OSPI (The Washington State Dept. of Education) today issued a press release in which they CLAIM that in the most recent National Center for Education Statistics report that Washington State scored better than much of the United States. The press release can be found here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/WAOSPI-121f1ec They specifically comment about 4th and 8th grade. Before we accept the press release at face value let’s look at the actual data:
How do we interpret the data? For those of you who want to look at the page this chart came from here is the link: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/
When OSPI says that WA State scored above the nation that is correct…however…looking at 2015 vs. 2013 for Math we see that WA dropped 3 points. Looking at Reading and we see a 1 point drop. So while WA stayed slightly above the National performance we slipped. So is the press release accurate? Yes but is it honest? No.
Given the focus on Common Core the past couple of years, which is supposed to have set higher standards, we’ve slipped backward not moved forward. The performance on the SBAC testing this past spring was poor as well. So are we moving forward, stagnate or slipping?
As more and more control of education has shifted away from local, as we spend more and more money and yet only create more work for teachers and more tension and stress for teachers and students we lose something. We lose choice. We lose control. We move more and more to becoming a herd that follows quietly and meekly.