IN SEARCH OF EVEN THE MOST BASIC SKILLS:
Scripts and errors from the Post!

FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014

Part 5—The fruit of a slacker elite: The modern “press corps” is best understood as an under-skilled slacker elite.

Consider reaction within the Washington Post to last week’s announcement that the SAT will be changed.

Last Saturday, Alexandra Petri debuted the scripted standard reactions from within the Post.

PetrI is Harvard class of 2010. (We misstated the year in yesterday’s post, which we have corrected.) As such, she’s barely 25.

But Petri has learned to mock her lessers in the way approved by her owners. She has also learned to leap to standard conclusions:
PETRI (3/ 8/14): The SAT is reverting to a 1600-point scale and making the essay portion of the test optional. The vocabulary words and math sections are changing and the guessing penalty (where you were penalized for getting a question wrong instead of not answering it) has been eliminated.

"What?" you may well say. "But the SAT just changed to include that essay." Ah, but then its rival, the ACT, started to take over the SAT's market share. The College Board, which administers the SAT, insists that the changes will make the test do a better job of reflecting what students learn.

In my experience, "more reflective of what students learn in high school" always is a nicer way of saying "easier." How could it not be? Look at what people are actually learning. Less and less, every day. Employers, when asked if college students strike them as at all ready for the workforce, have stopped responding and just emit a low chuckle, gazing off into the distance.
Petri stated the two conclusions which would be standard inside the Post. The SAT is being made easier. This adjustment is being made because today’s kids are so dumb.

Employers simply emit a low chuckle when asked about today’s kids! Petri, blessed with every advantage, is skilled at kicking straight down.

Van we talk? In its voluminous reporting on the SAT’s ch-ch-ch-changes, the Washington Post did not report that the test is being made easier. Nor is it clear what that claim would even mean in the case of such a test.

The SAT exists for one purpose—to find distinctions among zillions of students from 50 states and other regions. If the SAT remade itself so everyone was getting high scores, it would have eliminated its reason for being (in the French, its raison d’etre).

Why would the College Board make the test “easier?” With an instrument like the SAT, what would that claim even mean?

We doubt that Petri could answer such questions, but she seemed to have absorbed the Standard Story ruling her org. One day later, Kathleen Parker presented a column which led with the same two claims.

Parker is 62, not 25. By the standards of the guild, she is witty, sane and intelligent.

But this is a deeply unskilled elite. Judged by the standards applied to teens, this is failing work:
PARKER (3/9/14): When the going gets tough, well, why not just make the going easier?

This seems to be the conclusion of the College Board, which administers the dreaded SAT college entrance exam. Recently announced “improvements” to the test are designed, say board officials, to better gauge what students study and learn in high school. Shouldn’t take too long.

Thus, the new SAT will take less time and consist of multiple-choice questions as follows: (a) yes; (b) no; (c) maybe; (d) none of the above.

Fine. Perhaps I exaggerate (pardon the multiple syllables) just a tad. But one does fear that such tweaking is really a stab at greater market share—many students have turned from the SAT to ACT—and an adjustment to the fact that student scores have been falling.

Owing to what, one wonders? Surely not the gradual degradation of pre-college education.

By making the test more “accessible,” board officials theorize, more students will be able to attend college, where, presumably, they will flourish. The test no longer will include fancy words, otherwise known as a rich vocabulary, or require a timed essay. The math section will be adapted so that people who aren’t so good at math, including but not limited to future journalists, can pretend they are.
That work is full of claims and insinuations, none of which Parker attempts to support in recognizable ways.

Like the youthful Petri, Parker snarks about the abject stupidity of these kids today—except Parker does so repeatedly. She implies, but doesn’t state, that the nation has been experiencing “the gradual degradation of pre-college education.”

She begins with the statement that the SAT “seems to be” getting made “easier.” By the last paragraph we have posted, she is directly asserting that the SAT has been changed to accommodate kids who don’t know much.

She directly describes what the College Board is “theorizing” as it makes these changes. But at no point does Parker make any attempt to say how she knows the various things she asserts.

Please note: Parker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning “journalist,” not a high school senior.

We’ll return to Parker’s column for an especially gruesome point. For now, let’s visit the editorial which sat on the opposite page from Parker in Sunday’s Washington Post.

Completing the rule of three, the editors reached the same basic judgment about the changes to the SAT. They said the College Board is making the SAT easier, although they managed to avoid insulting high school students.

Well, they didn’t quite say that! They said the College Board “appears” to be making the SAT easier:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (3/9/14): It’s the news that will launch a thousand test-preparation courses: The College Board is once again altering the SAT, the much-criticized college admissions exam that has struggled to defend its approach to student assessment. The SAT’s writers appear to be doing two things: changing what it tests; and making it easier. There’s reason for the former, and danger in the latter.
The College Board appears to be making the SAT easier, the editors said. But is the College Board doing that? The editors never justified that statement. They just continued telling readers how the changes “sound:”
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: The exam will no longer expect students to know difficult, lesser-used vocabulary words. Advanced mathematical concepts will disappear from the exam, and it sounds as though some math sections will force students to do more raw computation in their heads rather than on calculators. The penalty for random guessing will also go.

[...]

It sounds as though students could conceivably get a perfect score on the new exam and yet struggle to fully comprehend some of the articles in this newspaper. Colleges should want to know if their would-be English majors are conversant in words more challenging than “synthesis,” or that their scores reflect more than lucky bubble guesses, now that wrong answers carry no penalty.

[...]

No standardized test will be close to perfect. But a better approach would include a rigorous exam, or set of exams, linked tightly to the content and skills students claim to have learned, a system more akin to the Advanced Placement program than to the old SAT. From the sound of it, the new SAT won’t be that.
Do these editors gather facts before opining on the way something “sounds” and “appears?” In a seven-paragraph piece, they fell back on this dodge four times, much as a sophomore might do.

In two of these instances, they lamented the end of the “guessing penalty” even as they kept guessing themselves! They never explained why their own paper never reported that the SAT is being made easier.

Earth to editors: the elimination of “difficult, lesser-used vocabulary words” doesn’t necessarily mean that a test is being made easier, whatever that claim would even mean in the case of a test like this.

Will “advanced mathematical concepts disappear from the exam?” We don’t know, but the Post’s Nick Anderson didn’t report that. Presumably, that’s how it sounded!

This editorial assumes major facts not in evidence and makes logical leaps. But then, consider this passage from Parker’s defiantly know-nothing column:
PARKER (continuing directly from above): These tweaks are a shame inasmuch as educators lose measures that provided critical information. The essay, for instance, wasn’t a call to Emersonian excellence but was a way of determining whether a student can compose a coherent sentence—you know: subject, verb, all that stuff—not to mention whether one can think. If a person can’t write a series of sentences to express a cogent thought, does that person really qualify for a college education? For what purpose?

The most entertaining test area—the analogy—was eliminated in 2005. Again, too hard?
Given the caliber of her own column, Parker should perhaps avoid questions about high school students’ ability to reason.

Note the passage we’ve highlighted. It has been nine years since the analogy questions were dropped. But Parker is still restricting herself to questions and insinuations concerning why this was done.

In those nine years, has Parker actually asked anyone why those questions were dropped? Has she made any attempt to fact-check her knee-jerk reactions?

Judged by normal academic standards, the Post published a lot of failing work this weekend. But this is very typical work from the slacker elite we agree to describe as a press corps.

How low are the standards at the Post, where Petri and Parker mock high school students so dumbly? Consider the column which appeared directly above Parker’s in Sunday’s hard-copy Post.

The column was written by a politician, not by a Post employee. But the piece was accepted for publication by an editor at the Post, and its work was grossly incompetent, in a way which has been standardized by the incompetent Post.

David Catania, who is running for mayor, is a member of the D.C. Council. He’s chairman of the council’s education committee.

We have no doubt that Catania cares a great deal about the District’s schools. But he seems to lack the most basic skills for reading and understanding the District’s test scores:
CATANIA (3/9/14): There is substantial evidence that the recent improvements [in D.C. test scores] are rooted, at least in part, in demographic shifts in our schools.

Between 2007 and 2013, the share of D.C. fourth-graders who are African American fell from 83 percent to 67 percent. Meanwhile, the share of white students more than doubled, from 6 percent to 13 percent. Similar shifts occurred on the eighth-grade level. It is well established that socioeconomic status and student achievement are correlated. Because socioeconomic status often tracks with race in our city, this demographic shift matters in understanding overall results.

In support of his position, Graham pointed to data from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which measures fourth- and eighth-graders' aptitude in reading and math. Those data also show that African American fourth-graders in the District scored, on average, 68 points lower in reading and 59 points lower in math than their white classmates. It is significant that the average-scale score for reading remained unchanged between 2007 and 2013 for African American fourth-graders, at 192. Among African American and white eighth-graders in the District, there was a 64-point difference in average reading scores and a 62-point difference in average math scores. These are the largest achievement gaps in the nation. And in most cases, they are growing, not shrinking.
Everything said there can be defended as technically accurate. But Catania’s work there is grossly incompetent, in a way which has been popularized by the Washington Post.

The second statement we have highlighted is grossly misleading. If we consider all black kids in all D.C. schools—traditional public schools plus public charters—the actual scores for the years in question look like this:
Average reading score, Grade 4 NAEP
Black students, all DC schools

2013: 196.89
2007: 191.54
That’s a gain of 5.35 points in six years. On its face, that’s a healthy gain. See our earlier post.

This is what the scores look like if we talk about low-income black kids:
Average reading score, Grade 4 NAEP
Low-income black students, all DC schools

2013: 192.80
2007: 185.99
The score gain there is 6.81 points. Please note: those are the scores of low-income black kids only. Those scores have nothing to do with the influx of white students which led Catania to hurl a bit of gorilla dust.

To appearances, Catania doesn’t know how to access these test scores for D.C.’s black kids. But neither does the Washington Post! Earlier this month, one of the Post’s education reporters made the same bungled claim about Grade 4 reading.

Again, see our earlier post.

By the way, everybody understands why D.C. has those large “achievement gaps.” It’s because the District has an extremely affluent, high-SES white student population.

Those very large gaps define our nation’s educational problem. They help define our nation’s brutal racial history. But there’s no mystery about where those gaps come from, unless you’re reading the Washington Post, where no one seems to be able to explain even the most basic points.

Sunday’s Post was a howling mess, a tribute to intellectual dysfunction. But then, our “press corps” is a slacker elite, lacking the most basic skills.

This weekend, you saw Petri and Parker mocking the dumbness of our high school kids, even as they and their editors failed to display the most basic intellectual skills.

Petri and Parker mocked high school kids even as their paper published the latest column misstating the score gains for the District’s black kids. Even as the Post published a “5 Myths” piece concerning the SAT which was spilling with groaners.

Our upper-end press corps is best understood as an under-skilled slacker elite. That said, you’ll read this rather obvious fact in very few places.

Some careerists won’t tell you the truth about their colleagues and potential employers. Many others are so unskilled that they can’t see this obvious truth.

Persistently, they hand you scripts built around poorly-explained tribal disputes. They won’t report the more basic fact:

Our press corps is a slacker elite which lacks even the most basic skills. For the record, we’re not saying that’s how it sounds or appears.

We’re saying that’s what the corps is.

Concerning one pregnant assertion: According to Parker, “student scores have been falling” on the SAT.

Instantly, she suggests that this reflects, or may reflect, “the gradual degradation of pre-college education.”

Did Parker actually assert that such a degradation is happening? Not exactly! Her claim was fuzzy, unclear, a mere insinuation.

That said, let’s ask an obvious question:

Why are SAT scores falling, if indeed they are? Is it because our schools are being degraded? Or is it because a wider range of students are taking the test?

Do you think Parker has any idea? Do you see the slightest sign that she actually tried to find out?

26 comments:

  1. One of the changes to the SAT is to align the test content with what is being taught in high schools. Because the SAT is used to predict success in college, I think it would make more sense to align the content with what is needed for academic success at the college level.

    High school curriculum is more restricted than college and is being increasingly constrained as states adopt common core standards. That means it will be easier to figure out what to test high school students on than to align test content with skills needed in college, especially given the diversity of majors and types of higher ed a student might consider. This leads back to whether the SAT is an aptitude test or an achievement test.

    An aptitude test might try to predict whether someone might do well in a variety of situations (or in specific types of situations). Verbal and quantitative skills underlie most majors to a greater or lesser extent. An achievement test looks for acquisition of specific skills or content as preparation for advanced study in that specific area. The AP tests make more sense at achievement tests. It sounds to me like the SAT is being turned into a sort of hybrid of these approaches. But, as long as it is tied to high school learning and does not anticipate what would be useful at the college level, it seems like a misguided approach.

    I think the criticism that the College Board is trying to increase market share is fair. Somerby talks about the futility of making the test easier because students are being compared to each other. However, you can shift the mean of a distribution without changing its shape. If mean scores are higher, students and their families will be happier and they will be more likely to take the SAT (because they believe it to be easier) instead of ACT. That they have not changed their position relative to other students changes nothing because students aren't looking at percentile rankings but their actual scores. Removing the guessing penalty doesn't make the test easier but it will inflate scores slightly, which will please customers of the test.

    Rich vocabulary is essential in the humanities. Exposure to wider math than is taught in high school is useful in quantitative fields. That kind of enrichment is unevenly available in high school, so kids from less affluent backgrounds will not have been exposed to it, even if they are very smart, hard working, and good at the high school curriculum they have experienced. It is not their fault they have not been exposed to more. That is the motive for constraining test content. It is still a fact that those kids will have a harder time catching up in college, may struggle a lot more at a college that assumes such exposure, and may need to study more in order to achieve the same levels as more privileged kids. Should they be given the chance to try or should they be protected from possible failure? Should they be given seats that a student who knows more might otherwise occupy if disadvantaged students were not made more competitive by virtue of higher SAT scores? The College Board says "yes." These journalists apparently say no, but without examining underlying equity issues. They rush right to claiming that the test is being dumbed down because high school students are less well educated than in the past (not because the test has been less egalitarian in the past). I think these are tough questions that should be debated on their merits, not based on false premises put forth by these articles -- that students are dumber than ever so the test is being dumbed down.

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    1. I suppose your comment and makes some sense on a basic level. And even that is dependent on the assumption that what the College Board says about the SAT changes is true. And that's a badly flawed assumption.

      The SAT has never measured anything more than family income. The "new" SAT will be no different.

      What IS different is that the College Board claims its products (PSAT, SAT, AP) are "aligned" with the Common Core state standards. The ACT says its test is too. And guess who were two of the major players in the development of the Common Core? Yup. The ACT and the College Board.

      The core rationale for the Common Core is "economic competitiveness.," though, cleverly, that reason has now been removed from the CCSS website.

      Still, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – vile organization that it is – has doubled down on its support for Common Core.

      It says this: “Common core academic standards among the states are essential to helping the United States remain competitive and enabling students to succeed in a global economy.”


      It's simply not true. As I've noted, the U.S. IS internationally "competitive." When it drops, as it did a few years back, the World Economic Forum blames 1) weak corporate auditing and reporting standards, (2) suspect corporate ethics, (3) big deficits (brought on by Wall Street’s financial implosion) and (4) unsustainable levels of debt.

      Guess who supported ALL of the laizzez-faire policies that led to the mortgage and financial crises and the Great Recession? Yup. The Chamber. And it's working very hard to get those policies back.

      Meanwhile, the Chamber blames the public schools for what it did.

      The College Board and the ACT and Bill Gates and the US Chamber and the Business Roundtable, etc. are all on the same side.

      If you really believe they all just want to make schools better, well, I think I can locate some incredibly nice ocean front property in Nebraska for you.

      democracy

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  2. Test scores - Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

    The "trolls" are getting results - is it the first time that bone-gnawer gnawed himself (over a trivialaity):

    "PetrI is Harvard class of 2010. (We misstated the year in yesterday’s post, which we have corrected.)"

    Can we expect retractions for the many serious lies, misstatements etc. about Maddow and other obsessive targets of bone-gnawer?

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    Replies
    1. Bone gnawing is what trolls do best.

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    2. Doesn't bone gnawing imply strong young heathy dog teeth? Wouldn't bone gumming be more accurate? And how do we know bones are involved? Many people I know report their dogs eat other dogs' feces. A few report their dogs feed on their own.

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    3. I wonder at what it must be like to inhabit your minds.

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    4. He's a bone-gnawer because I read somewhere that dogs gnaw on dry bones that eventually tear the inside of their mouth and the dog thinks it is getting blood from the bone.

      The only person bone gnawer ever shows up is himself - how he carries on with his sorry excuse for a life is unfathomable (and that too while affecting a triumphant attitude in his posts).

      H is now a failed old white male who has caught the incandescent anger of others of his ilk - he needs to find his natural home among wingers and be honest about it..

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    5. You are a spectacularly ugly person. It must suck to be you.

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    6. I'd concur with Anon 8:36. Anon 4:25 sounds as if he is in physical pain over having his tribe mistreated by TDH. What a pitiable character.

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  3. Yesterday Somerby linked to a very good column written by Gene Lyons.. Bob contains no such link today. But since at lest half of this post is a repetition of yesterday's post, I will repeat my comment as well.

    "Bob would have been wise on this topic to follow the advice of the writer to whom he links:

    Much Hullabaloo About Nothing.

    Instead nothing is already at Part 4 and counting."

    Make it Part 5 and counting.

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  4. I doubt Parker, Petri or any of the others could pass today's version of high school AP calculus. They certainly have no comprehension of probability and statistics, a subject any competent journalist should at least have a good feel for.

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  5. OMB (What is the SAT?)

    What is the SAT?

    PART 1

    "The SAT was massively changed last Wednesday. Or maybe not, we’re not sure.....

    Is the SAT being changed in some major way? Even now, we’re not sure—

    .....the blizzard of reporting and punditry....That said, much of the reporting was fuzzy—and the punditry was much worse.

    For ourselves, we weren’t sure we understood the sweep of the changes, their intention or their significance. In part, that was because of fuzzy writing...."

    PART 2

    "The SAT’s a big deal....We thought Lewin’s front-page report was marked by fuzzy writing and imprecise thinking.

    Elsewhere in her front-page report, Lewin wrote in murky ways...we thought Lewin’s work was quite hazy.

    Essentially, Anderson was repeating himself by the end of his opening paragraph.

    Are high school kids ready for college? In theory, the SAT is used to help answer that question."

    PART 3

    "The SAT isn’t a pass-fail test....What does it even mean when we imagine a test like the SAT being made “easier?” We doubt that the editors, or the Post’s opinion columnists, would be able to say."

    PART 4

    PART 5

    "The SAT exists for one purpose—to find distinctions among zillions of students from 50 states and other regions.

    Why would the College Board make the test “easier?” With an instrument like the SAT, what would that claim even mean?"

    SUMMARY:

    BOB has told us the SAT is a test instrument of some sort used to find distinctions between zillions of students from 50 states and other unnamed regions. It is being changed, but those changes have been described as 1) massive 2) major 3) we're not sure.

    We don't know why is is being changed. Claims are it is being made easier but we don't know how or why or anyone who can explain either. Or even if you can. It isn't a pass fail/test and in theory is helps us answer the question is our children learned enough for college.

    All in all I thought this series probed fuzzy murky hazy places. Part 4 was the best. Fewer facts to remember.

    KZ








    BOB restates today the Washington Post editorial board and columnists are saying the College Board is making the test easier.

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  6. OMB

    BOB restates today the Washington Post editorial board and columnists are saying the College Board is making the test easier.

    "What does it even mean when we imagine a test like the SAT being made “easier?” We doubt that the editors, or the Post’s opinion columnists, would be able to say."

    Let's see. If they make one element of the test optional instead of mandatory, doesn't that make it easier? If they eliminate a portion of the test used to generate one third of the current grade, doesn't that make it easier?

    That could make it harder in BOBworld, where everything is possible. Dropping the essay is fuzzy, fuzzy, hazy, murky and repetitive. Plus it repeats itself. It could be easier, harder, or we're not sure. Let's ask kids today. They get a bad rap from stupid reporters who can't explain why dropping the essay makes a test easier. They might know. We just don't.

    KZ

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  7. Removing the essay makes the test shorter and different but not easier.

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    1. Ms. Petri and Ms. Parker salute you for vaildating their claims.

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    2. All they're doing is going towards a more ACT-ish testing model.

      The ACT has always been more of an achievement test, meaning knowledge based. The SAT oriented itself around a kind of 'tricky thinking' model that tested what they thought to be the necessary mental abilities for college.

      But more kids were picking the ACT, and more schools were accepting it. It used to be that only the worst schools would even consider you if you only took the ACT, like in the South, where it was more popular. Not any more.

      Remember the old word analogy questions? The tricky ones with the colons? That's the kind of thing the SAT is getting away from, and this is just the latest effort.

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  8. Part 1

    In most cases, education reporting is nothing short of abysmal. And at The Post, well, it’s downright scandalous.

    Jo-Ann Armao, of the editorial page, has written some truly horrible – and highly inaccurate – pieces on Michelle Rhee and her reign of error and terror in the DC public schools. After a massive cheating scandal, Armao weighed in that all the erasures – always wrong-to-right – could be due to “innocent explanations.” Here’s how baad it was:

    For a school to be "flagged" for possible cheating in the DC scandal, a "classroom had to have so many wrong-to-right erasures that the average for each student was 4 standard deviations higher than the average for all D.C. students in that grade on that test. To put it another way, that meant " a classroom corrected its answers so much more often than the rest of the district that it could have occurred roughly one in 30,000 times by chance.” That happened MUCH more often in DC schools.

    Kathleen Parker is a Pulitzer winner. Amazing, because she’w written some awful columns chock full of sloppy thinking. The SAT column is one, mostly devoid of substance and fact. But there are (many) others, For example Parker wrote that Richard Mourdock's comment ––  that a pregnancy caused by rape is "God's will" –– is "logical" even though Mourdock was " indelicate in stating his position." Say what? Parker thinks it would be “partisan” to ask Republicans to join in promoting the general welfare of the nation.

    Nick Anderson has had TWO recent opportunities to educate people about the College Board and the SAT. He’s taken advantage of neither. Nothing new there. Anderson’s been advised several times that what he writes about the SAT is mostly College Board propaganda. But he keeps writing it.

    Anderson has also written that “proficiency” on NAEP is critical to American “economic competitiveness.” Not true. The World Economic Forum issues a global competitiveness index each year. When the US dropped a few years back, the WEF cited weak auditing and reporting standards, lax corporate business ethics, big budget deficits, and an unsustainable level of public debt. Student test scores – on NAEP or international tests – were not mentioned.

    And Alexandra Petri? I suppose she’s Harvard-book-learnin’ “smart.” But there’s no wisdom in what she writes. She seems to think (mistakenly) that lame humor passes for insight. It doesn’t.

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  9. Part 3

    Wendy Kopp, charlatan-in-chief for years at Teach for America, says the Common Core standards are modeled on “the world’s education superpowers.” She say these “globally-aligned Common Core standards” are needed to ensure American global competitiveness. Sigh. Kopp is a woman, who despite all the anecdotal and empirical evidence on the deleterious effects of high-stakes testing, says that “I have not seen that standardized tests make the profession less attractive.” Kopp says standards should be used to build “systems for accountability,” and adds that “offering parents the ability to choose their schools is the ultimate form” of accountability. She uses the terms “transformative” and education “entrepreneurs” a lot.

    Who funds Teach for America? The big contributors are the right-wing Arnold Foundation (which wants to privatize public pensions), the arch-conservative Kern Foundation (which even wants to inculcate ministers into the belief that unregulated “free enterprise” is a “moral system”), the Broad and Gates and Walton Foundations, Cisco, State Farm, and big banks –– Bank of America, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase–– that have paid billions and billions in penalties and fines for fraud and market-rigging. The FDIC just filed suit against 16 major “global” banks –  including Bank of America Corp, Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase – for “manipulating the Libor interest rate.”
    The Libor rate is critical to determining interest rates on “$550 trillion in financial products, from home loans to derivatives.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/14/us-fdic-libor-idUSBREA2D1KR20140314


    The US Chamber of Commerce loves Teach for America and the Common Core. It says this: “Common core academic standards among the states are essential to helping the United States remain competitive and enabling students to succeed in a global economy.” Chamber president, Tom Donohue, says the Common Core is absolutely necessary for “businesses and country” to “ succeed.”

    It's simply not true. As I've noted, the U.S. IS internationally "competitive." When it drops, as it did a few years back, the World Economic Forum blames 1) weak corporate auditing and reporting standards, (2) suspect corporate ethics, (3) big deficits (brought on by Wall Street’s financial implosion) and (4) unsustainable levels of debt.

    Guess who supported ALL of the laissez-faire policies that led to the mortgage and financial crises and the Great Recession? Yup. The Chamber. And it's working very hard to get those policies back.

    Meanwhile, the Chamber blames the public schools for what it did.

    The College Board and the ACT and Bill Gates and the US Chamber and the Business Roundtable and the big banks and the corporate tax cheaters are all on the same side.

    And it’s not the side of public education.

    That’s the real story.

    But it rarely if ever gets any attention at The Post or elsewhere in the mainstream press.

    democracy

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