The Fake Education Reformers “Smoking Gun” that leads from Arne Duncan to the White House: Part 1

19 May

How do you deceive a nation? The answer is simple—by loading the dice, stacking the deck and dealing off the bottom.

It’s called deceit!

It’s called fraud!

It’s called treason!

And it’s a crime!

This “Smoking Gun” leads from Arne Duncan to the White House because Arne, who was appointed by President Obama, pulls the trigger repeatedly every time he opens his mouth about the PISA, Common Core and how great Charter Schools are, so if there’s a fall guy (and that depends on Congress launching an in-depth, honest investigation—don’t hold your breath) it will be Arne who gets fired and may end up in prison if the president doesn’t pardon him like President Ford pardoned Nixon for his attempted cover up of his Watergate guilt.

Hey Arne, you better start shredding all those memos and deleting all your private e-mails. All it takes is one to prove you’re guilty—that you are responsible for rigging the PISA test in the U.S., and can you trust everyone who was involved, because no one could do this alone?

The cornerstone of the fake education reform movement has been the PISA rankings of developed countries where 15-year old students were supposedly selected at random, but how were the schools selected?

Before I reveal the smoking gun that leads to the White House, do you know what happens to a student’s grade point average (GPA) when there are too many poor grades? The highest GPA a student may earn is a 4.0 without advanced placement and honors classes. The reason I mention this is because the method used to compute GPA is similar to the PISA average.

For instance, if there are 100 grades of equal value and 22 are failing grades and the other 78 are A’s, that student will have a 3.12 GPA (a B-). Those 22 poor grades have a lot of weight, and when the PISA test was administered to random students, the evidence suggests that Arne Duncan made sure there would be more than 22 poor grades to drag the U.S. PISA average down.

To discover how this was done we’re going to look at the results of two studies that analyzed the details of the PISA test from different sources. It was only by chance that I discovered both and connected the dots.

The first analysis of the PISA test was from the Economic Policy Institute that concluded: “The U.S. administration of the most recent (2012) international (PISA) test resulted in students from the most disadvantaged schools being over-represented in the overall U.S. test-taker sample. This error further depressed the reported average U.S. test score.”

In fact, the report goes on: “U.S. students from advantaged social class backgrounds (students who do not live in poverty) perform better relative to their social class peers in the top-scoring countries of Finland and Canada …”

Then there’s the other analysis by Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).  Tirozzi reports: “The problem is that the United States has by far the highest rate of child poverty of any of the advanced industrial countries, and it is these children who perform very poorly on the (PISA) international tests. For example, U.S. students in schools with less than 10% poverty rank number one in the world, while students in schools with greater than 50% poverty score significantly below average.”

When Tirozzi compared the ranking of schools in the United States with less than a 10% poverty rate with ten countries with similar poverty numbers, the US was in first place with a PISA score of 551 and Finlandwith its public schools and unionized teachers considered among the best in the worldwas #2 with a score of 536. Then Tirozzi matched schools with a poverty rate of 10 to 24.9% with ten comparable countries, and the United States once again was ranked #1 at 527, and Canada was in second place with a PISA average of 524.

In addition, the U.S. PISA average of 502 for schools with poverty rates between 25 to 49.9% was still in the upper half of the scores—higher than twenty countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, France, the UK, Italy, Spain and Israel.

How bad is childhood poverty in the United States?

Of the 35-developed countries compared by the PISA test, the US was ranked 34th for childhood poverty while Finland’s poverty rate was less than 5%—in the U.S. 22% of all children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. That fact by itself without stacking the deck would drive the U.S. average down because the higher a country’s childhood poverty rate, the lower the PISA average would be.

Why did the Department of Education test more schools in the U.S. with higher rates of poverty than the other developed countries? Was this deliberate?

I think so—by rigging the PISA test to be given to students who attend more schools with the highest poverty rates led to an average that made all the U.S. public schools look bad when they’re not—just like a child’s GPA drops when there are more poor grades. Schools with high rates of children living in poverty resulted in a lower PISA average by offsetting the scores of the 78% of students who do not live in poverty.

Tirozzi’s analysis clearly reveals that the average score of 78% of America’s children (39 million) who don’t live in poverty ranked #1 in the world on the international PISA test when compared to the other 35 developed countries similar to the United States, but testing an unfair ratio of students from the 22% (11 million) who live in poverty dropped the U.S. average drastically creating a false sense of failure in the U.S. public schools.

In conclusion: “National efforts to improve public education—from the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind to President Obama’s Race to the Top—have been focused on the wrong problems, said Richard Rothstein, a senior fellow at the Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.” (The Washington Post)

Poverty is the problem!

The public schools and the teachers are not the problem, because when children don’t live in poverty, they score higher on the international PISA test in every developed country with the U.S. ranked #1.

What should we call this fraud—Education Gate or something else?

Continued with: Discovering the world’s best teachers—Smoking Gun: Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves


Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”


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14 responses to “The Fake Education Reformers “Smoking Gun” that leads from Arne Duncan to the White House: Part 1

  1. Gerri K. Songer

    May 21, 2014 at 10:45

    Now that’s a shocker! The village dipsh**s are running the country!

  2. booklady

    May 21, 2014 at 15:22

    Mr. Lofthouse,
    Have you shared this w. D Ravitch?
    Your comments on her blog are so stimulating that I visited your sites.
    How fortunate your students were to have you.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 21, 2014 at 15:54

      Thank you. No, I haven’t shared this post and the one that just went up as Part 2 with Dr. Ravitch.

  3. Lloyd Lofthouse

    May 22, 2014 at 07:48

    Reblogged this on Lloyd Lofthouse.

  4. Norah

    May 27, 2014 at 03:29

    A very interesting read. I agree, we need to do something about poverty. From which source can information be trusted?

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 27, 2014 at 07:02

      Thank you. We can never trust any source one hundred percent, but the best source is usually a primary, fact gathering source that isn’t funded or owned by someone like the Koch brothers—for instance, the Census, the CDC or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But how long do we have before those federal agencies are also turned over to a corporation to do that job?

      Then we have to keep watch on how we use the facts we find in our quest to get closer to the truth. It’s very easy for anyone to mine these sources and then use only what they want to use that supports their bias or agenda. I’ve been running into people like this all the time. An old friend I’ve known for more than fifty years was seduced to this dark side and we are no longer close.

      The traditional media also can’t be trusted. In a recent issue of AARP’s magazine, Barbara Walters was interviewed and she pointed out why: “It also used to be that the news was holy, and you did not give opinions. I mean, Walter Cronkite was the most trusted and most famous, but you didn’t know how Walter thought. Today, in order to be successful, you have to be opinionated, and that’s what people want to hear.” I think Walters is right. Most people want to hear only that which will support their biased thinking and/or opinions and aren’t interested in facts that will prove them wrong, and this trend started with President Reagan when he vetoed the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine (then later the 1st Bush made sure the Fairness Doctrine stayed dead when Congress attempted to legalize it) giving rise to conservative talk radio shows and the media nightmare circus we have today. In fact, many younger Americans are unable to recognize the difference between fact and opinion any longer, because they grew up in a world where facts used to reveal truth no longer exists.

      It seems that too many people now think that opinions are the truth and the truth is something to sweep under the rug and ignore if it doesn’t support what you want to hear. And in my opinion (LOL), that will lead to the end of the people’s democracy and the U.S. is already gone far down that road.

  5. Greg Mischio

    May 27, 2014 at 06:43

    Awesome Lloyd. Keep on digging and writing! And we’ll keep RTing until we make people realize what’s going on.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 27, 2014 at 07:03

      Thank you. If we could only have an army out there RTing for the diggers and writers.

  6. Norah

    May 29, 2014 at 05:01

    Hi Lloyd,
    Thanks for the great reply to my rhetorical question. I didn’t really expect such a magnificent response. I am always quite skeptical about the veracity of much of what I read. It seems everyone is an “expert” without any real expertise or knowledge. I was particularly interested in the way you described the dishonesty of the PISA testing and results. The day after reading your article there was an article in my local (Australian) paper decrying local results in much the same manner and wailing about falling standards. It seems to me that this generation is more highly educated than those who have gone before. Many of my father’s generation left school before their teen years in order to help support their families. Many of my generation left at age 15 with only a very few going on to tertiary education.Twelve years ago the final assessment for my year one students involved a checklist of such things as: uses scissors to cut, holds a pencil correctly, counts to 10, recognizes 20 sight words. I’m not saying that it was an appropriate assessment as I believe the expectations were very low. However now they are expected to be doing calculations with numbers up to 100 and reading at levels that were expected of year 3 students 12 years ago. From my observations which do not include national test results, standards are not declining but pressures and expectations are increasing. I appreciate the extra information you have provided to assist with my understanding.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 29, 2014 at 06:51

      More evidence that the PISA is a useless fraud:

      Guess who may drop out of the PISA? China

      Here’s a piece that appeared in The Washington Post on May 26, 2014: “No. 1 Shanghai may drop out of PISA”

      “First in 2009 and then in 2012, Shanghai’s 15-year-old students (or, rather, a supposed representative group) were No. 1 in the world on the recent Program for International Student Assessment reading, math and science exams. But now, according to a popular Shanghai newspaper, Shanghai is considering dropping out of PISA. Why?

      “According to the article, explained in the following post by scholar Yong Zhao, Shanghai officials want to de-emphasize standardized test scores, homework and rote learning that has characterized Chinese education. And PISA, which is sponsored by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, emphasizes standardized test scores.

      “Last year, China began a major education reform initiative designed to increase student engagement and end student boredom and anxiety — and reduce the importance of standardized test scores.”

      Imagine that, China moving away from raising generations of robots while the Western Democracies, with the exception of Finland, are moving toward standardizing thinking and behavior. Who would have thought?

      Finland’s poverty rate is less than 5%. In the U.S., poverty is 23% or almost ten times the total population of Finland.

      What does PISA say about poverty?

      Professor Robert Lingard compares Australia and New Zealand with a focus on poverty and reveals the truth.

      What Does the PISA Report Really Tell US About U.S. Education?

  7. Norah

    May 29, 2014 at 17:30

    You’ve left lots here for me to follow up and think about. Thanks.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 29, 2014 at 17:35

      You’re welcome. I have more coming in a few days. :o)


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