American kids say school is too easy


A new study shows that American children across the board find that school is no longer challenging.


Phil Walter

The Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank that champions "progressive ideas," has analyzed three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress to find out one thing: school is just too easy these days. 

The researchers asked students questions such as, "Do you understand your teacher?" and "Do you find the subject matter too easy?"

USA Today noted some of the group's findings including: 

•37 percent of fourth-graders say their math work is "often" or "always" too easy.

•57 percent of eighth-graders say their history work is "often" or "always" too easy.

•39 percent of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.

Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the center who co-wrote the report, told USA Today, "the broad swath of American students are not as engaged as much in their schoolwork." noted that the amount of work assigned to students may actually be backing up their claim that school is no longer challenging.  They noted that nearly a third of 8th-graders who were surveyed said they read less than five pages a day in school or as homework. A third of those surveyed also said they write lengthy answers on reading tests only twice a year.

There is a very large disconnect between what these students answered on a questionnaire and what their test results show. 

The Huffington Post noted that only only 40 percent of fourth graders and 35 percent of eighth graders were deemed "proficient" on the National Assessment for Educational Progress math test. Boser believes this is because students are not challenged in school, thus they do not learn what they need to know for a standardized test. 

Only half of students in 12th grade who were surveyed said they felt they were always or almost always learning in math class, while 72 percent of eighth grade science students said they aren't being taught technology.

Boser told the Huffington Post, "It's hard to look at this data and think that most students are being pushed hard."

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