GOOD

Reading Scores Rising, Along With Achievement Gap

White and Asian students make minimal improvement, while minority students aren't improving.


In 2005, only 36 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test scored proficient or better in the subject. It was a historic low. But, according to the results of the 2009 NAEP tests, it may prove to be a nadir.

On last year's exam, 38 percent of students rated as proficient in reading. While the trend is moving in the right direction, the percentage of proficient students still lags behind 1992 levels. Scores were up in math, rising from 23 percent to 26 percent.


In reaction to the data release this morning, Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave a sobering reaction, saying essentially that the results still indicate that our children's abilities aren't yet up to snuff:

Today's report suggests that high school seniors' achievement in reading and math isn't rising fast enough to prepare them to succeed in college and careers. ... President Obama has set a goal that the United States once again will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the end of the decade. In a survey that accompanied the NAEP test, 86 percent of seniors said they expect to graduate college.
\n
Perhaps more alarming than the lack of a greater uptick in scores is that they indicate a widening in the achievement gap. White and Asian students improved since 2005, but, according to a press release (PDF): "Reading scores did not change significantly among Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native students, or for female students, since 2005."
So, does that mean that while we're slowly beginning to fix our education system overall, we need to heed the warning that we might still be failing to address those populations who are in greatest need of our help?
Photo (cc) via Flickr user rachel sian\n
Articles
via Jason S Campbell / Twitter

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager defended his use of the word "ki*e," on his show Thursday by insisting that people should be able to use the word ni**er as well.

It all started when a caller asked why he felt comfortable using the term "ki*e" while discussing bigotry while using the term "N-word" when referring to a slur against African-Americans.

Prager used the discussion to make the point that people are allowed to use anti-Jewish slurs but cannot use the N-word because "the Left" controls American culture.

Keep Reading
Politics

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet

According to the FBI, the number of sexual assaults reported during commercial flights have increased "at an alarming rate." There was a 66% increase in sexual assault on airplanes between 2014 and 2017. During that period, the number of opened FBI investigations into sexual assault on airplanes jumped from 38 to 63. And flight attendants have it worse. A survey conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA found that 70% of flight attendants had been sexually harassed while on the job, while only 7% reported it.

Keep Reading
Travel