Schools improve when leaders stop rationalizing mediocrity

Thursday, December 5, 2013

If the superintendents of failing school districts were as adept at fixing schools as they are at making excuses for their poor performance, America would have the best education system in the world.

Instead, the just-released tests administered by the Program for International Student Assessment show that other countries are making faster progress than the United States.

Our teenagers are now ranked 26th in math, 21st in science and 17th in reading. Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong are leading the pack.

In the face of this powerful proof of their failure, school superintendents and other education leaders blithely blame someone else for U.S. stagnation.

“The problem we find in American education isn’t that schools are ‘falling behind,’ it is that schools are ‘pulling apart,’” said the American Association of School Administrators.

“Poverty in America is the real issue behind today’s education gap, and it means students can experience different education trajectories because of where they live,” the association said.

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