I have to take issue with Klein’s dismissal of statistical significance, as reported by the Sun:
The National Center for Education Statistics also concludes that upward trends in the reading scores of black and Hispanic fourth-graders lauded by Mr. Klein are not statistically significant.
Mr. Klein criticized the National Center on Education Statistics analysis.
“Those are just confidence levels. Nobody is saying this is a science,” Mr. Klein said. He added: “If three points is flat, and four points is statistically significant, then what you’re doing is, you’re playing something of a game.”
Um, Chancellor Klein? Statistical significance isn’t game-playing – it’s a standard measurement of how likely a result is to be non-random. Did test scores rise because of DOE policies, or random chance? Statisticians don’t just draw a line wherever they want – they use widely-accepted significance tests that you learn in any basic stats class. Or perhaps you’re suggesting that the NCES plays with confidence levels to downplay New York’s progress?