This is Bob Somerby’s part 4 on the international academic comparisons of elementary and middle school students.
Much to the utter consternation of the general myths, African-American students in numerous American states beat most other nations’ average scores. Here are the details:
Part 4—Disaggregation and more: American students did surprisingly well on last year’s international tests.
That is especially true in reading, where American fourth-graders, the only grade tested, pretty much kicked the ass of the world. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/19/12.
Why was this performance “surprising?” Let us count two ways:
In part, the performance may seem surprising because so much effort has been made, in recent years, to denigrate American teachers, students and schools. Everybody knows this script—and this script was extended in last week’s reporting about the new test scores.
To its credit, USA Today broke the mold, focusing on some of our students’ surprising success. But in the New York Times, the AP and the Washington Post, gloom and doom prevailed again, just as it has been scripted.
American students did surprisingly well. The American people weren’t told.