Andrew Ho Profile picture
Oct 23 13 tweets 5 min read
On NAEP Eve, my 3rd thread, on "learning loss." At 12AM, people expect NAEP will find "learning loss."
Are results about "learning loss" essential to inform us as we move forward?
Or is the concept of "learning loss," itself, damaging and hurtful?
To me, the answer is: Both. 🧵1/
When I say "learning loss," I try to create a "firewall" between what I say about systems and what I say about kids.
Evidence of "learning loss" shows the debts our society owes to kids. For kids and their parents & teachers, we must build from their strengths, their assets. 2/
I hope my "four quadrants" framework is useful in this debate. NAEP (upper left) monitors aggregate progress. It's not about kids (lower left). It's not even about schools (upper right). It's about our whole system of educational opportunity. 3/
I and many of my colleagues, including recently @DBetebenner, use an "academic headwind" metaphor. Students haven't "lost learning," but it's been measurably harder for them to learn.
We owe them a tailwind moving forward. 4/
But tomorrow, "learning loss" might feel like yet another punch in the gut, for students, teachers, parents, and school leaders who are already exhausted and have heard enough bad news. 5/
"Learning loss" might motivate our leaders and fellow citizens to raise education as a priority, but how do we balance that with the cost of discouraging those who are working hardest on the front lines, without whom the results tomorrow would surely have been worse? 6/
And we don't throw punches equally. We throw "loss" language at the communities and schools that we have already marginalized, where test scores have long been a tool of segregation and exclusion.
Borrowing from Eve Tuck, can we suspend the damage? 7/…
I remain optimistic, perhaps naively, that the "firewall" I mention above can hold, between deficits for systems vs. assets for students.
I argued this in my 2021 @FutureEdGU piece:…
and my "Strength in Numbers" talk in August: 8/
I am particularly optimistic that NAEP can avoid this. NAEP's high level of aggregation makes it less susceptible to "deficit frames" for kids and even schools.
We can focus the story rightly on educational opportunity and how to improve it, to give kids a wind at their backs. 9/
The worst thing about this "learning loss" debate is that it has made potential allies bicker (maybe it's the Russian bots).
Most of those debating agree that education should be a higher priority and that we owe more to our children. 10/
Tomorrow, I'll try to assume best intentions, to give space and grace to let folks get beyond their NAEP headlines (that they didn't write) and their first tweets.
And I'll be patient with any "tests don't matter" sentiment that comes my way. I disagree, but I get it. 11/
And I hope the NAEP wonks and reporters poised to own the headlines for a day will also create space for stories that highlight student and teacher assets and resilience, that engage us toward trusting and investing in kids, teachers, and schools.
We're in this together. 12/
In case you missed my threads from Friday and Saturday, here is "Why NAEP Day is important":
And here is "Three Types of misNAEPery":
Happy NAEP Day to all, and to all a good night. 13/13

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More from @AndrewDeanHo

Oct 22
Let's talk "misNAEPery": Common misues of #NAEP results. Here are 3 types of misNAEPery to look out for on Monday's "NAEP Day":
1) correlation-is-causation (@EduGlaze's original definition)
2) psychometric misNAEPery
3) one-true-outcome misNAEPery.
🧵 1/
For each of these misNAEPeries, I try to distinguish between "high crimes" and "misdemeanors."
I used to get a little too gleeful in pointing out misNAEPery.
I now try to ask, "does it really matter?" or "what's the end goal?" before calling someone out for something "wrong." 2/
Type 1 misNAEPery: My leadership or policy caused these NAEP results. @EduGlaze coined misNAEPery in 2013 to refer to this common, predictable tendency among leaders, reporters, and commentators.… 3/
Read 18 tweets
Oct 21
Why is Monday’s “NAEP Day” so important? Don’t we already know about “learning loss” after our @CRPE_edu report and the September 1 @NAEP_NCES release? Here are three reasons why NAEP Day matters. 🧵1/
CRPE Report:…
Sept 1 NAEP LTT:
Reason #1: This is NAEP’s ONE JOB: Assessing Educational Progress. Below is my “four quadrants” framework for test purposes. NAEP sits in the upper left: monitoring progress.… 2/ Image
Tests should follow “the Golden Rule of Testing”: DO NOT CROSS QUADRANTS.
Why can't other tests monitor with authority? State tests can be inflated. Classroom tests can be incomparable. Selection tests can be incomplete. But NAEP? NAEP has one job... It does it with authority. 3/
Read 9 tweets
Mar 24, 2021
Over 540 of my colleagues in education and measurement signed this letter asking @SecCardona for blanket state testing waivers.

I usually agree with them. Here, I do not.

Am I Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy's football? Or do they not see that we have another placeholder? Image
In this @FutureEdGU essay, I argue that state tests have a valuable role to play when stakes are low and funding is plentiful.…
My essay acknowledges the historical harms and overreach of accountability testing and all the dangers of overemphasizing and inflating the role of tests.

But this time is different.

Or it could be.
Read 5 tweets
Mar 23, 2021
State testing programs are heading for an iceberg. We can still turn the ship. I wrote a short essay at @FutureEdGU about how. There is even an 8-step plan. 1/8
The anti-accountability movement has earned a well-deserved victory. I am glad! But its momentum has it poised to strike state tests at exactly the time when tests can be most useful--for allocating unprecedented federal support. 2/8
Federal guidance invites state waivers for accountability and attendance. States should take these invitations! But state tests should happen this spring: They have irreplaceable comparability, alignment, and authority for directing federal support. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
Feb 26, 2021
Monday's @usedgov test-score mandate leaves states drifting into a validity buzz saw.

Let's talk solutions. I propose 3 metrics that all states should report for every school:

1) The Match Rate
2) The Fair Trend
3) The Blind Spot

Feedback welcome.… Image
Without metrics like these, valid interpretations of school and district test scores will be impossible. States trying to "target resources and supports" per @usedgov intentions will fail. Image
States should prepare to define these metrics and answer these questions now. This is a time for an "educational census," not business-as-usual test score reporting. Image
Read 4 tweets

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