The MacIver Institute for Making Stuff Up has a new piece by their CrackerJack tm Education Analyst (sic) Chistian D'Andrea bemoaning a decrease in reading scores on NAEP standardized testing for a select group of students, and then using that as a call for more privitazation of your tax dollars.
There are a couple of points that the make-believe news service people left out.
First, the "grim trend" in the numbers shows a drop of 6 points in reading scores from 2007 to last year. This is probably less significant than they'd like you to believe when you look to the study and see that we are on a 500-point scale. If all things were equal, a 1.5% decline could be chalked up to noise in the data.
But they're not equal, either. The test was revised for 2009 and cannot be directly compared in a simple summary.
Don't lose track of the fact that MacIver is funded by same groups that fund the other GOP "think" tanks in Wisconsin and are doing their level best to make people believe that turning over tax dollars to their funders is a wise use of the resource. Don't fall for it and don't let your local paper get away with using them as a source, either.