22 de marzo de 2010

Desempeño educativo

A propósito de un discurso reciente de Arne Duncan, Secretario de Educación de los Estados Unidos, George Will (columnista del Washington Post) reflexiona sobre las variables que mejor predicen el desempeño de los alumnos en el salón de clases.

Aquí, en mi opinión, los párrafos más importantes de su editorial publicado el domingo 21 de marzo:

Plainly put, the best predictor of a school's performance is family performance -- qualities of the families from which the students come. Subsequent research suggests that about 90 percent of the differences among the proficiency of schools can be explained by five factors: days absent from school, hours spent watching television, pages read for homework, the quantity and quality of reading matter in the home -- and the presence of two parents in the home.

If Duncan is looking for the high SAT scores that correlate with, and often are consequences of, AP courses, he should look for schools where educated parents are intensely involved with their children. The best predictor of SAT scores is family income, which generally correlates with family structure -- two parents in the home. Family structure is pertinent to the 9/91 factor -- between their births and their 19th birthdays, children spend 9 percent of their time in school and 91 percent elsewhere. For many children, elsewhere is not an intact family.

Government can do next to nothing about family structure, which is why it is pointless for Duncan to suggest that "access" is why "the door to college still does not swing open evenly for everyone."...


El editorial de George Will puede consultarse aquí (probablemente requieras suscripción).

Sus reflexiones son consistentes con el Coleman Report (cuyo nombre oficial fue Equality of Educational Opportunity) que es uno de los estudios sociológicos más influyentes en la materia en los Estados Unidos. El reporte data de 1966 y sigue siendo citado.

En el artículo se mencionan 'AP' (courses, classes). AP significa Advanced Placement y son aquellos cursos que tienen 'nivel universitario' y que se ofrecen a nivel bachillerato.

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