[今日美国}美国多数学生表示学校功课太过容易

          一份新的联邦调查分析数据显示,数以百万计的孩子发现学校功课根本不具有挑战性。该报告可能引发一场争论,关于新的学术标准是否应该全国通用或者是否可以作出差别。

  今天从美国进步中心显示的这些发现,华盛顿的一个拥护“思想进步”的智能团,分析了来自教育部国家教育进展评估三年的调查问卷以及每年的国家考试。

  研究发现:

  37%的四年级学生说他们的数学作业是“经常”或“总是”太容易了

  57%的八年级学生说他们的历史作业“经常”或“总是”太容易了

  39%的12年级学生说他们很少写关于他们在课堂上所阅读的东西。

  Ulrich Boser,这个中心参与撰写这份报告的高级研究员表示,该数据与最近电影里经常出现的学校生活犹如高压锅一样的形象不符。尽管有压力的孩子肯定多多少少的存在,Boser说但是“大部分地区的美国学生的学校作业都不是很多。” [转自天道留学

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School is too easy, students report

Millions of kids simply don’t find school very challenging, a new analysis of federal survey data suggests. The report could spark a debate about whether new academic standards being piloted nationwide might make a difference.

The findings, out today from the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank that champions “progressive ideas,” analyze three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, a national test given each year.

Among the findings:

•37% of fourth-graders say their math work is “often” or “always” too easy;

•57% of eighth-graders say their history work is “often” or “always” too easy;

•39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.

Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the center who co-wrote the report, said the data challenge the “school-as-pressure-cooker” image found in recent movies such asRace to Nowhere. Although those kids certainly exist at one end of the academic spectrum, Boser said, “the broad swath of American students are not as engaged as much in their schoolwork.”

Robert Pondiscio of the Core Knowledge Foundation, a Virginia non-profit that pushes for more rigorous academics, says the pressure-cooker environment applies only to a “small, rarefied set” of high school students. The notion that “every American kid is going home with a backpack loaded with 70 pounds of books — that’s not happening.”

 

The data suggest that many kids simply aren’t pushed academically: Only one in five eighth-graders read more than 20 pages a day, either in school or for homework. Most report that they read far less.

“It’s fairly safe to say that potentially high-achieving kids are probably not as challenged as they could be or ought to be,” Boser said.

The center supports new Common Core standards that are to be implemented nationwide in the 2014-15 school year. The standards, adopted by 45 states, are meant to be “robust and relevant to the real world,” giving schools “a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn,” according to the initiative.

Gladis Kersaint, a math education professor at the University of South Florida and a board member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, said she’s not surprised by the findings. “I think we underestimate students,” she said.

The push for higher standards — and students’ willingness to meet those standards — “suggests that they’re ready to be more challenged in math classes,” she said. “Hopefully this can be a motivator for teachers to say, ‘Yes, we’re moving in the right direction.’ “

  • Students return for their first day of classes at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday.

    By Gerry Broome, AP

    Students return for their first day of classes at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday.

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