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JBMcGee 
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Re: “UA fudges charter school report

If I am not mistaken Rich Nagel, the head of the AEA, (among others) was provided with an advanced copy of the LR Merit Pay Evaluation. And if memory serves, this same report appeared on your blog prior to its official release. I guess you have received advanced copies in the past.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 4:42 PM

Re: “UA fudges charter school report

"Equal services to all taxpayers" Really! So you think that researchers must respond equally to each and every individual taxpayer in Arkansas. And not only that they must consult with each and every one of them prior to releasing any piece of research. Or, I suppose talk to no-one.

I never said anything about hurt feelings. This is me talking not them, and my feelings are certainly not hurt. I would have been happy had you offered a critical opinion, but instead you called them dishonest. And that is simply wrong.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 4:33 PM

Re: “UA fudges charter school report

I'm sure they'll accept your apology as soon as you are willing to admit that you were wrong to accuse them of dishonesty.

See I can be cute and glib as well.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 4:02 PM

Re: “UA fudges charter school report

I am fine with the settlement agreement using an arbitrary standard to judge a few schools. I got it. And I understand that you think it is important and telling.

The fact remains that, using the reports methodology, separating out the magnet schools makes no difference in the reports conclusions.

I am sure the magnet numbers were calculated, 2 days after the first report was released mind you, to see if it was important to the reports conclusions to separate them from the TPS. They were not, so the authors did not separate them out in the follow-up.

You are perfectly within your rights to argue that they "haven't fully considered impact on segregation, as guided by two decades of court supervision, without considering it."

But it is idiotic and vindictive to claim this as evidence of wrongdoing or dishonesty.

I am not familiar with the operation of the OEP so I cannot answer you last question specifically. However, I think it is equally idiotic to think that researchers would never discuss the impending release of a report with those who might be interested.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 3:46 PM

Re: “UA fudges charter school report

Has the percentage of white students in the magnet schools decreased across the board? I'm really asking. And, shouldn't the real issue be the quality of the education the kids are receiving and not the skin color of their classmates, but I digress.

Let's get back to the real issue. The magnet schools may be important to you, Heller, and the 1989 Settlement Agreement, but that does not mean they must be considered separately by the report. The author's research question was, "How do charter schools affect segregation in Pulaski County?" The Settlement Agreement does not have a monopoly on the definition of segregation. In fact the agreement chose a particularly poor definition when it comes to the magnet schools. The researchers used a much more reasonable definition used widely in the research on the topic.

Your claims of impropriety are based solely on your belief that the researchers willfully withheld information which was damaging to their cause. However, this conclusion requires a misreading (or non-reading) of the report's research question and methodology. The problem with your claim is that using the report's stated methodology the magnet school data makes NO difference in the reports conclusions.

Now, as I have said before, you may feel that the report's methodology was flawed or they should have paid more attention to magnet schools, but this is not evidence of impropriety or dishonesty.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 3:18 PM

Re: “UA fudges charter school report

I think the key phrase here is "in my book."

I disagree with your assessment of the magnet school data. The stated conclusions of the report stand.

The report was not meant to be a blow by blow investigation of the 1989 Settlement Agreement. Investigating the effect of charter schools on magnet schools was never stated as one of its goals. Again, just because you and Heller think it is important does not mean that everyone else must do so.

In addition, you have provided absolutely no evidence that the existence of charter schools threatens the mission of the magnet schools. I cannot simply accept your word as truth.

Furthermore, the 50/50 standard by which integration at the magnet schools and only the magnet schools is to be judged is arbitrary and capricious. The demographics of Pulaski County, or anywhere for that matter, simply make this impractical to impose on a large scale. The standard the report uses is the demographic profile of the county as a whole. A more reasonable standard used extensively in research on segregation.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 2:29 PM

Re: “UA fudges charter school report

Max, you ignored my question about the magnet school data. How was it "telling" or "negative"? How does it affect the results of the report? Your claims lack substance. Simply restating a claim does not make it any more convincing

Also, please explain to me how the authors damaged their trustworthiness? Did they manipulate the data? No! Did they report the results honestly? Yes?

Do you expect researchers to work in a vacuum and just to hope that policymakers take notice of their work? Is it your view that researchers should speak to no-one and seek no external funding because it might taint them? Are academics mean to be opinion-less automatons toiling away at their computers and nothing more?

No, put simply, academics are called to investigate questions they find interesting, perform high quality analysis, and report results honestly. It is part of their job to seek external funding and to be involved in policy discussions.

You may disagree with their conclusions, but this does not make them any less trustworthy.

Your criticism is based on a fantasy that is completely detached from reality. This is your President Bush "Mission Accomplished" moment.

Posted by JBMcGee on 07/02/2010 at 1:36 PM

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