Bush Institute: US Students Falling Behind International Peers

Monday, 10 Dec 2012 04:57 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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American students are falling behind their international counterparts, a new study by the George W. Bush Institute has found.

“Many of the school districts that we traditionally think of as high performers are found to rank near the middle of the pack when we compare them to international peers,” said Dr. Jay Greene of the University of Arkansas, who co-authored the study.

“While most people think our children are receiving a quality education, the fact is U.S. students are falling behind the rest of the world.”

Among his findings was that the top-rated Beverly Hills Unified in Los Angeles Country, is not excelling even with a relatively advantaged student population. Analysis of 2009 data gives Beverly Hills Unified only a “decent’’ GRC score of 57 percent.

Whereas Temple City, also in Los Angeles County, has a more traditionally disadvantaged student population and beats Beverly Hills with a GRC score of 59 percent.

One Colorado school district that stands out for impressive performance is Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Even with a high percentage of students in poverty, Poudre boasts an impressive GRC score of 61 percent. That means the average public school student in Fort Collins can out-perform the average international student.

“This report card is a wake-up call for parents,’’ said Dr. Kerri Briggs, Director of Education Reform at the Bush Institute and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education.

“Because, while some progress is being made, we can now definitely see that our kids are not being prepared to compete in the global marketplace.’’

The study used test scores to compare the academic performance of nearly 14,000 U.S. school districts to the average performance of a group of 25 developed countries, including: France, Australia, Israel, Canada, and Singapore.

The George W. Bush Institute focuses on education reform, global health, human freedom, and economic growth, “to unleash human potential.’’


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