Here’s NYT’s Sam Dillon on the new Common Core report (pdf):

The group says President Bush’s education law, No Child Left Behind, has impoverished public school curriculums by holding schools accountable for student scores on annual tests in reading and mathematics, but in no other subjects.

But the report itself, penned by Rick Hess, pretty much bent over backwards not to make big claims about No Child except to note some narrowing and to say that policymakers should think about this issue as they modify it. The report also bent over backwards not to make trend inferences but D-Ed Reckoning’s DeRosa is unsatisfied. In the report Hess does a pretty good job of addressing DeRosa’s fundamental claim of book cooking. But, in terms of Common Core’s take on this overall and the NAEP data etc… it is worth asking if things have really gotten worse. I’m unconvinced.

For Dillon’s part, in the report’s forward, Common Core board members Diane Ravitch and Antonia Cortese (AFT) go after No Child hard….and they do again in the press release.

What’s it all mean? Eduprediction: Some not too hidden agendas here portend some trouble down the road for all this. Sometimes strange bedfellows are just that…

2 Replies to “Common?”

  1. Hess was careful not to suggest a trend from the survey data and his conclusions did avoid the overheated rhetoric in the forward and press release. But the actual NAEP data does show a slight trend–a trend that cuts against many of Hess’s conclusions. It was a mistake not to ackowledge this NAEP data. And, given the NAEP data and trend, it was also a mistake to include the rhetorical alley-oop served up in the forward and press release (and subsequently slammed home in the Times and USAT). This crosses the line from advocacy to agenda.

  2. I’d be curious to see whether adults would perform that much better than 17 year olds. Moreover, I bet that 17 year olds could track down the answers to the questions far more quickly than the adults. I’m not arguing that knowing basic historical facts isn’t important, but let’s be careful about focusing on schools today when we don’t know if adults who were schooled in the past know much more. And whether they learned it in school or through other means such the media during their adult life.

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