Education Week just released a report that supposedly indicates how children in one state will fair against children in other states when it comes to success in life. For my state of residence, GA, the results are depressing.
Apparently, this ten-year study predicts children’s chances of success not only depend on good school policies and sound educational, but on the situations, into which they are born. The study says that some states are just smarter than others, and those in the not-so-smart states, should not expect to get much smarter.
So how did they come to these conclusions?
These conclusions were come to by looking at 13 different criteria. The criteria include parental income and education, income and employment history. Early education was also a major factor. According to this chance for success index, having a poor result in each area lowered the chances of a healthy outcome.
How valid is this study?
Considering that it was a 10-year study, one has to assume that it is valid. Right? I mean, they spent a lot of money, spoke to a lot of people, and drew a lot of charts. Personally, I find it obvious and transparent. In showing huge gaps between states chances of educational and life success, I believe the experts are trying to spur parents nationwide to insist on more governmental educational controls. Georgians will want the success that people in New Jersey have, and Floridians will want to be as educated and happy as New Yorkers.
The only way to even the playing field is to have one set of controls, right. By pointing out that entire states have been left behind, it looks like the hope will be that No Child Left Behind legislation will finally be accepted. Of course, this study excites people like Terry Bergeson, Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction. It suggests more bureaucracy in education. It is good for job security.
What does this mean to parents?
At first glance, this study tells me a Georgia parent that I need either to relocate, or push my kid harder than other kids academically. It tells me that I am more poor, and have a depressed background, so unless I bow to the power of the almighty school, my child will be doomed. Fortunately, for me, I know the statistics do not fit. First, I am a transplant with a far different background than the average Georgian. Secondly, I saw years ago that public education was not looking out for the best interest of my child as an individual, and decided to homeschool. My kid may just have a decent chance of happiness, and so may thousands of others of children who ignore the outcome of this report and continue doing their best in spite of the evidence.