Hours after Virginia released a mixed bag of standardized test scores, a national education expert called for the firing of the state superintendent of instruction and charged that families are being misled about their children’s academic performance.
Education reformer RiShawn Biddle, blogging at Dropout Nation, assailed the existence of “dropout factories and failure mills such as the Jefferson-Houston School in Alexandria, where only 22 percent of fourth-graders passed the state’s reading exam this year.”
“When it comes to proficiency, Virginia’s education officials have long attempted to argue that districts are all above average. This thinking doesn’t stand scrutiny when you compare the percentage of children scoring at the highest levels on the Old Dominion’s battery of exams to the percentage of kids passing the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal exam of student achievement,” he said.
Watchdog.org reported that Biddle called for “sacking state Superintendent of Instruction Patricia Wright.” He said Wright’s “defense of the status-quo from any real changes is one reason why Virginia is doing so poorly by its children.”
Charles Pyle, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Education, declined to comment on Biddle’s demand for Wright’s ouster. But in an interview with Watchdog, he strenuously disputed Biddle’s assessment of student performance.