Failure of educational reforms in the US: lack of student motivation ?!

An interesting article about why educational reforms in the US fail, despite a huge increase in resources for education:

Some excerpts:

… In 1971, the initial year for the reading test, the average score for 17-year-olds was 285; in 2008, the average score was 286. The math test started in 1973, when 17-year-olds averaged 304; in 2008, the average was 306.

… Standard theories don’t explain this meager progress. Too few teachers? Not really. From 1970 to 2008, the student population increased 8 percent and the number of teachers 61 percent. The student-teacher ratio has fallen sharply, from 27-to-1 in 1955 to 15-to-1 in 2007. Are teachers paid too little? Perhaps, but that’s not obvious. In 2008, the average teacher earned $53,230; two full-time teachers married to each other and making average pay would belong in the richest 20 percent of households (2008 qualifying income: $100,240). Maybe more preschool would help. Yet, the share of 3- and 4-year-olds in preschool has rocketed from 11 percent in 1965 to 53 percent in 2008.

… The larger cause of failure is almost unmentionable: shrunken student motivation. Students, after all, have to do the work. If they aren’t motivated, even capable teachers may fail.


Now the question: WHY ? Why the children are less motavated than their parents were ? Are they spoiled by the  “instant gratification” consumption society ? Have they somehow lost their curioisty ? I dunno.

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4 comments to Failure of educational reforms in the US: lack of student motivation ?!

  • That could be one reason. Moreover, the population diversity in the 50s isn’t as great as today’s. The type of people who immigrated to the US in the 50s are different. By the law of large numbers, the “average score” will be closer to the mean. Is “average score” a good measure of successful educational reforms? Social norms obviously play some role.

    There is also the “reverse” problem of soccer moms over-educating kids (to make Ivy League schools) which is quite well-documented.

  • admin MonsterID Icon admin

    À Hưng ơi, cái plugin nào tiện nhất cho latex trên WP nhỉ ? Trước Hưng có nói 1 lần, chưa kịp dùng, quên mất rồi. Thanks.

  • Bác dùng cái này:

    Tất cả các blogs hosted on đều dùng cái đó, nên tốt hơn hẳn mấy cái khác. Ngoài ra, có thể dùng server của họ để parse/store png images. Khi nào bác cài plugin xong sẽ thấy option.

  • admin MonsterID Icon admin

    Thanks a lot !

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