Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Reader comments: NCLB led to the Dean scream

Last week, to make the point that attributing NAEP scores to NCLB (in either direction) has little validity, I posted a tongue in cheek list of things that NCLB caused, including the iPhone, the rise of crystal meth, and Hannah Montana (reader Seth berated me for alarming his officemates by linking to a Disney page that blared Queen Montana - sorry, Seth!)

I invited readers to chime in, and the list below is the result of your ideas. For serious news and analysis, here are some comments on NAEP from the entire spectrum of observers, including Ed Week, Diane Ravitch, Donna Garner on NAEP exclusions by state (for 4th grade, CA excluded only 4% of students, while Texas excluded 10% - I had no idea there was that much variation), the Quick and the Ed, EdTrust, and FairTest.

My favorite reader comment was from Patrick - NCLB caused the Dean scream, as well as:
  • the falling price of plasma TVs
  • the closing down of Oldsmobile
  • Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war (my contribution: Bush is the latent variable - i.e. he caused both as well as NCLB, which then led to the iPhone)
  • opposition to the Iraq war
  • Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt's divorce
  • Britney Spears & Kevin Federline's marriage
  • Lindsay Lohan's downfall from Parent Trap to rehab
  • Justin Timberlake's "bringing sexy back"
  • increased access to internet via broadband
  • the dominance of the New England Patriots (via cheating methods similar to those reported under NCLB)
  • increased verbal content in entertainment
  • ability to catch perpetrators who sent anthrax through the mail in the U.S. (reader "lyndon johnson" writes: "Oh, wait - what? Really? Still? It's been five years... Oh, never mind. Moving on....")
  • Hilary Swank's performance in Million Dollar Baby
  • children becoming increasingly bored and fat
  • reader Helen in California's weight gain
  • Dance Dance Revolution
  • Grom (anonymous reader says this is, "yummy gelato in New York")
  • "Dancing with the Stars"
  • a rocking chair to fall asleep in during class
  • dirty rugs full of fleas to keep the children awake (reader proofoflife - next time I lecture, I am going to use this idea to keep Gen Friendster itching for more)

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