I asked this question of Marketmanila.com readers:
“In 2004, a National Diagnostic Test for Grade 6 Public School students was given in English, Math and Science. What percentage of those students scored 50% or more (got at least half of the questions right) on that test??”
THE ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE AND INCREDIBLY SAD ANSWER IS THAT ONLY 9.30% OF THE 1.3 MILLION+ SIXTH GRADERS WHO TOOK THE TEST GOT 50% OR MORE OF THE QUESTIONS CORRECT.
It is amazing how far perception or opinion differs from fact with respect to the academic capabilities of our public school students. Only 13% of all marketmanila.com readers got the answer correct, meaning, they are painfully aware just how appalling the state of public education is in the Philippines. The remaining 87% of readers were wishfully, hopefully, positively thinking that many more students managed to score at least 50% on those standardized nationally administered tests. In my day, getting a grade below 75 meant I had LITERALLY FAILED that class, it was a red mark, and a risk of not moving up a grade at the end of the year. In public schools, the standards aren’t only lower, they are apparently in the third basement.
ONLY HALF A PERCENT OR 0.52% (@6,500 KIDS) OF ALL 6TH GRADE PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE PHILIPPINES SCORED HIGHER THAN 75% ON THOSE STANDARDIZED TESTS IN ENGLISH, MATH & SCIENCE!!
I found these statistics on the website of Mike Luz — an acquaintance, friend and once co-Trustee of a school I was helping. See more details here, including how the Philippines placed 41st out of 45 countries which were given standardized tests in math and science. Grim.
It’s harder to find data on private school students, but at least I figured out that some 30% of high school students in the Philippines are enrolled in private schools. However, I can’t readily find figures on how much better (I hope) students in private schools are scoring on their standardized tests. Isn’t it amazing that it’s rather difficult to find any source that publishes the results of the National Achievement Tests given to public and private school students in 2010 and 2011? Isn’t it in the PUBLIC INTEREST TO PUBLISH THOSE RESULTS AS SOON AS THEY ARE SCORED? If you know of a source of these results, please leave me a comment, thanks.
And while I am on the topic of education, don’t think Pinoys abroad are necessarily much better off. If you haven’t already read this news report that is more than a year old, or the underlying report that sparked it, you probably should.
With the title for the article “Why are young Fil-Ams doing poorly in school?” and quotes like:
“A 2006 Seattle School District study also found that in the 10th grade WASL test, 73% of Filipino American students failed the science component and 55% failed the math component.”
The underlying study “reported that Filipino students focused their energies more on working so as to be able to buy expensive clothes and cars. Also, they were much more into dancing and singing than studying and earning academic awards.”
…you really have to wonder what has happened to our traditionally held view that education was generally extremely important and desirable???