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Media: Dissecting The Washington Post's NCLB Coverage

image from t0.gstatic.comFun!  Lets all beat up on Nick Anderson's NCLB story!  Andywonk kicks things off noting that the school that's presented as being unfairly dinged by AYP actually isn't doing as well as it should be with poor and minority kids.  Charlie Barone weighs in that the Post is perpetuating a 100 percent proficient myth and "becoming the Fox News of ed reporting?"  I would only add that Anderson's story is guilty of emphasizing the White House / Duncan "sky is falling" / "must reauthorize now" view of things (again) and omitting  the reality of a new, different rating system called PLAS that is all that anyone is really paying attention to and -- most important -- the lack of any real (financial, professional, immediate) consequences for schools not making AYP.  The ever-patient Anderson responds via Jay Mathews' blog that there isn't really room to get into the weeds of AYP in mainstream news coverage, that low state standards are part of the problem, and talks about the sample size issue.  

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As I posted at Eduwonk and Jay's blog:

Jay, Nick:
What are the scores of the children whose subgroup did not make AYP?
At NCCES, there's about 16 SPED students who did score Proficient.
The proficient cut-off is 70%.
As I pointed out to Andy Rotherham, one of the complainers about Nick's article, if a child scores 69%, he is labeled BASIC.
Well, there is a BIG difference between a Basic score of 20% and a Basic score of 65%
And NCLB doesn't take that into consideration.

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