Sorry, VDOE, but We Just Don’t Trust Your Numbers

accreditation

Oh, Jeez, the Virginia Department of Education has just issued a press release proclaiming that 81% of Virginia’s 1,825 public schools are now fully accredited, partly “as the result of improved performance students on Standards of Learning tests.” The 81% figure represents an improvement from 78% the previous year.

Now, it’s entirely possible that some of the top-down efforts initiated by state educational officials actually helped. It’s also possible that the efforts of teachers and administrators paid off. But we won’t know for sure because of recent revelations of how some administrators and some teachers have been gaming the system. The public has no way to know if these incidents are isolated incidents or are the tip of a very ugly iceberg.

If you haven’t been paying attention to Bacon’s Rebellion over the past week or two, let me refer you to some source material:

Gaming the SOLs: Alexandria Edition

A Willful Ignorance

When Is a School Not a School? When It’s a Program

We Were Encouraged to Make the Student Fail

And on a similar subject, let us note the VDOE indifference to non-SOL cheating at the local level, as documented here:

Halt the School Cheating Epidemic

VDOE on School Cheating: It’s Not Our Problem

— JAB

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11 responses to “Sorry, VDOE, but We Just Don’t Trust Your Numbers

  1. Statistics can lie. Bad statistics can lie badly. Who then will believe the others?

  2. This is hilarious. The critics want the govt to provide more and better accountability – … so they can then use that data to condemn the govt for being corrupt and incompetent and so the critics act wounded that they govt gets them the middle finger…

    could the critics look any dumber?

  3. Well Larry the Great, if we were all as smart as you we wouldn’t have any trouble reading what the heck you just wrote????

  4. I can break it down for you . 🙂

    you don’t like govt
    so you want govt to be “transparent”
    so then you can better identify the flaws and failures of govt
    that you the use as arguments against govt and it’s role…

    and when govt agencies see this is what you are doing
    and won’t play your game
    you shout “foul”!

    capische HCJ the un-great?

    • Larry, it is helpful to see the cognitive framework you are using to interpret the posts on this blog. You need a new cognitive framework.

      My motivation is simple. I want to improve the quality of education given to our children. If that means vouchers and charter schools, OK. If that means reforming the public school system, OK. Right now, it looks like the public school system isn’t going anywhere. It is, effectively, the only game in town (90% market share). Therefore, while it’s nice to theorize about vouchers and charters, our current priority must focus on making the public school system work better.

  5. Jim -you won’t make the education system ‘better’ with your approach.

    when you say “bad” teachers are protected by unions – you’re not going to get more teachers agreeing to teach the harder-to-teach.

    your approach is eroding and undermining public education.

    If you were to advocate for the SAME LEVEL of transparency for both public and voucher – which I have never heard you advocate for -it would be a start ..

    but then you’d have to come off this ‘bad’ teacher idea. if you really want teachers to step into that tough role of trying to teach kids who are much harder to teach than the ones that are not.

    your current approach is a recipe for more failure.. not reform.

    I can explain this further if your own cognitive framework is having trouble here… your continuing pejoratives are duly noted…

    you need to focus on issues – not people.. your “cognitive framework” is a fairly transparent attack on the person.. and duly noted… and unbecoming of you – … and I urge you to reconsider it.

  6. re: ”
    My motivation is simple. I want to improve the quality of education given to our children. If that means vouchers and charter schools, OK. If that means reforming the public school system, OK. Right now, it looks like the public school system isn’t going anywhere. It is, effectively, the only game in town (90% market share). Therefore, while it’s nice to theorize about vouchers and charters, our current priority must focus on making the public school system work better.”

    Jim – I want you to look at the results of the public school system in Henrico – your home county – and tell me: ” Right now, it looks like the public school system isn’t going anywhere.”

    on what do you base this view when clearly a large number of schools in Henrico – are doing pretty good.

    do you think the School system in Henrico is “not doing very good” – as a whole and it needs to be “reformed” with Voucher and Charter schools?

    to what do you attribute the problems with the underperforming schools? Do you think they have “bad teachers” that the Henrico county school system is refusing to fire because of “unions”?

    Would you want vouchers schools to replace the “good” Henrico schools or just the “bad” ones?

    would you require the same level of accountability for the voucher schools?

    You will note that I am asking questions about issues here – not a word about you as a person. Can you discuss things on this level?

    Highland Springs Elementary 49.00%
    Glen Lea Elementary 52.78%
    Fair Oaks Elementary 53.50%
    Montrose Elementary 55.37%
    Laburnum Elementary 58.62%
    Harold Macon Ratcliffe Elementary 58.74%
    Ridge Elementary 63.24%
    Dumbarton Elementary 63.51%
    Elizabeth Holladay Elementary 64.58%
    Sandston Elementary 64.84%
    Charles M. Johnson Elementary 65.09%
    Varina Elementary 65.52%
    Lakeside Elementary 67.14%
    Cashell Donahoe Elementary 67.20%
    Arthur Ashe Jr. Elementary 68.28%
    Jacob L. Adams Elementary 68.75%
    Longdale Elementary 69.95%
    Henry D. Ward Elementary 72.27%
    Harvie Elementary 74.07%
    Ruby F. Carver Elementary 74.22%
    Seven Pines Elementary 75.10%
    Chamberlayne Elementary 75.81%
    R.C. Longan Elementary 77.36%
    Skipwith Elementary 79.72%
    George F. Baker Elementary 81.04%
    Maybeury Elementary 82.19%
    Jackson Davis Elementary 82.99%
    Greenwood Elementary 83.04%
    Pinchbeck Elementary 83.13%
    Pemberton Elementary 83.89%
    Maude Trevvett Elementary 86.10%
    Springfield Park Elementary 86.18%
    Glen Allen Elementary 87.57%
    Gayton Elementary 91.51%
    Colonial Trail Elementary 91.92%
    Short Pump Elementary 92.20%
    David A. Kaechele Elementary 93.25%
    Rivers Edge Elementary 93.27%
    Twin Hickory Elementary 93.87%
    Three Chopt Elementary 93.92%
    Tuckahoe Elementary 94.81%
    Nuckols Farm Elementary 94.93%
    Echo Lake Elementary 95.33%
    Shady Grove Elementary 96.45%

    • When I wrote “the public school system isn’t going anywhere,” I meant the “public school system isn’t going away.” Sorry for the imprecise language.

      • okay – so now how about stating whether or not you want voucher schools also held to the same standards as you demand that public schools be held accountable for.

        you do not have to convince me that the public schools have dropped the ball on low-income at-risk kids – the data is crystal clear and even VDOEs and some localities machinations to manipulate can’t hide it.

        But unlike you I feel that the reason the public schools have failed at this will be the same reason voucher schools fail and we won’t even know if the vouchers school do fail if we do not require similar transparency and accountability.

        the longer dance is will Voucher schools do any better at educating the kids of parents who themselves never got a good education ..because that’s your real problem – not lazy or irresponsible… those parents also got abandoned by the school systems ….

        The kids CAN be taught but takes more skilled instructors – with Masters Degrees who specialize in learning deficits… you can’t fix it with ordinary teachers much less entry level folks who have never been educated in the skills needed. It’s like expecting a primary care doc fresh out of medical school to do a knee transplant.

        but I do not no more want money thrown at Voucher schools than at public schools – without transparency and accountability for results.

        and no I do not expect 100% success but I don’t expect this either:

        Highland Springs Elementary 49.00%

        Shady Grove Elementary 96.45%

        but who is going to fund these specialists?

        The Feds do some of it – it’s not enough

        The state does a little but not as much as the Feds

        Localities do almost nothing – according to studies that have been done –

        so how do you force the localities to do their share of funding Title 1 needs – if they won’t even do it for their own public schools? Are you going to have a law similar to the SOQs that require a local match – for Title 1 needs?

        or are we just going to continue to blame bad teachers, lazy parents and genes and a feckless VDOE?

  7. Larry the Great (at least in your mind),
    I understand your lefty slant, but the King’s English in your writing would get a passing grade only in the Lynchburg Schools.
    “and so the critics act wounded that they govt gets them the middle finger…
    As I don’t have as many intelligent genes as you, it would be helpful if you would run your rantings thru a grammar/spell checker and help me out.

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