Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Matters

A favorite Christmas gift a few years back was a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. I like to peruse the headlines and get a feel for the state of affairs at home and abroad. It helps me plan ahead if I know there has been a crop failure or a government regulation that will affect my grocery bill. I like to know what the politicians are up to and what the DOW is down to.

So, yesterday a couple of articles in The Journal caught my eye. The first headline:
"SAT Scores Fall as Gap Widens; Asians Gain"
We here at The Gale Academy of Classical Education are always interested in matters of education, so I read on.
It seems the SAT scores last year fell for the third year in a row. The combined scores are the lowest this decade and the reading scores are the worst since 1994. The results came a week after the news that only one-fourth of 2009 high-school graduates who took the ACT, the other main college entrance exam, had the skills to succeed in college.
"Many observers Tuesday viewed the flat results of recent
years as discouraging in light of a more than 25-year effort to improve U.S.
education. 'This is a nearly unrelenting tale of woe and disappointment,' said
Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 'If there's
any good news here, I can't find it.'"
Oh, Mr. Chester E. Finn, "woe and disappointment" were my thoughts exactly.
I continued to read, wondering what the prevailing thoughts would be on a possible solution to the downward spiral of our nation's brain trust: our youth.
You know they talked to the all-knowing NEA, which of course thinks we need to have more teachers and pay them more and then, we need more money and stacks of money, and in conclusion: money, money money.
They also talked to the current administration and they concluded that it was all the last administration's fault. Believe me, I'm familiar with that excuse:
"It wasn't me--it was my brother."
Then they discussed the social issues--students who are deprived of fancy schools and nice clothes can't focus on their test-taking skills.
So I looked amongst the statistics and the excuses for a possible solution. I noticed a little clue:
"Asian-American students showed the most dramatic gains.
College Board officials said that Asian-American students
appeared to do better at all income levels. "
I asked myself, "Why?"
It didn't matter if they had money, or the latest technology or cool clothes. They managed to do well whether they were deprived or not.
Here's what they said about those excelling Asian-Americans:
"Their families place a strong value on success in
education."
The word family was only used once in the entire article.

3 comments:

Shanna said...

Please live near me when I have kids so that you can coach me through the home schooling. There is NO WAY I am putting my kids into public school.

We are the Zitzmans said...

Awesome post. It is all about family. Hopefully I will do okay. AHH!

pcnerdy said...

Yeah I still don't understand why so few people get this...