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

Friday, October 03, 2008

Why Does the L. A. Times Ignore the Facts on NCLB Proficiency Targets?

Maybe we can forgive the NYTimes and WaPo for not reporting the California research, but the LA Times? If the preeminent science journal, Science, printed a research report that showed all the public schools in my state would be listed as failures by 2014, don't you think that a newspaper calling itself the Los Angeles Times would find that worth a mention? Not yet.

On the contrary, the LA Times exhibits the same bare-knuckled, no-excuses position of the ed industry and the conservative privatizers, the same ones who have, since Bush came to Washington, accused anyone who questions the impossibility of their testing targets as engaging in the "soft bigotry of low expectations." Their bias is evident in the proficiency story the Times did run in early September when the latest state test scores were published. The headline: "Only 48% of California high schools meet federal standards, even with easier measure."

If the undisguised hostility in that headline is not enough to let you know where they stand, their refusal to print news on the research that helps the public understand the realities of NCLB makes it crystal clear. They are under the influence of the corporationists who have no problem engaging in the hard racism of impossible demands in order to crush the public schools and usher in charterization.

Here is a clip from the latest story on the Cardullo study, appearing in T.H.E. Journal. Title: AYP 'Balloon Payment' Coming Due, Say Researchers:

He said, "For most schools, the greatest risk of failing AYP lies with ELA proficiency. It is the Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and English Language Learner subgroups within the schools that are most likely going to fail to meet AYP in California. Given the weakness of ELA progress, no doubt more emphasis needs to be placed on ELA. But what we emphasize in our paper is that schools are also in need of support in mathematics since the current data trends, if not altered, predict nearly 100 percent failure of all schools by 2014 in meeting AYP."

According to information released by UC Riverside, Cardullo and his colleagues are calling for "reforms based on research that would tie educational experiences to instructional challenges of a particular school, while focusing each school's resources to serve its own unique student population."

The research project was funded through NSF's Math and Science Partnership program. The complete paper can be read by AAAS members on the Science magazine Web site here. Additional details can also be found in an article published by NSF here. Supplemental materials, including methodology, can be downloaded in PDF form here. . . .

1 comment:

  1. As someone who covered education as a reporter for 22 years and who has spent the past 10 years as a middle school English teacher, I find the way the media covers No Child Left Behind a constant irritant. With some newspapers, you have a penchant toward the easy negative headline and angle, and the laziness of not looking into the story and finding the truth.
    It seems the lesson taught by "All the President's Men," follow the money, has been forgotten. If our newspapers and other media sources would do some digging (and the information is out there for anyone who is looking) it would not take long to see who is benefiting financially and who will benefit from this ongoing effort to incorrectly label public education as a failure.