Monday, November 28, 2005

Gerald Bracey's letter to the NY Times

Gerald Bracey sent the following letter to the NY times as a response to this NY Times article about NAEP scores.

Sam Dillon makes a fundamental error in his article about discrepancies between state tests and NAEP. He assumes the NAEP achievement levels are valid. They are not. Ideologues who wished to sustain the sense of crisis created by "A
Nation At Risk" created them in the 1980's. The NAEP levels are impossibly high. For example, In the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, American 4th graders finished 3rd among 26 nations (emphasis mine) in science. Yet NAEP said only 30 percent of them were proficient or better in science. Similar results occurred in math. Little wonder, then, that the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the Government Accounting Office and the Center for Research in Evaluation, Student Standards and Testing have all rejected the NAEP levels. They continue to exist only because there is so much political hay to be made from saying that American schools and students stink.


At Wednesday, November 30, 2005, Blogger annie said...

the thing is, it is so easy for a big paper to ignore or better, discredit such a letter...

but, when the many sound and eloquent voices of academicians (who KNOW the truth about statistical hogwash and KNOW the destructive forces of educational policy not founded in good educational principles, who KNOW the urgency of getting their word out so teachers, parents, and even students can benefit and begin to join the few who actually understand the fine print loaded into a cannon, aimed at our schools...)come out of their virtual clubrooms and begin this dialogue in public view, we may have something to build on.

it is high time, everyone knows it, to get out and fight this nasty battle.


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