If, for the past half century, the U.S. has had average results on these tests while becoming the greatest country in the world, isn’t it possible that how we rank on some standardized test doesn’t actually mean much? Isn’t it possible that our failure to churn out the best test-takers in the world says more about societal issues than the education system? Isn’t it possible that teaching to the test drowns out the very creativity and innovation that makes America great?
Here is an uncommon editorial from a major news media outlet. While the writer is clearly left leaning, he states some important truths and some important questions. Of course, the education system is far from perfect and can certainly do better with regard to students with the greatest or special needs. Nevertheless, to frame the entire system as broken is a ruse to perpetuate deficit model thinking that will then require those same alarmists to manufacture solutions for the crises that they have invented.
The truth is that unlike the rest of the world, those that participate in the various international standardized tests by which the United States is compared, we attempt to include and teach every child. Most, if not all of the countries, that rank above us simply do not operate in the same way, nor are they typically as pluralistic as we are.