Much ado is being made about an economics-in-education study hailed as “new” by the New York Times, even though the Times reporter indicates that findings were presented at “more than a dozen seminars” during the past year. No specifics on that, and none are cited on the very current CV by lead author of the study and newest and youngest Harvard rock star economist, Raj Chetty.
And though the paper has not been published or even submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, it is being hailed by the corporate media as ground breaking. Last week, in fact, the non-profit corporate media outlet, PBS, had a one-sided presentation by Raj Chetty, whose hapless scheduled adversary, Randi Weingarten, was, fortunately for her, stuck in Manhattan traffic. Why would PBS get the head of the AFT to offer a critique of an academic paper that spouts the virtues of high value-added test scores as the key to happiness? Why didn’t they get Jesse Rothstein or Gary Miron or another one of countless respected skeptical researchers of the testing gospel according to Hanushek and Sanders? The choice says everything we need to know on this topic about the Gates-funded News Hour.
In the Times story, Jesse Rothstein is given one sentence just two sentences before the end of the story, which has been controlled by Erik Hanushek even to the last words. Besides the minor quote from Rothstein, the reporter manages to slime his research as being tainted by union support:
“We are performing these studies in settings where nobody cares about their ranking — it does not change their pay or job security,” said Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, whose work criticizing other value-added assessments unions frequently cite. “But if you start to change that, there is going to be a range of responses.”
Here’s the clip from the Times story that carries the central message and the clear intended takeaway:
After identifying excellent, average and poor teachers, the economists then set out to look at their students over the long term, analyzing information on earnings, college matriculation rates, the age they had children, and where they ended up living.