Greetings, Geneva families. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) conducts many studies of how American students are doing in school. Results from the 2019 Math and Reading Assessments have been published. There are three skill levels: Advanced, Proficient, and Basic. “Proficient” for the NAEP means a student has “demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.” “Basic” means a student only has partial mastery.
Of High School seniors tested in public schools across the country in 2019, 6% scored Advanced, 31% scored Proficient, 33% scored Basic, and the last 30% scored below Basic. That means that nearly 2/3rds of our nation’s seniors in high school read below a proficient level. In math, it’s even worse. 3% scored Advanced, 21% scored Proficient, 35% scored Basic, and 40% scored below Basic. That means 3/4ths of our nation’s seniors score below proficient in math. (You can see all the data and much more at www.nationsreportcard.gov). I would anticipate that scores would be even lower this year as so much school time has been lost to Covid distancing.
Statistics can get dull quickly, and you’ve heard these things before. However, we have a tendency, as Voddie Baucham would say, to think that the bad schools are always “out there,” and that our local public schools are better. We have a tendency to believe the hype about STEM programs and dual-credit classes and high GPA’s, and it’s easy to worry that a small private Christian school won’t adequately prepare students for the real world. And then there is the desire to give our children a “normal” childhood, and normal means, when they’re older, football games and dances and pop culture.
May I encourage you to consider anew how valuable your investment in your child’s Geneva education is and will be? If we realize that “normal” in America now means a poor education that also inculcates children with a disdain for traditional values, for God, and the Bible, then...be reassured!
At Geneva, your children are studying Truth! Their foundations are strengthened and informed by the Word of God. We don’t need tablets in order to teach students to read deeply and think soundly. Our students learn to reason; they are learning. And our graduates? They have done very well in college and the marketplace. (The only problem there we have found, is that often the college courses are too simplistic).
As many wonder about the future of our country and ask, “What can we do?” I think, train up your children well in the Lord! Do that, and you will be doing the most important thing there is to do. So, chins up, keep the youngsters working hard (it’s supposed to be hard), and love your neighbors. And thank you for making Geneva possible...it’s a group effort, the community of saints!
P.S. If you want a snapshot of outcomes of Classical & Christian Education graduates, take a look at the Good Soil Report put out by Notre Dame!
Brian Turner, Headmaster