BRACEY SAYS FLUNKING 80TH PCT SCHOOLS > IOWA WHICH BEAT MOST
(Gerry, you obviously don't get it. They're setting HIGHER standards,
they don't care if their goal happens to be higher than Korea or
whereever, by gosh, if their committee wants to shoot for the sky,
why the heck not? After all, they've got 8 years to get there, right?)
(Oh yeah, the individual student average were actually much higher
than state like WA which flunked out 80% of all, and 95% of
blacks, not 45% of 4th graders
I did not get the attachment, but thanks for pointing this out. WA
students at 4th grade are even with Iowa, yet had 80% flunk rate.
The kicker is that the standards based movement says these tests are
all benchmarked to international standards, yet they clearly flunk
out students who are performing way above average levels of the best
nations on the world. That's what happens when you have a committe
set the pass rate, and they don't care since they have eight years to
meet the goals. According to the RAND study of the KIRIS test, the
goal required the average school to improve by 2 standard deviations,
when the difference between the US and Japan was not even a standard
You really need to expose the lie that these tests are benchmarked to
international anything. Asian and European math courses are fully
traditional, and they do _not_ include the typically above grade
level skills found on most reform-based tests. If anything, you saw
in the Korean document that foreign nations desire to copy AMERICAN
reforms, they are not expecting the US to adopt their standards! It's
wild to see the US justifying "world class standards" as the reason
to reform to compete with Asia and Europe when they're all saying
exactly the same thing "we must copy the Americans if we are to
compete with them".
Since the NAEP tests a cross-section of students, when they say only
20% are proficient, they mean you must be 80th percentile to pass.
This is all based on the naiive notion that all we have to do is toss
the bell curve and set a standard that all can meet. Except the new
standards are even tougher than than the old ones that poor and
minority students couldn't meet either. It's all wishful thinking,
just like the "goals and timetables" of affirmative action.
Wouldn't it be more practical to forget entirely about setting goals
independent of actual student ability, and just go back to a curve
with 50th percentile defining "expected grade level performance"?
Send reply to: "Gerald W. Bracey"
From: "Gerald W. Bracey"
Subject: Re: [wa-ed-deform] Massive fail rate makes some question
credibility of VA tests
Date sent: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 17:38:54 -0800
OK guys, here's the deal on Virginia's "massive failure."
1. In TIMSS, Iowa scored higher than 35 of 41 countries in math,
40 of 41 countries in science.
2. Iowa students score between the 62nd and 68th percentile on
domestic standardized tests (depending on age and subject).
3. Students in Northern Virginia schools that FAILED the new tests
score between the 75th and 80th percentile.
I attach a letter that was sent to the Washington Post the day the
data were released. The Post might yet publish it. One version
appeared in Northern Virginia newspapers.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: arthur hu
> To: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 1:51 PM
> Subject: [wa-ed-deform] Massive fail rate makes some question credibility of VA tests
> I know a lot of you out there still think a test that's so hard that
> everybody flunks is a good thing, but look at this. These tests might
> be a tool for the moderate left or moderate right, but it's no good
> for the freedom right, or the take it easy on the poor left.
> January 20, 1999 Education Week
> Massive Failure Rates on New Tests Daze Va. By Jessica Portner