Mark Schneider is the Commissioner of the Educational Services Institute of the US Department of Education. He posted the following comments. March 23 at IES.Ed.Gov:
The title of this blog is taken from the opening of Arne Duncan’s 2018 book. how schools work. This was not a new topic for Duncan. In 2010, he said: “As a country, we have lowered the standards. We’ve cut them down because of political pressure and, in fact, we’ve been lying to kids and parents that they’re ready when they’re not. . . As a reminder, Duncan was President Obama’s Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2015, not a “usual suspect” for such a damning critique of America’s schools.
On Wednesday, March 16, the latest results from the recent High School Transcript Study were released. Unfortunately, they support Secretary Duncan’s charge that schools routinely cheat their students. (Read Linda Jacobson’s summary of America’s “Academic Mismatch” Right Here)
The NAEP High School Transcript Study periodically collects detailed information about the courses America’s high school students take, including information about the number of academic courses taken, the level of those courses (for example, algebra, precalculus, calculus) and the grades students receive. But perhaps NAEP’s most important contribution to the study of transcripts is that it also administers high-quality assessments of what students know and can do in a variety of fields, including science and math.