Monday, November 26

More on the NAEP scores

I bet Joel Klein was thankful for the Thanksgiving-induced reprieve from criticism. When the NAEP scores came out last week, the DOE touted them as proof of success. But more reality-driven commentators were quick to note that in all but one category -- 4th grade math -- scores were flat and that even in that category, the gains are only there if one makes the comparison using numbers that predate the Bloomberg-Klein reforms. The Queens Chronicle even called the NAEP scores "a damning blow to the Bloomberg administration."

Then came the news, broken by the Sun's Elizabeth Green, that New York gave more students testing accommodations than any other city in the country. With a quarter of students taking the 4th grade math test and about 20 percent of students taking the other tests receiving special accommodations, some testing experts think the results aren't worth much. "When you change the statistics for 25% of the people who are guaranteed to be at the lower end, that's going to have a tremendous impact," an NYU professor told the Sun.

A couple of weeks ago, NYC Public School Parents wondered whether the report card fiasco would prove to be an "emperor's new clothes moment" for Klein and Bloomberg. The NAEP scores have done much more to show that the DOE's reforms unfortunately have not produced the improvements the DOE says they have. And the more Joel Klein insists that everyone else is wrong and he is right about how to interpret test scores -- as he did in an email, sent last week to all DOE employees, decrying the unfavorable press coverage -- the sillier the DOE looks.

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