New Report Suggests Possible Reasons for Student Proficiency Deficit

Judy Hartnett's picture
Friday, August 3, 2012

The Center for American Progress (CAP) has released a new report entitled “Do schools challenge our children” which seems particularly interesting on the heels of the Minnesota Board of Education releasing proficiency test ratings yesterday.

At first glance at these ratings, it seems almost obvious that schools are challenging the students too much and leaving many of them behind but a closer look into the education system raises some interesting points contrary to this assumption.

The key to compiling this report are student surveys which raise questions of their own. The question of the validity of the answers on the survey is the main issue with conducting these surveys but it really is not such a big issue in that the answers will still point toward the root of the problem. When asking a student if their school work is too easy for them, an answer of “yes” has two main possible reasons: that the school work is in fact too easy for the student or that the student just does not care about the work. In either case, the answer points toward the same root problem if not the same solution. Whether it is too simple of work or disinterest, the root problem in this answer is lethargy on the part of the students. The students are bored and not paying attention and getting the full value of their education.

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