Originally Posted by Honest_Teacher
Would you like to posit another hypothesis as to why it's our highest SES quintiles that are performing the worst against peers internationally?
I think we could all think of many. Sure, curriculum is one. Hours of day in instruction, teacher quality, overall school quality, school climate, societal expectations or interactions with education, motivational structure of students, value orientation of students toward education, etc.
I'm definitely not arguing that curriculum isn't the reason. I just don't think we can draw conclusions from the data presented.
Regardless of the cause, it's clear that it's NOT poverty that's inhibiting student performance internationally; this is the argument made by many on the board for our lackluster PISA scores, and it's simply wrong.
First, I'd love to look at the data more closely. Second, it's only one data source, so it would be interesting to disaggregate other data similarly. But, assuming it shows what you're saying it shows, and that other data would support the claim, it's definitely compelling, and certainly adds weight to your argument.
Here would be my caveat: I don't think it shows that poverty is not affecting education, but I do think it would show that poverty would not be the only
variable affecting education. For example, kids in the lower quartile could be scoring lower than kids from other countries because of more than one variable - curriculum, poverty, teacher quality, etc.
But, you're right - that kids in the highest quartile are scoring significantly lower than kids in the same income group internationally would certainly be evidence that there are variables at play in the US other than poverty that are affecting achievement outcomes.