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[Susan notes: Paul Peterson's press appearance come with heavy foundation backing. Gerald Bracey named Peterson, professor at Harvard University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, 'the most ardent voucher proponent in academia.' Here's Kevin Franck, People for the American Way: "Paul Peterson is a conservative political operative in the guise of a scholar.'



In a paper prepared for a symposium prepared by the Economics of Education Review, Peterson and a co-author wrote: ". . . we also find evidence that teachers may become less effective with experience . . . ."]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published
02/28/2015

To the editor



Paul Peterson (Op-ed, No Child Left Behind and testing help hold schools accountable) asserts that yearly testing done under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) resulted in increased test scores ("modest" gains in math), "solid evidence" in support of annual testing. Ron Harris ( letters, Feb. 27) argues that the increased test scores are due to better test-taking strategies.



Researchers Jaekyung Lee and Todd Reeves analyzed data (Revisiting the impact of NCLB high-stakes school accountability, capacity and resources: State NAEP 1990-2009 reading and math achievement gaps and trends. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(2)) from all 50 states from 1990 to 2009 and concluded that the NCLB testing policy did not increase reading gains and did not close ethnic/racial and socio-economic achievement gaps in reading. Gains in math were not "modest" but small, and the reduction of the math achievement gap fell far short of reaching NCLB targets. Lee and Reeves based their conclusions on the NAEP test, a "low-stakes" test that is immune to "test preparation."



NCLB test score gains were not due to better test-prep: Lee and Reeves' analysis strongly suggests that they never happened.



Stephen Krashen


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