Thursday, August 19, 2010


Let's remember that the national average of a 21 on the college admissions test, the ACT, announced yesterday, is about as good as a CHAIR LEG could do on the test.

A perfect score is 36, and that's very hard to get, but a score of 21 is what would be posted by someone on the verge of functional illiteracy . . . and remember, that is the average, which means half of those taking the test did worse.

Nebraska's average score of 22.1 is actually pretty embarrassing on that 1-to-36 point scale, considering that we have relatively few test-takers who are African-American and Hispanic, two student groups who have notoriously low test scores for various reasons.

The Wall Street Journal reported that 75% of 2010 graduates who took the ACT had scores so low on the individual tests, especially science, that they lacked the academic skills to pass an entry-level college course in those subjects. That means our high schools have a 25% success rate in meeting their basic mission.

Rather than celebrating that Nebraska "beat" the national average on the ACT, we really ought to demand that the State of Nebraska compel the ACT to publish the test questions and send parents the test booklet with their child's answer sheet. Then we can all see the kinds of mistakes that our kids are making after 12 or so years of educating them to the tune of more than $10,000 per pupil per year.

There would be an immediate stampede to private schools and how-to books on homeschooling, betcha.


When you compare ACT scores to our national average, keep in mind that the U.S. ranks 12th in the world among industrialized nations academically.

Omah Public Schools is spending $12,050 per pupil in operating costs, which rises to $15,200 when capital costs are added. OPS has built a good magnet school system, with the exception of the leftist International Baccalaureate program and the Marxist oriented social justice magnet. However, by all the stats, OPS has failed miserably, near the bottom of the nation, in the education of disadvantaged students and minorities. The first step that must be taken is the hiring of a new superintendent, one with a proven expertise in the education of disadvantaged children.That much should be obvious.
Omaha Public Schools spends $12,050 per pupil per year in operating costs alone, $15,200 when capital costs are added. While OPS has built a good magnet system, with the exception of such left-wing tinged courses as the International Baccalaureate program and the social justice magnet, it has failed abjectly in the education of disadvantaged children. This is proven by the near bottom of the nation statistics in this area that OPS has compiled.

The first step is, obviously, to hire a new OPS superintendent, with proven expertise in educating disadvantaged students. OPS taxpayers are paying for a new BMW and getting a used Mazda 3. This can and must end. .
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