More StudentsFirst Insanity

Yesterday, I wrote about StudentsFirst, an education ‘reform’ faith tank, that graded U.S. states on everything except how well the students are doing (no, really). One of the idiotic things is about their grading system is that all of the countries that surpass the best states (and there are only a handful) would fail miserably according to StudentsFirst metrics.

Susie Madrak catches another ludicrous things about the StudentsFirst report–how they scored curriculum:

Because the wackiest thing about the Students First report card is that Louisiana gets the highest grade of any state in the nation, with a B-. Louisiana. Just stew on that for a sec. Then click here for a list of hilarious things being taught in Louisiana’s state-approved charter school curriculum. Here’s a sample:

“[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001

Are you laughing yet? Okay, try this Yglesias quote on for size, “The Students First perspective more wisely dings states that make it too hard to open charters but also dings states (like, say, Arizona) that do much too little to hold charter schools accountable for performance,” and then go look again at what made the approved curriculum for Louisiana’s charter schools. If you were wondering, Students First gave Louisiana a passing grade of C- on the metric entitled, “Spend Wisely & Govern Well.”

If the governance bit wasn’t funny enough, here’s some of what spending wisely looks like in Louisiana: spending money on creationist ‘science’ curriculum and scholarships for middle class and wealthy students, favoring high administrative spending over direct instructional costs, and neglecting need-based higher education supports.

I have always maintained that any education ‘reformer’ who is not opposed to creationism in schools is not serious about education. StudentsFirst is nothing more than a branch of ALEC (yes, that ALEC).

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