Your Data Will Lie To You If You Let It

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

Here is a guest post from Western New York Parent Advocate Eric Mihelbergel:

One of the great flaws of human nature is that our ego makes us suddenly believe that things magically become more important if we measure them.  Data does not exist naturally in the universe.  It is a human invention, and thus it is based on human assumptions.  Data itself has no power.  But all too often humans allow data to tell lies.

Consider the case in the Ken-Ton School District where my two daughters attend school.  The school district recently mandated that teachers use NYS Common Core modules in grades 6-8 ELA and Math because there was a decline in NYS test scores.  Although they are compassionate people, they poorly assumed that test scores are down because the wrong teaching methods are being used.  But the data does not say…

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Peter Greene: Don’t Be Fooled by the “Cut Back on Testing” Hoax

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Peter Greene warns you not to be fooled when the biggest advocates of high-stakes testing say they want fewer and better tests. Consider the source.

Greene writes:

“The big news on the street is that the CCSSO and CGCS (state ed leaders and big city school folks respectively) have announced an intention to rein in the testing juggernaut.

“I’m not impressed. To begin with, they put front and center NY State’s John King, Louisiana’s John White, and DC Public’s Kaya Henderson– three big fresh faces of the anti-public school reformster movement (two TFA temps and a charter profiteer). That’s a big fat signal that this not about changing course, but about protecting the current high-stakes test-driven status quo.

“And in fact these folks were not there to say, “We realize something is wrong and we’re committed to fixing it.” They were there to say, “We recognize that we’re taking some…

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Lily on Testing

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Lily Eskelsen Garcia speaks out. Time to stop toxic testing!


October 16, 2014

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA Communications
202-270-5333 cell,

*** ‘Brave solution from federal government’ still needed to diminish volume, misuse of toxic tests ***

WASHINGTON—The National Education Association, the nation’s largest union with 3 million educators, has been sounding the alarm on the toxicity of the standardized testing mania that has been hijacking America’s schools. Recent statements by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Council of the Great City Schools and today’s report from Center for American Progress have confirmed that too often and in too many places, the education system has turned into a system of teach, learn and test with a focus on punishments and prizes.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President…

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Ripley’s Botched Attack on Ravitch: A Euro Is Not a Dollar

Originally posted on deutsch29:

In December 2011, writer Amanda Ripley published a post in which she tried hard to discredit education historian Diane Ravitch’s claim that the US poverty level is a factor in the 2009 PISA rankings.

Even though Ripley’s piece is over two years old, I only read it yesterday. In her smug attempt to discredit Ravitch’s interpretation of the role of US poverty upon US PISA scores, Ripley makes a gross blunder in her supposed comparison of poverty between American and Finland (when poverty is defined as “below median income”).

Ripley advances the premise, “great schools are among the most effective anti-poverty measures known to humanity.”

Ripley does not bother to define what makes a “great school.” From the focus of her post, apparently a “great school” is one that delivers high standardized test scores.

I believe that “great schools” are well-funded; that the focus of “great schools” is not on…

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While Red Clay and Christina are pushing back on DOE intrusion from the south, Capital is fending them off right in their own backyard!

Momentous decision. DOE will be knocking on your door soon. Keep them occupied.

@DEDeptofEd and @GovernorMarkell ‘s state takeover MOU gets owned by a 4th grader in Red Clay! #PRIORITIZETHAT

h/t Mike Matthews:

AWESOME! Mr. Chukwuocha and Fmr. Mayor Baker need to listen to our students!

Way to go Addie Nourie!