of
quality measurement, textbooks and teaching methods, compared to prior generations - from
primary school to college.
For answers to these critical education questions, browse the following mini-reports with pictures you have never seen. This
may provide added insights concerning your future and that of your loved ones. First,
BOOKMARK this page so you can return - - and then it is suggested you read each of the
following picture sub-reports, starting with the color graphics at Item #1 below - you may be surprised.
Knowledge is Power, if you have it
(give each page a bit of time to load those neat color pictures - they are worth it).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
OF THE EDUCATION REPORT SERIES
- Education Report - main page (http://grandfather-economic-report.com/education-a.htm ) -
"primary & secondary school quality worse than 35 years ago." - 71% decline
in quality to cost PRODUCTIVITY ratio - $72,000 per student wasted. This proven in picture
form. Viewing this report, and its color graphics, is highly recommended.
- Page 2 of Main page of Education Report - powerful documents - teachers choose private schools - inflated grading
standards - competition a must - data tables on decline quality productivity (SAT scores
vs. spending per student) - articles, and RECOMMENDATIONS.
- International Education Report
- OECD, the respected international organization: "U.S. elementary &
secondary schools are mediocre, at best" - foreign nations more intense and
successful developing math & science. (one-third of our economy depends on trade - 3
times more than before - and competition is accelerating while our students continue near
bottom in international math & science tests). Also, check-out: International Test Evaluation Summary - DOE Secretary
and the President were alarmed.
- College Report - Instead of holding to tough standards,
prior mandatory college course requirements, admission standards, and classroom days
significantly lowered, and grades are inflated more than ever before- while prices rise.
Admission officers claim a large portion of their freshman require remedial courses in
math and/or English, many admitted wrongly by virtue of high school grade inflation and
- Parental Choice Report - not a 'rich-kid' gimmick; 57-
65% of minorities want vouchers and 66% of parents that receive them are satisfied with
education quality achieved from their choice. Inner-city Catholic schools in Cleveland
achieve a 99.6% graduation rate for poor, minority students attending with state vouchers
to parents, compared to only 30% graduation rate from public schools.
- Centralized Power & Control - 50% of school
funding controlled at federal-state levels - power to government & unions - not
answerable to parents, or even local school boards. 93% less parental influence due to 85%
fewer school districts. National PTA mimics unions not parents.
- Massive School Districts - 93% reduction in
power & influence of parents, because of the massive shrinkage in the number of school
districts per 10,000 population. And, 4 times higher rates of violence and discipline
problems in large public schools compared to smaller schools - especially schools of more
than 1,000 students.
- Union Power - in education.
- Poll: Voters consider public schools Mediocre or a
Failure (Florida) - 67% cite low academic standards - 58% lax discipline - 47%
incompetent teachers - 33% bad principals - 75% favor eliminating teacher tenure - 55%
shrinking school districts.
- Polls Show Voucher support for private education
accelerating - with high rate for minorities.
- Education Comments by teachers, parents
& students - problems described from the inside. Quality teachers, parents and
students need help. - and it's not arriving.
- Bilingual Education Report - a flawed
social-engineering practice holding back minority children while wasting resources? A
review of this controversial subject.
- Remedial Education Report - two-thirds of college
freshmen require remedial courses because the basics were not learned in high school. Are
high school diplomas 'bogus' even for those graduating near the top of their classes?
Should high schools be charged back for graduating students who require remedial courses?
- Student-teacher ratio Report - Calling
for smaller class size is perhaps the greatest myth invented by the education
establishment. Quality actually fell instead of improving, as class sizes shrank,
proving top-down mandates for smaller classes are not justified on a quality achievement
basis. International students from larger class sizes blow away ours. The class-size myth
suggests such as been created as an excuse for producing low quality, and as a
justification for more money, staff and union members.
- Quality also declined during period of increasing ratio of non-teaching employees per
student - Non-Teaching Report - indicating
increased staff overheads are not justified and may be hindering quality achievement.
Over staffing, excessive costs and low productivity are expected from all monopoly-based
- And, quality declined and rates of violence and discipline problems increased as school districts and schools become larger - a
need for downsizing & decentralization of public schools.
- Home Schoolers continue to significantly
out-score others on tests - - a summary of recent convincing report data - stay-at-home
- Textbooks - studies (Jan. 2001) show 85% of middle
schoolers use science text books significantly error-laden and unacceptable, although
perhaps politically correct - and that math honors classes in high schools use texts not
better than 8th grade basic readers 50 years ago. And last year, 200
mathematicians and scientists, including four Nobel Prize recipients deplored Dept. of
Education math teaching methods. And, 'honors high school texts are no more
difficult than an eighth grade reader was before World War II.' - - should we care?
- Grade Inflation - becoming out of
control at universities for money reasons. Despite a higher percentage of high school
graduates attending college than ever before, more than 44 percent of freshmen entering
four-year colleges fall 2001 reported they had A averages in high school, compared to
under 18 percent that averaged A's in 1968.
- Testing Standards and the 8th Grade Exam of 1895 -
could you pass the test required to pass the 8th grade in 1895? Probably not, but neither
could most of today's teachers and professors. Testing standards are a huge issue.
- Teachers - - within a monopoly system - - Many
blame teachers for poor quality education, but is it not naïve to expect high, measurable
world-class quality from most employees of a monopoly system?
- Private vs. Public schools - - on average, private
schools operate at a lower cost per student and produce significantly higher quality
- Recommendations from Bill Mechlenburg
- Public schools
no place for teachers' kids - 25% send their kids to private schools.
- Recommendations to school boards from Michael
- What can parents do?
- To-do-list for students - - demand the best quality
- Demise of the PTA - 75% drop
- A Joke - A History of Math Exams - Let's also be less
serious - - relax, smile and learn how.
- Schools of Thought - Rick
Henderson, Washington Editor of Reason. An excellent survey regarding education
- Additional links to related education sites, with excellent articles and data - see the
Education section of the Links Page.
Where do you go from here?
You have just reviewed the summary page of the Education Report chapter. It is
recommended you review each of the above education sub-reports with pictures you have
never seen, starting with the first 2 links which include the main
report page and then page 2.
Lastly, you have an Invitation to visit the HOME PAGE of the GRANDFATHER ECONOMIC REPORTS - - a
collection of reports reviewing other difficult economic conditions facing young families
and their children, compared to prior generations. There you will find a complete listing
of each of the mini-picture reports in the series comparing today with yesterday and the
trends - from education to family incomes to debt to social security to government
spending to foreign trade to voting trends to healthcare to national security.
This grandfather is not very proud of economic & education quality trends facing
the young generation. Hard data-based information might assist their futures.
Exchange information via E-mail to: Michael
Constructive input and links are welcome
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