Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dem-Gaz Editorialists Prove They Are Not Credible

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette editorial has once more indicated just how little credibility can be given to their articles. They have reported bus rides as being an hour shorter than they are, they give false information about Senator Holt and other conservatives time after time, and now they have bragged once more about our fantastic test scores.

In reality one of the scores they are bragging about for 7th graders on the nationally normed test (ITBS) just released for this year is 50% - 11% lower than in 1990, and 7% below 1984 when the accountability system began in Arkansas billions of dollars ago. And the paper reports that Ken James is jubilant and that the scores are fantastic!

Here is what the editorial has to say about the scores: "OUR FRONT-PAGE story Wednesday described Ken James as jubilant. Arkansas’ man in education was giving the good news to teachers and principals last Tuesday: Test scores are going up. They were going up here, they were going up there. Third graders. Sixth graders. They were going up on Arkansas’ own (and questionable ) Benchmark exam. More importantly, they were going up on the nationally standardized (and not-so questionable ) Iowa Test of Basic Skills." For entire story see this link.

All that bragging despite the 7th grade scores and 5th grade scores (the only two grades where there is a total history of scores) being much lower than in 1990 and in 1984 when the accountability factor kicked in. The scores for 5th graders this year were pretty much like the 7th graders. They had a 58%, 9% lower than in 1990 and 4% lower than in 1984. Spending just from 1996 to 2001 doubled, increasing from $1.4 to $2.8 billion. (I am in the process of trying to get the figures for money spent in 1984.)

(continued, click THURSDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)


Anonymous d pelley said...

When education is accountable to the government, there is NO accountability because the government can manipulate the tests and control information the way they are doing now and the way Communist countries have done for decades. Reporters will not report the truth even when it is presented to them with documentation, as evidenced by this editorial and newspaper article mentioned above – from the largest newspaper in the state. The editorialists received my last email telling them about the scores that were posted on this blog so there was no reason for them not to know the truth.

In regard to the benchmark tests (the CRT homegrown tests that even the Dem-Gaz editorialists and Walter Hussman have criticized in the past) the following quote shows you there is no reason to ever be jubilant about them.

In answer to a question at a State Board of Education Meeting March 13, 06 about the rigor (difficulty) of the new proposed augmented tests in which the state criterion referenced tests and the nationally normed reference test are to be combined, the Harcourt Assessment representative, Kelly King had this to say: "The rigor (difficulty) of the test is really set by the customer – by you (the ADE) in what you want. You may set the bar wherever you like to set the bar and we aim to meet that rigor at the point you set it. If we don't achieve that, you tell us to go away and do it again and we keep doing it until we get it the way you want it."

That means they will adjust them until the politicians get the scores over which they can be jubilant. You can't do that with nationally normed tests (NRT) becasue they give a percentage score in relation to students across the nation who have taken the test. Evidently the ADE has manipulated them until they can be too jubilant becasue Big Brother NCLB is checking the ADE out to see if the homegrown tests they made up themsselves are too easy.

No wonder the state wants to do away with nationally normed tests (NRT). That way there will be nothing to prove how bad the state tests are. See this link to show how the test scores have been corrupted.

Senator Jim Holt for Lt. Governor was the only senator who voted against all these manipulative, deceitful laws that allow our government to control us and our educational system and increase our taxes exponentially. If Senator Holt can win in November, it will send a message to the "powers that be" that the people want this government control and deceitfulness stopped.

To see one way these benchmark tests are manipulated see this article at this link. Title of this article is: "Real Truth Behind Those Low 4th Grade Benchmark 2005 Test Scores."

To see the actual ADE documents that have been scanned and put on the website and other articles to show just how far the ADE has gone to manipulate the scores see link.

4:22 AM, July 21, 2006  
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