Monday, August 19, 2013

Comments on a sloppy op-ed

Comments on a sloppy op-ed.
Sent to the NY Times, August19, 2013

Bill Keller ("War on the core," August 18) hasn't done his homework.

There has been no "embarrassing decline" in American education; in fact, studies have shown that when we control for poverty, American students rank near the top of the world. 

Contrary to Keller's claim, the  common core is in fact "new and untried": There is no evidence that imposing tougher standards and increasing testing improves achievement.

Also, liberals don't "hate testing." This liberal hates inappropriate and excessive testing: The common core is increasing the amount of testing to astonishing levels: In addition to end-of-year tests in language arts and math, there will be tests in all subjects, "interim tests" to be given during the academic year, and there is discussion of pre-testing in the fall. Under No Child Left Behind, our students are tested in grades three through eight and once in high school. Common core is planning testing for all grades, K to 12, and there are plans to "pre-screen" children before they enter kindergarten.

Stephen Krashen

Some sources:

No decline: Loveless, Tom. How Well are American Students Learning? The 2010 Brown Center Report on American Education. The Brown Foundation: Houston. 2011.

Control for poverty: Carnoy, Martin and Richard Rothstein. 2013, What Do International Tests Really Show Us about U.S. Student Performance. Washington DC: Economic Policy Institute. 2012.

Increasing testing does not increase achievement: Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. 2006. High-stakes testing and student achievement: Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives 14(1). OECD. Tienken, C., 2011. Common core standards: An example of data-less decision-making. Journal of Scholarship and Practice. American Association of School Administrators [AASA], 7(4): 3-18.

Excessive testing: Krashen, S. "How much testing?" available at: krashen-how-much-testing/

Original op-ed:

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