Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Truthiness and Lies - Integrity in Education

Truthiness and Lies - Integrity in Education:

Truthiness and Lies

JebBushTo err is human, the saying goes. We all make mistakes. When honest people make a mistake, they own up to it and make the needed corrections.
So far, Jeb Bush’s Foundation for ‘Excellence’ in Education (FEE) has done the exact opposite.
To recap: Last week, FEE launched an ad campaign promoting high-stakes testing, as part of a campaign to promote the Common Core. The campaign rests largely on flimsy (and previously debunked) claims about Jeb Bush’s brand of education policy.
But even in an ad that is full of the poll-tested truthiness reformy organizations are known for, one frame stands out as particularly egregious: the one that says “Florida is a Top 10 state,” accompanied by a citation that attributes that claim to “Sources: US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2013 Report Card [sic]”.
As we noted last week, NCES doesn’t use the NAEP to rank states like that. When NPR’s StateImpact Floridaquestioned where the “Top 10” claim came from, a spokeswoman for FEE responded that it was pulled from EdWeek’s 2013 Quality Counts report card. (It’s worth noting that the state got its highest scores for standards and testing, as well as early childhood education and work preparation, while their lowest grades were for school spending and performancethe very thing they’re trying to prove by making this claim in the first place. In other words, Florida’s most significant achievements were either about the practice of testing itself, or have nothing to do with the testing promoted in the ads. We agree that it’s important to recognize students’ and teachers’ achievements. But where they’ve succeeded, it has been despite the test-driven policies front groups like FEE promotenot because of them.)
Now at this point, if that citation had truly been a mistake, an honest group of people would have re-edited the clip and let people know that it had been updated. That’s a couple of hours at most for editing, an hour or so to update on the different websites and YouTube, and a few seconds to tweet an “Oops! We made a mistake—