by Marc Tucker, President of the National Center on Education and the Economy.
"Bottom line: high standards are necessary, but hardly sufficient. It is time to start setting realistic expectations. That means starting to share this larger agenda and helping the press and the public to understand that new standards can be the prelude to major improvements in student performance, but it is going to take years, many years, to match the performance of our best competitors."
"It is hardly clear that American teachers are in a position to teach their students to write well, any more than they are in a position to teach their students the mathematical reasoning behind arithmetic."
None of the countries that outperform the United States think that they got there simply by implementing challenging academic standards.
Teachers Lack Deep Understanding
- The main reason that students are not ready for college level mathematics is that they have not really mastered elementary and middle school mathematics.
- When we looked into why that is true, we discovered that it is because many of their teachers, from elementary school to high school, do not really understand elementary school and middle school mathematics very well.
- It will not matter what the mathematics standards for students are if many of their teachers cannot meet them.
- It will not matter what our writing standards are if many of our teachers cannot themselves write well.
"Among all the professions, school teachers did less reading as adults than the members of any other profession."