Up is down

Citing a PACE study, which says reading scores stalled or declined in 15 large states, John Kerry is calling No Child Left Behind a failure. Don’t worry, though. Kerry has a plan to raise standards, “and we’re going to make sure of it because we’re going to make sure the resources are there to accomplish it.”

A group of education analysts says PACE’s analysis is misleading:

. . . it appears that the PACE authors have selectively searched for data that would prove their preconceptions and have misrepresented the data that they found. For example, PACE describes trends as “flat” that have in fact risen. By PACE’s own data, 11 of the 15 states PACE selected have improved since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. At most, one state showed a decline. This is another in a long line of biased efforts to undermine testing and accountability.

The U.S. Education Department response, which calls the analysis “politically motivated,” has more details.

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  1. mike from oregon says:

    And we are surprised about Kerry’s spin because why?

  2. Bluemount says:

    A Democratic National Committee Internet ad falsely states as “fact” that Bush “cuts key education programs by 27%.” Actually, the budget for the Department of Education has grown 58% under Bush, and he’s proposing another 5% increase next year, including sizeable increases in spending for children from low-income families and for special education for disabled children.

    The ad also falsely claims Bush “slashes job training by 24%.” Actually, Bush is proposing to roll most of that money to a new job-training initiative at 2-year community colleges.
    Furthermore, Bush is seeking additional increases — not cuts — in “key education programs” next year. His budget calls for a 9.8% increase for programs for low-income children, to $15.2 billion, and a 5.9% increase in funding for special education, to $12.1 billion.

    That’s a reference to a $318 million reduction being proposed in federal funding for vocational training grants, and it would amount to a 24% cut — in that particular program. But that’s only a part of all federal job-training money. The administration is proposing to move $250 million of those funds out of what it calls outdated high-school shop courses ill-matched to the modern job market — and into a new “Community College Initiative” to upgrade technical and career training at 2-year colleges. That’s a big, controversial change in where job training takes place, but nothing close to a 24% cut in job training overall

    Both parties are spending more money on education. I’ve read we need 1 million new jobs each year to keep up with population growth. What are 1 million people going to do?
    It is true that figures released earlier in the day show the economy is still down by 1.6 million private sector jobs since Bush took office, but the drop in total payroll employment — including teachers, firemen, policemen and other federal, state and local government employees — is down by much less than that — 821,000.
    But professional jobs are still down, even in education the trend is to have teaching assistants perform the chores traditionally done by teachers. Some teachers perceive their roles as managers evalutating curriculum and measuring performance and administrators like to refer to themselves in corporate terms like CLO (Chief learning officer). What we understand as an education, a job and our goals economic prosperity is changing.


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