The biggest indictment of our schools is not their failure to raise test scores

The latest results are available from the annual Gallup poll of middle and high school students. Over 920,000 students participated last fall. Here are a couple of key charts that I made from the data:

 2015 Gallup Student Poll 1

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 2015 Gallup Student Poll 2

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The biggest indictment of our schools is not their failure to raise test scores above some politically-determined line of ‘proficiency.’ It’s that – day in and day out – they routinely ignore the fact that our children are bored, disengaged, and disempowered. We’ve known this forever, but we have yet to really care about it in a way that would drive substantive changes in practice. The disenfranchisement of our youth continues to happen in the very institutions that are allegedly preparing them to be ‘life long learners.’

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11 Responses to “The biggest indictment of our schools is not their failure to raise test scores”

  1. Laurie McCullough Reply March 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Scott,
    Laurie from Virginia ASCD here! Hope you are doing well.
    Trying to get a regular “featured post” going through links from VASCD’s website and I am wondering if I could feature and link to this post for our members and other visitors. Many of them will remember your presentation at our conference and would like to see this.

  2. Scott, mind if I repost this on my blog? Such essential information that all educators should be aware of (already tweeted it out).

  3. Scott, These slides will help tremendously in a Critical Theory class. Thank you for posting them, and thank you for challenging teachers and teacher educators (where I have found myself now) to reach to do better for our learners.

  4. Scott – can I use your slides here and credit them in an upcoming talk?

  5. The problem under consideration is vital. Our future is hidden in qualitative education. Unfortunately, we are seeing the slump of student’s desire to grow mentally. So what’s happen? According to the latest research, technologies have become the main reason of the procrastination. So to say, there’s a lack of motivation for the young generation. Honestly, I couldn’t agree with this fact. If to use edtech products in class wisely, the problem of bad grades won’t exist. There are plenty of great tools which teachers can use to engage students. With pleasure I can share with you the tools which I use in class:
    1. Prezi is a service for creating interactive presentations.
    2. Unplag has been created for teachers and students to detect plagiarism in writing.
    3. Padlet amazing tool for creation of ‘virtual walls. It gives the possibility to create sticky note with any kind of information.

    The students engagement in learning depends on teachers’ creativity.

  6. Mr. McLeod:
    p. 17 (Methodology): “The data are not statistically weighted, and results from this survey represent the views of students who participated in the survey and cannot, with a high degree of confidence, be projected to the broader population of students or schools in the U.S.”

    Presenting a single graphic from this survey instrument is somewhat disingenuous. Especially so without that important methodological context. I don’t DISPUTE the value of engagement in schools, nor do I challenge the perennial issue of learner engagement extant over decades of survey/consideration – Rather, I question the validity of this particular instrument and, moreover, the broad brush stroke you employ with your selective use of one component in the (otherwise questionable) findings.

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