Adjusted for Poverty, U.S. Schools are the Best

U.S. 15-year olds in schools with fewer than 10 percent of kids eligible for free or cut-rate lunch “score first in the world in reading, outperforming even the famously excellent Finns.”

This 10 percent threshold is significant because, in high achieving countries such as Finland, few schools have more poor kids than that. In other words,if you look at American schools that compare socioeconomically, we’re doing great.

Daniel Akst’s editorial on the quality of the American school system.

Comments (10)

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  1. Ken says:

    Very interesting post.

  2. seyyed says:

    it also highlights how disproportionate our education system is

  3. Studebaker says:

    I would argue the single-most common problem with low-performing schools is: 1) parents that are too tired to help (make) their children do homework. 2) parents that don’t push their kids to excel in school and 3) parents who tolerate low-performing schools.

    That said, bad teachers don’t help disadvantaged students perform any better. Research has found a really good kindergarten teacher is worth a small fortune in terms of what they can do for kids’ future development.

    Basically, the parents cannot do it all by themselves without the teachers’ help. The teachers cannot do it all by themselves without the parents’ help.

  4. Alice says:

    International comparisons are difficult; we’ve got socioeconomic and demographic factors just in this one post/comments.

    However that doesn’t excuse other failings: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012026/tables/table_23.asp

  5. Joe Barnett says:

    This suggests that the conventional wisdom is wrong on a two fronts: U.S. education is not any worse (or better) than in other developed countries. Most allegedly better schools aren’t better — they just don’t have low-acheiving students with homelife problems that pull down the school averages and impact the scores of students from higher income homes by diverting resources (such as teacher attention) away from them.

  6. Roget says:

    This is all on the parents. Teachers should be paid more, but if schools aren’t sacred, it’s because parents don’t care. Look at Chicago, parents are upset not because their education is being put on hold.. but because during the day those kids are supposed to be someone elses problem.

  7. Nichole says:

    Well this is kind of pointless.. different countries have different views on teaching methods due to race, gender, and national background. U.S. schools are a melting pot of different orgins..

  8. Alex says:

    Notice Mr. Akst says we do well in reading. Science and math education are still terrible, I bet.

  9. Ender says:

    Great post, I think this is very interesting. I also agree that parents (primarily), as well as teachers, have to be responsible for educating, raising, and developing the future.