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Education

Amanda Ripley's book The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way is now available in paperback for $10.11 and it might.... (set in motion serious examination of education in America ?????? ). The links below bear on this.

Frank Cerabino reported in the Palm Beach Post on 9/3/14 the following on the quality of education in Florida at present.

"Despite all the FCAT-generated grades of “A” that Florida has been bestowing on its schools, the state’s students tend to do lousy when compared to the rest of America, according to the most recent results of the ACT test, a curriculum-based measure of college readiness, and a nationally recognized college entrance exam.

Last month, the ACT published a state-by-state breakdown of how the 1.84 million students did on this exam, which measures academic performance in English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing.

The ACT also reports “college readiness benchmark scores,” the test scores that indicate whether the student will have at least a 50 percent chance of attaining a “B” or higher or a 75 percent chance of getting at least a “C” in credit-bearing college courses in English composition, algebra, social science and biology.

Only 19 percent of Florida high school graduates met the benchmark scores in all of these four subjects. And Florida students were below the national average of benchmark scores in every subject tested.

Even worse was the ACT assessment of how college-ready Florida’s high school graduates are.

  1. Only 27 percent of Florida students are college-ready in science, the ACT reported. Which was only slightly worse that the 33 percent of Florida students who are college-ready in math, the 38 percent that are college-ready in reading and the 53 percent that are college-ready in English.
  2. About 70 percent of high school graduates in Florida took the ACT test this year, and they averaged a score of 19.8 out of a possible 36 points.
  3. How bad is that? Students in 45 states did better than Florida’s students; only four states did less well than Florida: Hawaii, North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the ACT state profile report."

The strongest immediate action is being taken to give greater importance to pre-school. The new mayor of New York is putting in place universal pre-K education for all kids. Here in Palm Beach County we are invited to the Florida premier of a new PBS series on early childhood, called "The Raising of America." The Oct. 9 event is sponsored by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and The Scripps Research Institute Jupiter, Florida. You can click here to register by Sept. 5. "We believe local community leaders will be intrigued by the current level of science in understanding early childhood and the growth potential for our local economy. Our understanding of the importance of early childhood learning and education is critical to the country's success, and Palm Beach County's ability to thrive."

The following links provide more information.

Education (27 links)

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