Petrilli’s Hammer & the poverty has nothing to do with PISA argument

School Finance 101

Mike Petrilli over at TB Fordham has made his case for why differences in national economic context do little to substantively explain variations in PISA scores.

He frames his argument in terms of Occam’s Razor, as if to sound well informed, deeply intellectual and setting the stage to share profound logical argument, summarized as follows:

“among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

Petrilli asserts that while some might perceive a modest association (actually, it’s pretty strong) between national economic context and average tested outcomes in math, for example… like this…

Slide1

…that it is entirely illogical to assert that child poverty has anything to do with national aggregate differences in math performance at age 15.

That is, the various assumptions that must be made to accept this crazy assertion – that economic context matters in math performance – simply don’t hold water in…

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Graph of the Day: My contribution to PISA Palooza

School Finance 101

With today’s release of PISA data it is once again time for wild punditry, mass condemnation of U.S. public schools and a renewed sense of urgency to ram through ill-conceived, destructive policies that will make our school system even more different from those breaking the curve on PISA.

With that out of the way, here’s my little graphic contribution to what has become affectionately known to edu-pundit class as PISA-Palooza.  Yep… it’s the ol’ poverty as an excuse graph – well, really it’s just the ol’ poverty in the aggregate just so happens to be pretty strongly associated with test scores in the aggregate – graph… but that’s nowhere near as catchy.

pisa_palooza

PISA Data: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014024_tables.pdf

(table M4)

OECD Relative Poverty: Source: Provisional data from OECD Income distribution and poverty database (www.oecd.org/els/social/inequality).

Yep – that’s right… relative poverty – or the share of children in families below 50% of…

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Why such fear Governor Markell?   http://www.corestandards.org/public-license

 

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