Nearly half of America’s public schools didn’t meet federal achievement standards this year, marking the largest failure rate since the much-criticized No Child Left Behind Law took effect a decade ago, according to a national report…

The Center on Education Policy report shows more than 43,000 schools — or 48% — did not make “adequate yearly progress” this year. The failure rates range from a low of 11% in Wisconsin to a high of 89% in Florida.

The findings are far below the 82% failure rate that Education Secretary Arne Duncan predicted earlier this year but still indicate an alarming trend that Duncan hopes to address by granting states relief from the federal law. The law requires states to have every student performing at grade level in math and reading by 2014, which most educators agree is an impossible goal.


“Global talent pool shifts” by Sam Parker, EL Gazette (Nov 2011)

With steadily growing numbers of university graduates in countries such as China, Brazil and Korea, the US and main European countries have lost their dominance in the global graduate talent pool, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reported.
In its Education at a Glance 2011 statement, the OECD released data showing that, although one in four graduates are still in either the US or Europe, emerging economies are levelling the playing field with their steep increases in higher education graduates.
China, for example, now accounts for 12 per cent of graduates in advanced economic countries, while Brazil represents 4 per cent of graduates in emerging economies. Korea is catching up with Germany’s 4.6 per cent share of the global graduate pool to surpass France and Canada, which each account for 3.6 per cent of the world’s graduates, according to the University World News website. Japan, however, has maintained its 11 per cent share.
Countries such as Russia, Indonesia and South Africa were included in the analysis for the first time this year, combining with the statistics of the 34 nations defined by the OECD’s as ‘advanced economies’ to make up the total pool of graduates globally.
And although the quality of graduates in China or South Africa might be lower than those in the US or UK, Andreas Schleicher, the head of OECD’s education statistics, said analysts should not doubt their potential.
‘One mistake we should not make is to assume that countries that upgrade quantity cannot upgrade quality at similar speeds,’ he said.
The report also considered the percentage of university graduates in the workforce, noting that only one in five US graduates are newly employed, while 18 per cent of Chinese graduates are entering the job market. India was not included in this part of the study, however, so as a result China earned a high proportion of the talent pool.
The financial difficulty of paying for college is a possible explanation for the control shift in the global graduate talent pool, Schleicher added.
‘The proportion of OECD countries in the global talent pool is shrinking,’ he said. ‘One of the hypotheses is that higher education has become so expensive for individuals in countries like the US that the composition of the global talent pool has changed.’