Droppin’ Out

Eduflack is shocked, shocked, to hear that there is no U.S. participation in the upcoming 12th grade TIMSS.  That’s the big news that Newsweek “broke” late last week (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20205125/site/newsweek/).  Influencers like Ed in ’08 have commented on it this week.

Of course, Eduflack reflected on the implications of the United States dropping out of TIMSS two months ago (http://blog.eduflack.com/2007/06/11/opting-out-timss-style.aspx), following a Sarah Sparks article on the issue in Education Daily in early June.  We said it then, and we’ll say it now — It sends the wrong message at the wrong time. 

At a time when we are talking about increased rigor in the schools and the ability to compete for jobs across the world, comparing our science and math abilities to like-minded students in China, India, and Germany is a needed tool.  

I’d like to believe NCES and NSF and others that we don’t want to compete against a B-list international pool and that our educational resources, both financial and human, are better spent in other areas.  But at a time where we are all abuzz about student achievement and multiple measures and global competitiveness, it is the wrong message to just say “no” and close the door.  If not TIMSS, offer a better solution.  Any alternative will do. 

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