Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Jeb Bush can pick some cherries!

I just read a hyperbolic headline in a Florida paper about Florida 4th graders “wowing” the world. Jeb Bush quickly gave himself credit and left the ring. He ignored the fact that he fought against the class size law- with extreme vengeance. The class size law is one of the best things to ever happen in Florida but anyone working for Jeb better not mention it.

Points to Ponder:

* Comparing a state (that sampled from 77 schools and only about 2,600 kids) to entire countries must be done with extreme care and I see little value in it unless the nation did poorly and the state did well. In our case the Florida results mirrored the great US results.

*Florida holds back kids in 3rd grade giving many 4th graders an extra year.

*Florida has problems once we get past 4th grade. 8th graders drop and the graduation rate is near the bottom. We need to focus more on end results .

* The graduation rate for Black males is criminal- read the Schott report.

What should we be worried about?

We should stop obsessing over international tests! What we need to consider is the fact that our low poverty kids dominate and our high poverty kids need help with SURVIVING. Deal with that and the rest takes care of itself.

As long as Arne Duncan and his aide Jeb Bush ignore the massive empirical evidence on the prime role of socioeconomic factors in testing- we are in trouble.

Our international test score make for great talk but do they really mean anything to our success?  History says, “No!” 

Time to focus on OUR kids and deal with things noted in the PIRLS results that cause achievement gaps- hunger and poverty. Yes- there were huge gaps in Florida too.


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