ETS in the New York Times
Ohanian Comment: The education section of the February 23, 2005 New York Times has a quarter-page ad by ETS.
A picture of Kurt M. Landgraf, President & CEO, ETS (and former prescription drug salesman) graces the ad, which offers fear and trembling about the nation's high schools.
In one sentence Landgraf moans about "younger dropouts" (sic) and in the next sentence insists we must make high schools tougher. Fear Not: Landgraf announces that just as President Bush's domestic plan fixed things for elementary schools, it will now do the same for high schools.
Anybody who believes high schools should be more rigorous, needs to look up the word in the dictionary.
Here is the text of the ad.
What Will We Do When the Bell Sounds?
When the bell rings in high schools around the country this morning, will our schools be equipped to deliver excellence? Recent trends are not encouraging.
Between 1990 and 2000, the high school completion rate in the United States fell 3.3 percent. We now rank 17th among developed nations in the percentage of youth graduating from high school.
Among the states, there is a yawning disparity on high school completion rates, ranging from a high of 88 percent to a low of 48 percent.
Most troubling of all, the grades at which students are dropping out have shifted--from 11 and 12 a generation ago, to grades 9 and 10 today. Dropouts are younger, less educated and less prepared for work, life and democracy than ever before.
That's the bad news. Here's the good news: Just as the No Child Left Behind Act is bringing tougher standards and accountability to grades K-8, there's a growing realization that we need to do the same for our secondary schools.
President Bush has made high school reform a centerpiece of his domestic agenda. In the states, Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, chair of the National Governors Association, is leading a drive to redesign the American high school. The drive will be the subject of a high school reform "summit" this month.
"It is time for a new approach to high school," Governor Warner says, "one that both challenges our students more and gives them new opportunities to engage in meaningful, lifelong learning."
ETS is committed to high school reform. We believe high schools need rigorous curricula, taught by highly qualified teachers overseen by school leaders able to attract and retain highly qualified faculty.
In the coming weeks, we will publish research that examines high school completion rates. Our research will serve as a warning on the status quo, a benchmark for progress, and a platform for a vigorous national debate on high school reform.
When the bell rings in high schools this morning, we must be prepared to deliver excellence.
At ETS, we're listing to educators, parents and policymakers. We're learning from sound research. And we're leading the effort to achieve both informed public policy and informed educational practice.
Listening. Learning. Leading
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Doesn't ETS sell a test that promises to assess technical competence?
Kurt M. Landgraf