During the Chicago strike, there was a lot of hostile media coverage. One of the critics of the strike and the union was Dylan Matthews, who blogs at the Washington Post.
This refreshing article shows how Matthews consistently misinterpreted research to reflect his own opinions. The author, Mike Paarlberg, is a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer at Georgetown University who understands statistics and reads research studies with care.
Paarlberg shows that Matthews doesn’t understand statistics and that he repeatedly misrepresented and exaggerated the research findings. Matthews claimed that seniority was bad, test-based evaluation was good. He also tried to demonstrate that strikes hurt student achievement. In each instance, Paarlberg pins him for his shoddy use of statistics and research.
I guess Matthews didn’t say anything about the extensive research showing that reduced class size improves achievement or that value-added assessment says more about which students were assigned to the class than about teacher quality.