Stanford economist, Eric Hanushek, goes beyond the typical country-to-country analysis of educational success and ranks individual U.S. states alongside foreign countries. Not surprisingly, the results are bleak.
Hanushek’s study shows that even when isolating white students, who, generally speaking, are not subject to language barriers or racial discrimination, U.S. states still underperform significantly, thus largely disproving the “diversity excuse.”
A frightening insight into the knowledge base of our teachers: “[A] 2010 study of teacher-prep programs in 16 countries found a striking correlation between how well students did on international exams and how their future teachers performed on a math test. In the U.S., researchers tested nearly 3,300 teachers-to-be in 39 states. The results? Our future middle-school math teachers knew about as much math as their peers in Thailand and Oman—and nowhere near what future teachers in Taiwan and Singapore knew. Moreover, the results showed dramatic variation depending on the teacher-training program. Perhaps this should not be surprising: teachers cannot teach what they do not know, and to date, most have not been required to know very much math.”