Failure of the Standards Movement – Research and Opinion by Larry Stedman

Sound and FUry, Signifying Nothing

  • While some modest gains appeared in math at the young end, they were partly due to teaching-to-the-test. Drilling substitutes for teaching math well and has led to problems at higher levels. Most high school students have trouble with middle school math and show striking deficiencies in sciences. Their writing remains weak and their knowledge superficial. Conditions are as poor as 20 years ago when NAEP found “very few students…use their minds well.” Although recent graduates have more “academic” credits, many still lack algebra 2, geometry, chemistry, and a foreign language. Many gains were artificially produced by re-labeled courses. Meanwhile, public school spending, adjusted for inflation, has doubled since 1983.
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