I just watched my interview with Randi Kaye.

I am happy to say that the editors clipped out her opening question, in which she tried to use NAEP scale scores as “grades” for the U.S., , which they are not.

A scale is a trend line. It is better to see scores go up than down. The scale itself is an artificial construct (as all scales are). It is not aligned with any standards. You can’t say that a 300 is good or bad, you can only say that it is higher than 350 and lower than 400.

When scale scores go up, it is usually only by a few points. Depending on many factors, a 1-point gain may be statistically significant–or not.

Randi Kaye asserted at the opening of our interview that a scale score of 250 was “proof” that U.S. education was failing because 250 is 50% of 500. She turned that into a failing grade. She forgot to mention that students at the 90th percentile in achievement have a scale score of 276, so by her lights, they must be failing too. She just didn’t understand the numbers, nor did her editors and researchers. We battled about this for what seemed to be 3 minutes, which is an eternity on television.

They dropped that exchange, which I assume means that they realized–because of my letter yesterday–and your responses–that her question was nonsensical and made CNN look stupid.

The rest of the interview consisted of her relentless effort to “prove” that US education is failing: Look at failure in Highland Park, which was recently turned over to a for-profit charter corporation; look at American corporations outsourcing jobs to low-paying China and India, never to nations with a standard of living equal to ours; look at this hostile letter (oh, she left out the other one, from the guy who said I was not competent to talk about education).

Is CNN trying to become the new FOX?