Tag Archives: Michael Petrilli

Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Good enough for government work?

Over at Flypaper, Michael Petrilli makes a great point. Birth rates fell precipitously during the Great Recession, as birth rates usually do during hard economic times. In fact, from their 2007 peak births fell by 9 percent. Mike points out that if … Continue reading

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Is college for everyone?

Micheal Petrilli over at Education Gadfly blogged “College isn’t for everyone. Let’s stop pretending it is.” This is one of those statements that everyone agrees is true, but no one wants to hear said. Listeners are all too ready to read this … Continue reading

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Petrilli’s pondery

Mike Petrilli makes a point and raises a question about progress in teaching math in Education Next and Fordham’s Flypaper.  One of the great mysteries of modern-day school reform is why we’re seeing such strong progress (in math at least, … Continue reading

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2 Responses to Petrilli’s pondery

  1. Dick Startz says:

    Fair points. But applying ocular statistics to Petrilli’s graph it looks like the drop has been equal at higher percentiles. Maybe even greater. Without having thought through your math, wouldn’t that suggest a pretty minimal effect?

  2. Jesse Rothstein says:

    I don’t think we can dismiss the selection story so quickly. You have assumed that there is a perfect correlation between test scores and latent graduation propensities. But that can’t be right — my guess is that the correlation is relatively weak. That would mean that the effect of the changing selection would be spread throughout the distribution, not just at the very bottom. Combine that with a hypothesized rightward shift in the latent, unselected distribution and it seems to me that Petrilli’s figure could well be consistent with a selection story.

    I’m too lazy to take the idea to data, but it seems to me there are two ways to do it. First, you could assume that the latent 12th grade distribution shifted rightward by the same amount as was observed for the 8th grade distribution, and ask whether any feasible correlation between selection and test scores could generate the observed selected data in Petrilli’s figure. Second, you could use the NELS to estimate the correlation between test scores and continuation probabilities, then apply those to the changing selection seen in your second graph to estimate the trend in the unselected distribution.

    I don’t have any idea what either would show. My hunch is that selection will account for a meaningful portion, though not all, of the slowdown between 8th and 12th grades.

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Tracking

Read “All together now” by Michael Pettrilli over at EducationNext.org, which explains that mixing students of different abilities is an overblown idea. This really pushes my buttons. Last month I attended my 40th high school reunion. My graduating class–and some of … Continue reading

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One Response to Tracking

  1. sam says:

    i dont think you and the article are disagreeing. you say at your school “A student might be in an advanced reading group but a mid-level math group”.

    thats exactly what is going on at piney branch. the anti-tracking movement would have all the kids in the same reading and math group.

    so instead of the more convenient splitting the kids up into different classes for math and reading, the teachers split them into groups but keep them in the same class.

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