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

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Propaganda, Plagiarism, and Public Misleading on CREDO (Reprise)

The corporate charter industry is working every angle to put the best makeup on the CREDO charter study of 2013.  And "news coverage" in Tennessee shows their efforts paying off.
Two examples of Tennessee media  “coverage” of the 2013 CREDO charter school study are provided below, and as you can see, they are both lifted from the Tennessee Charter Schools Association blog post.  Who said blogs are not respected sources of information!?
The blog post, of course, is the typical self-serving propaganda we have come to expect from the charter school promotion groups, especially the bare-knuckled privateers that the Tennessee Taliban has put charge of containing and behaviorally neutering the children of the urban poor in Tennessee.
I have provided links to all three "stories," but I have only included the first sentences in order to give you the essence of how lazy and irresponsible reporting come to mislead the public on how their money is spent for corporate benefit:
The source, from the Tennessee Charter Schools Association (TCSA): "Tennessee is among eleven states in which charter school performance has outpaced traditional public school growth in both mathematics and reading, according to a newly published study by the independent Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University."
The "news" story from the Tennesseean: "Tennessee’s charter schools have outpaced traditional public school growth in reading and mathematics in 2013, according to a study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University."
The "news" story from UT’s public radio, WUOT: "A new study finds Tennessee’s charter schools are outpacing public schools in reading and mathematics this year."
Now if you are an average citizen reading either of these "information sources," you may conclude that Tennessee charters are outperforming public schools on the state tests.  Which, of course, is the intent of the TCSA propaganda.  What the reporters for the Tennesseean or WUOT did not do, is to do what CREDO had done by indicating how the charter and public comparisons were made by matching students demographically within their communities.
Using the VCR [virtual control record] approach, a “virtual twin” was constructed for each charter student by drawing on the available records of traditional public school (TPS) students with identical traits and identical or very similar prior test scores who were enrolled in TPS that the charter students would have likely attended if they were not in their charter school.
Factors included in the matching criteria were:
• Grade level
• Gender9
• Race/Ethnicity
• Free or Reduced-Price Lunch Eligibility
• English Language Learner Status
• Special Education Status
• Prior test score on state achievement tests (p. 8)
In short, Tennessee's economically disadvantaged charter school student test scores are compared to what we could expect in the poorest public schools that have been malignantly neglected for decades.  When Tennessee's 27 charter schools' growth scores are compared with the state average, the comparisons show that the majority of Tennessee charters are testing below the state average (which, by the way, is significantly below the national NAEP average).  Please see this post from 2011 to get an idea of how the charter investment groups in Tennessee are using Wall Street methods to put lipstick on their pig.
Use the links above to examine the stories for yourself, and you will see prime examples of "reporters" not only misleading the public with propaganda but, also, committing plagiarism in the process.
Originally posted @theChalkface June 2013.  Migrated 02/16/14

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