Juking the Stats?

With all the chatter about the recent McKinsey Report:  The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools, few Education writers have taken the opportunity to question the legitimacy of  the statistical-based theoretical perspective of the report itself. Change.org blogger Clay Burrell takes a first shot referencing David Simon’s incisive analysis in his recent interview with Bill Moyers as well as his HBO series, ‘The Wire.

Nobody is saying that reading, math, and future employment based on proficiency in (and by no means mastery of) these two skills are unimportant. What should be said, though, is that other traits like creativity, global awareness, the ability to learn independently instead of needing to be taught, to work well with others, to innovate, on and on, surely also benefit our economy. If we accept that, then we should have no problem accepting that the current math-and-reading standardized test fixation carries an opportunity cost for every minute taken from broader studies in order to deliver test-prep classes to “juke the stats*.”

Definitely worth your consideration. Like Matthew Yglesias, Burrell’s new series deconstructing the McKinsey Report adds a great perspective to the dialogue on how to improve contemporary public education.


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