There’s no question that our current educational system is failing our students.
The statistics are staggering: among 30 developed countries, the U.S. is ranked 25th in math and 21st in science. While critics tend to rely on the three-decades long decline of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to document the dumbing down of American education, more alarming is our performance against the students of other industrialized countries. By virtually every measure of achievement, American students lag far behind their counterparts in both Asia and Europe, especially in math and science. Moreover, the evidence suggests that they are falling farther and farther behind. As educational researcher Harold Stevenson notes, although “the U.S. is among the countries expending the highest proportion of their gross national product on education, our elementary school and secondary school students never place above the median in comparative studies of academic achievement.”
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BBC News Europe
3 September 2011
The Vatican has rejected claims by Irish PM Enda Kenny that it sabotaged efforts by Irish bishops to report child-molesting priests to police.
It follows the damning Cloyne Report that showed how allegations of clerical sex-abuse in Cork had been covered up.
In a speech to parliament in July, Mr Kenny accused the Church of putting its reputation ahead of abuse victims.
The Vatican said it was “sorry and ashamed” over the scandal but said his claims were “unfounded”.
“The Holy See is deeply concerned at the findings of the commission of inquiry concerning grave failures in the ecclesiastical governance of the diocese of Cloyne,” said the Vatican, in a detailed response to the allegations.
Enda Kenny accused the Catholic Church of putting its reputation ahead of child rape victims
Mr Kenny had told the Irish parliament that the report into how allegations of sex abuse by priests in Cork had been covered up showed change was urgently needed. “The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’,” he said. Parliament then passed a motion deploring the Holy See for “undermining child protection frameworks” after a letter to Irish bishops appeared to diminish Irish guidelines on reporting sex abuse by referring to them as “study guidelines”.