The Ottumwa Courier

Education

June 27, 2013

High school seniors fare no better than in 1970s

WASHINGTON (AP) — Students preparing to leave high school are faring no better in reading or math than their peers four decades ago, the government said Thursday. Officials attributed the bleak finding on more lower-performing students staying in school rather than dropping out.

The news was brighter for younger students and for blacks and Hispanics, who had the greatest gain in reading and math scores since the 1970s, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly referred to as the Nation's Report Card.

"In some ways, the findings are full of hope. Today's children ages 9 and 13 are scoring better overall than students at those ages in the early '70s," said Brent Houston, principal of the Shawnee Middle School in Oklahoma and a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which administers the tests.

But he also noted challenges for older students.

"There is a disturbing lack of improvement among 17-year-olds. Since the early 1970s, the average scores of 17-year-olds in both reading and mathematics have remained stagnant," he said.

The report says that in reading, today's 9- and 13-year-olds are outperforming students tested in 1971, when that skill was first tracked. They also did better in math, compared with students in 1973, the initial measurement.

Officials suggest the results for 17-year-old students reflect fewer low-performing students dropping out.

For instance, Hispanic students had a 32 percent dropout rate in 1990 and that number fell to 15 percent in 2010, said Peggy Carr, an associate commissioner with the National Center for Education Statistics.

"These students are generally scoring at the lower end of the distribution but it's a good thing that they're staying in schools," Carr said.

Even so, they're still not learning more despite increased education spending.

"Today's results are the nation's education electrocardiogram and show positive results for the early grades and increased performance by students of color, but the nation's high school students are in desperate need of serious attention," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia.

Text Only
Education
  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416 OTT Ron Oswalt mug -T School board member resigns

    OTTUMWA — As this week's school board meeting came to a close, the president read a letter from one of the members. Board President Carol Mitchell read that fellow board member Ron Oswalt was announcing his resignation from the Ottumwa Board of Educa

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT picture Bracelets -M -T Caring Kids

    OTTUMWA — Five fourth-graders didn't need grownups to show them it feels good to help others. They found out firsthand. "I wanted to do a project with the bracelets I make. And it's better to help people than to just do a random project," Kennedy Hug

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT Fairfield business students photo color Fairfield students proving to be future leaders

    FAIRFIELD — At Fairfield High School, students interested in making a career in a business-related field have the chance to join the Fairfield chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a nonprofit organization that helps prepare them for

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Construction could be halted on building class OTTUMWA — An Ottumwa High School program admired by the community may have to be temporarily suspended. The board and administration has nothing against the Building Trades program, said Superintendent Davis Eidahl. But they would be hard pressed to

    April 1, 2014

  • 0321 OTT IHCC Dental color photo -L -T -M Bringing textbook learning to the real world

    OTTUMWA — A new partnership between Indian Hills Community College and River Hills Dental Clinic is giving area students the most well-rounded education possible. Indian Hills began its dental assisting program in August, so this is the first group o

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donations sought for IHCC scholarship auction Donations are now being accepted for the 37th annual Indian Hills Community College Foundation Scholarship Auction. Individuals and businesses may donate new and gently-used items and qualify for a tax deduction. Items may include vehicles, gift cert

    March 13, 2014

  • 0311 OTT School Douma Tour photo The new Douma OTTUMWA — When educators first implied that computers were essential in schools, the best elementary buildings found space for one or two computer labs. Douma Elementary School is now so modernized, it has zero computer labs. "It's all wireless," sai

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0312 OTT STEM color photo iExplore STEM gets kids excited about highly skilled fields

    OTTUMWA -- These kids will tell you: science, technology, engineering, math? They really can be fun. Booth after booth engaged the children in various experiments and demonstrations that h

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0312 OTT Show choir 1 color photo -L -T -M Confidence on stage, humility off stage OTTUMWA — The seniors in Sudden Impact! are just beginning to realize that they only have two show choir competitions left in their high school career. If the last two are as successful as the first two have been, it's going to be an exciting journey

    March 11, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National