Aug 30, 2018, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota reading scores stay flat, while math proficiency declines http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-reading-scores-stay-flat-while-math-proficiency-declines/492114861/ The latest test scores from Minnesota schools show no improvement in math and reading and little movement in the state’s persistent achievement gap for students of color — but state education officials are downplaying the results, saying they don’t provide a full picture of student or school performance. Despite years of work to boost test scores and reduce disparities between student groups, statewide reading scores remained flat for the third year in a row, with 60 percent of students meeting state standards for proficiency in the 2017-18 school year. Math scores declined, with 57 percent of students meeting state standards, down from 59 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, the performance gaps improved slightly but remained stark: a 35 percentage point gap between white and black students in reading and a 38 percentage point difference in math statewide, with even bigger divides for students in Minneapolis and St. Paul…. Cassellius acknowledged that the test scores show that more work remains for Minnesota schools on a number of fronts, including proficiency rates in core academic subjects. … The Minneapolis Public Schools reported flat scores in math, where 42 percent of students met standards, and a slight uptick in reading, where nearly 45 percent of students were proficient, up from 43 percent a year earlier…. In the St. Paul School District, reading scores inched upward, with 38.4 percent of students testing proficient — a 0.6 percentage point improvement from a year ago — but math scores fell by two percentage points to 33 percent proficiency. “While we are pleased with the slight increase in reading performance, particularly in grades 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10, we acknowledge our lack of sustained and progressive increases in all areas,” Superintendent Joe Gothard said in a statement. “We’ve worked to address the challenges to achievement, and we simply have not made enough progress. This is disappointing.”… Despite the structural changes that ensued, the gap between white students and black students who tested proficient in math increased from 45 percentage points in 2013 — a “horrific” number in one school board member’s view — to 49 percentage points this year. In reading, the gap this year is similarly severe with nearly 50 percentage points separating white and black students…. “The fact is that Minnesota cannot succeed in a global economy if only 60 percent of our students can read or do math at grade level,” he said. “At a time when talent is in short supply and employers are desperate for workers, we cannot afford to continue to fail 40 percent of our students — many of whom are students of color.”
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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