What is going on in our schools today?

We have been discussing this issue on my program for a while and now new data is discovered that begs the question again, what is going on in our schools today?

CNS News is reporting about a report to Congress by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that states 73% of 8th graders tested below the proficiency level in geography last year.

For those of you who are using common core math processes to figure out what percentage test proficient or above I will make it easy for you and tell you only 27% did.

This report analyzed nationally representative test data from the U.S. Department of Education, the GAO report found that only 27% of eighth graders nationwide scored at either the proficient (24%) or advanced (3%) level on standardized geography tests in 2014.

Now here comes the bad news almost half (48%) displayed only partial mastery of the subject, and a quarter (25%) scored below basic competency on the administered geography tests.

Could it be we rely too much on smart phones with their geography apps?

I know I rely too much on spell check and often get burned by that.

Are we not emphasizing geography in school?

Is geography no longer considered important?

We have apparently not improved in this area for 20 years.  These results showed no improvement since 1994.  In 1994 4% of eighth graders tested at the advanced level and 24% at the proficient level.

Is geography no longer considered important by the professional educators?

According to the report “Geography is not taught in a class dedicated to geography, it is taught as part of social studies.  Problem is eighth grade teachers reported spending a small portion (10%or less) of their social studies instruction time on geography.”

According to the article “geography is defined as one of 10 core academic subjects in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), states do not have to include it in their mandatory assessments.”  This is resulting in educators who say they were under “pressure to emphasize other subjects” such as math, reading, and science, and that “allocating resources for geography education was challenging in the face of greater national and state focus on tested subjects.”

According to the GAO report “Department of Labor, employment of specialists in geography, or geographers, is projected to grow 29% from 2012 to 2022 – much faster than the average 11% growth for all occupations”.

I have a yearning to learn, when I do not know something I immediately look it up.  I do not want to go through life ignorant of basic information like geography.

Is the desire to learn what you do not know gone?

Learning is a lifelong pursuit and we as parents and adults should instill that in our children.

Let’s discuss this today on my program, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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