By TIMOTHY KANEThe Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Kids in America are more likely to be successful and earn more money than they were just 10 years ago, even as they are increasingly frustrated with their schools and learning experiences.
In a study released Monday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that students in grades 8 through 12 who were engaged in at least one extracurricular activity in high school had the highest scores on standardized tests, while those who were disengaged in those activities scored the lowest.
They were also more likely than their peers in high schools to report being satisfied with their education, the report found.
In general, students’ aspirations for school were higher than their ability to meet those aspirations, said Mary Anne King, a University of Southern California researcher who co-authored the study.
She said the study’s findings suggest that students have a good opportunity to make gains in school even as the federal government has tightened its scrutiny of schools.
The latest research was conducted in the years after the 2008 financial crisis and the Obama administration’s No Child Left Behind law, which requires states to create new teacher evaluation systems.
But the current effort to streamline the teacher evaluation process and to cut costs has been slowed by legislative battles over funding and funding cuts.
In 2013, President Donald Trump signed legislation that called for the elimination of federal funds for teacher evaluation, but it is unclear if it will be enacted this year.
King said it is unlikely the new law will be implemented in time for the 2020-21 school year, which begins May 1.
The government spends about $2.4 billion a year on teacher evaluations, which are used to evaluate teachers on whether they have good teaching skills and whether they are providing quality instruction, she said.
The most recent data for the 2016-17 school year is based on a survey of 1,000 high school students, which includes about 100,000 students who attended private or parochial schools in the 10 states surveyed.
The researchers used the latest data from 2015 to determine that in that year, there were 991,000 teachers employed in public schools in all 50 states, about 6.7 million teachers nationwide and nearly 5.3 million teachers in private schools.
But there were only about 4,200 teachers in schools in California, which has a large percentage of students who attend public schools.