Corey Lee Wilson
Statistics Show America’s Education System is Failing
Liv Finne, a former adjunct scholar now serving as Director of the Center for Education at Washington Policy Center, has been analyzing education policy for the past 13 years. Her research suggests the unmistakable decline in the literacy of America’s students from fourth to twelfth grade is a direct result of the shift from academic excellence toward social constructs such as CRT.
“Internationally, we do pretty well at the fourth grade,” Finne told The Epoch Times, “but we decline from there.” Recent statistics support her claim.
Government data for 2019 shows the average fourth grader has a 41 percent proficiency level in mathematics. By the eighth grade, the proficiency level drops to 34 percent. By the twelfth grade, America’s students have an average math proficiency level of only 24 percent. In reading, fourth graders have an average proficiency rate of 35 percent. By eighth grade, the proficiency level drops to 34 percent, and by the twelfth grade, America’s average student shows only a slight proficiency improvement to 37 percent. In writing, the proficiency levels are 28 percent in fourth grade with eighth and twelfth graders sharing a score of 27 percent.
America’s students fare worse in science, with fourth-graders having only a 36 percent proficiency rate and eighth-graders dropping to 35 percent. Twelfth-graders have only a 22 rate of proficiency in science. The worst scores come in history, with fourth-graders starting out with only 20 percent proficiency and dropping to 15 percent by the eighth grade. By grade 12, America’s students have a paltry 12 percent proficiency level in history.
Recent numbers from USA Facts show similar results. According to Finne, there are a number of reasons for the steady decline in literacy among America’s students the longer they remain in school. Number one is “the low expectations we have of our teachers.”
Lowering the Academic Achievement Bar
Rather than develop curriculum that provides students with the qualifications needed to graduate high school, Finne says the education system has opted to lower the bar of academic standards.
“They’re lowering the bar in a couple of ways,” Finne explained. “Like the Ethnic Studies framework passed by the State of Washington in 2019, critical race theory concepts are now woven into the learning standards of all of the different subjects.”
As Finne explains, traditional educational standards have been reorganized into systems of oppression and the whole CRT construct—a “false philosophy from radical professors in higher education” is now being “imposed as the truth” in the standards of learning in K-12 schools.
“When you take attention away from the basics, and focus on teaching this ideology, you’re going to get a lowered level of knowledge and skill acquisition of the basics in reading, math, history, and science; not to mention learning falsehoods in history like the 1619 Project,” Finne insisted. “It’s astonishing.”
The Status Quo System
According to Finne, the new push by the school system to abandon efforts of academic achievement and shift toward social constructs like CRT is an effort to hide the fact that they have failed in their jobs to educate our children.
“The whole idea is that if the community knew that their schools are not educating their children to basic levels they would rise up,” Finne said. “Just look what’s happening now with the uprising of parents against CRT in places like Loudoun County [Virginia] and they’re still going forward with it. It’s a huge uphill battle for parents.”
“The whole system has promoted children whether they learn the content or not,” Finne said. “So why should they care if a whole generation of children lost the content of a year (from the pandemic)? It’s consistent with their practice. They do not individualize education. They don’t make sure each, individual child is ready to go on to the next grade. They move them along, especially minority children. The only people blocking real reform are the defenders of the status quo, the ones who like it just the way it is.”
Teachers Unions are indeed the ones who fight against charter schools, school choice, and parental involvement and fought to keep kids out of classrooms during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Finne, “if they really cared about black lives, they would be expanding their options for charter schools. But they’re not. If these critical race theorists are truly intent on helping the children, they would be going after the unions. But they’re not.”
The Silver COVID-19 Lining
Ironically, Finne believes the greatest hope for the education of America’s children will rise from the ashes of the COVID-19 school lockdowns.
“The silver lining is we will eventually figure out how terrible it has been,” Finne said. “Through the COVID shutdowns it has become clear how far behind so many kids are and the movements to expand school choice is not going away, because parents have woken up. That’s what’s so exciting about the COVID school shutdowns. Together with the takeover of the schools by this crazy critical race theory idea that children are bad and if they’re white they’re racist and if they’re not white they’re victims, that is going to lead to lawsuits.
“Maybe out of the ashes of this, school choice will arise,” Finne opined of the educational chaos that ensued during the lockdowns. “This is still a democracy. The exchange of ideas is still happening in education because we do care about our children. That’s what I’m hoping; that people will see the wisdom of giving parents real control, not just window dressing like involving parents and having parent involvement coordinators, but real control.”
Content per the Patricia Tolson “Statistics Show America’s Education System is Failing: CRT and Lower Expectation Equals Fewer Literate Graduates, Expert Says” Epoch Times article in January 2022: