It may have been a bit depressing following the Fordham Institute’s “Education Olympics” or Bob Wise’s video commentary comparing the nation’s fixation with the Beijing Olympics and athletic excellence with the inadequate attention given students’ academic performance. But there was at least one shining achievement.
I almost missed it by assuming that all the posts would reflect dismally on U.S. schools and students (and because of the temporary jolt I got from seeing Mike Petrilli with red, white, and blue face paint for his final broadcast).
The top finish came not in math or science or even literacy, but civics. U.S. students took first on the CivEd Civic Skills test, “which measures the abilities of a country’s students to distinguish fact from opinion, interpret political cartoons, and comprehend political messages.”
So for those who are counting, the U.S. won 110 medals in Beijing, but just one here at home, by Fordham’s tally anyway.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.