RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Data on US' student test scores is utterly misleading if the following is not included: private school students in the US do not have to take state tests. When the news media doesn't include this caveat in their reports on student achievement levels, the public is receiving information about American students that is deeply inaccurate.
My strong professional opinion is that private school students would pass these tests in greater numbers than public school students. So presenting public school test results as "National" figures is untruthful and therefore unacceptable to an honest debate. One has to wonder why the public is hit with wave after wave of "Low American Test Scores!" stories in the mass media (not referring to NPR here) -- and why these stories do not remind Americans that millions of our students are not in public school and thus are not reflected in achievement data. Is it perhaps a familiar Alarm Button that brings in media consumers?
Private school students have family accountability and in-school resources that public schools do not have. Public schools are not given the resources to complete the task they are given. Let's please not pretend that they are provided the manpower necessary for the task. Private school teachers are asked to move students from one grade level of skill to the next. Public school teachers are ostensibly being asked to move students 3, 4, or 5 grade levels in one school year. All with less resources than private school teachers.
So yes, private school students would pass more tests. But they do not have to take them. (Perhaps because education research shows that high-stakes testing does not improve student learning? But that's another show.) US achievement data would be much less alarming if private school students were included in the results. Failing to include this in the national debate is deeply irresponsible on the part of the US media.
posted 2 years, 2 months ago
view in context