Two News Organizations Report on the Youngkin Administration Initiative to Improve K-12 Outcomes

by James C. Sherlock

I submit for your review two articles about the report of the Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction, “Our Commitment to Virginians”.

The first is by Sarah Rankin of the Associated Press.

The other is by Hannah Natanson of The Washington Post.

Both review the same report.  Both are presented as news not opinion.

That report promises broad attempts to improve the education of all Virginia public school children. I suggest that is what we employ a Superintendent of Public Instruction to do.

Read both stories and the report in question. Make the effort a Rorschach test.

What do you see?

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5 responses to “Two News Organizations Report on the Youngkin Administration Initiative to Improve K-12 Outcomes”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    Capt – I couldn’t get the link to the “first” report to work. The second link worked fine

    I assume that if had been able to access the AP article it would have looked far different than the Bezos Daily article.

    There is huge bias in reporting, on both sides. In fact, my son publishes a newsletter comparing articles from both the left and right points of view with no commentary (as a hobby). It is national in scope and not at all focused on Virginia.

    You can find his website here –

    1. vicnicholls Avatar

      Thanks DJ.

  2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    I find the AP article to be a collection of statements from the administration offset by some statements of critics. It also is a summary of the report’s findings.

    I find the Washington Post article to be a summary of the administration’s position followed by an analysis of the claims in the report, pointing out the error comparing SOL proficiency scores with NAEP proficiency scores, thereby giving the reader a more honest interpretation of the data.

    If one wants a cut and paste job, go with the AP story; if one wants an analysis of the data and its implications, go with the WP story.

  3. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    Unfortunately, what was proposed is going to be seen as a way of making public schools look bad for the purpose of charter school legislation. The data are misleading. We are not last in the nation on NAEP scores. The data from the secretary of Ed’s previous employer (more bias) shows that in some opinion, Virginia’s cut scores for what makes a pass or fail lower than the grade level expectations on the NAEP. We have long held schools accountable to SOL scores. The comparison of the two can not be quantified as low or high unless numerous variables are considered and that takes an opinion. I would be careful of looking at the honesty gap. You can’t compare the two assessments. However, the SOLs still show a gap between high poverty and low poverty and white vs black and brown. So. Compare apples to apples. What ticks my button is the misleading reference to being the lowest in the NAEP on cut scores. It doesn’t say anything for transparency except spin the data bottle. Pitiful.

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