Education policy

Is the College Board trolling high schools?

This week, we had a round of news stories about how average SAT scores are at their lowest level in years. In an example of particularly weak reporting, the Washington Post‘s Nick Anderson wrote, The steady decline in SAT scores and generally stagnant results from high schools on federal tests and other measures reflect a troubling shortcoming […]

Mistakes in brief

So there’s this in response to this, which commented on this, which itself was a response to a whole lot of 10-year retrospectives on Katrina, some of which are full of motivated reasoning and some of which combine a pretty good empirical base and caution about drawing policy conclusions.1 And then the following from this: “reading […]

Another dirty little secret of test-based measures

New York State’s department of education recently reported that approximately 20% of students in testing grades refused to participate in this year’s state assessments, the high-water mark thus far of the opt-out movement. Among the various stories and arguments flowing from that is the argument that 20% refusal is easily over the threshold of non-participation […]

Hillary Clinton higher-ed initiative as Shrek

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is issuing her complicated anti-college-debt plan today, and the analyses are starting to pop up. It may be useful to think of the plan as operating in several layers: Campaign promise as symbolic politics. Campaigns call out to various constituencies in hopes of attracting support on the basis of various symbolic and real […]

Validity’s likely irrelevance in personnel processes

My colleague Audrey Amrein-Beardsley is starting a series of blog entries glossing the March special issue of Educational Researcher devoted to value-added or growth measures, specifically the technical qualities vis-a-vis teacher evaluations. In her first entry on the issue today, she argues the following: [Quoting Doug Harris and Carolyn Herrington:] “The issue is not whether value-added measures are valid but […]