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August 18, 2011 02:42 pm

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Here is a round-up of this week’s education-related reports one day early! The Alliance will take a break from blog activity on Friday when the office takes a white water rafting trip in West Virginia. See you Monday!

“Public Perception of U.S. Education” Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll

This study investigate’s the public’s attitude toward America’s public schools. Researchers asked roughly 1,000 Americans questions about education issues including quality of teachers, charter schools, voucher programs and more. The study found Americans have great appreciation for and trust in public school teachers, but less so for teacher unions at our nation’s schools in general. Nearly three in four Americans have trust and confidence in public school teachers and believe they should have flexibility in how they teach curriculum. Nearly 50 percent of Americans said they believe teacher unions have hurt the quality of public school education in the United States, while 26 percent said they have helped and the rest believed they made no difference.

“Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?” Program for International Student Assessment

This report shows the United States is far behind many countries around the world in student math proficiency. America ranked 32nd out of 65 countries that participated in the latest international PISA exam that is administrated to samples of 15-year-old students in different countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Despite the United States’ relatively poor standing, Massachusetts ranked among the highest performers, along with Switzerland and Singapore.

“The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2011” ACT

ACT’s annual report released this week shows three in four students who took the ACT test did not achieve all of the company’s preparedness benchmarks and therefore will likely need to take a remedial course to brush up on high-school material while in college. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance and former West Virginia governor, says this type of remedial course taking is dangerous because students are more likely to drop out of college if they feel like they repeated high school material.

“2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book” Annie E. Casey Foundation

One in five American children are living below the poverty line, according to research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The study, published this week, found child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009, resulting in 14.7 million children — or 20 percent — being poor in 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation’s youth lived in low-income homes.

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