Tuesday, October 30, 2012

School 'reform' group needs some arithmetic work

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 6:19 AM

DO THE MATH: Laurie Lees propaganda for school reform doesnt add p.
  • DO THE MATH: Laurie Lee's propaganda for school reform doesn't add up.
I've written before about A+ Arkansas (not to be confused with several other A+ Arkansas organizations of years past). It's another Billionaire Boys Club front group, financed by Walton and other money to carry their "school reform" message around the state. Its travels in recent weeks have coincidentally included stops where the billionaires' money is pushing for the election of Republican legislative candidates beholden to the billionaires' vision. Laurie Lee (nee Masterson), who won her first fame trying to ban books from the Fayetteville school libraries, is leading the group's road show. She's also been associated with a Republican-inclined political consulting firm and worked on the Koch payroll at Americans for Prosperity.

One of Laurie Lee's current messages is that Arkansas really sucks in education — that it is bogus to say Arkansas ranked 5th in a national education ranking, as Gov. Mike Beebe has touted in defending Democratic candidates against the onslaught of Koch and other billionaire money seeking to elect a Republican majority. Any similarity between the "education reform" group's messaging and Republican Party messaging is, of course, purely coincidental and should not be viewed as a coordinated effort, any more than Koch-funded gasoline giveaways attended by Republican senatorial candidates like Automatic Koch vote Missy Irvin are anything but coincidental.

From Laurie Lee's recent missive:

Some politicians don't want you to know that Arkansas' schools are in crisis. They are using this report to claim that Arkansas' schools rank 5th in the country - but 5th in what?

They don't want you to know that Arkansas received a "D" in the most important category - K-12 Achievement. We are ranked 33rd in the nation.

Lee helpfully provided a link to the report that she claims the governor is misrepresenting. Go ahead. Read it. It's from Education Week. But read it more carefully than Lee apparently did. Because surely she wouldn't intentionally misrepresent pesky facts while crusading for the billionaires who are paying her salary.

The link answers Lee's own question. Arkansas ranks 5th in overall K-12 education. The link explains that six categories were weighted equally to arrive at that ranking and that none was considered the most important. Yes, we need improvement in K-12 achievement scores. Yes, the governor has said as much. (Though 33rd, in context, isn't so bad against our customary 45-50th showings in wealth and other indicators.) Still, that aspect of the multi-part evaluation doesn't negate the overall ranking. Heard of averages?

Comments someone who pointed this out to me:

"Ironic that an e-mail decrying our advances in education chooses to ignore basic mathematics."

No surprise there. It's been clear for some time that there will be no fact-checking in the jihad. Keep the faith, baby. The education reformers have been using faith and this new math for a long time. Students from better economic circumstances, skimmed out of public schools for shiny new charters, score better than much poorer students in school districts left behind. Charters must be the solution for the difference, the billionaires and their stooges bray, not the proven benefit of stronger home lives. Broader overall studies that find scant value in charters when like students are compared are inconvenient facts. Keep the faith in the billionaires.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (43)

Showing 1-43 of 43

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-43 of 43

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Natural gas pipeline ruptures east of I-30 bridge, closing two miles of Arkansas River

    The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed news that began circulating earlier today: A pipeline carrying natural gas across the Arkansas River ruptured in Little Rock yesterday or over the weekend.
    • Jun 2, 2015
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Child abuse: What about the victims?

    A guest writer in the Arkansas Times, a victim of child sexual abuse, says Arkansas sends a message that it condones abuse by a lack of consequences for the Harrises and Duggars.
    • Jun 3, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation