A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
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National Assessment of Educational Progress 2013
The results are out. This is the report card for basic education in the United States. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), administered every two years, provides a glimpse of how students in America perform in math and reading. This year 2013 shows incremental improvement in both areas. The scores are a bit better than those in 2011. Still, less than half are deemed proficient. More importantly, the gaps have not been reduced. Highlighting this is the following figure which shows that only one state (Maine) has reduced the gap between the scores of white and black Americans:
One has to go back 10 years to see yellow/orange in the map above.
Gaps narrowed in five states during the period 2003-2005. The report includes scores as far back as 1992. Using the gaps then, the following states have shown improvement:
There are 16 states here that have narrowed the gap. This shows that states have done a better job during the decade 1992-2002 than the most recent one in reducing the achievement gap between black and white American children. By the way, scores are improving across the board. A gap narrowing therefore does not happen because white children are performing worse. Both groups have higher scores this year compared to twenty years ago. The gap between poor and rich children is equally stubborn:
Another trend worth noting is this. Scores are indeed improving across the board, but the gains in math are much higher than in reading. Here's 4th grade math:
And here's Grade 4 reading:
The above does provide an important lesson. While math is learned primarily in school. Reading is not. Reading is learned both at school and home. Reading is much more difficult to address than mathematics since the home does play a major role in this subject. Here, the gaps are likewise expected. These gaps are important because the differences inform us on how external factors like poverty affect education. Without mitigating the effects of socio-economic factors inside the classroom, the gaps are here to stay....
People have strong opinions about almost anything and the issue of education is no exception. How these opinions have been formed needs to be examined. This is what good research does. It informs and guides. A myriad of factors influence education and oftentimes, these factors are not independent from each other. Factors interact, sometimes these add, and other times, these subtract. General notions therefore need to be carefully drawn. Writing articles on education can also be quite challenging. When problems in basic education involve an inability to think critically, it is difficult to reach the audience and convey the correct message. Oftentimes, sarcasm is lost so such style of writing needs to be avoided. For people who are convinced of their wisdom and understanding of how education works, profound messages from basic research can be often easily lost.
TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior college ang karagdagang 2 tao…
There is a reason why scholarships often come with a stipend. A government scholarship after all is an investment made by the public on a promising student. These awards are meant to support the student in every possible way. Without a stipend, a student may not be able to concentrate on his or her studies if such student is still forced to earn a living. Therefore, it goes without saying that the recipients will rely on this stipend to meet their basic needs. After all, it is not a "luxury allowance" but a "living allowance". When I started college, I was rudely awakened to bureaucratic incompetence. As a scholar, I was counting on the monthly allowance for my daily expenses. But months after the first day of school, there was no sign of such an allowance. It was delayed. Without a living wage and a stipend, it is no wonder that some bright people still find themselves buried in debt.
With the transition to the new K+12 curriculum in the Philippines, teachers in…