20.10.05

TWO ROADS DIVERGED IN THE WOODS. One of the difficulties we faced at Wayne State was the lack of preparation our charges had, irrespective of their ancestry or national origin. Best of the Web links to more recent news from Michigan.

The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress results show significant improvement in math. But the test results show little improvement in reading scores overall since 1992.

The gap between Michigan African-American students' progress and progress nationally has grown during the last decade.

At least policy makers are thinking about the right things. When I started at Wayne, I discovered that Michigan students could earn a high school diploma without algebra, let alone finite math or pre-calculus. (Milwaukee required something similar to finite math. Perhaps that's why the tools that Michiganians used to build the cars came from Milwaukee.)
"I think it has to do with is the importance of high expectations and standards," said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, associate dean for science and mathematics education at [Michigan State]. "Particularly for students who are being underserved, particularly black students and urban students." The good news is that the gap between black and white students' scores in math and reading within Michigan has decreased.
Best of the Web observes,
We'll agree it's bad news that black Michiganites are doing badly, but why is it good news that nonblack ones are losing ground even more rapidly?

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