Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Education Expert Campbell Brown Offers Advice to the Next President | Diane Ravitch's blog

Education Expert Campbell Brown Offers Advice to the Next President | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Education Expert Campbell Brown Offers Advice to the Next President



 The rheeform leadership has changed. Michelle Rhee was once the cover girl for test-and-punish reform, and now it is Campbell Brown. The telegenic Brown used to read the news on television but now she has taken Rhee’s place in the reformy firmament. Since she launched her career as an education expert with an op-ed attacking the teachers’ union in New York City for protecting sexual predators, Brown has become increasingly active in the world of education punditry. She received $4 million from various billionaires to launch a news site called “The 74,” which was supposed to refer to the number of school-age children in the United States. However, there are 50 million school-age children, but then why quibble? Brown organized candidate debates for both parties last fall. Three Republicans showed up, and no Democrats. Yesterday, she moderated a panel at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at a symposium on poverty and schooling.

Now Brown, having established her bona fides as an expert on education, has prepared a memo for the next president. 
Unfortunately her memo begins with a false statement. She starts by saying that 2/3 of American students in eighth grade are “below grade level” in reading and math. Apparently she refers to the National Assessment of Education Progress, the only national assessment of student skills. She confuses NAEP proficiency, a specific achievement level, with grade level.
To begin with, “grade level” is a median. Fifty percent are always above grade level, and fifty percent are always below.
But the NAEP achievement levels do not measure “grade level.” They are defined in the NAEP reports thus: “basic” represents partial mastery of skills; “proficiency” represents mastery; “advanced” represents extraordinary performance. “Below basic” is very poor performance.
Here are the definitions on the NAEP website:
Achievement Level Policy Definitions
Basic
Partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.
Proficient
Solid academic performance for each grade assessed. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging Education Expert Campbell Brown Offers Advice to the Next President | Diane Ravitch's blog:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education