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Topic: Re: Time for Moderation
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jul 29, 2000 8:01 PM

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Posts: 1,815
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Time for Moderation
Posted: Jul 29, 2000 6:53 PM
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Wayne Bishop <> wrote:

> Moderation, the title of the thread, is not to dismiss standardized
> testing.

Dear me! Has someone suggested dismissing standardized testing? It
wasn't I, as Wayne well knows. I've suggested (well, proved, actually)
only that we don't know standardized tests measure, and so may not use
them as Wayne chooses to--that is, as scientific evidence of anything
whatsoever. Is it too much to expect Wayne to stick to the truth?

> > That is an extreme position that is damaging millions of US students,
> > particularly those most in need.

This is questionable, at best. And it *is* well documented that minorities
and women typically score lower on standardized tests. Should we read
Wayne as suggesting that dismissing standardized tests will damage
millions of white males, who are the customary winners in the testing
game? While it may be so, I doubt that this is Wayne's idea.

> The following documents this fact.

> At 08:35 AM 7/29/00 -0400, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:

> >It strikes me that there are (at least) two kinds of people in this country:
> >those who believe in the power of numerical data to tell clear-cut,
> >objective stories about such slippery phenomena as human potential or
> >behavior, and those who know better ;^)

> <snip>
> >I'm not suggesting that anyone on this list would support such laws today,
> >but I'm not sure that some similarly heinous decision wouldn't be supported
> >by some here in their misguided beliefs about the power of test scores to
> >tell an accurate picture about people. Is the holistic or humanistic view
> >guaranteed to do better? Of course not. But I'd take my chances with any
> >system that looks at FUZZY data as well as those marvelous SAT scores over
> >one that deludes itself into believing it's purely objective.

I must be more obtuse than even Wayne thinks, because I don't see any evidence
in this citation of MPG that supports Wayne's thesis.

> I know that well-intentioned folks do not like to be reminded of who
> the real gate-keepers are, the preservers of Separate-but-Equal a
> half-century after it went from de jure (in some backward locations)
> to de facto (well established in ghettos long before 1954) but so be
> it.

It's quite clear who the real gate-keepers are: Wayne and those like him
who are on the inside, and whose message is: "If you don't think like I
do, then stay out."

> Here are those California numbers...

<SNIP--more boring and meaningless numbers deleted unread>

Recently I asked Wayne to tell us about the SAT-9, the test whose numbers
he keeps reporting. I wanted to know what it tests and how he knows that
that's what it tests. He refused to supply this information, so we can
guess that he hasn't done the research and doesn't know. (Or that he has,
but still doesn't know--Harcourt doesn't post that information the way
ETS does.) Here's something else he doesn't know:

On the Harcourt Educational Measurement website at

we find the following gem:

The Stanford 9 Mathematics subtests were developed in alignment
with the National Council of Teachers of MathematicsÕ (NCTM)
Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics and
provide an assessment instrument for todayÕs mathematics
curricula. Every reporting cluster is derived from an NCTM
standard; additionally, every NCTM curriculum standard is
reported in Stanford 9. Stanford 9 emphasizes the skills
identified by NCTM as the goal of all mathematics
instructionÑproblem solving.

In spite of all your machinations and thundering, Wayne, those kids in
that school district are performing well according to the hated and
despised NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School
Mathematics! Horrors!

*If* the SAT-9 measures what it *says* it measures, that is.

This puts you in a bind, Wayne. Which are you going to give up? The
SAT-9? Or your opposition to the NCTM Standards? Looks like you can't
have them both, doesn't it? No, wait. You can always fall back on
Emerson's "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds...".
There's your out.

--Lou Talman

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