Friday, October 19, 2012

Reality vs. Perception

What do you glean from these metrics?
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) the dropout rate in 1970 was 15%.  In 2010 the dropout rate was 7.4%.
  • NCES data also shows that NAEP scores are at their highest point since we started tracking in 1973.
  • There were 3,000,000 kids in kindergarten in 1970, but up to 4,200,000 in 2010.
  • There were 7,000,000 co-eds in college and grad school in 1970, but up to 18,900,000 in 2010, with more being women than men.
These metrics look pretty positive, yet confidence for public schools has fallen.  In 1973 58% of people polled by Gallup said they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in K-12 public schools. In 2012 that number was down to 29%.

When you dig deeper into the Gallup numbers you find that people realy like the school their kid attends, but that likability falls as one gets further away from their own school.  So, my school rocks, but that school across the country isn't so good.

What could account for such a difference in reality and perception?

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