Education

Fact-Checking the Education Olympics 2008

October 17, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

If you saw Mike Petrilli with his red, white, and blue facepaint amid a faux backdrop of China’s Great Wall this past summer, you had to see the humor in the video reports for Fordham’s Education Olympics 2008. But behind his antics was a serious message about the relative low standing of U.S. students on international comparisons of various achievement measures, from college-going rates to PISA results.

Well, researchers for the Think Tank Review Project didn’t find the series so funny. The project is a joint effort by the Education and the Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University.

They released their own fact-checking review of Petrilli’s reports this week and concluded that the “Education Olympics provides no basis for assertion that the nation’s students will harm its economic future.”

The review looks at the more than two dozen tables Petrilli used, showing how the U.S. ranks compared with other countries, and commentary that accompanied the data.

“While a link between international test rankings and global economic standing may be widely assumed, it is by no means a settled question,” the review states. “The Education Olympics report, driven by predetermined positions and lacking any rigorous demonstration of argument, theory, evidence or methods, provides no basis for generating constructive policy for improving our nation’s educational performance.”

I’m sure Petrilli is polishing his saber as he gets ready to settle this one with authors Edward Fierros of Villanova University and Mindy Kornhaber of Penn State. I’m not sure the U.S. Fencing Association will endorse this match.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Reading & Literacy K-12 Essentials Forum Writing and the Science of Reading
Join us for this free event as we highlight and discuss the intersection of reading and writing with Education Week reporters and expert guests.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 1, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP