The Gallup people just made the not so remarkable discovery that we don't measure students properly in schools.
From an article with the title "Bringing Education Back to Its Roots."
We've created a system for stuffing things into students -- facts, figures and content -- but not pulling things out -- their innate potential, the things they want to do and be. We are what we measure, but are we measuring all of the things that we value?
Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development at Gallup, raised this question in his keynote address on June 30 at the Education Commission of the States' 2016 National Forum on Education Policy.
Busteed discussed how we focus on simple metrics -- grades, test scores and graduation rates -- but this doesn't capture the full picture of success. We aren't paying attention to the other things that equate to success; it's not all explained by test scores, but we teach our students and parents that they are all that matter.
His solution, unsurprisingly, is not more testing but project based learning.
For those who want to read how the public feels about education these days, Gallup has a poll.
Some commentary on both of the above pieces can be found here.
As for test scores, ACT results are down. In my limited experience I can say students who do project based learning aren't necessarily the best SAT/ACT test takers as they don't do much test prep. Therefore, I don't see the country going far in the project based learning direction in the near future. However, students who don't concentrate on standardized testing can still do very well in college.