[Gerald Bracey said in 2007:]
All those august organizations have rejected the NAEP achievement levels because the process is confusing to the people who try to set the levels and because the results are inconsistent: Children can't answer questions they should be able to and can answer questions they shouldn't be able to. The levels also give what the National Academy of Sciences called "unreasonable" results, including the fact that only 29 percent of U.S. fourth-graders were considered proficient or better by NAEP, yet America ranked third among 26 participating nations.
Other evidence is easy to come by. In 2000, 2.7 percent of American high school seniors scored 3 or better -- the score at which colleges begin to grant credit for the course -- on Advanced Placement calculus. Almost 8 percent of seniors (including those who did not take the test) scored above 600 on the math SAT; nearly a quarter (24 percent) of those who took it scored over 600. Yet NAEP said that only 1.5 percent of the nation's seniors reached its "advanced" level.
So why does the government continue to report such misleading information? The "Leaders and Laggards" report illustrates why: The numbers are useful as scare techniques. If you can batter people into believing the schools are in awful shape, you can make them anxious about their future -- and you can control them.
Jim Horn Resurrects Gerald Bracey
Jim Horn reminds us how completely vacuous the reformers are: