I just came across a column by Bill O’Reilly in which the Big Giant Head says,
Here’s a lesson that is both ironic and sad at the same time. According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of the eight graders in Wisconsin cannot read proficiently. But assuming the kids are skilled enough to watch TV, they can now see their teachers demonstrating to keep their generous union benefits. So, while things do not seem to be going well in the classroom, any thought of holding teachers somewhat responsible is cause for a protest march.
Bill-O provides no link to wherever the Department of Education said such a thing. Since I just did a post about education statistics last week, however, I knew where to look for Department of Education statistics. And according to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the average reading score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for Wisconsin eighth grade students is comfortably above the national average.
So either kids in other states are mostly illiterate, or Bill-O told a fib.
Through another page I learned that the average reading scale score for eighth graders nationwide was 262 (out of what I do not know), and the Wisconsin average was 266, Wisconsin’s eight-graders ranked 21st among the states. Massachusetts was first at 274, and last among the states was Mississippi, at 251.
I did some keyword searches on the Department of Education site and found nothing that said two-thirds of Wisconsin eighth graders don’t read proficiently.
Bill-O attributes his own superior education to St. Brigid’s School on Long Island, where there were 60 students and one nun in the classroom. “The nun brooked no nonsense,” he said. “She forced us to learn.” However, she forgot to teach him it’s not nice to pull data out of his ass.