New York’s Lake Wobegon Effect
The state’s rosy test scores don’t square with reality.
26 June 2008
If these test results, particularly in math, are a true reflection of
Knowing that last year’s NAEP results sparked some critical commentary (including in the New York Times) about the state tests’ validity, Mills tried to preempt skepticism at his press conference announcing the 2008 results. One of the slides in his PowerPoint presentation was titled ENSURING THESE RESULTS ARE ACCURATE and claimed that “
Further, the federal review, though well-intentioned, appears to be producing its own
The premise of NCLB, as of so many current education reform efforts, is that schools must serve the interests of children, not the interests of the adults who work in the system. But in a classic case of unintended consequences, the widespread test inflation produced by NCLB is serving only the interests of the adults. New York education officials like Mills, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his schools chancellor, Joel Klein—along with teachers’ union leaders like Randi Weingarten—advance their varied agendas in the glow of inflated test scores. But the children are the big losers. Sometime in the next decade, the white children of Lake George and the black children of
Sol Stern is a contributing editor of City Journal and the author of Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice.