ASCD and Yong Zhao: No Connection Between Test Scores and Economic Productivity

I’m glad that Jong Zhao has discerned patterns to help lift the fog off of some myths in education. This is particularly valuable as the trend to increase testing frequency in classrooms, in an effort to improve learning, continues at a staggering pace.

I believe that the most of the fast pace changes to “save” our children are the result of well intended, caring individuals reacting to the media or hearing that neighboring districts are employing successful “best” practices. Unfortunately, caring and well intended doesn’t always result in practices that are best for kids. Sometimes it’s easier to jump on the bandwagon rather than stand in inquiry, identify and acknowledge what is working; and then, collaboratively tackle the areas needing the most improvement.

I’m reminded of John Medina’s reaction to the varied, untested, and unproven (yet touted as Best Practices in Brain Research) educational applications of brain research.


Diane Ravitch's blog

The ASCD published an eye-popping chart showing that NAEP long-term trend test scores for 17-year-olds were flat from 1971-2012. At the same time, economic productivity soared by 375%, and gross domestic product grew by 100%.

What do you make of that?

I have pointed out repeatedly that our students have never excelled on international tests. On the first international test in 1964, our students came in last of 12 nations. Yet as I explain in my book “Reign of Error,” over the next half-century we outperformed the other 11 nations who had higher test scores.

What do you make of that?

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