Thursday, June 20, 2002

Cornfield Education News

Yesterday David Hogberg of Cornfield Commentary analyzed fourth grade reading scores in Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines standards are actually higher than many places. David's criticisms apply nationwide:

But read a little further, and you get the depressing news that 71% puts Des Moines among the top performing urban districts in the nation. (Oh wait, it’s starting to kick in.) And then you learn what the public education system considers to be an acceptable goal: "[Superintendent Eric] Witherspoon has pledged that by June 2003, 75 percent of all the district's students will read at the level expected for their age group." 75%!? WOW!!!! (Ah! It’s approaching high speed now!)

What this means is that fully 1 out of 4 fourth graders will not be reading at grade level. This is important, because fourth graders are near the crucial age at which they either have good reading skills, or they are unlikely to ever develop them.

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