Ripping Winerip

In the new issue of Education Next, Andrew Rotherham bashes New York Times columnist Michael Winerip’s coverage of No Child Left Behind as misleading.

He criticizes the federal law for basing school accountability on a single year’s test scores and holding schools accountable for the performance of transient students. In fact, NCLB does not require states to base school accountability on a single year’s test scores, but instead allows scores to be averaged over multiple years and permits states to use various statistical tools to help ensure the validity of those numbers. Nor does the law hold schools accountable for recent transfers. Similarly, Winerip wrote several times about testing disabled students, blaming requirements about assessments for special-needs students on the “Washington Brain Trust.” Yet, as mentioned earlier, he neglects to point out that many groups representing disabled students want these students included in state accountability systems. He also fails to share with Times readers any perspective on why it can be important to do so to help ensure that these students receive a quality education . . .

. . . What are the alternatives? What’s the most creative and serious thinking about addressing equity problems through means other than NCLB?

Joe Williams of the New York Daily News blames Winerip’s inaccurate reporting for a curtailment in the number of New York City students allowed to transfer to better schools.

A third story critiques the Times’ trumpeting of an American Federation of Teachers’ hit on charter schools.

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