In response to:

“One-Third of Fourth Graders are Functionally Illiterate”

Janeway Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 8:06 AM
Broad generalizations about the public schools are not helpful. Yes, there are many schools that are not up to standards or outright awful but that does not mean all of them or even the majority. I am subsitute teaching in my area and the schools I have worked are all excellent with good kids, devoted teachers, lots of help for kids that struggle for whatever reason. So the concept that since some schools are bad and the average test scores and grad rates are brought down due to them is just not the right approach. The poor schools need to be identified and corrected and the schools that are performing need to be left alone. I would love to see how the schools rate if you left out the problem schools in the averaging.
JRusso Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 9:00 AM
1/3. That's a lot of Fourth graders. A heckofalot.

So when can we "generalize"? When half of Fourth Graders are illiterate? 60 percent?

The U.S. education system is failing our kids and has been for decades. Thus, the first step towards solving this problem is admitting that we have one. And we certainly do -- as AFP’s Casey Given points out in his op-ed in The Hill today:

Since 1983, the freshmen high school graduation rate has increased a measly 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress has stagnated, dropping by 1 point in reading and increasing by merely 4 points in math among 17-year-olds from the early 1980s to 2008. Today, one-third of fourth graders are...