Letters concerning the Pisa and the Naep!

MONDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2019

The empire crashes and burns:
Over the past two weeks, we've been writing about two bungled reports in the New York Times concerning the nation's schools.

On December 3, this gloomy front-page report discussed newly-released scores from last year's Pisa, a major international testing program.

On December 6, this upbeat opinion column attempted to explain surprisingly good reading scores achieved by Mississippi's fourth graders on this years Naep reading tests.

The front-page report was driven by gloom. The opinion column was built around a sense of possibility and uplift.

As is the norm at the New York Times, each piece was technically incompetent. On Sunday, the letters appeared.

Yesterday, in its Sunday editions,
the New York Times published nine letters about these recent reports. The letters appeared beneath a gloomy headline:
Why Education Reforms Aren’t Working
Seven of yesterday's letters concerned the gloomy news report on the Pisa. Two letters concerned the upbeat opinion column about Mississippi's Naep scores.

In each of the first eight letters, the writer uncritically accepted the assessments offered in the two reports in the Times:

The first seven letters uncritically accepted the gloomy idea that the recent Pisa results point to the overall failure of American public schools. The eighth letter accepted the upbeat though implausible claim that Mississippi's fourth graders are scoring well in reading because they began receiving phonics instruction after 2013.

The first seven letters all accepted the Times' misleading assessment of those Pisa results. The eighth letter accepted the Times' limited presentation and bungled assessment of the Mississippi reading scores.

Then came the final letter of the nine! The ninth letter blew a very large hole in the side of the assessment concerning Mississippi's Naep scores.

(For a preexisting essay on this topic from The Hechinger Report, you can just click here. For more information, click this.)

We'll be returning to these topics after a Christmas break. For today, we'll offer this:

None of these letters defined the actual shape of our (very large) national problem—a problem which is very clear if you simply disaggregate the scores achieved by American kids on last year's Pisa tests. The shape of this problem was disappeared in the New York Times's Pisa report.

The Times failed to disaggregate the Pisa scores, thereby disappearing the actual shape of the world.

Those Times reports, and those first eight letters, help define the overall state of our failing national discourse. In our view, if this is the best a major nation can do in discussing major policy areas, that nation has a very good chance of ending up with a Trump.

Those first eight letters are an embarrassment. So were the two reports in the Times on which the letters were based.

We'll return to these topics after Christmas. In our view, those Times reports, and those first eight letters, define the actual shape of The Problem Which Is Taking Us Down.

21 comments:

  1. "The Times failed to disaggregate the Pisa scores, thereby disappearing the actual shape of the world."

    Jeez. The shape of the world, according to a liberal zombie: "disaggregated", a-la 19th century scientific racism.

    Y'know, this is quite educational, dear Bob. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
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      HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATS_APP NUMBER +2348124644470

      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me.... I'm Ann Earnis from north Carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually me t this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 1 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whats-app +2348124644470  or   https://supernaturalspell21.blogspot.com/  





      HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATS_APP NUMBER +2348124644470

      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me.... I'm Ann Earnis from north Carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually me t this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 1 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whats-app +2348124644470  or   https://supernaturalspell21.blogspot.com/  

      ....

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    2. "Y'know, this is quite educational, dear Bob. Thanks."

      A Conservative pretending to be happy about learning. Oh well, anything to own the libs.

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  2. HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATS_APP NUMBER +2348124644470

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  3. “the upbeat though implausible claim that Mississippi's fourth graders are scoring well in reading because they began receiving phonics instruction after 2013.”

    The claim is unproven, perhaps, but Somerby hasn’t shown that it is implausible. It is possible that “phonics instruction” has had a positive effect on test outcomes. (Mississippi instituted more than just “phonics instruction”; Somerby keeps oversimplifying what they did, but whatever.)

    As far as his link to the Hechinger Report article that discusses Mississippi’s practice of holding students back a grade if they don’t achieve certain standards, this is presumably what Somerby was hinting at when he wondered if the test results were “real” or “statistically bogus.”

    Many states have mandatory retention of students, not just Mississippi. Many others allow retention, but do not mandate it. Perhaps holding back a student allows them to score higher on the NAEP. It is plausible, though, again, not definitively proven. It certainly doesn’t imply that the NAEP results are bogus. The Main NAEP measures the performance of 4th grade students (and 8th and 12th), regardless of age or retention rate, and always has. There is another database within the NAEP, called Long Term Trends, that measures the performance of students at particular ages, rather than grade level, but these results cannot be disaggregated by state.

    The point is that Somerby has touted the NAEP as the gold standard of testing for years, without once mentioning anything about the possibility of the holding back of students causing issues with the interpretation of the scores. States have always retained students to a greater or lesser degree. The administrators of the NAEP are aware of this. Somerby brings it in here, at the end of 2019, in order to cast doubt on an opinion piece. The truth is that the new curriculum may be partly responsible for the improvements in Mississippi, but the holding back of students may also have an effect.

    Neither topic really interests Somerby. He just wants to throw shade.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The always dishonest and ever crying "look at me, I'm important" @1:37 PM writes:

    States have always retained students to a greater or lesser degree. The administrators of the NAEP are aware of this. Somerby brings it in here, at the end of 2019, in order to cast doubt on an opinion piece.


    The Hechinger Report:

    [QUOTE] November 1, 2019

    ...More than 3,300 Mississippi students, or about 10 percent of last year’s third graders, have to repeat third grade this year, more than double the number of third graders retained the year before, according to the state Department of Education....

    [D]istricts that reported higher failure rates on the reading exam also reported higher retention rates....

    The Bryant administration has taken the stance that schools can ensure positive outcomes for retained students by making changes to the regular curriculum for students who are held back. The state requires districts to provide 90 minutes each day of intensive help to students repeating the third grade, for instance.

    ...A number of studies have found holding students back can have a negative impact on their motivation to learn and increase their chances of dropping out. But a 2017 study of students in Florida found that those who were retained in third grade were neither more nor less likely to drop out of high school, though the study’s author cautioned, “that we are not saying that the students who were retained in Florida were clearly better off as a result.... [END QUOTE]

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