One Nation Left Behind

Today is the first day of school in my community.  As a child I loved school and some of my fondest memories, growing up in Wisconsin, are of back-to-school shopping with my mom and learning the identity of my new teacher. 

A few weeks ago I saw an ad in the Sunday newspaper that listed some startling facts about the state of education in this country:

  • out of 30 industrialized countries, America’s 15-year olds rank 21st in science and 25th in math
  • 93% of American science teachers have little or no trainng in science
  • 70% of 8th graders cannot read at the 8th grade reading level
  • America’s graduation rate ranks 21st out of 27 industrialized countries

These are startling statistics and show how little has changed under the No Child Left Behind policies.  The sources for these figures can be found at the Great Schools website along with a host of other information including toolkits for parents, educators, and communities.

Whether we have school-age children or not, this is a problem that we should all take seriously.  As a retired librarian, perhaps I can tutor some school kids in reading this next school year.  Too bad our Silky Terrier is such a terror – kids love reading to dogs, something I discovered when supervising the children’s department of the local library.

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