(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Another hope feeds another dream
Another truth installed by the machine.
A secret wish, a marrying of lies
Today comes true what common sense denies.
Some predictions of doom age better than others. The “Arizona Public Schools are heading for destruction” mantra falls squarely in the post-Pistols Johnny Rotten odd rap/disco experiment quality side of things imo. Since 2016 the not-so-secret wish of some in Arizona has been to make the 2018 elections all about K-12 and its terrible failure. And well…
…the election year ain’t over yet so expect more double-plus good destructo speak. Sigh.
Meanwhile, back in mere reality the reports of Arizona public education’s demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated, given that the academic results continue to rise. Recently the Arizona Department of Education has released the 2018 AZMerit exam results. Both district and charter scores continued to improve.
The Arizona Republic greeted the news glumly:
Many Arizona schools kicked off the new school year this week with some bleak news: The majority of their students last year failed the state AzMERIT test.
State testing data shows the same trend lines in students’ performance that schools have seen every year since the AzMERIT test debuted four years ago. There was incremental growth in overall reading and math scores, but the majority of kids failed.
This is a bit much. The passing bar on AZMerit is set high. Only half the kids in Massachusetts score proficient on NAEP, but you don’t see them wringing their hands over it, and with good reason. Massachusetts has Japan like scores in a NAEP/PISA equating study:
Arizona charter schools have Massachusetts-like NAEP scores, so let’s call it in Japan’s neighborhood. Plus the districts are getting better as well. Must….resist…urge…to…include…more….bad…80s…music…resistance….futile!
That 2011 study had Arizona as a whole between Latvia and Greece and alas in the real world you don’t leap over Latvia one day and put South Korea to shame the next. Put me in the “keep the incremental progress coming and let’s count our blessings” camp si vous plait.
My advice is to ignore the propaganda and relax, the election year silly season won’t last forever, it will only seem that way.
Hard to say how much of the media turning three straight years of improvement into bad news is ideological/tribal sympathy with the Blob, and how much is the old news adage that good news doesn’t sell papers.
Welcome to the Hotel Election Silly Season. You can check out any time you like…
…but we can never leave. At least it seems that way.