This has been a great week for myth busting. I've been saying for years that exercise--while wonderful--doesn't help you lose weight. Did you see the cover of Time last week? Wow, what do you know, exercise doesn't help you lose weight.
Then last week, I pointed out that Arizona schools are above average and what do you know, SAT scores just came out and indeed, Arizona kids--once again--score in the top half.
Here's how the Arizona Class of 2009 stacks up on the SAT:
• Reading: 516. National average: 501.
• Math: 521. National average: 515.
• Writing: 497. National average: 493.
Arizona's education establishment and their media enablers continue to chant the strange mantra "our product sucks, but at least our costs are high." They insist on claiming that Arizona Schools are lousy because (they argue) that the funding is low. This is, of course, nonsense on both fronts. Arizona schools are good and the funding is middle of the pack.
But what if the funding really was low? Wouldn't it be great that we have managed to produce high test scores for less money? Or maybe what education reformers have been saying for years is actually true--there's little correlation between performance and dollars. That's why Utah and Vermont have such great schools even thought they don't spend much money and Washington DC and New York City have such crappy schools even though they spend a fortune.
Myth's die hard, but eventually the facts prevail. Time magazine eventually came around on the exercise myth...we'll see how many more years it takes before they reevaluate some education myths.