Latest NAEP Results

The NAEP is our only nation-wide, systematic, long-term test of what students in elementary, middle, and high school know how to do. The 2013 NAEP results were released yesterday. I have begun to do a bit of number-crunching and would like to share what I’ve found.

First of all, the increases in some of the scores in DC (my home town) are a continuation of a trend that has been going on since about 2000. As a result of those increases, DC’s fourth grade math students, while still dead last in the nation, have nearly caught up with MISSISSIPPI, the lowest-scoring state in the US.

You will have to strain your imagination to see any huge differences between the trends pre-Rhee and post-Rhee. (She was installed after testing was over in 2007.)

average scores in NAEP math 4th grade national by jurisdictions 1992-2013

Another important point is that we don’t know how much of these increases are due to improvements in regular public schools, in the charter schools, or in the private schools — data from all three groups of students are included.

And Gary Rubenstein does his usual excellent job, which you can see here

He looked at 4th grade AND 8th grade math and reading for DC and elsewhere. DC is still dead last in just about every respect, and has BY FAR the largest gap between the poor and the non-poor.

So, the Educational DEforms instituted by Rhee, Henderson, and their corporate masters have not produced the promised miracles.

Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 7:04 am  Comments (7)  
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What it was like at the Super Rhee Go Love Fest in Los Angeles

Gary Rubenstein has an excellent analysis of the heavily-orchestrated love-fest for Michelle Rhee and her friends in Los Angeles. Lot to read, but it’s better than wasting your time suffering through their propaganda.

Published in: on October 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Satire: Gary Rubenstein on the National Educational Media Crisis

At the recent ‘Skinny’ Awards ceremony in New York, Gary Rubenstein was one of the honorees. He gave some very funny remarks, which I listened to on Vimeo/Youtube and have attempted to transcribe. (I wasn’t there.)

(The humor, if you don’t get it, is in how he echoes the rhetoric of the current crop of Excellent corporate Educational DEformers.)

The United States currently faces a crisis that threatens both our economic stability and our national security. I’m talking, of course, about the status quo of mainstream media education reporting. 

For too many years, Americans have had no choice but to suffer with ineffective reporters accountable to nobody. 

This is why I am proud to be part of a growing blogger movement. Blogs are incubators of innovation that give a high quality choice to those once trapped with their failing newspaper because they have the misfortune to live in a certain zip code.

A highly effective blogger, research shows, provides three times the amount of truth in a single quote.

This is because we have the flexibility they don’t, like word count and proper grammar.

And while union dominated ed reporters require salaries where they get periodic raises, bloggers seem to have no interest in making money in that sense, instead thriving on a free currency known as a ‘Ravitch Re-Tweet’.

Yes, blogs in a sense are the charter schools of educational reporting.

Minus, of course, the cheating and embezzlement.

[Note: because of background noise and poor lighting in the videos, I made a few transcription errors. Gary R was kind enough to point them out to me. GFB]

Published in: on June 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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Scooped by Gary Rubenstein

If you are very observant, take a look at a graph by Gary Rubenstein on his blog 2/12/25, and look at a graph by me on 3/9/12, nearly a (short) month later.

Both show the lack of correlation between a teachers’ score on the exceedingly complex Teaching and Learning Framework classroom observation scores on the one hand, and their scores on the Individual Added-Value measurement scheme either in math or reading or both, depending on what subject(s) and grade levels that they taught.

Gary’s graph is, of course, populated by lots of bright red triangles; mine has little blue squares. His grid is missing vertical lines, so mine is clearly better. (joke !) But look even more carefully – you can see that the individual triangles and squares are in the identical places.

This shows that Excel, when given the same data, will produce much the same graph.

It’s really easy to do, by the way. You should try it. Here is the original data table.


Published in: on March 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm  Comments (3)  
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Gary Rubenstein Demonstrates That the NYC ‘Value Added’ Measurements are Insane

Gary Rubenstein has two excellent posts where he analyzes what happened with the New York Public School System’s value-added measurements for teachers, which were just released.

He discovered several very important things:

(1) There is almost no correlation between a teacher’s score in 2009 to that for the following year.

(2) There is almost no correlation between a teacher’s score when teaching math and when teaching reading – to the same kids, the same year, and in the same elementary class.

(3) There is almost no correlation between a teacher’s score when teaching different grade levels of the same subject (i.e., Math 6 versus Math 7, and so on).

In other words, the Value Added Methodology is very close to being a true random number generator — which would be great if we were playing some sort of fantasy role-playing game or a board game like Monopoly or Yahtzee. But it’s an utterly ridiculous way to run a school system and to evaluate teachers.

I highly recommend reading his two blogs on this topic, which are here (for the first part) and here (for the second part).

After you read them, you need to pass the word (email, word of mouth, twitter, Like, facebook, whatever).

We need to kill this value-added mysticism and drive a special wooden stake through its evil, twisted heart.


Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm  Comments (4)  
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