The left-leaning Think Tank Review Project reviews virtually every analytic report that Fordham publishes—and they have yet to find one that they like. So it is completely unsurprising that they issued an unfavorable review last week of our report Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Typically, we don't engage with them since it is clear that their ideology is at least as important to how they view Fordham's work as is our work itself. But after having read their review, we and the Kingsbury Center, who we contracted to conduct the study, wanted to clarify three issues that were off base in Dr. Jaekyung Lee's review.
1) First, ours was a descriptive study, seeking to catalog the degree to which early high achievers are losing their way. Mr. Lee described our method as a “black-box approach that assumes a link between its findings and NCLB-related policies”. Yet nowhere in the report (including the Fordham-penned Foreword) do we claim that the growth patterns observed among high achievers were the direct result of NCLB. Rather, we acknowledged that many factors could partially explain these disturbing numbers.
2) Second, Mr. Lee took issue with particular aspects of our methodology, some of which appeared to stem from his own misunderstanding. For example, he remarked that our use of percentile rank metrics must create “winners” and “losers.” But it is common practice to group students by percentile ranking, and
In this guest blog post, the team at? K5 Learning delves further into the data from the Fordham Institute's recent study Do High Flyers Maintain their Altitude? K5 Learning offers an online reading and math program for K-5 kids and urges parents to be pro-active in their children's education.
New data tells us that students who are not performing well above average in reading and math by grade 3 are highly unlikely to ever become academic high achievers.
Last month the Fordham Institute released Do High Flyers Maintain their Altitude?,? an examination of the performance of high achieving students (those scoring in the top 10 percentile on widely written standardized tests).? K5 Learning has reviewed the Fordham data to analyze those students who were not high achievers when first tested in grade 3.? The results are a wake-up call for every parent of young children.
Grade 3, and the academic ship has sailed
In this massive study of tens of thousands students, children who performed in the bottom 1/3 in reading or math in grade 3 had less than a 1 percent chance of being high achievers by grade 8.? Even average students in grade 3, (between 40 and 60 percentile) had less than a 5 percent chance of becoming high achievers later.
A high achiever
Listen live this evening at 5:35 p.m. EST as Mike Petrilli appears on San Diego talk radio to discuss the implications of Fordham's recent report Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students. International competitiveness, gifted education, and the demise of tracking will all be on the table in what promises to be a lively discussion.
For those in D.C. interested in the plight of high achieving students, be sure to register for The Other Achievement Gap, a panel discussion on October 17th that brings top experts together to break down their latest research and work on the issue.? Chester E. Finn, Jr. will moderate a conversation you won't want to miss.? If you can't make it in person, you will be able stream the whole event live online on our website.
Guest blogger Ze'ev Wurman, an executive with Monolithic 3D, a Silicon Valley startup, has participated in developing California's education standards and assessments in mathematics since the mid-1990s. Between 2007 and 2009 he served as a senior policy adviser with the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.
Paul Gross has done a fabulous job for Fordham distilling the essence of the recently published NRC Science Framework. His review deals with the Framework's content and rigor, as well as with its clarity and specificity. [pullquote]Gross...wisely observes that any good science program is an artful compromise between what is included and what is not.[/pullquote]Gross generally likes what he sees of the former, and wisely observes that any good science program is an artful compromise between what is included and what is not. The Framework also uses another device to clearly limit its expectations?the Boundary Statements that ?make explicit what is not expected of students at a given level.? Gross recognizes that such limitations amount to a matter of choice and illustrates it with the statement from the end of the 6-8 band:
Boundary Statement. In this grade band, the forces and structures within
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
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