Sunday, November 13, 2011

Head in the Sand (Springs)

The recent news that 73 percent of Oklahoma's fourth-graders are below proficient in reading, and 66 percent are below proficient in math, is but the latest in a litany of bad news on school performance. But it's news that doesn't trouble the superintendent of the Sand Springs Public Schools, a man named Lloyd Snow, who is quick to assure us that "education hasn't failed, except maybe in a few overcrowded, underfunded urban districts." In other words, it certainly hasn't failed in Sand Springs (where one of the schools just made the federal needs-improvement list).

One suspects Mr. Snow will be equally untroubled by a new index called the Global Report Card, which indicates that the math achievement of the average student in Sand Springs is at the 33rd percentile relative to an international comparison group. In other words, Sand Springs produces students with math performance worse than that of the typical student in the average developed country.

Here’s another way to look at it: If you picked up the Sand Springs school district and dropped it into Canada, the average Sand Springs student would be at the 24th percentile in math achievement. If you placed it in Singapore, the average Sand Springs student would be at the 18th percentile in math achievement.

Education hasn't failed? In the private sector, imperviousness to reality will get you fired. In government, it will get you nearly 15 grand a month.

No comments: