Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quotations Of The Day: One Of These Statements Has To Be Wrong Edition

I haven't seen either Prometheus or John Carter, but I apparently am going to have to if I want to understand the following analysis that seems to come from a planet other than Earth.  I have no other explanation for why Matthew Di Carlo is a senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute in Washington, D.C. would write the bolded analysis below.
In education discussions and articles, people (myself included) often say “achievement” when referring to test scores, or “student learning” when talking about changes in those scores. These words reflect implicit judgments to some degree (e.g., that the test scores actually measure learning or achievement). Every once in a while, it’s useful to remind ourselves that scores from even the best student assessments are imperfect measures of learning. But this is so widely understood – certainly in the education policy world, and I would say among the public as well – that the euphemisms are generally tolerated.
In the real world, Diane Ravitch's analysis seems far more accurate:
One thing is clear. The tests are the linchpin of the attack on public education. The politicians throw about test scores as evidence that our entire public education system is a failed enterprise. (For a recent example, see my review of the Council on Foreign Relations report, which made the absurd claim that public education is a "grave threat" to national security.)
If it were "widely understood" that scores from even the best student assessments are imperfect measures of learning," even the best spin doctor could not make them "the linchpin of the attack on public education."

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