New local cable show on education



by David Safier

Ann-Eve Pedersen and I have created a new half hour cable TV show, Education: The Rest of the Story (apologies to Paul Harvey). Our goal is to look deeper into education issues than what you usually see and hear in the mainstream media, correcting misimpressions and adding information to the discussion. The first episode hasn't aired yet, but we've put it on youtube, divided into three 10 minute segments. I'll be putting them up one by one.

A regular segment will be Myth Busting (apologies again, this time to those wonderful Myth Busters on the Discovery Channel). The first segment explores the myth, Our Public Schools are Failing. While are schools aren't everything we want them to be and have lots of room for improvement, the myth of Failing Schools suggests our schools are worse than they once were and are far worse than schools in the rest of the world. Both suggestions are false.

You can watch the 10 minute video below the fold, but here's a little cheat sheet to give you some of the facts explored in the segment.

  • The average I.Q. of children today is 10 points higher than it was 30 years ago. They've had to adjust the scores downward to keep the average score at 100 points. If the scoring were the same as 30 years ago, today's average would be 110.
  • According to the NAEP test (National Assessment of Educational Progress) which has been administered since the 1970s, the average math score of today's 9 year olds is equivalent to the average scores for 11 year olds 30 years ago. While the other NAEP scores haven't gone up as dramatically, they've held their own or improved slightly.
  • The achievement of African American and Hispanic students has increased more quickly than the achievement of Anglo students, narrowing the racial/ethnic gap.
  • On the 2011 international test, TIMSS, the U.S. scored 6th in reading, 10th in math and 9th in science, surpassing most European countries. Massachusetts, which has the same population as many European countries, was 2nd in the world in science.

You can watch the video below the fold.