Raising Minnesota: Going head to head with Finland!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013

Six states outscore the champ: Let’s be clear about one thing. As far as we know, Finland has excellent schools.

By all accounts, Finland boasts a very civilized middle-class society. As part of the deal, the country tends to score quite well on international tests.

As far as we know, Finland has always scored well on international tests, dating to the start of such testing in the 1960s. For unknown reasons, Ripley seems to say something very different on page 2 of her book.

That said, Finland scores especially well on the international test called the PISA. In 2000, its high scores on the inaugural PISA created the latest of the low-IQ fads which dominate educational “thinking.”

That latest fad might be called “Finland chic.” Over the past dozen years, a cult has grown around the miracles which occur in Finland’s schools.

Many journalists have agreed to take the free trip to Helsinki. When they have returned, they have repeated their guild’s Official Approved Standard Tales.

Amanda Ripley joins this cult on page 2 of her new book, The Smartest Kids in the World. That’s why you ought to know what happened in math on the 2011 TIMSS.

The TIMSS is a major international test. Since it started in 1995, it has been taken, at different times, by virtually every developed nation.

How do we know the TIMSS is a major international test? In part, because that’s what Ripley calls it in her widely praised book! In the part of the book shown below, she refers to the TIMSS in the highlighted passages, which help establish Minnesota’s elite status in math:
RIPLEY (page 72): Of the three American students I followed, Eric was the only one who did not loathe math. Coincidence or not, Eric’s home state of Minnesota was one of only two states that came close to achieving world-class math performance. Roughly speaking, Minnesota ranked below just a dozen other countries (including Canada, Korea and Finland) in math proficiency; only Massachusetts did better in the United States.

When Eric arrived in Korea, he had a solid math background. There were lots of reasons for this: One might have been that his timing was good. Had he been born earlier, things might have turned out different.

In 1995, Minnesota fourth graders placed below average for the United States on an international math test. Despite being a mostly white, middle-class state, Minnesota was not doing well in math. When Eric started kindergarten two years later, however, the state had smarter and more focused math standards. When he was eleven, Minnesota updated those standards again, with an eye toward international benchmarks. By the time he went to high school, his peers were scoring well above average for the United States and much of the world. In 2007, Minnesota elementary students rocked a major international math test, performing at about the same level as kids in Japan.
In each of those highlighted passages, Ripley is referring to the TIMSS, although she never names this “major test,” not even in her endnotes.

In 1995 and 2007, Minnesota took the TIMSS as an independent entity. When Ripley says that Minnesota “rocked a major international test,” she is referring to Minnesota’s performance on the TIMSS.

In this passage, Ripley uses the TIMSS to establish Minnesota’s elite status in math. But all through the rest of her book, she ignores the TIMSS. She builds her book around the PISA, the test on which American kids have scored less well in the past dozen years.

We can’t tell you why Ripley made this decision. Tomorrow, we’ll review the part of the book where she gives her explanation.

Ripley focuses on the PISA, almost never cites the TIMSS. This helps produce the gloomy story about failing schools which elite “reformers” love.

Are we a helpless, pitiful giant as compared to miraculous Finland? You may get that impression from reading Ripley’s book. That’s why you ought to check the results of the 2011 TIMSS.

In 2011, nine states took the Grade 8 TIMSS as independent entities. (Only two states did the same in Grade 4.) Below, you see the way these states scored in math.

We include the overall scores for the U.S. and Finland:
2011 TIMSS, Grade 8 math, all students:
Massachusetts 561
Minnesota 545
North Carolina 537
Indiana 522
Colorado 518
Connecticut 518
Finland 514
Florida 513
United States 509
California 493
Alabama 466
For the record: On the TIMSS scale, 500 is set as the average score, with a standard deviation of 100. The Asian tigers scored substantially higher than both the U.S. and Finland.

Nine states took part in the Grade 8 TIMSS as independent entities. Six of those states outscored Finland in math, several by fairly large margins. A seventh state matched the Finns.

(On official reports from the NCES, the five-point margin between the US and Finland is designated as statistically meaningless. On the grade 4 level, Finland outscored the United States, 545-541. Again, the difference is marked as statistically insignificant.)

For what it’s worth, Finland has never scored ginormously well on the TIMSS. Perhaps for that reason (and perhaps not), Finland stopped taking part in the TIMSS after the 1999 testing.

In 2011, Finland returned to the TIMSS. It got outscored in Grade 8 math by the six states shown above, with Florida matching its score.

These TIMSS results were released in December 2012. Who knows? Perhaps that was too late for inclusion in Ripley’s book, which appeared in August 2013.

But Ripley completely ignores the TIMSS in her book, except when TIMSS scores can be used to establish some preferred narrative. And here comes something worse:

Ripley never mentions these TIMSS scores in her current public appearances. She still presents the standard story, in which miraculous Finland is kicking our keisters in math.

How odd! When it comes to Minnesota, the TIMSS is a “major international test.” Its results can be used to establish elite status in math.

But the United States matched Finland in math on the 2011 TIMSS. And six different states, out of nine which took part, outscored Finland in math!

In her public sessions in support of her book, Ripley doesn’t cite these facts. For C-Span’s tape of an hour-long session, click this.

Tomorrow, we’ll tell you a bit more about the TIMSS and the PISA. What’s the difference between these tests? What is Ripley’s explanation for ignoring the TIMSS, except when it serves a narrow narrative purpose?

On Friday, it’s back to Minnesota, one of our highest scoring states. Unless we disaggregate test scores.

Like Finland, Minnesota has lots of good schools. But is Minnesota really as good as Ripley says in her book? More specifically, is Massachusetts the only state ranking with Minnesota in the teaching of math?

Brace yourselves: Before long, we'll show you how white students in those states scored on this math test. Because Finland is largely unicultural and middle-class, this forms an intriguing comparison.

Almost all students in Finland come from the majority population and culture. To Finland’s credit, it never spent 300 years trying to eliminate literacy from a brutally oppressed part of its population.

As you may have heard, our ancestors did that! We live in the backwash of this vast historical crime. Almost surely, you can't learn how to deal with this by visiting schools in Finland.

57 comments:

  1. Bob, they didn't have literacy when they came here; they lived on farms where maybe a couple people in the big house could read and write; their parents and other people around them couldn't read and write. Django Unchained is not a documentary. This is foolishness. They did not develop some genetic or otherwise ingrained aversion to reading and writing from the hundreds of years in America but not from the thousands of years of non-reading in Africa. Since the 1980s in my state (New Jersey) educational resources have been lavished on blacks and they still have poor results. Thirty years!

    How I wish we in New Jersey could stop throwing money at ideas that don't work and use the money for drug research or SOMETHING productive. Letting the taxpayers keep it and benefit their own kids' education would be more productive, too. We are foregoing great things to maintain a fantasy that the rest of us are supposed to make a horse drink.

    Someone should answer for the waste. If there is a God, they should have to answer to the people who suffered waiting for cures for diseases. On earth, our elites are never accountable for their bad ideas and waste. They waltz away from it. Heck, they get rich off their bad ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What "doesn't work," Lionel -- educating black children?

      If you think so, the fact is that it's educating Lionel that "doesn't work."

      You really out to learn something about the historical changes in US minority education, lest you continue to reveal your own miseducation.

      Delete
    2. How many babies have died of cruel diseases because NJ spent money roads instead of medical research? For shame!

      Delete
    3. Hard to see a comparison between roads that people actually drive on and "education" that produces crappy test results despite costing us billions and billions . . . every year.

      Lord, if only we had that money for medical research. Or how about if we could spend it subsidizing health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions? If only. That would be doing good. I reject the notion that spending our money on schools in Newark, Camden, Asbury Park, etc. is the best use of our money. A lot of it isn't a good use.

      Delete
    4. Lionel,

      I notice you had a (lame) rebuttal of the 3:28 comment, but as pointed out at 2:17, you're quite willing to own your racism against minority children.

      Go away, you scumbag racist.

      Delete
    5. Do you need a Loan?
      Are you looking for Finance?
      Are you looking for a Loan to enlarge your business?
      I think you have come to the right place.
      We offer Loans atlow interest rate.
      Interested people should please contact us on
      For immediate response to your application, Kindly
      reply to this emails below only:
      mohammdloanfinacialservice@gmail.com

      Please, do provide us with the Following information if interested.
      LOAN APPLICATION INFORMATION FORM
      First name:
      Middle name:
      Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):
      Gender:
      Marital status:
      Total Amount Needed:
      Time Duration:
      Address:
      City:
      State/province:
      Zip/postal code:
      Country:
      Phone:
      Mobile/cellular:
      Monthly Income:
      Occupation:
      Which sites did you know about us.....
      mohammdloanfinacialservice@gmail.com

      www.mohammdloanfinacialservice@gmail.com

      Delete
  2. Lionel, go read something about literacy in Africa before you come back here with this idiosyncratic theory of yours. There existed writing systems and books in Africa during the time period you are talking about. There is nothing genetic about predisposition toward literacy. In the US during slavery it was illegal in many states to teach slaves to read and write. Church services became clandestine places to teach literacy. It was feared that slaves would find it easier to escape if they could read. Disparities in education continued after slavery with the separate but unequal schooling in both the north and south. That is what Bob is talking about. Arguing that slaves originally brought from Africa did not read says nothing whatsoever about what happened to their descendants in an American system in which literacy for those of African descent was systematically discouraged. You do not make up for that with extra school funding in the 1980's because literacy depends on having books in the home, exposure to people with large vocabularies who speak to you using many words during the preschool years, exposure to a variety of experiences while a toddler (so you have something to link those words to), people who can and do read books to you in the years before you learn to read yourself, and a culture that supports and encourages doing well in school. The continuing absence of these influences for inner-city and poor kids is why the money is being spent in NJ (and other places). But playing catch up is much less effective than having a rich learning environment from birth, so the money does not have as much impact as we all might wish. It has NOTHING to do with whether Africa had writing systems back in the 1600's. There has been literacy in Africa, just as there was literacy in Greece, Europe, China, India and all over the world. That YOU don't know about that is additional evidence of the emphasis our educational system places on teaching kids about Europe but not about the rest of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah the extortion should go on and on forever with the same crappy results - both Newark and Camden public schools taken over by the state despite hugely more spent per pupil than in the other districts.

      These are just idiotic excuses, like Oprah Winfrey saying that "millions" of blacks were lynched when the reality is fewer than 5000 lynchings total, of which 1/4 were whites and many lynchees were criminals so it was vigilante justice in an era when you couldn't dial 911. The "horror" of lynching is overblown and the "brutal oppression" of literacy is no doubt a ridiculous justification based on a relatively small number of incidents. (To be relevant, it would have to be hundreds of thousands of "brutal" incidents.) Were all those illiterate people in the hollers brutally oppressed from literacy?

      Its all so ridiculous. Why would one generation of access to reading and writing not be enough for black people to all read and write? Why do you think they are incapable? Surely there is some other factor and surely the factor is willful, not something the rest of us have any impact on nor responsibility for.

      Delete
    2. Of course, "literacy" is another distraction. Lots of the black violent criminals (70% of violent crime in NYC is committed by blacks) can read and write. The violence and criminality in black areas surely, surely has more to do with the bad test scores than anything historical. Its a huge distraction from education when people are constantly getting shot on your block.

      Delete
    3. Last I heard, Oprah Winfrey was not a historian.

      You are aware aren't you that not all white people read and write? Are the ones who don't deliberately refusing to learn? Lots of money has been presumably spent on them.

      How many lynchings do you consider acceptable in a community?

      Delete
    4. Yes, I was referring to illiterate white people in the "hollers."

      Acceptable or unacceptable, there weren't enough lynchings that I should still be hearing about it as some great national issue when the total number is under 5,000. The US has killed more than 5,000 people in wars based on total lies in my lifetime and Oprah Winfrey probably doesn't give a crap about those lives. She had on that Ken Pollack, Ted Koppel's son-in-law, to push the Iraq War and did she say "boo" about Obama destroying the infrastructure of Libya and leaving it ruled by gangs? She doesn't care about it and she has/had power to do something. Shame on her; its on her head.

      What Oprah Winfrey says about things that didn't really happen carries a lot of weight, surely, even though she is ignorant and/or dishonest.

      Delete
    5. Yes, I was referring to illiterate white people in the "hollers."

      Acceptable or unacceptable, there weren't enough lynchings that I should still be hearing about it as some great national issue when the total number is under 5,000. The US has killed more than 5,000 people in wars based on total lies in my lifetime and Oprah Winfrey probably doesn't give a crap about those lives. She had on that Ken Pollack, Ted Koppel's son-in-law, to push the Iraq War and did she say "boo" about Obama destroying the infrastructure of Libya and leaving it ruled by gangs? She doesn't care about it and she has/had power to do something. Shame on her; its on her head.

      What Oprah Winfrey says about things that didn't really happen carries a lot of weight, surely, even though she is ignorant and/or dishonest.

      Delete
  3. Bob, it looks like Ripley replied to Kevin Drum on this- I think you have probably seen it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMB (Your majesty keeps getting results!)

    "These TIMSS results were released in December 2012. Who knows? Perhaps that was too late for inclusion in Ripley’s book, which appeared in August 2013."

    Oh my BOB. You have stumbled across an acorn, and in a timely fashion after "suggesting" a more cynical reason last post. And of course, after our comments to that post pointing out this minor issue of having no data available when major decisions about the book were made and perhaps even the text written.

    "On official reports from the NCES, the five-point margin between the US and Finland is designated as statistically meaningless."

    Oh my, BOB, you don't understand the difference between statisitcal significance and statistically meaningless do you? And to use a BOB technique, in the future, every time you leave out the significance test when quoting studies, we shall accuse you of omitting data. You know, like when you claimed the US had outgained Poland on PISA from 2003-2009. When you do include it we will link back to this post and say BOB doesn't understand or misleads readers about what statistical significance means. That is the BOB way.

    "Ripley never mentions these TIMSS scores in her current public appearances."

    We'd have to take your word for it BOB, and we simply can't do that any longer based on your fudging history on this very book. Perhaps you know of other authors on book tours who point out data which undermine the sale of a book they worked on three years.

    But let's see what you omit when using these latest test data. Have you speculated as to a cause for the rise in these US test scores? Could it be all the accountability reforms which have been adopted that have the greatest impact at earlier grade levels? Who knows? We simply haven't seen it mentioned by those who hold themselves out as having some elementary and middle school teaching experience. What would a cynic conclude?

    KZ (On Doom as it is in Poland)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A careful researcher would mention more current data in her many interviews. Further, even the data that was available earlier does not support Ripley's "narrative," so railing at Bob because he mentions more current data does not invalidate his complaints about her book. It merely muddies the water so that people who do not read carefully will think you have a point, when you do not.

      Delete
    2. The data which was available at the time Ripley selected the three countries in which to follow American exchange students abroad does support their selection. Bob presented a "fact" he invented to try and refute the wisdom of selecting one of the three countries, and the data contained in his invented fact included test data available only after the country in question was selected.

      And again, for the rubes Bob runs, this doesn't make Ripley's book better. It makes BOB no better than Ripley.

      KZ

      Delete
    3. KZ, that isn't true. None of the data supports the inclusion of Finland because as Bob showed using earlier data, Finland did not rapidly improve from illiteracy, as Ripley claimed. Bob used other tests to show that Finland doesn't even outperform the US, but his main claim is that the justification offered by Ripley is not supported by her own data presented.

      Delete
    4. "None of the data supports the inclusion of Finland"?

      Lord have mercy. I guess it doesn't support the inclusion of Korea either?

      I think you are mistaking BOB's attack on Ripley's
      rhetorical fantasy about Finland's lowly status in pre-PISA testing days, not their consistent ranking among the leaders on the test she is criticized for focusing upon.

      KZ

      Delete
  5. KZ,

    I assume you are trying to be cute with the "What would a cynic conclude" stuff, insinuating that Somerby has a vested interest in downplaying the effectiveness of accountability reforms such as NCLB (I take that to be your point, but with you it's always hard to tell because you spend so much energy trying to be clever rather than getting to the point). If that is indeed what you are getting at, then your point is misguided, and you in turn are engaging in the same behavior you accuse Somerby of. Somerby has repeatedly taken people like Dianne Ravitch to task for an unwarranted hostility to NCLB (in Ravitch's case a new-found hostility). So he's not "omitting" the possibility that NCLB contributed to rising test scores.

    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-liberals-are-told-about-rising.html

    But let me get to my point: your incessant game of "gotcha" is tiresome and not particularly effective. Merely reciting "tu quoque" again and again doesn't move the debate forward, it just opens you up to the same catcall, as per above. If you want defend Ripley, have at it--if you think she is NOT presenting a novelized account of conventional wisdom, go for it. But pecking around the edges of Somerby's critique and thinking that you've countered it is just silly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "If you want defend Ripley, have at it--if you think she is NOT presenting a novelized account of conventional wisdom, go for it. But pecking around the edges of Somerby's critique and thinking that you've countered it is just silly."

      Not gonna happen cacambo, because you were correct at the start: KZ is not about debate, less still about thinking, but merely about "trying to be cute," "trying to be clever" and most of all trying to be the notable and replied-to personality "KZ"...

      It's sad, really. But being a troll is the work of very sad people after all.

      Noticing that, of course, and mentioning it here, invites from KZ not a reasoned defense of Ripley's work -- which in fact does have these flaws Somerby is pointing out -- but further trollwork, as we've seen.

      Rely on it.

      Delete
    2. It is really interesting to see the wad that defenders of Somerby get their panties in every time it is pointed out how Somerby is guilty of the same things he has condemned in others.

      Rather than pick around the edges, KZ has gone to great lengths, and backed it up, to show how Somerby has fudged statistics to accuse Ripley of fudging statistics.

      That you refuse to acknowledge that, while you yourself now deem fit to attack KZ "around the edges" for being "cute" and "clever only shows to prove how much a lack of oxygen can damage critical thinking skills when one's head is placed so far up a certain blogger's ass.

      Delete
    3. Your reply is thoughtful cacambo, and consistent.

      "I assume you are trying to be cute with the "What would a cynic conclude" stuff....."

      No, cacambo, I am parodying the very phrase BOB repeatedly used in his last post on this book. If you have a problem with that style, or think it is cuteness, raise it when BOB does it as well.

      ".... insinuating that Somerby has a vested interest in downplaying the effectiveness of accountability reforms such as NCLB..."

      More of the same, cacambo. BOB was allowing his "cynical" reader to assume a reason for Ripley to omit things that he did not want to directly say was her reason. I am merely playing his game. It obviously worked on you when I did it, just as BOB intended it to work on readers regarding Ripley. Did BOB leave out information because he opposes reform? We left it to the cynics to fill in their own blanks based on their own prejudices. We just don't know, so we didn't say. That way we can truthfully deny saying it. Is that why BOB uses the technique?
      A cynic might say it has been suggested.

      Finally, to your point. I have repeatedly offered no defense of Ripley. BOBfans, such as you, often assume that when one critcizes their tribal elder it is because the critic disagrees with the general point raised by the BOBster. Sometimes these BOBfans are so stupid in this regard I feel it necessary to put in a disclaimer, which I have done several times with regard to Ripley's book. I did so in the last post. Apparently BOBfans are so accustomed to his constant repetition that they need such repetition in comments as well. Here it is again, just for you cacambo:

      Ripley seems to have written a pretty flawed book using fudged data and false claims. It is too bad BOB has done the same thing as he critiques the book. If he had not, we might be better able to judge what he has said about Ripley's book as truthful. He hasn't, so we can't.

      Christ, cacambo. You are tired of my incessant game of gotcha? That is all this entire blog is. I just focus on the grandmaster of gotcha while he runs his own rubes.

      Now, as to your continued critique of my literary technique. I am sorry you dislike it, but it is from BOB, from whom almost everything I write is borrowed. I bet if I posted direct quotes from BOB as anonymous comments I would get attacked by BOBfans who failed to recognize the old charmers words. In fact, a cynic might conclude somehting of that sort has been tried before.

      Again, thanks for the reply. If you have anything to say to refute the substance of any point I raised, I'll be happy to address that as well. If not, like BOB inisnuates about KRUGDRUMDIONNE, I will take silence as agreement.

      KZ

      Delete
    4. Why do you think a personal attack on Somerby (or a defense of him) can rehabilitate Ripley's book? Her errors don't change just because Bob is called a hypocrite (or whatever). KZ's criticisms are specious. They have a superficial appearance of substance but don't have merit to anyone following this discussion closely.

      Ripley didn't bother defending herself when she commented here. KZ is just making noise. If anything, the 2012 data strengthens Bob's complaint about Ripley's book. That Ripley continues to make the same claims without modifying them in the light of recent data makes her a poor expert on education (at best). KZ needs to go away and bother people at some other website.

      Delete
    5. Anon. @ 3:16

      Like cacambo, you are one in need of repetition. I am not attacking BOB to defend Ripley. I am attacking BOB for doing the exact same thing he attacks others for doing. His fans have described him as "the innocent boy pointing out the emperor has no clothes" in his efforts to inform us of the evil ways of our mainstream journalist culture. I see him more as a naked old buzzard screaming on the street corner that the world is coming to an end.

      KZ

      Delete
    6. KZ, just go away.

      Delete
    7. What's that make you? A troll of a naked old buzzard? Wow, ambitious stuff, KZ.

      Delete
    8. What's that make you? A troll of a naked old buzzard? Wow, ambitious stuff, KZ.

      Delete
    9. Well, Matt, I could be writing fundraing letters for Ted Cruz or Alan Grayson. But I prefer hangin out on the streetcorners of Big Al's invention watching ordinary crazy folk mutter as they wander by.

      KZ

      Delete
    10. No, KZ, you already told it like it is here.

      You don't give a damn about Ripley or any possibility that she's been unfairly treated.

      You're just out to discredit this blogger and spread poo all over his comment board.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
    11. But Cecelia, however would you spend your days if not here to counter all the "poo" spread all over this comment board?

      While, of course, adding none of your own.

      Delete
    12. Luckily for you, you don't have to worry about that.

      I'm here for you, baby.

      Delete
    13. KZ

      I do not understand what you are saying about Bob. Could you please clarify your complaints?

      You are parodying Bob, and by that, exposing a weakness of his? Huh? Where is the parody? You use his words but in a completely different way, and there is nothing comical about your presentation. His "cynic" technique is used to suggest something that is an apt critique, but then your use is to suggest something false about Bob. You are doing something different than Bob, but claiming you are parodying him. It is so confusing, just downright stupid.

      As best I can tell none of your complaints about Bob change the thrust of his points. The ways in which you claim Bob fudges things has no bearing on his criticism of Ripley. For example your pointing out that Ripley picked teenagers to follow as an excuse for limiting her topic to PISA does not interfere with or contradict Bob's criticism about Ripley not using other tests. She didn't write a book about teenagers, she wrote a book about how other countries are better at education. There clearly is nothing special happening in Poland regardless of what years you look at. Statistically meaningless vs significance? I think you should worry less about Bob's fudging and instead learn how to enjoy actual fudge.

      Why can't you just write a simple comment expressing your issue with Bob? Why shroud it in an attempt at cult of personality? Why not just say 'hey I like Bob's post about Ripley but I think some of his info is not accurate' and succinctly delineate your position? You seem so bitter about Bob, so offended by him, that I worry about how much this is weighing on you, and how you might be transferring that to others. I know it makes me uncomfortable, I can't imagine how it is for your family and friends.

      Delete
    14. He's a troll operative, Anon6:02.

      KZ has already said (after Drum's piece and Ripley's reply) that he doesn't give a rip about Ripley.

      He is here because Somerby doesn't reserve damning criticism solely for the right.. Somerby worries most about the problems in his own house. With the effects of the chattering class culture upon "The Children".

      in the artisan zealot world of viewing politics as war, Sombery's priorities are tantamount to treason.

      Delete
  6. Yes, Ms Ripley's reply to Drum is very interesting -- especially the comments.
    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/10/how-smart-are-american-kids-amanda-ripley-responds

    She'll never live it down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In her response she never explains why she didn't talk about the relative merits of the different tests in her book or make it clear that she was being selective in her choice of stats, as a real researcher would do.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, but I can read her response for myself.

      Delete
    3. @2:53, KZ is that you? --E

      Delete
    4. Ellen, if you mean 3:53, no, twas not us. Although we have read Ripley's response, Drum's characterization of BOB's Ripley series as ascerbic, and the many silly responses to Ripley that we are sure she can both live down and probably chuckle at coming from people who are Not the Smartest Kids In The World.

      We also read many of the responses BOB wrote over there to readers who are Other Than His Own. He is a charmer. We are sure he is a fine person who we would like if we met him in real life.

      KZ

      Delete
    5. She is independently wealthy and I'm sure will not be much harmed -- at least financially. Those who respect only money will continue to respect her. -E

      Delete
    6. Yes, and the fact that Amanda Ripley is not only wealthy, but young, female and quite accomplished (Phi Beta Kappa at Cornell, a rising career in journalism) makes her the perfect target for Somerby.

      And it certainly must gall him to no end that she found a major publisher for her book while Somerby continues to struggle to even finish his own self-published tome about the 2000 election.

      And to KZ, I also was struck by the difference in Somerby's tone toward readers who are Other Than His Own. Especially to the reader who suggested that he/she might be able to actually get through a Somerby piece if it were less sarcastic and acerbic in tone.

      Delete
    7. Anon6:36, I'm so sorry you'll never own a blog or have a blog following, but your bitterness about this only does you harm.

      Delete
    8. What? CeceliaMc speaking with a shred of evidence to support her? Again?

      Tell us, dear child, exactly how you know that "Anon 6:36" doesn't have a blog or a blog following?

      Or are you merely playing "rubber/glue" again?

      Delete
  7. The ed reform greed machine must certainly be shaken up to respond to Somerby in this ad hominem manner. Don't look at Ripley's shoddy cherry distortions. Look over here, Somerby is harsh! - E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, your leader is beyond reproach, and dare anyone suggest that he practice what he preaches, why, they must be members of that vast "ed reform greed machine."

      Delete
    2. I truly hope Ellen and some of the other tribalists are not teachers.

      Delete
  8. Is anyone here defending the way Ripley handled PISA and the other tests in her book? That would be something to see!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Short answer: No.


      Delete
    2. Even Ripley doesn't defend her own handling of the data.

      Delete
  9. Results of a study in Mississippi shows that what really works to close the gap in the early grades is not test prep but arts programs:

    "http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022170624.htm
    "Schools that effectively implement arts integration have either significantly reduced or completely eliminated the educational achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students... This research indicates that arts integration can achieve that objective in Mississippi public schools."

    ReplyDelete


  10. Brothers/Sister's. Are you looking for loan to finance your large or small business,we'll help you get the large amount of loan you desire for your business,we offer first class business and commercial loan to enable small scale business attain success in obtaining start up or refinance their business Bad credit rating accepted and poor business performance are accepted.apply today via email):fasterloanservice@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm Marsha Goodman, and I'm a Mortgage Loan Officer committed to
    helping all of my clients fully explore their home loan options and
    feel confident about their choices. In my 35 years of experience
    working with third party affordable housing assistance programs,
    conventional conforming and "jumbo loans", government loans, home
    equity lines of credit and investment property loans and more, I've
    been able to share my knowledge of the mortgage industry and
    especially the Peartrees City market. My website offers resources and
    calculators for your convenience, and I’m available to assist you at
    any point along the way toward meeting your
    home loan goals.Email Us:fasterloanservice@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

  12. Do you need a quick long or short term loan with a relatively low interest rate as low as 3%? We offer business loan, personal loan, home loan, auto loan,student loan, debt consolidation loan e.t.c. no matter your credit score. We are guaranteed in giving out financial services to our numerous clients all over world. With our flexible lending packages, loans can be processed and transferred to the borrower within the shortest time possible, contact our specialist for advice and finance planning. If you need a quick loan contact us via Email honestloan10@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello everyone am here to testify how i got my loan from Mr Akisu. after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Akisu. who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay.I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr.Akisu,who are indeed helped with the loan and changed my belief.I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr.Akisu via his email{Akisuloancompany@gmail.com} Thank you may God bless you

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Anita. I live in UK London and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of $250,000.00 U.S. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Anita, that refer you to him. contact Mr.Robert,via email:(robertfinancial_loancompany@yahoo.com)Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

    BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS


    1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
    2. Telephone Numbers:……….
    3. Address and Location:…….
    4. Amount in request………..
    5. Repayment Period:………..
    6. Purpose Of Loan………….
    7. country…………………
    8. phone…………………..
    9. occupation………………
    10.age/sex…………………
    11.Monthly Income…………..
    12.Email……………..

    Regards.
    Managements
    Email Kindly Contact: urgentloan22@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete