School Bored

A paper published by the Center of American Progress finds that students do not feel challenged at school. For example, more than half of 12th graders feel civics and history classes are often -- or always -- too easy. This finding was consistent across grades and subject matter.

The analysis, by Ulrich Boser and Lindsay Rosenthal, found a "disturbing disconnect between student engagement and test scores." Many students -- 21 percent of 12th graders and 37 percent of fourth graders -- reported that math classes were "too easy." But, only 40 percent of fourth graders and 35 percent of eighth graders were deemed proficient on the National Assessment for Educational Progress math test.

Boser and Rosenthal explain this disconnect by pointing to gaps between lessons and the test questions. "It's also possible that students do poorly on" the test "because they're not challenged in school," they wrote.

Student Perceptions:
A report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's
Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project

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