If the lottery is a tax on people who can’t do statistics, Marty Chávez would make a great lottery director.
Jack King at the Journal has a great little story of Feudal Prince Marty’s gloating over test results for AIMS (Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science) 11th graders versus those for APS high school juniors.
In a letter this month to the Journal, Chávez said AIMS’s scores on the state Standards-Based Assessment tests given last March were “stunning.”
“Eighty-one percent of AIMS students scored at the proficient or higher level in reading, while only 59 percent of all APS students ranked proficient or higher,” the letter said. “Fifty percent of all AIMS students scored at the proficient or higher mathematics level while 44 percent of all APS students scored proficient or higher.”
The letter continued, “There is no mystery (emphasis mine) here. Highly qualified, unselfish and dedicated staff, high performance expectations, committed parents, motivated students and a competent administrative staff and board that demand accountability at all levels are the ingredients for academic success from our students.”
And there’s no mystery, Marty, when you have 32, as you note, “motivated students”, willingly attending an “Institute for Math/Science” scoring better overall on standardized tests than 4,526 APS 11th graders with wide-ranging “motivations”, many of which do not include college, math, science or anything past struggling to graduate high school. How many identified “Special Education” students took the SBA at AIMS Marty? How many “English Language Learners”?
Oh wait, here is the overall data from the NM PED. First of all, it’s confusing because the numbers don’t match. Must have been some non-11th graders tested. Or maybe this isn’t about the numbers, statistics or anything real. Maybe, just maybe, it’s about preying on those equally poor at statistics who can be bullshitted by shameful statistical rigging followed by marketing blather about “dedicated staff…and demand accountability…”.
Don’t try to bullshit a bullshitter, dear Feudal Prince. I teach “Gifted” students. I teach at a school with almost 25% of the student body considered “Gifted”. Guess what? Our test scores are higher than many similar schools with identical socio-economic/ethnic demographics. Obviously it’s just gotta be because of the “dedicated staff…and demand accountability….” yadda–yadda–yadda!
Frankly, it’s just gotta be because I’m a “dedicated teacher” and teachers at those other schools aren’t dedicated and, honestly, suck. That must be true because my school scores are higher than those schools. What schools? Why, the schools with lower scores, obviously! How do we know the teachers suck? Duh? Because the test scores are lower!
Teaching Statistically Warped Samples of Smart/Motivated Students + Standardized Testing
= Political Profit!
Teaching Non-Distorted Statistical Samples + Standardized Testing
= Professional Shame and Ignominy!
That’s easy addition there, Marty. Maybe you and I should go into selling hedge funds together. I hear it’s an even better way to make tons of money bullshitting people who can’t do math. We can probably use your slick web site and associated documents as a “prospectus”. We’ll just switch the words “rigorous academic curriculum” with “unending profits even in down markets”.
P.S.: To those who think President-Elect Obama will sweep “No Child Left Behind” away instantaneously with a magic wand, consider how Feudal Prince Marty, a “Democrat”, is using NCLB as a political tool. NCLB ain’t going away, folks, not as long as the bullshit artists are painting pretty pictures with the numbers.
P.P.S.: A big shout-out to Early College Academy Principal Scott Elder, who summed up the testing scam better than I ever could in describing why his school’s scores are better than APS:
“You have students who have self-selected to come here. You have engaged students and parents involved in their children’s education. Our curriculum is more career-driven, there’s more emphasis on math and science, we don’t have a lot of electives and all those electives are academic subjects,”
Well done, sir. Well done. Your honesty and insight is very much appreciated by those of us teaching at those sucky, horrible, awful regular ‘ol APS schools.