Saturday, September 16, 2006

The elite of South Carolina do the most to drag down the average

The Greenville News reports the following (which you should already know because you read it here first).:

  • South Carolina students in households with annual incomes above $100,000 scored 68 points below the national average.

  • Those from families earning below $10,000 were 63 points below peers nationally, the College Board data show.

  • All other income groups trailed their peers by 21 to 41 points.

  • So, the Greenville News had a choice between two headlines.

    Children from lower-income families gaining on SAT scores

    or

    The elite of South Carolina do the most to drag down the average

    The fact that the story ran at all, though, is a sign of progress. Once we begin to accept reality we can then do something about it.

    A friend on the faculty at Clemson sent me a link to an article about how
    U.S. students [in the US] are falling behind in math and science, and competition from abroad is intensifying. Our students rank 24th in the world in math literacy by the time they get to high school.
    So comparing SC to the US average is a far cry from comparing SC to the best in the world.

    3 comments:

    Evan said...

    The marginal utility of an additional engineer/scientist to a nation with few engineers will be great. But the marginal utility of an extra engineer/scientist to a nation with many engineers will be small. Could that be why we, as a nation, are slipping?

    That doesn't really explain SC's failures though. In fact, you'd expect the opposite of what the SAT data suggests. The problem must run deeper.

    kamran said...

    I am not at all surprised by the data! I have been absolutely flummoxed at the low standards of achievement of the children of the 'upper classes' of the upstate for some time now, and this lastest artcle (even with the incorrect headline) confirms my suspicion. There is a almost 'finish-line' approach to education in the state, especialy in those of us at the top end who need to keep learning and growing, and I am sure those children are microcosims of what is going on in those upper income households. The word is complacency, and it weaves through us here like kudzu.!
    "I have met then enemy, and he is us!"

    rory said...

    Some random thoughts:

    Is it possible that the source of income for South Carolina's elite comes from different sources than the national average, for example real estate or construction as opposed to technology?

    One of the biggest frustrations I have with the school system is the concentration of resources on lower performing children compared to high performing children. I have a daughter that is getting several hours of instruction a week to bring her up to standards in reading, but my son who is supposedly in the Talented and Gifted program only gets 2 1/2 hours of pullout "enrichment" once a week... and the TAG instruction is an art major who teaches using art projects.