OTHER OPINION: School questions raised in Wyoming

By Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Moms and dads, do you want to know how your kids’ schools compare to national and, more importantly, to global competition?
Do you really want to know? Or are you satisfied with the claims of state and local politicians n as well as education officials n who continue to argue that your children’s schools are excellent?
Well, a coalition of organizations is offering the chance for schools all across America to find out the truth. Why not give your education leaders a call and encourage them to climb on board?
The global comparison is a joint project of America Achieves, a non-profit that seeks to raise the education bar nationally, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international economic development group.
OECD is perhaps best known for its global education test, PISA (Program for International Student Assessment).
What these two groups did was to invite 105 middle-class schools in America to take part in pilot study to compare themselves to the PISA data.
No surprise: The news was just as bad as ever. The students from the upper middle-class schools were outperformed by their peers in 24 countries in math and 15 in science.
Jon Schnur from America Achieves did note that U.S. students are performing “a little better,” so it is not as if the public schools are complete failures. But he adds this nation’s “modest improvements are not keeping pace with the rising bar.”
Here is a chance for Laramie County’s schools n as well as districts around the state n to prove they are as good as they say they are. Sign-up for the program, set to begin this fall, is at www.americaachieves.org/oecd-form. Do it. Do it now.
If nothing else, joining could uncover the hidden gems in Wyoming’s mix.

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