Your Child Left Behind - Magazine - The AtlanticFor years, poor performance by students in America relative to those in other countries has been explained away as a consequence of our nationwide diversity. But what if you looked more closely, breaking down our results by state and searching not for an average, but for excellence? . . . We’ve known for some time how this story ends nationwide: only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan.
But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top? . . . Incredibly, no. Even if we treat each state as its own country, not a single one makes it into the top dozen contenders on the list. The best performer is Massachusetts, ringing in at No. 17. Minnesota also makes it into the upper-middle tier, followed by Vermont, New Jersey, and Washington. And down it goes from there, all the way to Mississippi, whose students—by this measure at least—might as well be attending school in Thailand or Serbia.
Pathetic. The most powerful country in the world, the largest economy in the world, and we can't teach our kids? We should be happy that Wisconsin ranks toward the top (if they even do...I have no idea) across the country when 2/3 of their 8th graders aren't even proficient in reading?