I thought the article linked below might interest some of the subscribers to AMTE.
>MIME-version: 1.0 >Approved-By: Gene Glass <glass@ASU.EDU> >Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:33:48 -0700 >Reply-To: Gene Glass <glass@ASU.EDU> >Sender: "EDUC POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES: An Electronic Journal" > <EDPOLYAR@ASU.EDU> >From: Gene Glass <glass@ASU.EDU> >Organization: Arizona State University >Subject: EPAA Publishes Vol 8 No. 41 Haney: The Myth of the Texas >Miracle >X-To: Ev Shepherd <email@example.com>, > firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org >To: EDPOLYAR@ASU.EDU > >The Education Policy Analysis Archives is a peer-reviewed >scholarly journal freely accessible on the internet at > http://epaa.asu.edu > >EPAA has just published Volume 8 Number 41 "The Myth of the >Texas Miracle in Education" by Walt Haney of Boston College. > >The article can be accessed directly at > > http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v8n41/ > >An abstract follows: > > The Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education > > Walt Haney > Boston College > >Abstract: >I summarize the recent history of education reform and >statewide testing in Texas, which led to introduction of >the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) in 1990-91. >A variety of evidence in the late 1990s led a number of >observers to conclude that the state of Texas had made near >miraculous progress in reducing dropouts and increasing >achievement. The passing scores on TAAS tests were >arbitrary and discriminatory. Analyses comparing TAAS >reading, writing and math scores with one another and with >relevant high school grades raise doubts about the >reliability and validity of TAAS scores. I discuss problems >of missing students and other mirages in Texas enrollment >statistics that profoundly affect both reported dropout >statistics and test scores. Only 50% of minority students >in Texas have been progressing from grade 9 to high school >graduation since the initiation of the TAAS testing >program. Since about 1982, the rates at which Black and >Hispanic students are required to repeat grade 9 have >climbed steadily, such that by the late 1990s, nearly 30% >of Black and Hispanic students were "failing" grade 9. >Cumulative rates of grade retention in Texas are almost >twice as high for Black and Hispanic students as for White >students. Some portion of the gains in grade 10 TAAS pass >rates are illusory. The numbers of students taking the >grade 10 tests who were classified as "in special >education" and hence exempted from TAAS and not counted >in schools' accountability ratings nearly doubled between >1994 and 1998. A substantial portion of the apparent >increases in TAAS pass rates in the 1990s are due to >such exclusions. In the opinion of educators in Texas, >schools are devoting a huge amount of time and energy >preparing students specifically for TAAS, and emphasis >on TAAS is hurting more than helping teaching and >learning in Texas schools, particularly with at-rsk >students, and TAAS contributes to retention in grade >and dropping out. Five different sources of evidence about >rates of high school completion in Texas are compared and >contrasted. The review of GED statistics indicated that >there was a sharp upturn in numbers of young people taking >the GED tests in Texas in the mid-1990s to avoid TAAS. A >convergence of evidence indicates that during the 1990s, >slightly less than 70% of students in Texas actually >graduated from high school. Between 1994 and 1997, TAAS >results showed a 20% increase in the percentage of students >passing all three exit level TAAS tests (reading, writing >and math), but TASP (a Texas college readiness test) results >showed a sharp decrease (from 65.2% to 43.3%) in the >percentage of students passing all three parts. As measured >by performance on the SAT, the academic learning of >secondary school students in Texas has not improved since >the early 1990s, compared with SAT takers nationally. >SAT-Math scores have deteriorated relative to students >nationally. The gains on NAEP for Texas fail to confirm >the dramatic gains apparent on TAAS. Gains on NAEP in Texas >are consistently far less than half >the size of Texas gains on state-level National Assessment >tests. The dramatic gains on TAAS and the >unbelievable decreases in dropouts during the 1990s are >more illusory than real. The Texas "miracle" is more hat >than cattle. >_____________________________________ > >Gene V Glass, Editor >Education Policy Analysis Archives >College of Education >Arizona State University >email@example.com >