Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Seeing a Glass Half Empty on International Rankings?

December 04, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I was surprised to see your recent headline “Top-Achieving Nations Beat U.S. States in Math and Science” (edweek.org, Nov. 13, 2007). Only the day before, I read a headline in the International Herald Tribune on the same news item, “Study Compares American Students With Other Countries’.”

The lead on your article, published online, was: “Students in the highest-performing U.S. states rank well below their peers in the world’s top-achieving countries in mathematics and science skill, according to a new study that judges American youths on an international scale.” The lead in the Herald Tribune article was: “American students even in low-performing states like Alabama do better on math and science tests than students in most foreign countries, including Italy and Norway, according to a new study released Wednesday.”

One would have thought I was reading about two different studies, but I wasn’t. Instead of selling bad news through shocking headlines, why not present a reasoned discussion that might lead to a useful look at education issues?

Dan Laitsch

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Education

Simon Fraser University

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

To the Editor:

The United States’ falling behind other nations in science and math scores has been the case for many years. This is because “other nations” do not have to educate every child. In fact, most do not, and those they do educate tend to be the brightest. When these students, the “little shining stars,” are tested, they do well. The United States, on the other hand, educates everyone.

You as a newspaper should know this. Why are you fanning the flames of a situation that your readership is getting the blame for, even though it’s not something we have control over?

Alicia Hicks

Albuquerque, N.M.

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2007 edition of Education Week as Seeing a Glass Half Empty on International Rankings?

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read