By Emma Smith
Underachievement at school is likely one of the such a lot widely-used phrases in schooling this day. As a discourse, it's been chargeable for influencing govt coverage, staffroom discussions, in addition to the pages of educational journals and the TES. it's also an issue that increases questions about what we think from a good and equitable schooling method. This publication presents a severe research of 2 facets of the underachievement debate, at all the 3 degrees of concentration - overseas, the united kingdom, and the person. at the one hand, it considers the 'crisis account' of falling criteria and failing students and, at the different, current another account, which urges a re-examination of the underachievement debate so one can think about who will be underachieving and why.
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Extra info for Analysing Underachievement In Schools (Empirical Studies in Education)
In fact, the level of criticism directed at SER is surprising. SER has been described variously as something akin to a ‘cult’ where ‘one either buys the approach or one doesn’t’ (Vaill 1991, 64, quoted in Ouston 1999, 1); as having a ‘social Darwinist eugenic rationale’ RECONSIDERING THE ‘FAILING NATION’ DEBATES 39 (Hamilton 1997, 129), and as being an ‘ethnocentric pseudo-science’ (Hamilton 1997, 125). School eﬀectiveness work has estimated that national systems, school sectors, schools, departments and teachers combined have been found to explain approximately 20 per cent of the total variance in school outcomes (Gorard and Smith 2004).
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is another large-scale national test that is used to monitor achievement trends in the United States. Also known as ‘the Nation’s Report Card’, NAEP has been administered annually to a randomly selected sample of students aged 9, 11 and 17 since 1969. In 2003, around 10 per cent of 9 and 11year-old students took part in the tests. Subjects assessed include reading, mathematics, science, US history, geography and the arts. The results are disaggregated for diﬀerent sub-groups of students, and have been available at state level since 2000 (NCES 2003).
Perspective we saw in Chapter 2. As LeTendre and other experts on the Japanese education system contend, cross-national comparisons, as demonstrated by US interest in Japan, are anything but straightforward: ‘the debate over international tests scores has acerbated RECONSIDERING THE ‘FAILING NATION’ DEBATES 31 the tendency to use educational data from Japan, divorced from its cultural context, to make arguments about schooling practise in the US’ (LeTendre 1999, 22). This chapter reconsiders the underachievement debate as it applies to the relative performance of national school systems and the ‘crisis account’ of falling standards that often emerges from the publication of international league tables.