user 9090133
Kenner, LA
Post #: 4,110
Looks like we have another fake "crisis", created by those who will never "let a crisis go to waste" when it can lead to more government power and control over our lives and the indiscriminate use of taxpayer dollars. I believe the basic premise that our schools are failing our children based on the test results of NAEP and PISA is fundamentally flawed . We must NOT base our education system on this false claim!!

Locally, one of the BIG arguments that LA pro- common core advocates frequently use is that "Louisiana ranks around 49th " in the nation in education based on the national NAEP tests .....and so there is a desperate need for us to adopt the CCSS Initiative."

Nationally, we are told that we have an education crisis based on PISA test scores and so we must FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM our education system with the Common Core State Standards Initiative . We are told that America is not completely capable of competing in a "global economy" and that our students are "lagging" internationally..... and consequently we must change our education system and become more like other countries who out-score us.

It appears that this is a blatant misrepresentation and manipulation of the NAEP test results .... and international tests such as PISA ..... leading those who do not QUESTION these assertions to conclude that the elitist Big Govt and Big Business "leaders" should be allowed to control the education of our children on a national basis. It is extremely disheartening to me that so many of our local and state officials and elected representatives seem to blindly accept these claims, fail to ask for documentation and proof, and are seemingly willing to sacrifice our children and our state for the promise of "hope and change" or some other nebulous construct.

PLEASE NOTE: "Ranking" tells you nothing. We can "rank" 50 "A" students..... the 49th ranked student is NOT a failure...... the student is still an "A" student!!

Here is what I have discovered.......

NAEP is ultimately controlled by Arne Duncan and the federal Dept of Ed !!! NAEP is created, designed, and scored by the Fed DOE and their bureaucrats.­

National assessments (NAEP) include many subjects, including mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. These assessments follow the frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board, This NAGB is APPOINTED BY THE US SECRETARY OF EDUCATION , ie Arne Duncan. Each subject is assessed at grades 4, 8, and 12—although not all grades are assessed each time.

Four of these subjects (mathematics, reading, science, and writing) are reported also at the state level, usually for grades 4 and 8. For national assessments, students in public and private schools are assessed, but at the state level, assessment is in public schools only.

The assessments are only done on a small number of students who are selected for certain demographics, the tests are voluntary so chosen students do not have to take them, special needs students are included in the tests, the tests are not done every year.
(The average number of students tested per grade is about 350,000 out of approximately 6 million students per grade in the U.S. The total # of public school students in the over 49.5 million­)
The maximum possible score on each test is 500.­

"Some have asked whether NAEP is a criterion-referenced test, and the answer is no. A criterion-referenced test is one that almost everyone can pass if they master the requisite skills. A test to get a drivers’ license is a criterion-referenced test. Anyone who studies the laws can pass the written test and qualify for a drivers’ license.


NAEP’s benchmarks, including the proficiency standard, evolved out of a process only marginally better than throwing darts at the wall.

What is striking in reviewing the history of NAEP is how easily and frequently its governing board has shrugged off criticisms about the board’s standards-setting processes.......In short, for the last 20 years it has been hard to find any expert not on the U.S. Department of Education’s payroll who will accept the NAEP benchmarks uncritically.


This 2011 NAEP test for 4th grade math ranks Louisiana # 45 (we actually tie with other states).
However, out of a possible score of 500, the TOP score is 253 for Massachusetts and the LA score is 231... a difference of 22 points or 4.4% of the total 500 possible points. If the grades were constructed with 253 (MA score) equal to 100%..... Louisiana would rate a 93%..... hardly a FAILING grade.
(Note: the 2012 scores will not be available until Dec 2013)

LA 8th grade Math score is 273...... MA is again #1 with 291. Again, LA scores at 90% of MA level with a total difference in scores of less than 4%.

According to the Diane Ravitch analysis..... 26% of our students would be rated an "A" (scoring proficient or above)
Does this look like a CRISIS to you???? Certainly there is room for improvement......but the need for massive changes in our education system does not seem warranted. The ranking of 45th does NOT tell the whole story.

These ARE the NAEP scores using their own system. Since there is so much controversy about the different proficiency levels supposedly measured on these tests, I see no reason to put much weight into a comparison of the # of students each state has in each category.

***** Just released: 2013 results.... LA scores still only about 4% lower than 1st place in reading and 4th grade math. 8th grade math scores for LA about 5.6% lower than 1st place. LA "ranks" near the bottom but shows minimal difference in overall scores from the "top" ranking states!!!
I cannot find a "ranking" on the "new" NAEP website !!!
user 9090133
Kenner, LA
Post #: 4,118

**INTERNATIONAL TESTING : PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment )
Please WATCH this from Prof Christopher Tienken:­

The pro Common Core Initiative crowd also proclaims that our U.S. children are "lagging behind" those in other countries and point to the PISA tests as evidence. First of all, the PISA website states that the results should not be used to compare the education systems of different countries (the test does NOT compare apples to apples). http://christienken.c...­

Sec Arne Duncan , U.S. Dept of Education, loves to cherry pick results from PISA to claim our children are failing and to push his AGENDA of overwhelming reforms of our American style education system. The article above points to numerous reasons why PISA is not a valid measurement of American education, success, economic strength, etc etc.

PISA is unique because it develops tests which are not directly linked to the school curriculum and provides context through the background questionnaires which can help analysts interpret the results.­
The tests are designed to assess to what extent student"s at the end of compulsory education, can apply their knowledge to real-life situations and be equipped for full participation in society.'
PISA tests ONLY 15 year olds!!! Does this very narrow snapshot of our entire student population offer an accurate picture of our overall US education system??? And should "background assessments" really be used to analyze and interpret results?? Exactly WHAT are we measuring?

Many studies have been done that discredit the claims of those who would have us believe that American education is consistently failing our children based on these and other tests. In some cases, the pool of students has been biased. For example, in 2009, US disadvantaged students were over-represented in testing thus leading to lower scores according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analysis in Jan 2013. Wonder how THAT happened???

The EPI authors also state: "In December 2012, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) released national average results from the 2011 administration of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan promptly issued a press release calling the results “unacceptable....... However, conclusions like these, which are often drawn from international test comparisons, are oversimplified, frequently exaggerated, and misleading. They ignore the complexity of test results and may lead policymakers to pursue inappropriate and even harmful reforms. "

PISA tests are developed and analyzed by the UNITED NATIONS' Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Also of serious concern is that these international tests are based on goals set by the UNITED NATIONS.....
"The United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established in 2000/1 and consist of eight development objectives to be achieved by 2015...... However, there is need for a successor framework once the MDGs expire in 2015 to keep the momentum built to date. The OECD played a pivotal role in defining the MDGs. With two years to go, the OECD is increasing its efforts to support the achievement of the MDGs, and at the same time thinking about how it can help the UN in developing a new agenda and framework post-2015.

The OECD has a number of areas of expertise which could support the UN-led processes shaping the post-2015 agenda and framework. One of these is to support the use of international measures of educational success – particularly focusing on learning - through its PISA for Development initiative.

You will NOT be happy to learn that OECD /PISA uses "data collection" as the basis for their actions:­
Will personal "student data" from the US be shared with the UN?????
PISA also partners with the Pearson foundation for the dissemination of "education " videos: http://www.pearsonfou...­

You may be horrified to learn that the UN-led PISA has developed a "special" test for the United States that includes a student questionnaire for data mining:
The PISA-Based Test for Schools [In the United States, the assessment is known as the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA)] is a student assessment tool geared for use by schools and networks of schools to support research, benchmarking and school improvement efforts. It provides descriptive information and analyses on the skills and creative application of knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, and science, comparable to existing PISA scales (when administered under appropriate conditions).

The assessment also provides information on how different factors within and outside school associate with student performance. Contextual questionnaires geared for schools and students are an important part of the assessment. Information about students’ socio-economic backgrounds, their attitudes and interests in reading, science and mathematics and the learning environment at school are all addressed in the assessment.

Perhaps THIS is the reason we MUST have computers for every child that are capable of data mining thru "assessments" which ask 30 minutes of PERSONAL questions about student attitudes, interests, background etc. Do you want another UN-led test in our schools???? And do you want this personal info collected and possibly SHARED with govts and/or "education and research" groups worldwide????? Is THIS the reason that the US Dept of ED changed our FERPA law????

So..... don't believe everything you hear. If it is important......go look it up yourself!!
user 9090133
Kenner, LA
Post #: 4,212
Well, the latest PSA results (2012) are out....and it is all "doom and gloom" according to US Sec DOE Arne Duncan and the rest of Team Obama. Oh will the US ever "catch up"???? Surely the answer must be MORE BIG GOVT and MORE COST for the taxpayers!!!!­

Read this excellent review of PISA with lots of questions for those like Team Obama who draw faulty conclusions to create another 'crisis" for them to solve at our expense!!
user 9090133
Kenner, LA
Post #: 4,225
Strange how history repeats itself ........ see these statements below that came as a result of Woodrow Wilson's progressive Commission on education in 1914:

The perception that American industry was lagging behind other nations was reflected in a report by the Commission on National Aid to Vocational Education (1914): The rapid development of Germany's foreign commerce in recent years is one direct consequence of her excellent system of vocational training, and the development of our own foreign trade, in competition with Germany and with other European nations, will be determined by our ability to compete with them, not as in the past on the basis of natural resources but on the basis of skill and efficiency.

Cubberly stated that whether we like it or not, we are beginning to see that we are pitted against the world in a gigantic battle of brains and skill, with the markets of the world, work for our people, and internal peace and contentment as the prizes at stake. (1909, p. 50)

Sound familiar????
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