BREAKING: David Leonhardt handles the gaps!

MONDAY, JULY 16, 2018

The gaps and rank indifference:
In this morning's New York Times, David Leonhardt handles the gaps.

Rather, he praises New Orleans for the way it has handled the gaps. In the wake of Katrina, the city turned to charter schools. Leonhardt tells us how that has turned out—and he makes a gross misstatement:
LEONHARDT (7/16/18): New Orleans is a great case study partly because it avoids many of the ambiguities of other education reform efforts. The charters here educate almost all public-school students, so they can’t cherry pick. And the students are overwhelmingly black and low-income—even lower-income than before Katrina—so gentrification isn’t a factor.

Yet the academic progress has been remarkable.

Performance on every kind of standardized test has surged.
Before the storm, New Orleans students scored far below the Louisiana average on reading, math, science and social studies. Today, they hover near the state average.
That's the way the text appears in today's hard-copy Times. Tomorrow, we'll cite an additional claim made in the column online.

We support the sensible use of charters. We even support the sensible widespread use of charters, where such widespread use can be done in a sensible manner.

That said, what has happened in New Orleans? Like Leonhardt, we aren't sure.

In large part, that's because the New Orleans schools haven't surged "on every kind of standardized test." More specifically, New Orleans hasn't surged on our one reliable testing program, because it hasn't chosen to participate in those tests.

We refer, of course, to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (the Naep), the widely-hailed "gold standard" of domestic educational testing.

As of 2017, twenty-two urban districts were participating in the Naep's Trial Urban District Program (the Tuda). The Tuda records the achievement and the progress of those urban systems.

New York City participates in the Tuda. So do Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and fifteen other city systems.

New Orleans has never participated. Because we read the New York Times, we have no idea why.

Has Leonhardt ever heard of the Naep? Has he ever heard of the Tuda? Because he lounges about at the Times, you shouldn't assume that he has.

Do you have to be mired in rank indifference to publish columns like this? We can't answer your thoughtful question, but the foppish Times has played it this way for roughly the past million years.

Tomorrow: A profile of rank indifference

8 comments:

  1. Yay yay yay yay, more talk about NAEP!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Has Somerby never heard of over-testing? Does he think kids should spend their days taking every test possible, instead of participating in learning activities? Why should it be remarkable when a school districts opts out of some tests and not others? Why should any district consider the NAEP to be the one they choose to administer? Somerby never explains why NAEP is valuable to schools, parents, or students.

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  3. Not a word about how Bush's mishandling of Katrina doomed the New Orleans public schools, opening the door to those for-profit charters that Somerby thinks are A-OK.

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  4. "We support the sensible use of charters. We even support the sensible widespreaduse of charters, where such widespread use can be done in a sensible manner."

    Please elaborate, Bob. What constitutes a "sensible" use of charters vs a non-sensible one?

    ReplyDelete
  5. "New Orleans hasn't surged on our one reliable testing program, because it hasn't chosen to participate in those tests."

    A district has to meet certain eligibility requirements to be able to participate in TUDA. Does New Orleans meet them? Who knows?

    When you click on the link for "List of Eligible TUDA Districts"

    (https://nagb.gov/about-naep/board-policies-for-naep/list-tuda-districts.html)

    You get "404 Error...page not found".

    ReplyDelete
  6. Then there's this: Even if a district is eligible, charter schools may not necessarily be included in the testing:
    "Some charter schools that operate within the geographic boundaries of a school district are independent of the district and are not included in the districts' Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to the U.S. Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Beginning in 2009, charter schools of this type were no longer included in the results for TUDA districts as they had been in past NAEP assessments.
    School districts vary in whether the charter schools within their boundaries are independent of the districts. In 2007, charter schools were included in the TUDA district results if they were listed as part of the district's Local Education Agency in the NCES Common Core of Data. In 2009, charter schools are included in TUDA district results if they contribute to the district's AYP results as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act."

    (https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/math_2009/about_math.aspx)

    Post-Katrina, almost all of New Orleans' schools are now charters.

    ReplyDelete
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