Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jindal Takes Action to Stop Common Core

Governor Jindal took several executive actions Wednesday, June 18 to pull Louisiana out of the Common Core State Standards. This included a challenge to the legality of the state contract for PARCC testing which he states was done in violation of the competitive bidding law, and a letter to the National Governor's Association which is one of the sponsors of the CCSS, canceling Louisiana' s participation. This post by Mercedes Schneider includes the original executive orders produced by Jindal.

Superintendent White who apparently has higher ambitions and is ready to move to a bigger state or to the federal Dept. of Education, has openly challenged Jindal. Chas Roemer who wants to parley his father's good name to propel himself into higher office is also making a big fuss.

All of this is causing a big problem for teachers and administrators who have been bullied into implementing CCSS along with every other whim of our state and federal education bosses. There is no doubt that our education system is no longer a local operation run by school boards, parents and teachers but a puppet of the state and federal dictators who have determined that everything related to education must be decided by standardized testing and school privatization.  I want my readers to have a look at the real results this test mania has produced. This next section gives an independent assessment of the true academic gains by our students as a result of the education "deforms" of Jindal, Pastorek, and White.

Louisiana Academic Gains Since Hurricane Katrina

Comparison with the National Average: A major question remains about the Louisiana Recovery District and also the entire Louisiana public school system: Has there really been dramatic or even significant progress in student achievement in the RSD and Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina? State testing seems to indicate that an increased percentage of students are now reading and doing math on grade level or above. But are these gains real, or just an improvement in test taking skills and/or a result of teaching to the test? One way to explore this question is to compare Louisiana student performance to the national average student performance. (Yes, there already exists a test that compares Louisiana to all other states, contrary to what the CCSS and PARCC promoters would have you believe!) We will also compare the progress of Louisiana students from 2005 to the present compared with the progress of students in all other states. The following comparisons are based on the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress testing program known as NAEP:

NAEP tests students at the 4th and 8th grades every two years in math and reading using a scientific sample of students in each state. We can use these results to get a comparison for Louisiana student performance to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There is no data however, to allow a breakout of data for each school system in a state.

The following analysis is derived from the spreadsheet below: In reviewing the NAPE test results for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we find that for the 2005 school year, students in Louisiana ranked 4th from the bottom of the rankings in 4th grade math, 8th from the bottom in 4th grade reading, 5th from the bottom in 8th grade math and 7th from the bottom in 8th grade reading. In some cases the Louisiana average score tied with one or more states.

For the 2013 school year, the ranking of Louisiana fell to 2nd from the bottom in 4th grade math, 5th from the bottom in 4th grade reading, 4th from the bottom in 8th grade math, and 4th from the bottom in 8th grade reading. Again, in some cases Louisiana tied with one or more states.

Even though the NAEP testing shows a small increase in the percentage of Louisiana students performing at the basic or above level from 2005 to 2013, compared to all the other states, Louisiana students have lost ground in that time period. Louisiana dropped one or more places in each of the 4 areas of comparison with the other states between 2005 and 2013. These comparisons challenge the LDOE claim that Louisiana students and RSD students have made significant progress since 2005.

Conclusion: The Louisiana Recovery District now ranks near the bottom of all districts in a state that is performing close to the bottom compared to all other states.  In addition, that ranking has fallen since 2005 in all categories of student performance. The RSD performance and the state performance compared to other states are not worth praising, and certainly should not be held up as a model for education reform for the entire nation. Also, it is clear that the policies of Jindal, Pastorek, and White which consist of shaming and blaming educators for factors influencing student performance over which they have no control, have produced basically zero results statewide. Was it really worth spending all these millions on standardized testing, taking over schools and converting them to unregulated charters, and turning our classrooms into  mostly drab test rehearsal torture chambers? 
Comparison of NAEP results for Louisiana Public Schools with 50 states and the District of Columbia
Grade & Sub. Av. LA Scale Score 2005 % basic Nat. Av. 2005 LA ranking compared to 50 states and D.C. *
4th grade math 230 74% 237 47
4th grade reading 209 53% 217 43
8th grade math 268 59% 278 46
8th grade reading 253 64% 260 44

Av. LA Scale Score 2013 % basic Nat. av. 2013 LA ranking compared to 50 states and D.C. *
4th grade math 231 75% 241 49
4th grade reading 210 56% 221 46
8th grade math 273 64% 284 47
8th grade reading 257 68% 266 47
* Note: In several cases the ranking of LA tied with
one or more states.




Anonymous said...

Thank you! Could not have said it better, nor more rationally; as it makes me so furious! It was bad enough when feuding parents used children like tennis ball to be batted back & forth. Politicians & their bottom feeders (pun intended) exploitong children, schools, & entire education "systems"to further their agendas is revolting/worst case scenario!

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