Valerie Strauss analyzes the debate between Chancellor Merryl Tisch and me on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

She includes the transcript.

What she found odd was Tisch’s resoonse right after I explained that teachers are not allowed to see how individual students answered questions, so the tests have
no diagnostic value. All that teachers see is the students’ scores and how they compare to others. There is no item analysis, no description of students’ weaknesses or strength.

Tisch answered:

“TISCH: Well, I would say that the tests are really a diagnostic tool that is used to inform instruction and curriculum development throughout the state. New York State spends $54 billion a year on educating 3.2 million schoolchildren. For $54 billion a year I think New Yorkers deserve a snapshot of how our kids are doing, how our schools are doing, how our systems are doing. There is a really important data point.”

She began by saying that the Common Core standards and tests would close the achievement gap, although there is no evidence for that claim. Then she said the tests are a valuable diagnostic tool, but they don’t provide enough information to perform that function. Then she said the tests would show how our schools were doing, which I disagree with, because the passing mark was set artificially high, guaranteeing that most children would fail.

Unfortunately I had no opportunity to respond.