Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Don’t know much about geography, either!

New federal testing results for geography were released today, and the results are not impressive.

In fact, Education Week’s headline pretty much sums it up.

“Students Lose Way in NAEP Geography Test”

Between 1994 and 2010 scores rose a bit for fourth grade students but stayed flat for eighth graders and declined by a statistically significant amount for high school seniors.

Not surprisingly, Daniel Edelson, the vice president of education at the Washington-based National Geographic Society, took a dim view of the new scores. He said:

“The basic story here is that we have not invested in geography education at all in the last decade. Both for workforce preparedness and national security, there are big costs to neglecting geography education. You need people who can reason about geographic challenges … people who understand water and energy systems.”

One interesting comment from EdWeek says:

“Geography and other social studies are often lumped together in courses, which can reduce students’ ability to form a coherent foundation of knowledge over time.”

Could that be a problem in Kentucky, too?

Unfortunately, the new report only provides nationwide results. Individual state performance was not surveyed.

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