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ERIC Number: EJ968871
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
When the Best Is Mediocre
Greene, Jay P.; McGee, Josh B.
Education Next, v12 n1 p34-40 Win 2012
American education has problems, almost everyone is willing to concede, but many think those problems are mostly concentrated in America's large urban school districts. In the elite suburbs, where wealthy and politically influential people tend to live, the schools are assumed to be world-class. Unfortunately, what everyone knows is wrong. Even the most elite suburban school districts often produce results that are mediocre when compared with those of America's international peers. The best school districts may look excellent alongside large urban districts, the comparison state accountability systems encourage, but that measure provides false comfort. America's elite suburban students are increasingly competing with students outside the United States for economic opportunities, and a meaningful assessment of student achievement requires a global, not a local, comparison. The authors developed the Global Report Card (GRC) to facilitate such a comparison. The GRC enables users to compare academic achievement in math and reading between 2004 and 2007 for virtually every public school district in the United States with the average achievement in a set of 25 other countries with developed economies that might be considered our economic peers and sometime competitors. The main results are reported as percentiles of a distribution, which indicates how the average student in a district performs relative to students throughout the advanced industrialized world. A percentile of 60 means that the average student in a district is achieving better than 59.9 percent of the students in the global comparison group. In this article, the authors focus on the 2007 math results, although the GRC contains information for both math and reading between 2004 and 2007. They focus on 2007 because it is the most recent data set, and they focus on math because it is the subject that provides the best comparison across countries and is most closely correlated with economic growth. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study