Supplemental: Concerning those score gains in Grade 8 math!


When will the public be told:
Saturday morning, a breakthrough occurred.

As we noted yesterday, it became clear that the Washington Post actually knows a certain fact about the nation’s black kids:

The Washington Post knows that black kids have made significant gains in their NAEP math scores.

We were never entirely sure that the Post knew that. Below, you see the somewhat begrudging way Lyndsey Layton reported the gains:
LAYTON (4/11/15): Haycock credits annual testing and No Child Left Behind with a modest rise in math scores among black and Hispanic students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test administered by the federal government across the country every two years.

“The suggestion that No Child Left Behind destroyed American education is absolutely not borne out,” Haycock said at a gathering of the country’s top state education officials two weeks ago.

But black and Hispanic students made even greater gains on the NAEP before No Child Left Behind took effect.
According to that account, black and Hispanic kids have made “modest” gains in math in roughly the past dozen years. They made “even greater gains on the NAEP” in the years before that.

Based on that account, it almost sounds like black and Hispanic kids have made fairly substantial gains in math in the past several decades! Most people would be surprised to hear that. You’d almost think a newspaper like the Post would want to do a full report about this important matter.

If you thought that, you’d almost surely be wrong. The Washington Post and the New York Times seem dedicated to withholding this encouraging news from the public.

We all can guess at the motive for their relentless silence. But the silence is a well-established fact.

In Layton’s case, she offered that passage midway through a longer report. She seems to have done so as a way to suggest that No Child Left Behind hasn’t been much of a success.

She didn’t make any attempt to describe the size of the overall gains achieved down through the years. Beyond that, it seems to us that she may have misstated the pattern of these gains.

Below, you see black kids’ scores in Grade 8 math from 1990 through 2013. For slightly obscure methodological reasons, a clean statistical comparison can be made between 1990 and 2000. A second clean comparison can be drawn for all years from 2000 through 2013.

Here you see the basic pattern of these score gains:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, NAEP
Black students, 2000 through 2013 (new methodology)

2013: 262.73
2003: 251.75
2000: 243.27

Average scores, Grade 8 math, NAEP
Black students, 1990 through 2000 (old methodology)

2000: 244.88
1990: 236.12
In the ten years from 1990 to 2000, the score gain was 8.76 points. These years completely predate No Child Left Behind.

In the ten years from 2003 through 2013, the score gain was 10.98 points. No Child Left Behind was signed into law in January 2002.

Comparing those ten-year periods, the score gain after NCLB was somewhat larger. The difference isn’t super-impressive, but we don’t see why Layton described the gains as she did.

A similar pattern obtains with the score gains recorded by Hispanic kids, except a little bit more so:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, NAEP
Hispanic students, 2000 through 2013 (new methodology)

2013: 271.02
2003: 258.13
2000: 251.75

Average scores, Grade 8 math, NAEP
Hispanic students, 1990 through 2000 (old methodology)

2000: 251.54
1990: 244.66
For Hispanic kids, the score gains were substantially larger in the more recent ten-year period.

We don’t know why Layton seemed to say that gains were larger in the years before No Child Left Behind. This leads to a more important question:

How large a gain in math achievement might these score gains indicate?

That’s an important question! It’s an act of journalistic fraud that newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times have long refused to report these gains, and have failed to investigate that important question.

How large a gain in math achievement might those score gains indicate? As we’ve long told you, by a very rough rule of thumb, ten points on the NAEP scale is often compared to one academic year.

Our big newspapers often use that rule of thumb in reporting the size of the gaps between the scores of white kids and black kids. We don’t think we’ve ever seen them report the size of the gains, let alone apply the ten-point rule of thumb.

Shall we add? Black kids gained almost thirty points in Grade 8 math from 1990 through 2013. They gained 8.76 points between 1990 and 2000, plus 19.46 points between 2000 and 2013.

Using that very rough rule of thumb, that would represent almost three years of math achievement.

We doubt that kids have actually gained that much. That said, it’s an act of journalistic fraud that the Washington Post and the New York Times won’t report the size of those score gains or evaluate their academic meaning.

Those are the actual scores recorded on the NAEP, the widely-praised “gold standard” of educational testing. As of last Saturday, a basic fact has been established—the Washington Post is aware that score gains have occurred.

The Post knows score gains have occurred! We regard it as an act of fraud that the paper won’t perform high-profile, front-page reporting about this important fact.

To all appearances, the Washington Post and the New York Times don’t want to discuss this apparent good news. They don’t seem to want you to hear the good news about our students and their public school teachers.

You really have to despise black kids to keep such news from the public. But then, all around our “liberal” world, our big stars quite plainly don’t care.

To access the NAEP Data Explorer: To access the NAEP Data Explorer, click here, then click on MAIN NDE.

After that, you’re on your own. But all the data are sitting right there, just as they always have been.

Our big newspapers refuse to report these score gains. They seem devoted to a corporate/conservative script:

Absolutely nothing has worked! It's all because of our ratty teachers, with their infernal unions!

Might we add one final point? Almost everything you read in big newspapers seems to be written to script!


  1. "It’s an act of journalistic fraud that ....."

    Well, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    I could say it was an act of educational and national security fraud that... persons with no collegiate course work in elementary education were allowed to teach instead of be subject to military conscription during the Vietnam War.

    1. So, you oppose Teach for America then. There is our common ground. That you object to teachers being exempted from military service suggests that you do not consider teaching to be an important form of national service. Many teachers are frustrated by the way the profession is denigrated by those who have little idea of what it takes to teach effectively.

      Or maybe you are just sad that Somerby didn't die back in the 70s when he had the opportunity. That's what you sound like.

    2. I wouldn't have gone to Vietnam either.

  2. I've never seen anything comparable on any other site. There are commenters here, such as Anon 3:16 that are just plain batshit insane. I mean did Somerby steal your wife or kill your puppy? How else to explain the depths of your derangement?

    1. Let's see. TDH makes an accusation of fraud.

      Anonymous @ 3:16 says he/she could also make an accusation of fraud and gives an example.

      Anonymous @ 3:40, without addressing the validity of either Somerby's actual accusation or 3:16's hypothetical example concludes 3:16 is batshit insane and then references hatred for Somerby.

      I'd have to conclude @ 3:40 is insanely overprotective of a blogger who is not even mentioned.

    2. 3:40 PM,

      In 3:16 PM's reality he's defending Rachel Maddow's honor. That said, it's certainly safer for his neighbors if we don't discourage him from spending most of his waking hours fretting over and cyber stalking Somerby.

  3. Typical Douche TrollApril 14, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    "You’d almost think a newspaper like the Post would want to do a full report about this important matter."


    Being a typical troll, I'd think instead that this blogger should do a full report about this matter if he thinks it's so important.

    1. Somerby's Ease Douche TrollApril 14, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      No, typical trolls know this blogger does regular full reports on this matter which his readers ignore because they despise black children.

      Yours was an act of flagrant trollistic fraud.

    2. Those full reports are what attracted many of us to this blog in the first place. So, speak for yourself about the interest in children of all races and ethnicities.

  4. Despite dramatic upticks in overall student achievement in recent years, the achievement gap between white and minority high school students remains wide and steady.

    The academic performance of the nation’s 12th graders in math and reading has not changed since 2009, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which on Wednesday released The Nation’s Report Card on America’s high school seniors. But the white-black gap in math and reading scores in 2013 was 30 points, the latter of which grew five points since 1992.

    The white-Hispanic gap was 21 points in math and 22 points in reading. For more than a decade a slew of state and federal policies have attempted to narrow the achievement gap, but the gulf between whites and their black and Hispanic counterparts has remained steady and in some instances, widened. Calls to chip away at the achievement gap have grown louder as recent reports show that many minority students are not college ready when they graduate from high school. But the stagnant achievement growth among high school students in general speaks to a broader population of young people largely unprepared for secondary education, the clearest path to high-paying, high-quality employment.

    The NAEP report card, administered by the federal government every four years to high school students and every two years to 4th and 8th graders, is a key barometer the government uses to gauge student academic achievement.

    The new data comes as the nation’s racial minorities have seen huge gains in high school graduation and college enrollment rates and as high school dropout rates among these groups remain high but show signs of decline. Overall the country’s high school graduation rate is at an all-time high of 80%, and academic achievement for elementary and middle school students have climbed steadily.

    Since 2006, the national high school graduation rate has averaged an uptick of 1.3% a year, with major gains by black and Hispanic students. Over that same time period the Hispanic graduation rate has grown by 15% to 68%. The black rate has grown by 9% since 2006 to 68% overall. The rate for whites is 85%.

    Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the persistent racial gap in high school achievement is troubling and undermines gains made with younger students.

    David Driscoll, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP, called the academic stagnation “unacceptable.”

    “Achievement at this very critical point in a student’s life must be improved to ensure success after high school,” Driscoll said. “Many factors inside and outside the classroom contribute to student performance, and it is incumbent upon everyone in the education community to find ways to foster academic improvement in the years to come.”

    1. Somerby has never said the gap has diminished. He says the scores, especially stratified, have improved across the board. White students have benefitted from gains as well as black and Hispanic students. That suggests that the gap may be related to factors other than teaching, including motivational and social experiences. Further, when you look at high school students you are seeing kids who experienced different approaches 10-12 years ago than the current crop of kindergarteners are experiencing. You are seeing the results of yesterday's teaching, not current practices.

      Because many factors affect student performance, including ones outside the classroom, schools cannot be held accountable for changing a gap that may not be fixable with solely academic interventions. Society needs to change too and it seems unlikely that will be happening soon given the disturbing trends in our economy, which affect Hispanic and black children most strongly.

      Somerby has never denied there is a gap and he has never said that gap is decreasing. He has frequently said that the gap is maintained by the increases in white student performance that have occurred along with the gains made by black and Hispanic kids. To the extent that all kids are able to do more because they are all improving their performance, that is something to be happy about, even if the gap has not been reduced. I disagree strongly with Arne Duncan when he says that the gap "undermines gains made with younger students." Those gains are important and they are not undermined because someone else does better. They represent the ability to have a better life for the child who has made such a gain, regardless of what another child is able to do. Somerby has been arguing that the gains made by all kids should be acknowledged. Arne Duncan seems to disagree. I'm with Somerby. No one says the gap is unimportant, but individual kids are important to and I am happy they are doing better in school.

    2. You go right ahead and believe your own reality.

    3. Your response is interesting @ 6:17.

      It may surprise you that you are responding to a report from MSNBC, another media outlet Somerby has accused of not reporting on NAEP results.

      And what both the Secretary of Education and the head of the NAEP are responding to are test results which show, despite progress made at lower grades, that progress is not being maintained as those kids near the end of high school.

      Your angry ranting blogger claiming people commit fraud and that they despise black kids is not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What was the phrase he used to describe another MSNBC analyst? Yes, I remember. Bob Somerby "is not being obsessively honest." I think he also calls the guy "the Puppy" for some strange reason.

      And one more minor thing. The MSNBC reporter who did that story, part of the guild which despises black kids, is black.

    4. So, you might ask what happens in the high school years to prevent progress evident in lower grades? For one thing, the drop out rate has decreased dramatically. That means more of the poorer students are staying in school, which will decrease the average offsetting the advances of the better students. It is an academic achievement that the poorer students ate staying instead of leaving. Second, drugs and alcohol abuse have a bigger impact on the higher grades. These have been decreasing but they still may blunt the impact of teaching. Third, pregnancy takes girls out of school and they tend to do better academically than boys. Fourth, cumulative motivation problems may take a toll in the higher grades. So it is likely that academic progress is harder to see when confounded by these other influences on student scores.

      There is a difference between ability and performance. If kids acquire the ability to read and do math in earlier grades they will not lose it in high school, even if other difficulties prevent them from showing what they can do. For example, girls stop doing well in math in high school because they don't want to challenge the boys, not because they can't do the work. There may be similar pressures on minority kids that have little to do with learning and a lot to do with expectations.

    5. No excuse left behind, eh?

      You have quite a few, but you missed the point. The information I presented was not for the purposes of argument.

      It was to note the man claiming all silence on the fraudulent press front is himself a fraud.

      The press does discuss NAEP results, just not in the cheerleading fashion Somerby seems to want. So Somerby just lies about them then makes the most intellectually fraudulent and flatulent charge about their lack of concern for one particular race while he himself accuses others of dropping race bombs.

      And don't get me started about his statistical fraud. He makes the talented Ms. Ripley at times appear to be a statistical saint.

      Not only does he disappear one whole test worth of results (Long Term Trends) but usually one third of the graded students (12th) and one of the tested subjects (reading) to present the cherriest numbers possible. Then he plays games by selecting test subjects, students, and test years which may or may not have any relation to subjects, students, or even years about which a reporter he attacks was writing. This latter sleight of hand is egregiously at work in this post.

    6. Given the across the board improvement, I think our ratty teachers and their infernal unions are a hellava lot better at their job than our ineffectual "liberal" corporate news media millionaires (including The Puppy).

    7. Funny you should mention the "ratty" teachers/"infernal" unions issue. The one who has been calling teachers cheaters and attacking teacher union leaders quite a bit is the blogger. I am not sure who he thinks has been calling teachers "ratty" because he never names names.

    8. Seems to me he is attacking the testing programs and high stakes associated with tests. He has fingered the reform movement, especially Rhee.

    9. No, Diane Ravitch does that, and Bob attacks Ravitch.

    10. Yes, in fact BOB attacked Ravitch back in July, 2013 right after she contradicted Lyndsey Layton's article in the Washington Post which covered, guess what?: NAEP test scores.

      (As you know, the Post is silent on these matters so let's keep this our little secret.)

    11. Somerby has attacked Rhee repeatedly, especially back when she was in the DC school district.

      Criticizing someone and asking that they get things right is not "attacking" them. Attacking is what you do. Somerby wants advocates like Ravitch to be more effective by saying accurate things.

      In the real world, when someone corrects a mistake you have made, they are more likely to be trying to help you. When someone ignores your mistakes, it means they don't care about whether you succeed or fail, don't care about your efforts.

      In politics, people attack those they wish to see fail and they ignore the mistakes of those they support. That's because politics isn't about making, doing, accomplishing anything. It is about manipulating public perceptions and those are swayed by criticism (correct or specious). In real life, people fail when they get details wrong and they succeed when they do things right, because the details matter. Somerby is coming from the real world, not politics.

      You are coming from cloud cuckoo land, where the people you dislike can do nothing right and must be destroyed because you hate, hate, hate them. You are an obsessed person using facts to camouflage your hatred. You are ugly and warped inside and you poison these comments with your presence. If I were you I wither and die of shame, but you cannot see yourself as others see you, so you persist. It sucks to be you but I feel more sorry for the blog readers here, because without you we might all be able to discuss something besides your mental problems. Go away.

    12. "You are an obsessed person using facts to camouflage your hatred."

      Hey, you can't use facts around here! This is The Daily Howler!

  5. I don't think these links make your case very well.

    Also, you seem kind of hung up on credentials.

  6. Is it even proper to evaluate NCLB by comparing gains made after NCLB was in effect vs. gains made in the prior period? Maybe, maybe not.

    To draw this inference requires the assumption that gains in NAEP scores are the natural state of affairs. In other words, the implicit assumption is that whatever caused the gains during assumption is that whatever caused gains from 1990 to 2003 was continuing to cause the same rate of gains from 2003 to 2013. Since we don't know what caused the gains between 1990 and 2003, this assumption is unvalidated.

  7. It is unlikely the 75% illegitimacy rate among blacks and 40% among whites, and 2% among college-educated parents, all accounted for by cultural differences and not income, affect these outcomes at all. What else could explain why caring liberals never mention them?

    THE most important divide in America today is class, not race, and the place where it matters most is in the home. Conservatives have been banging on about family breakdown for decades. Now one of the nation’s most prominent liberal scholars has joined the chorus.

    Robert Putnam is a former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the author of “Bowling Alone” (2000), an influential work that lamented the decline of social capital in America. In his new book, “Our Kids”, he describes the growing gulf between how the rich and the poor raise their children.

  8. I suppose you think they make the case for silence?

  9. Since conservatives have been banging on about this for years, you would expect higher test scores in conservative states, but that isn't the pattern.

    1. There would be no expected correlation between "conservative states" and test scores. The most "conservative states" have the highest proportion of blacks.

      There would be an expected correlation between children raised in intact families and higher test scores, which there is, and it would be expected to exist independently of income and race, which it does.

    2. The NAEP scores can be examined by race. Do those white families with their strong family values do better? I'll bet they don't.

    3. I think "parents" producing kids they can't, or have no interest in supporting is a big problem.

    4. You know, @ 11:22, to the extent you see it as a problem you must be even more astounded at the remarkable test score gains Somerby point to.

    5. Credit where due! No doubt a lot of hard work went into those gains.

      I suspect that a significant amount of "the gap" might not be classroom related, but instead is the result of socio-economic factors- poverty and neglect.

    6. 11:22 AM,
      Where are the parents?
      Working at least 2 jobs, because (like many problems this nation faces) business stopped fairly paying for labor.

    7. One parent is usually absent or in prison or drug addicted and the other is usually neglectful or drug addicted, and neither one encourages their children to do anything but become dependent victims of racism. Excuses about poorly paying jobs are inexplicable efforts to divert attention from the real problem.

    8. I see you have shifted all your focus to racial minorities @ 11:43 and most of them have neglectful, addicted, or criminal parents.

    9. The topic of these comments is racial minorities' academic performance.

  10. I don't understand why the critics are so hell-bent on attacking Somerby for of all things, praising the nation's black and Hispanic students for their academic improvement. I say cheer em on!

  11. It would be interesting to see how Rachel, Lawrence and the rest of the MSNBC gang would wrap their minds around explaining "the achievement gap". Rachel: "do you deny racism exists"?! ... "I don't want to hear any reasons why".

  12. Perhaps the problem is you that you see his critics attacking him for something they are not attacking him for. Which may indicate who went to school back when those reading scores were much lower.

  13. OMB (Exploring Mysterious Memory Losses on NAEP with the OTB)

    Howdy friends and Bobfans. We see BOB is back playing the school numbers game again. We always come back for these fun exercises.


    TDH Today

    "Saturday morning, a breakthrough occurred.

    As we noted yesterday, it became clear that the Washington Post actually knows a certain fact about the nation’s black kids:

    The Washington Post knows that black kids have made significant gains in their NAEP math scores.

    We were never entirely sure that the Post knew that....

    You’d almost think a newspaper like the Post would want to do a full report about this important matter.

    If you thought that, you’d almost surely be wrong."

    Almost surely Bob Somerby is committing the very act of fraud he accuses the Washington Post of committing.

    TDH Two Years Ago

    FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013

    This morning, the Post has recanted: Here’s a basic news report we thought we’d never see.

    "In this morning’s Washington Post, Lyndsey Layton reports the latest data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (the NAEP)."

    Not only did Layton and the WaPo cover the gains made in the NAEP LTT test when it was released in June 2013, she covered results from all subjects, all ages, all ethnic groups and both genders.

    Somerby not only covered it in his blog, he posted his own comment to the Post's comment box. (His comment, by the way, excuses the poor results of 17 year olds and blames the results on not having the high drop out rates schools once had....sound familiar?)

    Oh, and did we notice he has once again trotted out the old "Rough Rule of Thumb"? Why yes. Yes we did notice. More on that later.

    1. Did you notice that 2013 was TWO YEARS AGO? Did you notice that in between there have been other stories about education that have not acknowledged any gains, that have been critical of educational efforts, that have painted the gloomy picture about American education?

      You have some beef with Somerby that has nothing to do with this issue. You clearly hate his guts. No one else here cares what your problem is. Stop this garbage and leave this blog alone.

      I posted the remark yesterday about the greatly decreased drop out rates and how that may have flattened any gains at the high school level. I am not Somerby. Anyone else might have noted the same thing. It is OBVIOUS in the data. You don't see it because you want to chastise Somerby and make him appear to be wrong when he has made valid points.

      Somerby didn't invent the "Rough rule of thumb." He is not the only one using it. It is important to try to relate the score gains back to actual real-life achievement by kids -- to say what those gains mean. No one has done that so the only measure we have is that ROUGH rule of thumb, which Somerby now, is calling VERY rough. That should be enough to make it clear that he isn't saying those kids have gained actual years of ability. No one would still be harping on this except a nasty troll like you with some other reason for hating Somerby.

      We are all tired of your noise. Go away.

    2. Did you notice that there have also been lots of stories noting these "gains"? Did you notice that Somerby says the "media" never does this?

      Did you notice that ZK never said that Somerby invented the "rough rule of thumb" (which is now modified as a "very rough rule of thumb" but continues to use it after it has long since been discredited?

      Did you notice that Somerby does all this in service of a "narrative" that is quite pleasing to his rubes?

    3. Hey @ 11:35, did you notice that 2013 was the last time NAEP Long Term Test Results were released?

    4. We aren't talking about what NAEP says, we are talking about journalists. Nothing has prevented them from discussing school progress in the meantime.

    5. Who is we? Bob Somerby is talking about NAEP.

  14. Anon. @ 5:04 should have started with BOB's own archives before searching the Post. See comment below.

  15. No one can maintain perfect consistency with their own past statements. For one thing, opinions can and should change. For another, people don't remember what they've said while the internet never forgets.

    You think that throwing someone's words back at them is a valid attack. It isn't. It is meaningless. No one cares because no one expects Somerby or anyone else to be that consistent.

    You fantasize that people are affected by the things you say about Somerby. They size you up for a troll and skip your comments, even when you don't label them.

    Have you noticed that no one here defends you? There is a reason for that. You need to go away.

  16. OMB (Thumbing that Old Rule on the Rubes with the OTB)

    Part 1

    "How large a gain in math achievement might these score gains indicate?

    That’s an important question! It’s an act of journalistic fraud that newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times have long refused to report these gains, and have failed to investigate that important question.

    "How large a gain in math achievement might those score gains indicate? As we’ve long told you, by a very rough rule of thumb, ten points on the NAEP scale is often compared to one academic year."

    BOB is right about one thing here. He has told us about this very rough rule of thumb quite often. And quite often we have piped in from our distant planet that experts on your planet have examined this question and found out BOB is "full of it" for using it. Yet he keeps pulling that thumb out of wherever it is he keeps it and waving it in under his readers noses hoping they can't read, remember, or smell.

    The newspapers don't need to investigate this important question because the NAEP has done so itself. In fact they investigated BOB's very own "rough rule of thumb" and found it impossible to verify without expensive duplicative tests.

    The NAEP study suggested that "Ten points for reading may not be “right,” but it cannot be far wrong." But it also said math scores do not fit the same patterns. It concluded "“How many NAEP
    scale points is one year’s growth?” is a question users of the scores can sensibly ask; there should be an answer. It is not difficult to obtain the answer; it is merely expensive."

    So BOB uses a rule he should know has not been validated. He applies it to subjects is should no be used on. He calls it fraud that newspapers don't investigate the question when in fact, the NAEP itself has investigated it and concluded the question cannot be answered without considerable expense that they, they givers of the test, have been unwilling for forty plus years to make.

    Coming: BOB blows the cavalry charge then rides his rough thumbs in retreat.

  17. @ 11:51 AM I won't defend KZ but I have seen nobody defend your silly and repetitive demands for people to go away.

    I am also not sure if your attack is aimed at KZ or @ 5:04, since it was that first comment KZ addressed. But neither seem to be demanding perfection from Somerby, but rather that he quit lying. He said "silence is a well established fact." It isn't. They both proved it. And Somerby is the one who regularly throws around his Nexis searches.

  18. OMB (Thumbing that Old Rule on the Rubes with the OTB)

    Part Two

    In Bob's latest sixteen sentence rumination on his favorite "very rough rule of thumb" he asks the same question twice and makes an accusation of fraud three times in that short space.

    Forget the many falsehoods, some of which have been discussed in this and other comment boxes in BOBworld. In the middle of his presentation, after displaying his ability to perform math which might test well on 4th grade NAEP, before and after blowing the Cavalry charge against the fraudulent press, our One True BOB retreats.

    "Shall we add? Black kids gained almost thirty points in Grade 8 math from 1990 through 2013. ....

    Using that very rough rule of thumb, that would represent almost three years of math achievement.

    We doubt that kids have actually gained that much."

    What??? He doubts kids have actually gained what his rough rule of thumb prescribes? He doubts a rule "experts" have used, according to BOB? He doubts the progress dictated by a rule he himself "has long told" us about?

    It is a fraud for newspapers to have not told us on their front pages about gains which Bob doubts mean what the rough rule he has often told us about tell us they mean.

    We too have doubts. We doubt BOB will stop using this rough rule of thumb any time it serves his narrative. And we doubt many people would put faith in the NAEP as the Gold Standard demonstrating continuous and amazing progress if the newspapers did what Bob asked. Because if they investigated what these score gains mean they would find the people running the NAEP cannot tell them.

    1. If they gained 2.5 years the rough rule of thumb is still valid as a rough rule. But you might be right in your last comment.

    2. Under your theory 3.5 years would still be valid. The problem is Bob's roughly ruled white middle schoolers will be outperforming the average high school seniors in no time. Like the next test cycle. And your average eighth grade Asian already is.