...Which is what happened on May 5, as the New York Times published an op-ed by racialist charter advocate and co-author of The Bell Curve, Charles Murray, who now declares that the real reason that parents should advocate for charters and vouchers should have nothing to do with test scores anymore, test scores that are made irrelevant by the facts based on factors beyond the school—and, no, he’s not talking about poverty:Read the whole thing at the link.
Cognitive ability, personality and motivation come mostly from home. What happens in the classroom can have some effect, but smart and motivated children will tend to learn to read and do math even with poor instruction, while not-so-smart or unmotivated children will often have trouble with those subjects despite excellent instruction. If test scores in reading and math are the measure, a good school just doesn’t have that much room to prove it is better than a lesser school.So, then, if the good voucher schools of Milwaukee or the good charter schools of the U.S. are made bad by “cognitive ability, personality, and motivation [that] come mostly from home,” then it is not the fault of the good voucher and charter schools, which remain good, according to Murray, even as we stock them with urban students of defective cognitive ability, personality, and motivation. Apparently it is not the fault of perfectly good medicine that the unresponsive patients remain ill. (Note that the terms “poor” or “poverty” are unmentioned in the Murray op-ed).
The real reason for parents to choose charter schools, Murray argues, is that they offer a choice of “highly traditional curriculum long on history, science, foreign languages, classic literature, mathematics and English composition, taught with structure and discipline.” Aside from the total compliance “structure and discipline” that would make the “best” urban charters entirely unacceptable to middle class parents in the leafy suburbs, the kind of curriculum-rich charter school that Murray describes is even harder to find in poor neighborhoods than the 17 percent of charters that simply do a better job at raising student test scores...
Apparently Test Scores No Longer Matter. WTF?
From Jim Horn: