Arthur Getzel’s Small Lies, Big Lies, and School Statistics is another one of those must-read pieces by an impassioned educator that understands the far-reaching implications of the saga that is only getting started in New York with the Common Core. It is more fallout from the Bloomberg blunder of a response to the test score in the state.
There are far too many bits worth quoting here but here are a few:
During his course, I learned that his favorite statement was that there are small lies, big lies and statistics. One can make a statistic mean anything.
This, my friends, is what Commissioner King and his cohorts … have created a construct–a construct with a political purpose. Before they can destroy public education, they have to prove that it is a failure.
Educators did not develop the Common Core Standards. Many of those who developed these standards are deeply involved in the corporate educational reform movement. Many articles I have read about its development stated that the developers worked backwards and often disregarded some basic tenets of child development. Furthermore, we are taking on faith standards that have not even been longitudinally tested.
Our focus is completely wrong. These standards are broken and unrepairable. I fear, in the end, it will lead to the dismantling of our system of public education and social stratification in this great nation. In the 18th century, our founding fathers created a flawed constitution called the Articles of Confederation that they realized was unworkable. But they were smart. They scraped the document and started anew.
It is powerful stuff, as well as being spot on its criticisms, as well as assessment. Now if only leaders will begin to believe it and begin resisting, instead of proceeding as thought there is no choice. There is always a choice.