American Students Still Lagging Behind

American students still lag behind on international standardized tests and tend to perform worse as they age, a new report shows.

Galvanized Strategies’ Erica Holloway appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss the issue with host Josh Zepps Los Angeles political consultant and contributor Unai Montes-Irueste.


“We do need to improve our overall profile when it comes to education,” Holloway said. “Preparing these kids for global economies, not local economies. And being able to compete not just to go to college, but to go to college and beat out somebody from another country to take a spot in your local university.”

Holloway noted a compounding factor in the widening achievement gap: lack of choice.

“Residency laws nationwide are keeping kids in a cycle that keeps them in the achievement gap,” Holloway said. “So, essentially a kid that lives in a bad neighborhood that goes to a bad school is not going to grow up to have a high-wage earning job. So, having the choice to go to a better school across town is where I think the conversation nationally is going to be thriving.”

  • WATCH the entire HuffPost Live interview here.

Another hot-button topic: teacher performance and evaluation.

A recent post by a Galvanized Strategies client, UPforEd, on IVN San Diego Edition points out that the outdated system could result in better educational outcomes for students.

“… but there is resistance to changing this old-school process that harms not only kids, but also teachers.”

UPforEd Executive Director Lisa Berlanga shared her own personal story, that of a young teacher in the early 1990s unsure how to measure her performance and outcomes.

1x1.trans Op Ed: Teacher Evaluation Reform Long Overdue

 “My district-sanctioned summary evaluation was a single sheet of paper with one comment and six ‘effective’ marks – the highest evaluation achievement on the scale.”

Berlanga wrote that after her probationary period ended, she was only evaluated once every other year. Teachers with 10 years experience could apply to be evaluated just once every five years.

The district uses the same teacher performance evaluation process today.

No matter what the reason, U.S. students clearly are not getting the education they need to compete in tomorrow’s economy.

  • Read the full story on the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement’s PIRL and TIMSS 2011 Exams here.

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