US Students Achieve Their Highest Scores Yet in Math

One result of the No Child Left Behind law, whose goal is proficiency in math and reading for every student by 2014, is that US students are showing improvement in math scores.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that 40% of fourth graders tested are now proficient in math.   This represents a 4% increase since 1990.

But are these improvements enough to make US students more competitive once they finish school and enter the labor force?

According to Arne Duncan, the answer is no: “It’s clear that achievement is not accelerating fast enough for our nation’s children to compete in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.”

Because the scores fall so short of the 100% proficiency mark, many schools are now applying for waivers to the No Child Left Behind Law, and Obama is stepping in to grant them.

What is the answer to a school system that is consistently failing to produce students proficient  in math and reading?

Obama is launching a $450 billion dollar plan to reinvigorate and modernize schools, protect teachers’ jobs, and even hire new teachers.  With better technology and a better student to teacher ratio, schools might stand a chance of increasing student performance.

In the meantime, its understandable that parents are seeking private tutoring services more and more to close the gap between the education schools offer and that needed to be successful in college and beyond.  The tutoring industry is growing by leaps and bounds as people realize that in a tough economy, they’ve got to give their kids a leg up on the competition.

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