Friday, May 17, 2013

A Little Truth to Shut the Flapping Lying Yaps of the Reform Frauds

One of Worst Frauds of the Reform Circus - Cheating Scandal? Erase to the Top

Sometimes I just love to stumble across little pieces of ed reform kryptonite written by honest, very intelligent people who know what the fuck they are talking about and cut a path right down the middle of the Gates, Arne Duncan, Broads, Waltons, Rahmbos, Bloombergs, Christies, Bushs and Bookers - I know I left out a few but after naming off that many odious people your head starts to hurt. It's not about education and it's not about reform. It's lie upon lie upon lie and it's all for a profit. Here's a little slice of truth given By Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute.  Rothstein is also the author of several books on education issues, and is senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. From 1999 to 2002, he was the national education columnist of The New York Times. He was speaking to the education graduates of Loyola College.  The entire text is here.

You may be surprised to learn that African-American elementary school student achievement, in Illinois and nationwide, has been improving so spectacularly that in math, the average black student now performs better than about 90% of all black students performed less than a generation ago.

What’s more, black elementary school math performance is now better than white performance was in the previous generation.

Let me repeat: black elementary school students today have better math skills than white students did only twenty years ago.

These data come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal sample that is the only reliable source on student achievement over time in this country.

The gains have been almost as great for middle-schoolers in math, and for elementary school students in reading,

Most gains were posted in the 1990s, before the test-obsessed accountability system called “No Child Left Behind,” a law whose flawed premise was that it was necessary to force educators to pay attention to minority students.

For Hispanic students, there are no data that can distinguish between very recent immigrants and children who have attended American schools throughout childhood. But my guess is that if we had data, we would conclude that Hispanic gains have been equally dramatic.

Policymakers, pundits, and politicians ignore these gains; they conclude that you, educators, have been incompetent because the test score gap hasn’t much narrowed.

But the reason it hasn’t narrowed is that your profession has done too good a job — you’ve improved white children’s performance as well, so the score gap persists, but at a higher level for all.

There's plenty more but sometimes just that much is enough to shove a sock in the mouth of the ed reform noise machine with its endless drumbeats about failing schools and inefficient teachers. Suck it reformers, Oh Yeah, Karen Lewis was re-elected as President of the Chicago Teacher's Union with 80% of the vote for another 3 year term. I guess nobody bought into Rahmbo's stooge candidate. 

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