"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, June 22, 2007

ETS Comes Back With Spellings-Approved Findings

It's a tough season for supporters of the abusive and stupidifying No Child Left Behind Act. With 7 out of 10 Americans convinced that a yearly standardized test is an unfair way to judge schools, the ed industry and the theocrats are pulling out all stops to save their privatization plan from repeal or remaking. Enter the Educational Testing Service, the most trusted "non-profit" name in the education industry and recipient of over $600,000,000 in profits last year. Big surprise--ETS has new "research" touting widespread public support of NCLB.

Before being coached by ETS questioners, survey respondents were evenly split (43% for/41% against) on their level of support of NCLB. When respondents were provided the positive spin from ED, however, the ETS researchers got the response they were looking for (56% for/39% against). Here is the question (from Ed Week's article) that got the response that ETS was sent out to get:
“The No Child Left Behind Act provides federal funds for school districts with poor children in order to close achievement gaps. It also requires states to set standards for education and to test students each year to determine whether the standards are being met by all students. In addition, No Child Left Behind provides funding to help teachers become highly qualified. It also provides additional funding and prescribes consequences to schools that fail to achieve academic targets set by their state. Based on this statement and anything else you may have heard, would you say that you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of the No Child Left Behind Act?”

Compare that finding to the PDK/Gallup Poll last fall, or the more recent Scripps poll:
Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup Organization
“From what you know or have heard or read about the No Child Left Behind Act, do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of the act—or don’t you know enough about it to say?”

Scripps Survey Research Center
“Based on everything you’ve heard, do you want Congress to renew the No Child Left Behind law, do you want Congress to make changes in the law, or do you want Congress to cancel the law?”

It will be interesting to see the new PDK/Gallup results coming out in September.

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