The story, Your Child Left Behind, by Amanda Ripley is about a recent study authored by Stanford economist Eric Hanushek and two of his colleagues. The report tests what the Hanushek calls the “diversity excuse” or the phenomenon of parents believing that although their public schools are in poor shape their kids are doing just fine. Here is an excerpt from the article:
These days, the theory Hanushek hears most often is what we might call the diversity excuse. When he runs into his neighbors at Palo Alto coffee shops, they lament the condition of public schools overall, but are quick to exempt the schools their own kids attend. “In the litany of excuses, one explanation is always, ‘We’re a very heterogeneous society—all these immigrants are dragging us down. But our kids are doing fine,’” Hanushek says. This latest study was designed, in part, to test the diversity excuse.
To do this, Hanushek, along with Paul Peterson at Harvard and Ludger Woessmann at the University of Munich, looked at the American kids performing at the top of the charts on an international math test. (Math tests are easier to normalize across countries, regardless of language barriers; and math skills tend to better predict future earnings than other skills taught in high school.) Read Entire Post