NAEP Madness is already fizzling. NYT runs a mostly upbeat cynicism-free story on the front page, Wash. Post plays-up high school reform with an action photo of Kati Haycock no less.
But the same day as This Week’s Russo says don’t quote Fairtest, both the Post and the NYT stories run quotes verbatim from the Fairtest press release about the scores. Lame enough since there are actually thoughtful critics who could have been reached with these new fangled communications tools we have these days, phones, emails…and might have offered real nuance or texture.
But even lamer still because the quotes are the same stuff Fairtest says about any test (which seem a lot like NEA talking points, right down to the “so-called” NCLB gambit….). They have little to do with the issue of the day, the NAEP. The NAEP doesn’t result in pushouts, teaching to the test, or any of the rest. It’s a no-stakes test given to a sample of students. It is only related to high-stakes testing in the sense that Fairtest sees the NAEP and all other testing as part and parcel of some corporate or oligarchic plot to dominate American society.
Eduwonk disagrees with Russo that fringe groups shouldn’t be quoted. Lots of important social movements, as he notes, started on the fringes. However, they should be quoted with some context and in a relevant way, not just as bomb throwers.
By the way, there are problems with standardized testing particularly some high-stakes policies for kids. Isn’t the real tragedy here how Fairtest (which once was for fair and open testing) essentially has become Notest and lost the ability to do much serious work to address them beyond howling at the moon (aided by lazy reporters)?