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Grading Obama’s Education Performance December 6, 2016

Posted by geoff in News, Obama's Legacy.

HuffPo tells us that one of President Obama’s 2008 campaign promises was:

I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

So how are we doing on higher standards and more accountability? The Program for International Student Assessment, a study which evaluates math, science, and reading skills in 15 year olds in 72 countries every three years, recently released the 2015 results. Here are the results for the United States from 2000 – 2015 (2000 was the first year of the survey; some subjects were added after 2000):


Compared to the other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD), we’re roughly average in science and reading, and below average in math. You can see where we stand in spending on our students compared to the other OECD nations in this chart I stole from the National Center for Education Statistics (data from 2012):

Figure 1. Annual expenditures per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student for elementary and secondary education in selected Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita: 2012

So we spend quite a bit more than the average OECD country but get average or below average results. And during President Obama’s tenure, the scores for the United States have dropped each time the survey has been conducted.

There may be problems with this survey – I’m not too familiar with it. But at first blush it certainly looks damning.

And that damnation is entirely owned by our current president.


1. Tushar - December 6, 2016

>>Grading Obama’s Education Performance

What grading? Obama is not an educated man.
Sure, he has gathered fancy degrees, but no education.

2. Jimbro - December 7, 2016

I recently read a VDH column on the ignorance and arrogance of the media and our institutions of higher education. He proposed, among other remedies to the problem, a certification test at all universities to demonstrate the competence of the education they’ve provided.

It’ll never happen but it’s nice to think they’d be held as accountable as their graduates will be for their tuition bills.

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