Sorry to lay this on you so soon after the Christmas Holidays, but these statistics I’m going to share with you knocked me for a loop when I read them. I knew, of course, that things were bad. I just had no idea things were this bad. The statistics have to do with the measurable results of our education system and come from two articles; one by John Hayward at Human Events and the other by Walter E. Williams writing for LewRockwell.com.
First, John Hayward tells us about the recent results of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a three hour test of basic skills, used to determine eligibility to join the military. The maximum possible score on this exam is 99 but the Army and the Marines only require a score of 31 to pass. Hayward quotes a report that says only 25% of highschool graduates scored more than 30. These are not just any kids off the street. These are highschool graduates. That blows my mind away. Here are a couple of excerpts from Hayward’s essay:
This is just the latest embarrassment for our high-priced, incompetent educational system. Insulated from consequence, and focused on politics and ideology over the demands of education, its endless excuses and demands for money collapse before a hard-nosed military establishment that considers basic fitness to be a binary question. We’re not looking at a report that says one in four children can’t pass that basic exam. It says one in four high school graduates lack the essential skills to succeed in a technological society. “Graduation” means they have been pronounced them acceptable products of the educational system.
You hear a lot of noise about the “superior quality” of union products. The military has pronounced a quarter of the teacher’s union output to be defective. These kids are carrying diplomas, but they can’t handle simple questions about math, science, and reading.
It appears that we are handing out diplomas just for showing or perhaps not even that. But wait, there is more I want to share. Walter E. William’s essay is focused on the educational disaster of our black youths but also presents some disturbing statistics for our white and Asian youths. Here is his opening paragraph:
Harvard University Professor Stephan Thernstrom’s recent essay, “Minorities in College – Good News, But…,” in Minding the Campus (11/4/10), a website sponsored by the New York-based Manhattan Institute, commented on the results of the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress test: The scores “mean that black students aged 17 do not read with any greater facility than whites who are four years younger and still in junior high. … Exactly the same glaring gaps appear in NAEP’s tests of basic mathematics skills.”
Now, here is the really scary stuff:
SAT scores confirm the poor education received by blacks. In 2009, average SAT reading test scores were: whites (528), Asians (516) and blacks (429). In math it was whites (536), Asians (587) and blacks (426). Twelve years of fraudulent primary and secondary education received by most blacks are not erased by four or five years of college.
This is evidenced by examination scores taken for admission to graduate schools. In 2007, Graduate Record Examination verbal scores were: whites (493), Asians (485) and blacks (395). The math portion scores were: whites (562), Asians (617) and blacks (419). Scores on the LSAT in 2006, for admission to law school, were: whites (152), Asians (152) and blacks (142). In 2010, MCAT scores for admission to medical schools were: whites (26), Asians (26) and blacks (21).
Williams goes on to talk about the disaster that happen recently in Washington D.C. where the teacher’s union poured millions of dollars to get rid of a Mayor that had dared to bring in a reformist to improve the system. The Mayor was voted out and the reformist had to resign.
Just incase you are white and feeling smug about these results, Williams has this to say:
The fact that black youngsters trail their white counterparts by three or four years becomes even more grim when we recognize that the education white youngsters receive is nothing to write home about.
According to the recently released Program for International Student Assessment exam, our 15-year-olds rank 25th among 34 industrialized nations in math and 14th in reading.
Folks, These statistics are not a secret. Those that should know do know; they just don’t care. The teachers and their unions are more interested in the rights of the teachers than the rights of the students. So here is my question to you: What would you do to fix our education system if you coul?