Don't believe me? Start with this completely mendacious "report card" that bemoans how awful American education is. Too bad for them that Bruce Baker is on the case:
Then we have another piece of think-tanky garbage from Third Way. Once again, Bruce to the rescue: over at his blog and at NEPC. My personal favorite quote from all of Bruce's writing on this:So, while it may be fun to play with the tool and see how different local public school districts compare, more or less to one another as they relate to other countries, it is totally inappropriate to make bold claims that any of these findings speak to the supposed “mediocrity” of the best public schools in the U.S. Many may appear mediocre when transported internationally for no reason other than the penalty points assessed to them in the first to normative leaps (national and state mean), neither of which has much to do with their own performance.
Most importantly… and really no freakin’ surprise… in fact something I shouldn’t ever even have to graph in order to validate it – THE SUPPOSED “MIDDLE CLASS” SCHOOLS FALL WHERE? RIGHT IN LINE! RIGHT IN THE DAMN MIDDLE OF THE CATEGORIES ON EITHER SIDE OF THEM? HOW THE HECK IS THAT PERFORMING UNDER EXPECTATIONS? THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS LUDICROUS! IT’S RIGHT ON EXPECTATIONS – STATISTICALLY!Oh, my naive professorial friend - you really didn't think your "facts" and "statistics" and "reason" were going to change these people's minds, did you?
(Of course he didn't...)
This nonsense works its way into the mainstream, where, of course, hapless "journalists" flail around attempting to understand things in which they've had no training or experience. Which is why folks like Geoffrey Canada are turned into heroes when they "bravely" point out how much America sucks. Or why when people like (the other) Ben Chavis (who acts quite literally like a maniac) bad mouths America education, he is rewarded with appearances on national television where he completely misrepresents the connection between poverty and academic achievement.
As has been pointed out by many others besides me, when we account for poverty, the US does very well in international comparisons. Same thing when we look at student background.
I'm left to wonder why so many corporate "reformers" want to trash-talk this country. I mean, it would be completely wrong for me to suggest that these people have anything but the noblest intentions...