Sunday, August 8, 2010

Natalie Ravitz Needs SAT Test Prep

I'm not a big fan of test prep, but the new Mistress of Propaganda at the DOE, Natalie Ravitz, may have changed my mind. In her diatribe against Diane Ravitch, Natalie makes the following analogy:

Have our students made enough progress? No. But under our critics' logic, the State's decision to make it harder to achieve a grade of "proficient" means all of the progress City students have made over the years is bogus.
That's like saying Phil Mickelson is a bad golfer if they make the 8th hole at Pebble Beach 50 yards longer, change it from a Par 4 to a Par 3, and he only scores a 4. Oh, and no one told him they were changing it until after he finished his swing, so he's stuck with his Bogey and the label of sub-par.

What actually happened is that the state made their tests easier, not harder as in Ravitz's golf analogy. The state also lowered the number of questions students had to get right to score a 3. So to create an accurate analogy between the state tests and golf, we'd have to say the following:
It's as if they made all the holes at Pebble Beach 50 yards shorter, and added one stoke to par on every hole. That made Phil Mickelsons out of the average duffer.
See, Natalie? It's not so difficult. It's like falling off a sturdy flat surface! No...a log! I meant a log!

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