House Education Committee hears from junk scientist. Are they hearing from you?

The House Education Committee heard a presentation from KPI last week. ARE THEY HEARING FROM YOU?
KPI is one of the mouthpieces through which groups outside of Kansas are pushing their agenda on us. Dave Trabert, paid president KPI, gave a presentation again presenting the picture of Kansas’ failing schools and saying Kansas should be more like Texas and Florida. KNEA reports that he was “joined …via Skype by noted ideological researcher Matthew Ladner. Ladner, who greatly admires Jeb Bush and Florida schools was brought to Kansas by Trabert and KPI once before. In 2010 Ladner won a “Bunkum Award” from the National Educational Policy Center (NEPC). The NEPC, located at the University of Colorado is a national consortium of education researchers and academicians who review the reports of think tanks to make sure it is based on sound research standards. Their annual “Bunkum Awards” are given to those who most violate research standards in an attempt to prove their own hypotheses.
Ladner won a Bunkum Award entitled “If I Say It Enough, Will It Still Be Untrue?” for his report on the Florida “miracle.” In giving the award, the NEPC said Ladner’s “fecundity isn’t really what sets this work apart. It’s his willingness to smash through walls of basic research standards in his dogged pursuit of his policy agenda. In this case, the agenda is a passel of Florida reforms: vouchers funded by tax credits, charter schools, online education, performance-based teacher pay, test-score grading of schools and districts, test-based grade retention, and alternative teacher certification. He likes them. A lot. And he contends that other states should adopt the same package because, in his vision, they have clearly caused an improvement in Florida schools. The problem, alas, is with the ‘caused’ part. Nothing in the data or analyses of Dr. Ladner or the Heritage Foundation comes even close to allowing for a causal inference.” DO THESE SOUND FAMILIAR, KANSANS?
In 2011, Ladner was the first recipient of a “Lifetime Achievement Bunkum Award” saying, “Dr. Ladner’s body of Bunk-work is focused on his shameless hawking of what he and the Governor call the ‘Florida Formula’ for educational success. As our reviews have explained, they’d be less deceptive if they were selling prime Florida swampland. One cannot, however, deny Dr. Ladner’s salesmanship: gullible lawmakers throughout the nation have been pulling out their wallets and buying into his evidence-less pitch for flunking of low-scoring third graders and other policies likely to harm many more students than they help.” From KNEA Under the Dome.

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