What Is the Worst School System in America?

ABC’s Tahman Bradley from Detroit:

We've always known Detroit public schools were among the worst in the nation but we haven't seen data like this before.

The Detroit Public School District held a press conference today to announce how Detroit fourth and eighth graders performed on a national assessment math test.

The results are stunning -- Detroit students scored an historic low.

Detroit schoolchildren ranked the lowest in the nation of participants on the National Assessment of Educational Progress math test, an assessment that is given to students in every state once every two years. Detroit has been participating in the NAEP test but this is the first time the city's individual results have been reported.

Sixty-nine percent of Detroit children scored below basic level on fourth grade math and 77 percent of Detroit eighth graders scored below basic.

The state appointed emergency financial manager Robert Bobb said no school district in the 40 year history of the test has ever registered such low number.

“This is an abysmal situation,” he said. “Today is a sad day for the city of Detroit. It calls on all of us to express our outrage.”

There were no measurable fourth graders at the advance level in math, 3 percent were proficient, 28 percent were basic. Among eighth graders, there were no measurable students at the advanced level, 4 percent were proficient and 18 percent were basic.

Bobb made it a point to say the horrible test scores are not the fault of the students, management was to blame.

Bobb was appointed by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) last March to straighten out the district's financial situation. He has earned high praise from parents, students and columnists in Detroit for his aggressive action in trying to hold school administrators accountable. He's closed more than two dozens schools, fired scores of teachers and principals, and exposed corruption throughout the district. Reading and science results for Detroit public schoolchildren will be released in the spring.

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