Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Three Problems With CPRE's Twitter Bot Claims | Truth in American Education

Three Problems With CPRE's Twitter Bot Claims | Truth in American Education:

Three Problems With CPRE’s Twitter Bot Claims

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Even by the bottom-dwelling standards of Common Core propagandists, this is a bit rich. Huffington Post and a new Gates Foundation-funded outfit called The 74 both report gleefully (see here and here) on a study by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), purporting to show that much opposition to Common Core was built by “fake news” generated by manipulation of Twitter feeds. Financed partly by – guess who? – the Gates Foundation, this study is a remarkably shoddy piece of work in a field, education research, known for shoddy work.
First, the CPRE study. The researchers’ first odd decision was to analyze the Common Core debate through the lens of Twitter traffic at all. Although the numbers are unquantifiable, it’s safe to say the vast majority of parents and other citizens who have worked against Common Core for years don’t use Twitter and are serenely unaware of what today’s tweets are saying. So the idea that Common Core opposition depended to any significant extent on Twitter traffic is bogus from the get-go.
The second questionable decision was to begin the examination of Twitter traffic with September 2013. This was long after academic and other serious critiques of Common Core were published by experts such as Dr. James Milgram and Dr. Sandra Stotsky. Dr. Stotsky spoke to Alabama legislators against it in 2011.  By skipping the several years before September 2013, the researchers were able to avoid chronicling Twitter traffic that publicized weighty reports the researchers couldn’t dismiss as “fake news.”  Dr. Milgram correctly warned Alabamians in 2015 of the disaster awaiting them.  Alabama math scores on NAEP dropped from 25th pre common core to dead last that same year.
And speaking of fake news, the researchers seem strangely oblivious to the legitimate and serious debate that has been swirling around Common Core since 2010. Instead, as Truth in American Education co-founder James Wilson noted, they accept pro-Common Core marketing at face value and dismiss any contrary information as myth. But there is massive evidence that the Three Problems With CPRE's Twitter Bot Claims | Truth in American Education:

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