NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Education Goals Won't Be Met

December 11, 1998

In 1990, a panel of governors, congressmen and presidential appointees drew up a list of eight education goals to be reached by the year 2000, including schools free of drugs and violence and universal adult literacy. Yesterday, the panel predicted those goals won't be achieved. Moreover, performance has actually slipped in some areas.

For instance, the National Education Goals Panel reports that since 1990:

  • Fewer high school seniors are proficient readers and fewer secondary school teachers have degrees in the subjects they teach.
  • The gap has grown wider between the proportion of whites and blacks that graduate from college.
  • A higher percentage of high school teachers say they were threatened or injured at school and more secondary school teachers report that students disrupted lessons.

The report contained some good news, however. Math proficiency is up and the proportion of college degrees awarded in science and math has increased for all students -- including women and minorities. Also, a greater percentage of parents regularly read with their pre-school children -- indicating that more will be ready to learn when they enter school.

Maine, Connecticut and North Dakota were among the top performers in each goal area. Showing the most improvement since 1990 were North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado and Texas.

Source: Kim Asch, "Schools' Progress Called Uneven," Washington Times, December 11, 1998.


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