BREAKING: They released the Naep scores and nobody came!

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018

Arne [HEART] raising standards:
"Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came?"

It was a 1970 feature film
, in the street-fighting days of yore. Then it became a bromide.

This week, they released the new Naep scores and nobody came, at least not the New York Times. The scores in question are the scores from last year's testing.

By all accounts, these are our most reliable, most significant public school test scores. But over and over, again and again, it's quite clear that nobody cares.

In fairness, it isn't true that nobody came or that nobody cares. In Tuesday morning's Washington Post, a report on the new Naep scores appeared in the Metro, or local, section.

The Post placed its focus on DC-area scores. That said, the Post report started like this:
STEIN, ST. GEORGE AND TRUONG (4/10/18): The Washington region's fourth- and eighth-graders made no substantial gains on national math and reading tests in 2017—stagnant outcomes that mirrored results from across the country on a test administered by the federal government.

The scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) highlight a persistent achievement gap between white and minority students and show just how difficult it can be to boost student achievement on standardized tests.

NAEP, which is often referred to as the "nation's report card," is considered a critical barometer of student achievement because it assesses the performance of children from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds in urban, suburban and rural communities. The government first administered the exam in the 1990s, and it tests fourth- and eighth-graders every other year.

Nationally, 36 percent of fourth-graders were considered proficient in reading and 40 percent reached this threshold in math on the 2017 exam, according to data released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics. Thirty-six percent of eighth-graders were considered proficient in reading, and 34 percent in math.
From that point on, the Post report focused on results from Washington-area school districts. (Meanwhile, please note: "proficiency" is a subjective assessment. The Naep sets a fairly high bar.)

According to the Post, the Naep "is considered a critical barometer of student achievement." That's true, but it's been three days since these new scores were released, and the New York Times hasn't yet breathed a word.

Based on what the Post has reported, it sounds like national averages didn't show growth last year, as compared to scores from 2015. Combined with lackluster results in 2015, this starts to establish a stagnant trend, after previous decades of growth.

At some point, the Times will probably get around to dispensing the skinny concerning these new results. For now, the paper seems to be transfixed by The Chase.

(According to today's page A3 in the Times, "seven of Wednesday's 10 most read articles dealt with the raid [on Michael Cohen's locales] or on its aftermath." The excitement of The Chase is what the public demands.)

We'll close on a cynical note:

When we read that Naep scores were stagnant again, we conjured a cynical thought. This may explain Arne Duncan's column in last week's Washington Post, we incomparably thought.

Arne wrote a rather illogical column attributing the nation's large score gains to the wonders of education reform. He dated the gains to 1971, when overall Naep testing began.

(Ignore the contrary claim by the Post in the passage posted above.)

Here's where the illogic comes in. The gains had been happening all along, dating to 1971. But Arne largely attributed the gains to relatively recent "reforms."

A cynical thought popped into our heads when we saw the Post's report about the mediocre new scores:

Arne knew that mediocre test score news was in the offing. As a propagandist, he wanted to get out ahead of the storm, before people began to say that modern-day "education reform" has produced a disappointing era of stagnant achievement. (This is pure speculation, of course.)

At some point in the next few weeks, we'll run through the overall look of the new Naep scores. By that time, the New York Times may even have noticed the arrival of these results from "the nation's report card."

Before we do that, we'll be returning to Arne's column to consider one more point:

In his column, Arne praised the toughening of the different states' grade-by-grade "learning standards." ("A decade ago, learning standards were all over the place. Today, almost every state has raised standards.")

Now that we all can see that these changes have coincided with an era of stagnant scores, we want to review, one more time, the fairly obvious logical problem with this widely-lauded element of "reform."

What could be wrong with "raising standards?" Complete with some truly gruesome statistics, we'll discuss that fairly obvious point in the next day or so.

21 comments:

  1. "This week, they released the new Naep scores and nobody came, at least not the New York Times."

    Wait a second, Bob, aren't you expecting the end of the world any minute now? And while the New York Times is working hard to bring it on, why should they care about some stupid scores?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world will end when Mr Trump and Uncle Vova decide life isn't worthwhile till they've defeated each other.

      Delete
    2. More good news from the anti-globalist files:


      President Donald Trump has deputized two top economic advisers to review whether to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord he withdrew from after taking office, Senator Ben Sasse told reporters.

      Trump has designated economic adviser Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to lead the review, said Sasse, a Nebraska Republican.

      “That’s really good news for America and that’s really good news for the rule of law” in the Pacific region, Sasse said.

      Sasse spoke to reporters at the White House on Thursday after leaving a meeting on trade Trump held with governors and lawmakers from farm states.


      Hey, Mao, how do you spell SUCKER?

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    3. Trump - what a world beater.

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    4. Mao - Maybe you can soothe your sorrows about TPP and how you been played for a fool by sucking your mother's cock tonight. But then again, you do that every night.

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    5. The 1975 movie “Rollerball”, when global corporations replace sovereign governments and run the world for the benefit of all man[agement], takes place in the year 2018.

      Delete
    6. Get ready for the corporate media to shift into the "Nobody could have foreseen this disaster" mode.
      Just like they did with the easily foreseen "Iraq Clusterfuck" and the financial crisis caused by corporate fraud and the housing bubble.

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  2. Why would New York parents care about NAEP scores? They evaluate their children's schools using different criteria, more relevant to their children's success. NAEP is important to the people who staff and run schools, to school districts and to legislators and much less important to parents. That may be why the Washington Post pays attention but the NYTimes does not. And it has nothing to do with whether people care about kids.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The increase in scores resulted from the phase-out of leaded gasoline in the 1970s. Now that the lead is gone, the increase has stopped.

    Maybe we'll think of another way to increase scores some day. Until then, we're going to stagnate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caesar -- does this mean that you agree with me that the "reforms" promulgated by the Dept. of Education have been worthless?

      Delete
    2. Does this mean that if the scores start going down again it means lead levels are rising?

      Delete
    3. David, I don't know what the "reforms" are, but the burden of proof is on their proponents.

      Anon 6:28, if Ryan Zinke and Mr Trump succeed in raising lead levels, academic performance will decline and crime rates will rise.

      Delete
    4. Correlation is not causation.

      Delete
    5. David, rather obviously some reforms have led to the rise in scores seen through the early 2000s. Other reforms, such as Republican backed reforms like high stakes testing have led to stagnation. The Republican/conservative backed reforms have been worthless, agreed.

      Delete
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