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AnalyticalObserver 
Member since Mar 28, 2011


Middle-aged, educated do-gooder who likes to think before I open my mouth. A PRAGMATIC Liberal - too practical for my liberal friends, too caring for… More »

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Recent Comments

Re: “Last-day filing: A minimum ACT for school leaders could disqualify one of them

I scored in the 30's on the ACT. That score was relevant when I took the test as a high-schooler in 1978.

What is NOW relevant is what I've learned and done in the 34 years since I began college. There is nothing in my professional or personal life that is directly associated with my ACT score. The same is true for John Walker, Dr. Suggs, and every other mature adult.

I have met and spoken with Dr. Suggs, and he does not comport himself like a person whose intellectual capacity is limited to the equivalent of a score 13 - 15 on the ACT. John Walker would acknowledge the same. Anyone who watched Sugg's televised testimony during the AR Board of Education meetings would, as well.

What this tells ME is that Dr. Suggs really DID pull himself up by the boot-strings to overcome a clearly inadequate high school education (which probably limited his achievement to a 13-15 on the ACT). That sounds like the type of person you would WANT to have as an educational leader.

Maybe Walker chose the limiting score of 16 because that was HIS score on the ACT, allowing him to feel superior to Dr. Suggs.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not particularly a fan of Dr. Suggs. I think the LRSD school board with ridiculously-incompetent (it's more like educational malpractice) in hiring an inexperienced superintendent for one of the toughest superintendencies in the nation.

Posted by AnalyticalObserver on 03/11/2015 at 1:12 PM

Re: “Teacher pay by test scores

Jake, even apparently simple statistical statements like "test scores are up in nearly all public schools" are not always what they appear to be.

Take Arkansas Math scores, for example. Over the last 5 years (the period over which we've actually been testing) the "Scale Scores" - the ones reported to parents and the public have been rising consistently. Sounds great, right? However the "Raw Scores" (the percentage of questions that students answered correctly) has been going down consistently.

Just take one course - Algebra 1 (the only exam that is "high stakes" in Arkansas - that is you must pass the exam to graduate from H.S., so I've chosen it). When the exam began 5 years ago, students had to score a raw score of greater than 50% to be judged "proficient." The cutoff score has been lowered every year since then. Last year students only needed to score 38% correct to be considered "proficient." (No, Virginia, the test has not gotten harder over the years) Of course, if I only did 38% of my job correctly I would be fired, and I should then be sued by my clients.

All of these statistical "sleights of hand" perpetuated by the AR Department of Education and the educational establishment are easy to see if you get into the details of the testing and scoring of the state exams (it is deep withing the documents on the ADE website). However the educational establishment doesn't want the public to REALLY understand what's happening, otherwise caring parents would become like Libyans and start totin' rifles to the school buildings to demand some accountability. (I think I would join them after buying a rifle)

I believe in the promise of public education, and I owe my relatively comfortable life (quite different from my roots) to public education, but the system is really not getting any better, and it just might be getting worse (Just check out the 25th anniversary report of "A Nation at Risk" - the report that really got us looking carefully at our public education failures.

Posted by AnalyticalObserver on 03/28/2011 at 11:28 PM

Re: “What's up at Teacher Retirement? UPDATE

Wannabee is on the right track. What's the hurry with GHop? He's a day trader who ignored the misgivings and recommendations of his professional investment staff (have you seen Crosby's resume'? She's the real deal from Stephens.), then isolated and ostricized Crosby and others who questioned his irrational zeal for Tennenbaum.

He fired a $90K employee over a disagreement about how her title is listed on the webpage? You've got to be kidding! I've fired a number of people in my day, but it would never occur to me to do so over something so trivial. Surely GHop can come up with better pretense than that!

When GHop's own staff AND ATRS's Chicago Investment consultants said "no way!" to Tennenbaum he shopped around for another opinion from another investment consultant trying to get business from ATRS to get the answer he wanted (read between the lines of Wickline's ADG article). If I did that in my job, I'd be fired AND be charged with a crime.

There are supposed to be legal checks and balances for big deals like this - usually by highly specialized attorneys and the like. Who ultimately "approved" the details of the deal? What do they have to say?

Something smells like fish to me. Rotten fish, that is.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by AnalyticalObserver on 03/28/2011 at 10:43 PM

 

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