Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Report: School Is Too Easy

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

The Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that champions what it calls "progressive ideas," analyzed three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress to discover that school is too easy for too many students.

The researchers asked students questions such as, "Do you understand your teacher?" and "Do you find the subject matter too easy?"

Some of the group's findings included:

•37 percent of fourth-graders say their math work is "often" or "always" too easy.

•57 percent of eighth-graders say their history work is "often" or "always" too easy.

•39 percent of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.

Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the center who co-wrote the report, said, "The broad swath of American students are not as engaged as much in their schoolwork."

But there appears to be a large disconnect between what students answered on a questionnaire and what their test results show.

The Huffington Post reports that only 40 percent of fourth-graders and 35 percent of eighth-graders were deemed "proficient" on the National Assessment for Education Progress math test. Boser said it's because students were not challenged in school, and thus, they didn't learn what they needed to know for a standardized test.

Only half of students in 12th grade who were surveyed said they felt they were always or almost always learning in math class, while 72 percent of eighth-grade science students said they aren't being taught technology.

But Boser told the Huffington Post, "It's hard to look at this data and think that most students are being pushed hard."

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