Epilogue—Mr. O sounds off about test scores: In yesterday’s post, we noted two basic facts:
Fact 1: Test scores are way up on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the widely heralded “gold standard” of educational testing.Last night, we saw what happens when an entire nation agrees that no one will ever make accurate statements. Bill O’Reilly, a former school teacher, started his program like this:
Fact 2: No one reports this fact.
O’REILLY (11/18/11): Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.Mr. O is still complaining about those $16 muffins—the over-priced muffins which didn’t exist. But in that highlighted passage, note what four million people were told about the public schools.
Once again, Congress hoses the folks. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
So here is the real deal. The super-committee should triple the amount of spending cuts and should forget about tax increases for the moment. Next year, if the government shows the taxpayers it's serious about not wasting money, then some targeted tax hikes might be considered.
But I'll tell you what; I don't want my substantial tax check paying for Solyndra. I don't want to pay for $16 muffins and I don't want to continue funding programs that don't work.
For example, per-student spending on education, more than $10,000 per kid, 47 percent higher than it was 20 years ago. And the kids are dumber, the test scores lower. That's because discipline is broken down in the schools. And the family unit is under siege in America. So all the money in the world is not going to help the public school system until they impose standards and discipline in the classroom.
I could give you hundreds of examples of federal dollars going down the drain day after day.
Test scores aren’t lower, but liberals agree not to say this in public. We liberals luvv to criticize Bush—so we can’t say that test scores went up, by a lot, during the time he was president. (As in the years before that.)
Black kids’ test scores are massively better. White liberals don’t care about black kids enough to waste their time on such a fact. We prefer to parade around calling the tea party racist.
No one ever reports basic facts. Mr. O steps into the void, telling the public about those horrible test scores.
For the record, we will assume that Mr. O actually thinks that test scores are lower. This claim is advanced again and again, by everyone up to Barack Obama.
Career liberal leaders agreed long ago—our side will not tell the truth. Black kids' test scores? People! How boring!
Black kids? Darlings! Who cares?
Look who has a reading problem: Yesterday, at Salon, Gene Lyons noted many of the points we have been discussing. All the analysts cheered:
LYONS (11/18/11): Despite melodramatic pronouncements to the contrary by sundry politicians, tycoons, tycoon/politicians and media-enhanced “reformers” like former Washington, DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, the available evidence shows American students performing steadily better on standardized assessments of educational progress over the past 30 years.Someone actually stated some facts! Now, go ahead and read the comments.
“The only longitudinal measure of student achievement that is available to Bill Gates or anyone else,” writes Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute, “is the National Assessment of Educational Progress.” Scores on the NAEP have trended steadily upward to where the most underprivileged African-American children do better in 8th grade reading and math today than white students did back when the measurements began in 1978. But no, they haven’t caught up because white kids’ scores have improved too.
Over and over, people are told that test scores are lower. Commenters quickly started bruiting this claim in response to the Lyons piece. In most cases, these commenters didn't seem to have understood the basic things Lyons had said.
They didn't dispute his factual statements. They simply skipped right past them.
Our “career liberal” leaders are worse than useless. Our “educational experts” are anything but. Everyone praises the NAEP test scores—but no one reports what those test scores show!
You live inside a hall of mirrors. Disinformation rules the waves when Potemkin “elites” act like that.