Global Report Card 2.0 Shows New Rochelle Schools Lagging Internationally

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A comparison of math and reading test scores for New Rochelle students to their peers in other developed nations shows New Rochelle students lagging behind their peers internationally. For 2009, the most recent year in the study, 50% of New Rochelle students are behind in math and 39% in reading.

Time-series data shows that in the six-year period from 2004 to 2009, New Rochelle students have closed the gap by 6% in math but fallen further behind in reading, dropping from 70% to 61% outperforming their counterparts in developed nations.

The analysis is based on data collected for the George W. Bush Institute Global Report Card 2.0 (GRC) seeks to determine if American students are learning the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

“Parents across the country are thinking about the report cards their children will bring home for winter break, but the grades on this Global Report Card are every bit as important,” said Dr. Kerri Briggs, Director of Education Reform at the Bush Institute and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education. “This report card is a wake-up call for parents because, while some progress is being made, we can now definitely see that our kids are not being prepared to compete in the global marketplace.”

The GRC 2.0 study used test scores to compare the academic performance of nearly 14,000 U.S. school districts to the average performance of a group of 25 developed countries, including: France, Australia, Israel, Canada, and Singapore. In order to compare results over time, the school districts studied and the comparison nations remain the same as the original study conducted in 2011.

The interactive GRC 2.0 web site allows parents to click the map and enter their state and school district to get a localized report comparing results to international, national and state results. A comparison of 2009 data for neighboring school districts (below, left) shows New Rochelle towards the bottom of the pack. Yonkers is, by far, the worst. GRC 2.0 also reports how a local district would fare nationally if it were placed in another developed country. The study uses Canada, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland for comparison.

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The report was once again conducted by Dr. Jay Greene, George W. Bush Institute fellow and professor of education at the University of Arkansas, and co-authored by Josh B. McGee.

“Many of the school districts that we traditionally think of as high performers are found to rank near the middle of the pack when we compare them to international peers,” said Dr. Greene. “While most people think our children are receiving a quality education, the fact is U.S. students are falling behind the rest of the world.”

“When you tell people there are problems in education, elites will usually think, ‘Ah, that refers to those poor kids in big cities. It doesn’t have anything to do with me, says Dr. Jay Greene, author of the GRC and Bush Institute Fellow.

"The power of denial is so great that people don’t think a finding really has anything to do with them unless you actually name their town,” says Greene.

The GRC score indicates the level of math or reading achievement by the average student in a public school district compared to student achievement in a set of 25 developed countries. The score represents the percentage of students in the international group who would have a lower level of achievement. For example, a percentile of 60 means the average student in a school district would perform better than 60% of the students in the international group.

The Global Report Card was developed by Jay P. Greene and Josh B. McGee as part of the George W. Bush Institute's Education Reform Initiative. The Bush Institute works to increase dramatically the number of American students who graduate high school ready for college or prepared for a good career by:

About the Index
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Eric Hanushek, Paul Peterson, and Martin West for reviewing this work and providing invaluable suggestions for improvement. Jonathan Mills assisted with data gathering and management. Edward Lazear and Susanna Loeb provided helpful feedback during the early development of the Global Report Card.

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