Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

November 12, 2013

TOM LoBIANCO: For Ind. test score clamor, 'victory' relative

'Nation's report card' shows roughly same improvement as in previous years.

Of the many John F. Ken-nedy statements often repeated by both Democrats and Republicans, his declaration that “victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan” seemed apt for the release last week of national test scores showing solid gains by Indiana students.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress scores showed solid growth by Indiana’s fourth- and eighth-graders, but the spin from both sides of Indiana’s ongoing education battles left some questions about how much students had actually improved and who could claim to be a “father” to this “victory.”

Scores jumped roughly the same as they had over previous years and through various policies in Indiana, noted Indiana University education professor Peter Kloosterman. But U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan placed the credit at the feet of former Gov. Mitch Daniels and former schools Superintendent Tony Bennett, who pushed through sweeping education changes championed by Duncan and others. Indiana’s largest teachers union, meanwhile, said those gains should be credited to teachers who have excelled despite increasing burdens placed on them.

The playing up of the scores was enough to draw out Bennett, who recently moved back to Indiana but had kept a low-profile since his resignation as Florida’s education chief following an Associated Press report that he oversaw changes to the state’s school grading system in part to ensure a school run by a top GOP donor received an A. Bennett said the results “validate our long-held belief that given the right policy framework, Indiana teachers and students could achieve higher levels of academic achievement.”

His comments spurred a quick rebuke from his successor, Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, whose spokesman accused education reform supporters of playing politics with the scores.

But the level of improvement is itself up for question. Kloosterman, who studies student performance on NAEP, also dubbed the “nation’s report card,” pointed out two reasons not to invest too much in the new scores: The small sample size makes it hard to apply across all student populations, and the scores fluctuate from year-to-year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • A great way to offer help The United Way of Howard County does so much for this community that it would be difficult, in this space, to describe even a fraction of the things United Way donations accomplish.Think what Kokomo and Howard County would lose if there were no Court

    July 25, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LETTERS: Mast homestead celebrates 150 years Mast homestead celebrates 150 yearsThe two-story frame, Pennsylvania-Dutch style house on the Larry and Barbara Hensler farm 2 miles west of Plevna is 150 years old this year. In fact it may even be a little older than that. Lloyd Hensler used to say

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • Road must be made safer Eight months ago, the Indiana Department of Transportation opened the new U.S. 31 bypass east of Kokomo. Joining Mayor Greg Goodnight was Gov. Mike Pence. Even the Kokomo High School marching band performed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was the

    July 24, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • LETTERS: Christians must stand with Israel 'As Christians we must stand with life' The present conflict in Israel is with Hamas, recognized even in Egypt as a terrorist organization. Recently Hamas formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They're now the government in

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • Keep eye out for kids

    With most local schools welcoming students in a couple of weeks — and Kokomo schools beginning class Aug. 5 (yes, a week from this coming Tuesday) — it’s important for motorists to think about safe driving as children travel to and from school.Law en

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll