Christmas Cheer Is Over

At least for me, after I read this list

It comes from the incomparable Daily Howler, which I recently added to my blogroll. The Howler has some of the best lamestream media criticism out there. Even better, it frames its criticism with regard to class, the issue that is not to be mentioned in polite company, rather than ideology. It comes at the end of two multi-post series that converge at the results of the latest international student testing report put out by the Department of Education. From the report's Executive Summary:
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment that measures the performance of 15-year-olds in reading literacy, mathematics literacy, and science literacy every 3 years. First implemented in 2000, PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of 34 member countries.
The 34 countries are the "developed" world, although in some cases the global economic crisis - and especially the austerity programs many are following - may push some back into "developing" countries.

Without further ado: average score, reading literacy, PISA, 2009:

United States, Asian students 541
Korea 539
Finland 536
United States, white students 525
Canada 524
New Zealand 521
Japan 520
Australia 515
Netherlands 508
Belgium 506
Norway 503
Estonia 501
Switzerland 501
Poland 500
Iceland 500
United States (overall) 500
Sweden 497
Germany 497
Ireland 496
France 496
Denmark 495
United Kingdom 494
Hungary 494
OECD average 493
Portugal 489
Italy 486
Slovenia 483
Greece 483
Spain 481
Czech Republic 478
Slovak Republic 477
Israel 474
Luxembourg 472
Austria 470
United States, Hispanic students 466
Turkey 464
Chile 449
United States, black students 441
Mexico 425

Read it and weep.

The series are called Special Reports, and you often have to scroll down from the top to read them. The Daily Howler is daily, Monday through Friday, so most special reports are done in a week, but you often have to search through multiple posts to focus on just them. I've compiled the links for the two series after the jump.

The first is called "The fruit of a forty-year script!" and deals with the widely believed narrative of American public schools. You know what it is, but it's false. The Howler has extensive experience in public education, and is incomparable in analyzing the typically lazy effort at education journalism in our elite press outlets.

PART 1—WRONG FROM THE START
PART 2—A LAND WHERE NOTHING HAS TO MAKE SENSE
PART 3—IN PRAISE OF THE WORST ONE PERCENT
A related New York Times article prompted this: Thursday, December 9, 2010
Introduction section of this post: Friday, December 10, 2010
PART 4—LESSONS LEARNED

The other series is called "Mr. Potter's minions!" The Howler has special contempt for Chris Matthews, calling him "the most destructive cable news host." In this series, Matthews and his interviewee, Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the D.C. schools, are skewered.

PART 1—FLOCK OF MINIONS
PART 2—TOOL TIME/MINIONS ON UNIONS
PART 3—MINION’S DAUGHTER
PART 4—MINION’S PROGRESS
PART 5—KRUGMAN AND MINION

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