Did the NAEP call BS on superintendent Vitti?

Once again I will just let his words speak for him.
About what the NAEP, called the nation’s report card, scores
mean for Duval, from the Times Union

With this first report, Duval’s scores are too young to show a
trend over time, but they do place the district near the top of all 21 major
districts measured in NAEP, said Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
And Duval ranks second, behind Miami-Dade, in eighth grade
reading and seventh in eighth grade math. Duval’s eighth-graders scored above
national averages in reading but below average in math.
Vitti said that shows Duval is better than state report cards
reveal — better than many people think when they compare Duval to St. Johns or
other area districts. “It should change the conversation in Jacksonville
regarding the state of public education,” he said.
“We will naturally always be compared to our neighboring
districts but … the neighboring districts are nowhere near a comparable
sample regarding our performance. We are much larger and more diverse. Compared
to similar districts, we are outperforming.”
So the NAEP is better
suited than the state assessments to determine where Duval is. Who wants to bet
that if the results would have been less favorable Vitti would have said, the
NAEP just tests a small sample not all our kids and shouldn’t be taken
Now he is right, it is
unfair to compare Duval to districts like Clay and St. Johns. Those counties are
not nearly as diverse as Duval both with race and socio-economic status. The
thing is there aren’t many serious people comparing us to those two counties
and when he attempts to do so or implies others are he muddies the waters.
It’s the big counties
of Palm Beach, Miami Dade, Hillsborough, Orange and Broward that we should be
compared to and sadly we are routinely near the bottom and the NEAP does not
change that fact.
Here is Vitti on why Florida
and Duval’s math NAAP scores are low, also from the Times Union.
 Except in eighth grade
math. Duval like other big Florida districts fell below national averages.
Vitti attributed that to the fact that many of Florida’s eighth
graders take algebra 1 in eighth grade and the most advanced students take
geometry, but the NAEP tests measure regular eighth-grade math, which he
described as “pre-algebra.”
National assessment officials said Tuesday that the eighth-grade
test does include algebra and geometry, as well as data analysis, measurement
and number properties
Um, did the NAEP just
call bullshit on the superintendent there? I am not a fan of most eight graders
taking algebra but I guess earnest people can disagree.
Now please don’t
confuse my criticism with an indictment of the districts teaching. It’s not. I
think we are having success across the district but I think the lion’s share of
this happens in spite of the administration who often pulls teachers in superfluous
directions and sets teachers and students up to fail. I also sadly think the
district has kneecapped us with a reliance on Teach for America and by driving
many experienced teachers away.  

As for the NAEP, the
problem is if you like it you can find things to praise and if you dislike it
you can find things to criticize. It’s also just a sample of a population and even
they say it shouldn’t be used to craft policy. 

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