As Ed Reforms Fail, Legislators Admit They Don't Understand What They've Done

If the the latest results from NAEP testing is to be any guide, Corporate Education reformers have more evidence that their reforms have failed. If test and punish was supposed to raise test scores, their approach is failing miserably.

The average performance of the nation’s high school seniors dropped in math from 2013 to 2015, but held steady in reading, according to results of a biennial test released Wednesday.

The results, from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also showed a drop in the percentage of students in private and public schools who are considered prepared for college-level work in reading and math. In 2013, the last time the test was given, 39 percent of students were estimated to be ready in math and 38 percent in reading; in 2015, 37 percent were judged prepared in each subject.


The lower-grade results were released last fall, and they showed a similar decline in math.

The math tests are scored from zero to 300, and in 12th grade, the average dropped to 152 in 2015 from 153 in 2013, a statistically significant decline. The 2015 average was two points higher than in 2005, the first year a comparable test was given.

Corporate education reform booster, Frederick Hess noted on twitter

As we noted in response, more time testing, less time teaching hasn't been a roadmap to student success. Which brings us nicely to the latest nonsense from the Ohio General Assembly - the architects of much of the test and punish policies Ohio has been enamored with. 

You probably only need to read the headline in this Dispatch article to have your frustration levels rise. "Ohio legislators hope to pin down ‘value added’ rating for student progress". Legislators have been crafting education reform policy based largely on flawed Value-Add systems that to this day, they do not understand.

Ohio’s value-added measure is a major part of its system for evaluating student progress and teacher effectiveness, but some lawmakers admit they have too little understanding of how it works.

They hope to change that soon.

Reps. Ryan Smith and Bob Cupp, two of the more influential House Republicans on education issues, introduced a one-paragraph bill last week that calls for a review of the value-added system.

Each said there is no plan right now for changes, but they want an in-depth discussion about it. For such a major component of district report cards and teacher evaluations, there appears to be a lack of understanding of the value-added measure both inside and outside the Statehouse.

“I don’t particularly understand it. I think it will be an opportunity to inform,” said Cupp, R-Lima. “I think there’s a lot of broad-based questions about it.”

They could start by doing a search of the JTF archives for VAM and Value Add to begin to understand that this measure has been, is and will continue to be a wholly inappropriate measure currently used. 

While ignorant legislators have ignored education experts and instead listened to the profiteers, students have learned less and teacher retention and recruitment has hit crisis levels.