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....
Congestion means overcrowding. In simple terms, there is too much in too little space or time. To avoid congestion one can either increase space or time, or reduce whatever is taking space or time. In introducing K to 12 to the Philippines, the Department of Education made the claim, "...the sad state of basic education can be partly attributed to the congested basic education curriculum." A closer examination of DepEd's K to 12, however, reveals not a decongestion, but a reduction of instructional hours across the first ten years of education.
Here are the changes for elementary school:
There is a reduction in both languages and mathematics of about 10 percent in instructional time. Below are the changes in secondary school:
Here, the decrease in instructional hours is even greater. Science, for instance suffers a 33 percent reduction. Adding two years to basic education may indeed look good on paper as a way of decongesting the curriculum. However, if the first ten yea…
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…
With the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines, various tracks are now offered in the last two years of basic education. The various options available obviously make it possible for students to find themselves later unprepared for the courses they decide to take in college. A student, for instance, who finishes the accounting business management (ABM) strand in the senior high school academic track, is now required to take additional courses if the student chooses to enroll in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major in college. These additional courses which are now called "bridging programs" are either taken during the first year of college or over several weeks in the summer before college starts.
There are bridging programs in the United States, but these are different from the ones that are now appearing in colleges in the Philippines. In Coldwater High School in Michigan, for example, the "bridging program" is an option for students…