Are U.S. students falling behind?


first_imgThe results of the latest Program for International Student Assessment tests have been released, and there is both good news and bad to report for U.S. students. Professor Paul Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), puts it into perspective.HKS: What are the most significant findings in this latest round of tests?PETERSON: If you want to talk about the good news first, then you have to look at the state of Massachusetts because, once again, it’s showing that it’s doing very well on these tests. It’s comparable to the best countries around the world. We have put together a pretty good school system here in Massachusetts. It’s always been good, but it’s gotten better in recent years.The bad news is that the country is not like Massachusetts. Only 2 percent of the students in the United States attend schools in Massachusetts. The other 98 percent aren’t doing so well, and the PISA [Program for International Student Assessment] results show us that … compared to three years ago, we’re down — down in math, down in science, down in reading. In reading, it’s not down by much, but it’s down, and the sad part is, is that we were moving up between 2006 and 2009 and that direction has now reversed itself.HKS: The news is basically negative for American schoolkids?PETERSON: Well, the Germans are doing well. The Germans are moving up year by year, and they were shocked at how bad they were performing back in the year 2000, and they have turned it around, and they are now No. 5 or 6 in the world. And the Canadians are doing very well. They’re right up there with the Germans in all three subjects, and the United States is way down the list. We are the lowest-performing OECD country — those are the industrialized countries — we’re the lowest other than Greece and Sweden. That’s, where we are now 28, 30 — way down the list, especially in math and science.HKS: Are the trends for American schoolkids all negative?PETERSON: We really need to pull up our socks and figure out how to do better.HKS: To what do you attribute these negative results?PETERSON: There are a lot of factors. We have a state and local system of education, where every state is different. We sort of have an educational system where no one’s in control. We don’t know whether it’s the local school board, or whether it’s the state government, or whether it’s the federal government, and everybody points their fingers at somebody else.We have very powerful teachers’ unions, two of them. And both of those unions are fighting for their members, as you can expect, but who’s fighting for the students? And you just sort of wonder whether the students are being forgotten in the whole picture.HKS: If you were to prescribe policy solutions, what would those be?PETERSON: I think we have to tell our students what they need to learn and you can do that — like the Germans do — by having tests in very specific subjects, telling them that if you want to go on to university, you have to do well in these subjects. And they have a very good vocational program for those who are not going to go on to university, and so students have a choice.But it’s a very definite program of studies that students are expected to follow in high school. We have a more ambiguous sense of what we want our high school students to learn in this country.HKS: What are the consequences if we don’t find solutions for our education system?PETERSON: Well, in the book that I’ve written with two colleagues, called “Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School,” we point out that, unless we pull ourselves up to the level of the Canadians and the Germans, we are going to be foregoing about a half percent of GDP growth that we could otherwise enjoy, enough to pay 20 percent more to all of our workers over the course of the 21st century. So, this is not just a story about what’s happening in school. This is a story about what’s happening to the quality of our workforce. Our workforce has to be skilled in the 21st century, if we’re going to have a growing economy.last_img read more

VanderMark first in Crystal feature


first_imgCRYSTAL, Mich. (July 11) – Gary VanderMark was first across the stripe in Saturday’s Allstar Performance IMCA Modified feature at Crystal Motor Speedway.Brady Hollenbeck wasted no time in gaining the lead while VanderMark, Vern Buskirk, Johnny DeYoung and Chance Hoppes dueled for second and third.Hollenbeck led the event until the white flag lap when VanderMark edged under him to take the lead and the win.last_img

Hungary Appoint Belgian Manager On A 2-Year Deal


first_imgHungary have appointed Belgian manager George Leekens as their new manager on a two-year deal.Highly experienced Leekens replaces Bernd Stock, who left the post immediately after he failed to lead the team to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.Hungary failed to qualify for Russia 2018 as they lost out to European champions Portugal (automatic World Cup place) and Switzerland (playoff place) in Group B of the European qualifiers.All attention will now shift to the qualification series for the 2020 European Championship as Hungary bid to make it a second successive appearance at the tournament after they featured in the 2016 in France.Related2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (Europe): Former Winners On The BrinkOctober 8, 2017In “Europe”Fernando Hierro Named Spanish Manager For Russia 2018 World CupJune 13, 2018In “Europe”2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (UEFA): France, Portugal Qualify; Netherlands Eliminated Despite WinOctober 11, 2017In “FIFA”last_img read more

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager takes big step in recovery


first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “Absolutely,” he said. “For sure, because when you finish your season, you want your best guys and you want Julio to be his strongest. Sure, that’s something we have in mind, no doubt.”Urias has retired 17 of the 19 batters he has faced in six spring innings, giving up one hit, walking one and striking out six.ALSOClayton Kershaw threw another bullpen session Thursday morning. The 30-pitch workout included his full pitch mix and was done at nearly full intensity. Kershaw will likely throw to hitters in a live batting practice session in a few days. …Max Muncy was scratched from the starting lineup for Thursday’s day game. Muncy came down with a sore right wrist/forearm after playing in Wednesday night’s game. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error GLENDALE, Ariz. — Corey Seager’s latest step forward in his recovery actually involved a lot of standing around.Seager played shortstop for three innings in a minor-league camp game. It was his first defensive action in a game since April 29, before Tommy John and hip surgeries.“It was nice to move around. It was. It’s been a long time,” Seager said. “It was just nice to get on the field again.“You have to try and find the timing of pre-pitch and stuff like that. But for the most part, it was a lot smoother than I expected.”center_img Seager had just one ball hit to him in the three innings, handling an infield single. He didn’t have a chance to throw the runner out but made the on-the-run throw to first base anyway.“Didn’t hesitate. Just kind of did it,” Seager said. “No (chance to get the out), but I wanted to finish it. Just to say I did it. Kind of check that one off the list.”There are no more items on that list, only incremental increases as he gets closer to returning to full game action.“I just gotta play,” he said. “I think that’s about it. It’s just building up innings at this point.”VERDUGO SPOTGoing into Thursday’s games, Alex Verdugo was batting .280 (7 for 25) in Cactus League games – well short of the .450 he joked he might need to hit this spring in order to make the Dodgers’ season-opening roster. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has seen enough to say Verdugo will likely have that roster spot when the season starts in two weeks.“Right now as it stands, it looks that way,” Roberts said. “But nothing is set. He’s still got to go out there and play.”How much Verdugo will actually play if he does make the roster is cloudy. The Dodgers plan to play Cody Bellinger in right field and A.J. Pollock in center field on a nearly daily basis. Joc Pederson provides a left-handed bat in left field.“I think the way we use our roster … there’s going to be opportunities,” Roberts said. “His versatility in the outfield, the left-handed bat, the way he can conduct an at-bat, the bat-to-ball skill plays for me in a lot of different ways.”CAP TALKLeft-hander Julio Urias is scheduled to start Friday night’s exhibition game and likely won’t pitch past the third inning as he did in his last start. The Dodgers are proceeding cautiously with Urias, building him up as a starting pitcher even though it seems unlikely he will open the season in that role.“His innings are valuable and just how the roster shakes out will obviously make our decision,” Roberts said. “But to have him built up so we have an option, that’s what we plan on doing.”The Dodgers also plan on limiting Urias’ innings this season. He pitched just 22 innings last season (including 6-1/3 in the postseason) after returning from major shoulder surgery in 2017. The Dodgers are wary of increasing that number by too much this season so it’s unlikely he will be available for more than 12 to 15 starts in total with some relief innings thrown in.Roberts said he doesn’t know what Urias’ innings limit will be – “I don’t think it’s a hard number,” he said – but he acknowledged it makes sense to save those innings for later in the year.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season last_img read more