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ETS “perfect storm report” April 3, 2007

Posted by @Doc in Education, educational reform, rich/poor gap, test scores.

I haven’t had a chance to parse this in detail, but the top line sounds about right:

Our nation is in the midst of a perfect storm, according to ETS researchers — and the forecast is grim — unless we invest in policies that will change our perilous course.

A report from ETS’s Policy Information Center, America’s Perfect Storm: Three Forces Changing Our Nation’s Future, looks at the convergence of three powerful socioeconomic forces that are changing our nation’s future:

  • substantial disparities in skill levels (reading and math)
  • seismic economic changes (widening wage gaps)
  • sweeping demographic shifts (less education, lower skills)

There is little chance that economic opportunities will improve among key segments of our population if we follow our current path. To date, educational reform has not been sufficient to solve the problem. National test results show no evidence of improvement over the last 20 years. Scores are flat and achievement gaps persist. Hope for a better life — with decent jobs and livable wages — will vanish unless we act now.

We must raise our learning levels, increase our reading and math skills and narrow the existing achievement gaps, or these forces will turn the American Dream into an American Tragedy — putting our nation at risk.

More, including the full report, here.

[THX: Jennie Ver Steeg]



1. angliss - April 3, 2007


I’m all about identifying that there’s a problem. Great. Thanks for backing it up with pretty graphs, citations, etc. But if you don’t provide me with suggestions as to HOW to fix the problem, you almost might as well be masturbating in a corner for all the good it’ll do.

At least I didn’t see what I expected (and read the sucker looking for), which was a strong current of “Testing shall set you free!” I’d have had a lot more to say if they had….

2. drslammy - April 3, 2007

Given the source, that’s actually what I was kind of expecting. But the willingness to acknowledge that there’s a widening have/have not gap is certainly off-message. From the perspective of the “reform” camp, anyhow….

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