The NY Times has an article on .”>problems with the US education system
The author, Diane Ravitch, points out the following:
It is hardly fair to blame high schools for the poor skills of their entering students. If students start high school without the basic skills needed to read, write and solve mathematics problems, then the governors should focus on strengthening the standards of their states’ junior high schools.
So that’s the problem: the US expects senior high schools to teach grammar school subjects. And Ms Ravitch thinks the solution is to get junior high schools to do it instead…
If a student can not adequately read, write, and perform arithmetic by the end of grammar school (primary school here in Oz), then either keep them there or flag them as a special needs student. Heck, if they can’t do it by grade 4 there’s an issue.
Earlier in the article:
Only a minority of students – whether in 4th, 8th or 12th grade – reach proficiency as measured by the Education Department’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Big surprise: if they’re not proficient at grade 4, a student is unlikely to become so in grade 8. This is really simple: if a student starts to slip behind, they need to be caught fast – the longer you leave it, the less likely they’ll ever become proficient.