## Friday, November 13, 2009

### THE NATION'S REPORT CARD

Today we look at the Nation's Report Card. Sheesh. I didn't even know we got a report card.

Who are they going to mail it to, George Washington?

Ha Ha. Sorry, I momentarily forgot that the math joke blog was yesterday.

The Report Card is a result of our our taxpayer dollars at work within the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.

Dr. Stuart Kerachsky is the Acting Commissioner of the agency. He has a PhD in economics and over 30 years of business and education experience. He oversees people who track the condition and trends of education in the US and other countries.

They tell us this fall we are spending \$543 billion on 50 million students at 99,000 public schools, with another 6 million (11%) in private schools and 1.5 million (3%) being homeschooled.

• One in seven students wears a school uniform.
• One in twelve students leaves school before graduation.
• One in twelve students in public schools are classified as having a disability
• Kids are 50 times safer from violence when they are at school than when they are away.
• 55% of students are transported to school, at a cost of about \$750 per year.
• Given 3.2 million teachers, we have 16 students per full time teacher.
I'll spare you the detailed numbers, but overall, the report card shows that our kids are doing about the same as they were 35 years ago (when many of us old codgers were in school). Average reading and math scores in 2008 were not measurably different from the scores in 1971.

Here's a typical math question for a 4th grader; 56% answered incorrectly!

You need one piece labeled X, one piece labeled T, and one piece labeled R to answer this question. Which of the pieces has an angle greater than a right angle?

1. Only X
2. Only R
3. Only T
4. Both R and T

OK, let's go on to another one.

Kylena made a design from 3 pieces and called it a Shy Dog. Each Shy Dog used 1 T piece and 2 X pieces.

How many of each piece would she need to make 26 Shy Dog designs?
If she only had 11 T pieces and 15 X pieces, how many Shy Dogs could she make?
Explain and show your process of finding out the possible number.

Only 10% satisfactorily answered this question... did you?