Skip to main content

Blog of the Century Contributor Corey Bunje Bower writes that in last week's debate, Mitt Romney took credit for Massachusetts' position atop some education rankings. Yes, it's generally true that Massachusetts ranks at or near the top.  More specifically, the state has frequently had the highest average score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). But the more important question is why Massachusetts ranks so highly.  

Was it something that Romney did while Governor, or are there other factors at play? The second question is really quite easy to answer.  It's almost certainly something other than Romney's actions.  For two reasons:

1.) Children in Massachusetts earned really high test scores both before and after Romney was Governor.

2.) We know from decades of research that non-school factors influence achievement far more than in-school factors.  So it's exceedingly unlikely that a few state-level policy tweaks, implemented for a mere four years, could impact student performance dramatically enough to boost Massachusetts to the top of the nation.

Read more and see the data behind the claims.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Poverty is not necessarily the cause (0+ / 0-)

    of the income-related Achievement Gap. If all districts nationally, and all classrooms within districts, taught with the same methods and curriculum, and if the ONLY factor differentiating children's school experience were family income, one might have to reach that conclusion. But our schools teach differently from district to district and from classroom to classroom within districts.

    Consensus based on research is that children who receive a solid foundation in basic skills in preschool do better throughout their public school years, regardless of income. Those basic skills can be taught in public school, but in significant numbers of districts in America they are not. The income gap, therefore, may represent both the affordability of good preschool for higher-income families as well as the affordability of outside help in the form of tutoring, private schooling, and help from parents who can provide their children with the means to make up for the failure of their schools.

    To look at the Achievement Gap as a result of family income alone, I think, is to ignore what actually occurs in our schools, as if teaching methods meant nothing, as if all teaching methods in this country were uniform, perfect, unassailable and not worth examining because what actually happens to children in school is irrelevant to their educational achievement.

    How is it possible to ignore what happens in the classroom when examining the Achievement Gap? The only way I find that possible is to work with the assumption that all American teachers have good intentions for student success, and that therefore they must be doing the right thing. Sadly, what research is showing is that good intentions are not enough.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site