U.S. Students Take Tougher Courses, Achieve at Higher Levels, Earn More College Degrees Than in 1980s
Today’s students take tougher courses, achieve at higher levels, and earn more college degrees than they did twenty years ago, according to a new report focused on the “good news” in American education released this week by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Education Policy (CEP).
The report, “Do You Know…The Latest Good News About American Education,” tracks the progress of American education on 24 indicators that span school participation and course-taking trends, student achievement, school climate and public support, teacher quality and higher education. The report also identifies key areas of concern that require additional improvement.
Overall, the report finds that “U.S. public schools have improved in many ways since the movement to reform education by raising standards first took shape 20 years ago.”
“The critics of public education have had their day, now it is time to set the record straight,” said Jack Jennings, president & CEO of CEP. “Given the amount of negative attacks and media reports they have sustained, many might believe that the nation’s public schools are in the worst shape they have ever been, and that is simply not the case.”
Among the report’s key findings are the following:
In addition to tracking American education’s progress, the report also calls for a renewed focus on reducing dropout rates and providing additional support to minority, low-income, English language learners, and students with disabilities to ensure that they achieve at the same levels as their counterparts. Noting the continued lag in performance and the persistent nature of achievement gaps in grades 9-12, the report also calls for a greater priority on reforming the nation’s high schools.
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