Kevin Drum passes it on: Kevin Drum, our favorite fraught blogger, has passed some information along.
The information in question concerns public schools. More specifically, Drum follows up on yesterday's post, right here at this site, about Naep reading scores.
Drum notes the fact that these scores have improved in the past twenty years. He provides data for all U.S. schools, public as well as private. We don't care that much about Hotchkiss and Choate, so the data we posted covered public schools only.
That said, Drum notes the gains in reading scores over the past twenty years. Beyond that, he even poses a highly sensible set of questions:
DRUM (4/16/18): [H]ere’s my question: how fast should reading scores be improving? For that matter, is there any special reason that reading scores should be improving at all? Poverty hasn’t changed much. Average incomes haven’t changed much. The phonics wars have been raging for decades, but I’m not sure that reading pedagogy has really changed very much down on the ground.He's asking some very good questions there, concerning some deeply irrational conduct. We'd even go so far as to say that he's asking some anthropological questions about the deeply irrational way our species' weak minds tend to work.
So why do we expect reading scores to be skyrocketing in the first place? Why do we almost universally refuse to acknowledge that scores are up at all, let alone up a fair amount? Why are we so determined to believe that kids in the past were better educated than kids today, even though the evidence says nothing of the sort?
It's an anthropological question! Our public discourse is heavily built on the rejection and disappearance of extremely basic data. This is true in all sorts of areas. But nowhere is it more true than on the topic of public schools, where our journalistic culture is heavily built around the promulgation of gloomy misinformation.
Why would a species behave that way? We don't know, but it's very much the way Homo pseudojournalisticus works, with a major assist from the complete indifference displayed by the kinds of corporate liberals you see snorkeling up Pulitzer prizes or making undisclosed millions of dollars on corporate "cable news" programs.
(How much money are they paid? You aren't allowed to know!)
Yesterday, we posted some very basic data. Drum then posted a similar set of data.
If our culture actually worked the way the civics textbooks describe, other people would pass this information along, and it would become common knowledge.
But our culture doesn't work that way. Anthropologically speaking, our journalistic culture is a joke, and our species is a clown show.
No one gives a fig about black kids. That's especially true Over Here. Few things are quite so clear.
The place to go for data: Are you interested in public schools? Are you interested in all U.S. schools, public and private included?
All the data can be found here, thanks to the federal government.
It's never been easier to acquire reams of basic information. On the other hand, it's never been harder to get "journalists" to report basic matters of fact.