Is An Ed Wonk’s Dream for Education Reform Really a Nightmare?

Is An Ed Wonk’s Dream for Education Reform Really a Nightmare?


In case you missed it yesterday, here is the latest edition of Fordham Institute’s April Fool’s articles celebrating #fakenews in education reform.  Michael Petrilli reveals every ed reformer’s dream (becoming the Secretary of the Department of Education) and his education verbiage is ‘yuge’ as he answers Senator Franken’s questions (in this April Fool’s edition) in how best to determine how students are performing.  From The Fordham Institute in “A Wonk’s Dream” in which President Jeb Bush nominates Petrilli as the Department of Education:


He wows the crowd with his use of the word “heteroskedasticity” and after he finishes, people cheer wildly as he is the Department of Education Secretary they’ve been waiting for!  But the question is, who ‘are’ those cheering folks in the crowd clips?  Do you know of any parents clamoring for more Common Core aligned assessments, more measurements for student proficiency and/or growth, and wanting to measure the causal impact of student achievement on a teacher and/or school?  Is your goal for your student the same as an ed reformer’s goal?  According to Petrilli, if the (presumed) goal is to measure the causal impact of achievement from a student/school, an ‘accurate prediction of the performance of those actors then a value-added growth model is the best way to go’.  He then talks about how parents may want to look both at proficiency and growth rates and by those numbers parents could determine whether their child is meeting/exceeding that data.  There is no debate on whether or not that data is valid and the students are being taught appropriate material, but that’s an issue he doesn’t address in his Senate hearing[…]


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