Thursday, July 30, 2009
Another Educational Miracle
"But a new education study suggests that those acacdemic gains aren't what they seemed. The study also helps explain why big-city education reform is unlikely to occur without school choice. ... But according to 'Still Left Behind,' a report by the Commercial Club of Chicago, a majority of Chicago public school students still drop out or fail to graduate with their class. Moreover, 'recent dramatic gains in the reported number of CPS elementary students to meet standards on state assessments appear to be due to changes in the tests ... rather than real improvements in student learning.' ... Under the 2001 No Child Left Behind law, states must test annually in grades 3 through 8 and achieve 100% proficiency by 2014. ... The new Chicago report explains that most of the improvement in elementary test scores came after the Illinois Standards Achievement Test was altered in 2006 to comply with NCLB. ... But results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam, a federal standardized test sponsored by the Department of Education, show that only 13% of the city's 8th graders were proficient in math in 2007. While that was better than 11% in 2005, it wasn't close to the 39 percentage-point increase refelcted on the Illinois state exam. ... In 2006, [Arne Duncan] responded to a Chicago Tribune editorial headlined, 'An "A" for Everybody!', by noting (correctly) that 'this is the test the state provided; this is the state standard our students were asked to meet.' But this doesn't change the fact that by defining proficiency downward, states are setting up children to fail in high school and college", Editorial at the WSJ, 18 July 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124786847585659969.html.
See my 1 September 2008 post and comments, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/09/dead-elephant-in-living-room.html. Is anyone surprised by this?