So here is what six years of federally mandated standardized testing (No Child Left Behind) has gotten us -- nothing. In Colorado, remember, we've been plagued with this testing mania even longer.
When testing becomes an end unto itself -- like CSAP -- actual learning becomes incidental to what the politicians and educrats are looking for -- more money and control.
All those tax dollars funneled to McGraw-Hill for testing materials ... yes someone, somewhere is richer, but Colorado students are not better educated. Thanks for nothing Roy Romer, Bill Owens and the lobbyist paid-for state legislature.
Teenagers in a majority of industrialized nations taking part in a leading international exam showed greater scientific understanding than students in the United States—and they far surpassed their American peers in mathematics, in results that seem likely to add to recent consternation over U.S. students’ core academic skills.
New results from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, released today, show U.S. students ranking lower, on average, than their peers in 16 other countries in science, out of 30 developed nations taking part in the exam.
The test measures the performance of 15-year-old students, regardless of grade level, examining the skills they pick up both in the classroom and outside school, as well as their ability to apply that knowledge to a variety of situations.
In science—the main subject tested on the 2006 PISA—American students scored an average of 489, below the international average among industrialized nations of 500, on a scale of 1 to 1,000. Finland, which has shone in worldwide comparisons in recent years, notched the top science score of 563, followed by Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. ...
... In 2003, the last time PISA measured performance in science, U.S. students tallied an average of 491, 9 points lower than the average of 500 in industrialized countries.
In math, which was tested in less depth on this PISA, American teenagers fared even worse, producing an average score of 474, 24 points below the international average of 498 among the 30 participating industrialized countries. Finland also landed on top in math.
The top-scoring American students’ averages were statistically worse than those for 23 of those nations, and equal to only those of Spain and Portugal. Just four countries—Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Mexico scored lower than the United States.
As in science, U.S. teenagers’ math performance was roughly the same as in 2003, the last time PISA was administered. The United States was 17 points behind the average score for industrialized nations then, meaning the score gap has since widened slightly.