ALEC ‘Report Card’ Gets ‘A’ for Ideological Fealty,
Fails on Research Quality
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/bnptwat
BOULDER, CO (May 9, 2013) – The recent education “report card” on the states put out by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) claims to rely on “high quality research” but gets a failing grade in a new review.
Professor Christopher Lubienski and doctoral candidate T. Jameson Brewer, both of the University of Illinois, reviewed ALEC’s 18th Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform for the Think Twice think tank review project. The review is published today by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.
The ALEC “report card” assigns its grades based on states’ policies regarding their support for charter schools, their implementation of school voucher plans, and the permissiveness they display toward homeschooling.
“The authors contend that these grades are based on ‘high quality’ research demonstrating that the policies for which they award high grades will improve education for all students,” Lubienski and Jameson write. Instead, the “report card” draws on the work of advocacy groups and is grounded in ideological tenets, leading the authors to assign high grades to states “with unproven and even disproven market-based policies,” the reviewers add. They point out that the authors’ claims of “a growing body of research” lacks citations; their grading system contradicts testing data that they report; and their data on alternative teacher research is “simply wrong.”
“In fact, the research ALEC highlights is quite shoddy and is unsuitable for supporting its recommendations,” Lubienski and Jameson conclude. “The report’s purpose appears to be more about shifting control of education to private interests than in improving education.”
Find the review by Christopher Lubienski and T. Jameson Brewer on the NEPC website at:
Find Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reformby Matthew Ladner and Dave Myslinskion the web at:
The Think Twice think tank review project (http://thinktankreview.org) of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) provides the public, policy makers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. The Think Twice think tank review project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence. For more information on the NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.
This review is also found on the GLC website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/.