July 29, 2005 1 min read

Amid all the back-patting and credit-taking involving the recently announced gains in NEAP test scores among early grade levels, Joanne Jacobs catches a blatantly obvious bit of foot-in-mouth thinking in a New York Times editorial, which speculated that gains at the elementary level came at the expense of middle and high school scores. Why, you ask? Because, the Times opined, schools were knowingly “placing their most well-trained and experienced teachers in the early grades, a strategy that means the teachers become less and less qualified over all as the students move up the grades.”

Sounds like a plausible working theory, except that it’s, you know, not how schools work. As Joanne puts it:

The Times editorial board must not have anyone who knows much about education. This is an obvious error. Secondary and elementary teachers aren't switched back and forth at will.

Following the Times’ logic, sending a high school physics teacher to teach 3rd grade in the hopes of raising elementary test scores would be like... oh, I don’t know... sending a New York Times editorial writer to keep the same kids from inserting split infinitives into the student paper.


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