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 information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…