I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Commenters Rock!

Great observation by commenter Lisa about St. Michele's trumpeting of DC's mediocre rise in NAEP scores:
Aren't these the very same scores that Drewniak (Christie's spokesman) called "irrelevant" during the RTTT debacle when asked why our governor claims NJ schools are failing and need reform while we ranked first in math and reading for 4th and 8th? And note, NJ ranked 2nd in '07 and 5th in '09 for all students, and in '07 despite the White-Black difference, we ranked 3rd for white and FIRST for black nationally. We can and should close the W-B differential, but how is ranking FIRST in the nation for black students "failing???" WHERE'S THE PRESS ON THIS??!!

And, by declaring the NAEP scores irrelevant, does Christie realize he invalidated--as he must to further his agenda--the very basis of his Golden Girl's claim to fame?

We do have some national media who have called out Christie, some on MSNBC and I think the Times. Should we not bring these facts to their attention since NJ's press is so incompetent? If the facts and contradictions come to national attention, perhaps it may also embarrass the NJ press into actually doing some reading and a modicum of research. It doesn't take a degree in statistics to click the yellow Scale Score sort buttons. Jeez.
Very close, Lisa: it was actually Alan Guenther, NJDOE spokesman:
...the latest results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, a testing program of the U.S. Department of Education. It shows New Jersey the top in achievement in reading and math at the fourth- and eighth-grade levels.
While New Jersey’s education officials might be expected to embrace good news, Schundler’s spokesman, Alan Guenther, dismissed the results as "irrelevant.’’
Guenther lumped all of public education together as one "wretched system" that fails students. In an e-mailed response, he wrote:
"The NAEP rankings are irrelevant. We should not take solace in the fact that we score well in a wretched system that fails to adequately teach such a high percentage of children.’’
As I said at the time, these people have a vested interest in the failure of our kids. To his great credit, Gov. Dick Codey called Guenther out on it.

Guenther, by the way, is the same lackey who put out the completely misleading information to the Star-Ledger about charter school performance - info they swallowed whole without stopping for a minute to think about whether or not charter schools where "skimming" the best students to artificially inflate their scores.

Anyway, kudos to Lisa for connecting the dots. Once again, we find these people do not care about consistency or logic or research. They have an agenda, and they have shown that they will twist the facts whenever they wish to advance that agenda.

And, once again, we find my commenters rock. As Lisa points out, in 4th Grade math for 2009, NJ ranked 5th in the nation for back students; DC ranked 42nd.

Is this the sort of "success" that led Christie to praise St. Michele in the State of the State Address? Is this what we have to look forward to in the future?


Unknown said...

I want to thank you for your blogs, they are one of the few things that I get to look forward to anymore.

Teacher Mom said...

Yes, great blogs. And short. You are so Jersey. Make a point, back it up and get out without a bunch of rhetoric. Love it!

Duke said...

Thank you both. Teacher, I feel like I ramble on too much, so thanks for that!

Karen, I'm humbled, but if you're a teacher - or even someone who just cares about kids - there a many, many things to look forward to. Great things are happening every day in NJ's schools. Only the crass, cynical "reformers" can't see that.

I'm proud to be a teacher - everyone who does this job should be as well.