Abstract for: Sliding Goals in Student Achievement?

The sophistication of schools texts has been declining for more than 100 years in the U.S. Coincidentally, student capabilities and measured verbal achievement have been declining, certainly since the 1950s and probably since 1900. This investigation built a tiny model representing the famous sliding goals archetype tracing back to Forrester's Market Growth paper, and fit the model beautifully to the data. The fit is very dramatic and persuades everyone who sees it that the sophistication of texts and student SAT verbal scores are linked in a sadly sliding long-term pattern. But the fit, derived by robust and correct procedures, is fundamentally flawed, and the lovely fit to data is grossly misleading. This presentation will reveal the entire sad story, with implications for wise practice in the field.