February 28, 2013
PREPARING THEM FOR AN EDUCATION THEY DON'T NEED, AND CAN'T USE:
Consider graduation rates: Oklahoma has lost ground and Georgia is stagnant. Oklahoma ranked 24th in 1998 but 25th when its first batch of universal-preschool children graduated last year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics compiled by the United Health Foundation. Georgia's high-school graduation rate was 46th from the top in 1995. It dipped to 47th in 2009, the year its first batch graduated, before rising to 45th in 2012.The preschool case also isn't helped by scores from the National Assessment for Educational Progress--the national report card. The average NAEP reading score for Oklahoma fourth-graders dropped four points between 1998 and 2011--although it went up nine points for Georgia. Yet none of the three states with fully realized universal pre-K (Florida, which began its program in 2005, is the third) was among the top-10 highest scorers on the NAEP reading test in 2011. Oklahoma remains below the national average and Georgia has just reached the national average.As for black students, fourth-grade math and reading NAEP scores in Georgia and Oklahoma were above the national average of black students in other states when Georgia and Oklahoma embraced universal preschool. Now the scores are at the national average. Only Florida was among the top-10 scorers in reading for disadvantaged children in 2011.More revealing, the NAEP reading gap between black and white children in Oklahoma was 22 points in 1992. In 2011, it was also 22 points. Georgia had a 28-point spread in 1992. In 2011? Twenty-three points. NAEP called Georgia's results "not significantly different."
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2013 8:57 PM