Robert Winner


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National Assessment of Educational Progress Report

For millions of dollars we got the following report:

Among the findings:
—Students who reported rarely or never discussing reading interpretations in class had average scores lower than those who did daily or almost daily.

—An overwhelming majority reported that reading is enjoyable. Students who strongly disagreed with the idea that reading is enjoyable had an average score much lower than those who strongly agreed.

—Math scores were higher, on average, for students who took calculus and lowest for students who had not taken a math course beyond Algebra I.

—Math scores were higher for students who reported math was their favorite subject, believed the subject would help them in the future or thought their class was engaging.

( Not a joke. Taken from the MSN article)

I included charts of 1) Spending per student 2) States with highest teacher salaries 3) State rankings 4) and the article this came from. 5) states that spend the least.

In the top ten state performers only #3 Mass and #7 NJ were on the list for highest paid teachers and most per student spent charts.

Minn was the top performer and the worst by far was Washington DC.

NY spends the most at $19,076 per student and #10 Penn spends 13,467.

Cal has the highest salaries with a average $63,640 and #10 Penn $54,977.

Only Colorado who is #10 on the least spent list made #6 on the highest ranked top ten.

After looking at the data and reading the article ... what conclusions do you draw?

  • May 18 2014: Robert

    One can only conclude that our educational system has failed. Now what?
    Do we ask the questions, as to why? Was it do to gross incompetence. the Federal government, the unions, the dissolution of the family structure? Perhaps, it is the drug culture and the abandonment of morality, civility and decorum in and out of the class room. How about the dismissal of expectations due to race, gender or other ethnic and cultural priorities, other than education. It would also seem that sports are more important than an academic foundation.
    Do we ask the questions of the relationship between the NEA and the United Nations and International Teachers Unions and the political agenda promoted?
    The big question, is the dumbing down of America a desired outcome or just a resut of total and gross incompetence and greed?
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      May 18 2014: Charles, Wow you put 25 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag. The answer is all the above. There are certainly many parts to the whole.

      If I was to venture a main cause ... The Golden Rule .... He who has the gold rules. My prospective of history is just that MINE. I think when we started to allow federal government to grow and begin taking the power from the states and to view the Constitution as Progressives we begin a slippery slope that will be hard to climb out of.

      Progressives / liberals / socialist have long ago determined that the key to control is through indoctrination of the youth ... We are witnessing the final stages ... total control coming from political appointees who are shaping education at gun point. Non-compliance means loss of funding. Thus the Golden Rule.

      If we continue this path ... you will see history books rewritten and in the end history will be dropped such as many of the arts are currently being dropped to meet the STEM requirements.

      I fore see a push to delete the preface to the Declaration of Independence ... and all reference to natural rights of man. Why? Because the progressives believe that man is ever changing and the Constitution is a dead document .. that rights should be based on social expediency ... the state will tell you your rights.

      These are my views and insight to the future .... sorry to jump on a soap box.

      You big question ... probally all the above ... 50 years ago this would have been a insult to intelligence and a demand for the removal of the Sec of Ed would have followed ..... today it doesn't even make the 6 o'clock news .... people line up to be lied to and called stupid ... it would be hard to dumb America down much more that that. I would say we are sheeple ... but why insult sheep.

      Thanks for the reply. I wish you well. Bob.
    • May 18 2014: Charles, I don't think that one can say that education is failing based on just this information. Actually, I don't know how much one could actually generalize based on this information.

      We certainly can't compare our results today with those of the past. 50 years ago you could graduate college, with much less education, and get a good job that would support your family. We had less people in school. And the educational system was much different. You could expel someone and it meant something at home. It also meant you couldn't come back to school. Corporal punishment was allowed, right or wrong it was a deterrent. School was generally safer. Public expectations of children at school and home were radically different for most populations. Even if you didn't graduate you could probably get a job that would pay the bills.

      Now, as a result of many changing issues, schools are struggling. The issue of low income students is at the forefront of educational issues. Yes, there are issues with the NEA, government demands, parents who think schools are just daycare, etc. etc. and some are significant issues. But, even in the midst of all the issues and sometimes the train wreck of what the data shows, there are teachers doing really good work and students who are successful and not just a few of them.

      I would put forth that our schools are not being set up for success. The standard is "every child goes to college". That is not a reality nor should it be. Yet, that is the standard we weigh everything against. Anything less than that is failure. How then can a school be successful against those odds.
      • May 19 2014: Everett

        We are not in total disagreement and your points are valid. Certainly there are good to outstanding teachers and students and I would not take anything away from these people. I do not feel however, that they represent our educational structure.
        My first reaction to this is that our system is no longer geared to the individual, but rather to a collective and not to educate, but to engineer a global mind set, as in a global citizen.
        The data that was supplied in the original Post is but, the tip of the ice berg. We, as a nation, are a third world country in terms of math, reading, basic and fundamental skills.
        Our schools are not being set up for success, as you say, they are set up to create divisions, to create victims, to denigrate the history, heritage and culture of this country.
        Again, that our schools are not being set up for success, than they are set up for failure or just gross incompetence? Who is setting the schools up and what is the political mind set?
        You might find it interesting, if you are not aware of it, that the same form of globalism that is being taught in our schools is being forced upon our corporations by government and by the same entity that guides the teachers unions. A corp does not have to join, but international business might be a bit difficult to come by.
        • May 19 2014: Schools are struggling. I very much agree with you. There are many causes as to why this is happening. Yes, some of it is definitely poor teaching quality but not all of it. Teachers are most often stuck with what they are told to do, little support for discipline, and often no support from the families. Again, the free baby sitting and high expectations where there are none from the family.

          In the US, I find it interesting the drive towards internationalism in education. Especially trying to mimic other programs, like Korea, Japan, and Germany, and all that they offer in high education. However it is attempted to be done with no backbone. Meaning, teaching everything to a high standard, but don't hold kids actually accountable for failure. Until that is resolved, education will continue to struggle.

          I do question the motives behind those trying to run schools. Especially the political motives of individuals. It is not clear the reasoning or the end game. Ultimately, it is not to improve students education, rather to blame teachers for the failures of students, at least that is what it looks like.

          I wholly agree that the data is flawed and doesn't even begin to tell the story. This, and many other reasons are why I am no longer in education in the US public system. And much happier as an educator.
  • May 18 2014: As I went back through these reports, I will say this. They aren't very good.

    Little background information on the data, sources not cited, and from a myriad of places. What I am used to seeing with educational reports of this nature is data that is purposely not clear. For example salaries. Are those top salaries for teachers or an average of the data and what was that data based on? If it was just information fed to a service then it may not be all that good.

    As for test scores, that is such a no brainer that it isn't even funny. Kids in high level math do well on high level math tests....duh. We spent money on that research? My high school students could do that research as well or better and for less money.

    One issue that is not addressed here is the issue of the changing tests. While I was teaching in public education, we were told the test was changing based on new standards. Any time you change the test, it is hard for the teachers to prep the students well if the target keeps moving. As a result, students also don't do well.

    My conclusion would be this, I would question how well the data was analyzed across the board and for what purpose and intent.
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      May 18 2014: Evertt, You get a "Hit The Nail On The Head" award. Reprots / analysis can prove, ignore, avoid, refute, etc ... in my years of the military, industry, state service, education, etc ... I have never read a report that was in plain English that told me what I needed to know.

      I took my military assignments serious ... I was in charge of the budget and spent wisely and saved money on the annual budget ... that amount was subtracted from the following years budget and I was replaced. Truth, honesty, integrity are great words on your assessment reports ... but are not the values that get you to the top. Creative communications are the right tool for getting to the top. The ability to tell a person to go to hell in such a manner that they look forward to the trip. To write a report in such a manner that it proves everyones point ... that success means more time, money, and people ... grow, grow, grow .... spend, spend, spend .....

      Public outrage ... last guys fault ... product won't sell ... marketing did a bad job .... living on welfare ... the 1% fault .... Harry Truman once said ... The buck stops here at my desk ... I think they immediately stopped making those desks. I hate the blame game.

      So what is the answer ... the guy who stands up and tells the truth will be stoned ... we don't want to read the document ... just do as Nancy Polsi says ... pass it and then read it.

      The National Assessment Report would have been a insult to the 40 and 50's parents and the Sec of Education would have had to resign ..... it is still an insult and yet the general public accepts it.

      I doubt if I will get 20 responses to this article .... what a shame.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
  • May 17 2014: Robert,

    I would say the numbers seem to indicate that there is no relationship between money spent, teacher's salary, and outcome.
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      May 17 2014: Wayne, I agree and feel that is a safe assumption. In my opinion .... it comes down to horrible management ....

      After reading the Constitution, the job discription for the Secretary of Education, and the duties of the Department of Education, I go on a rampage to get the federal government out of everything that is (by the Constitution) the duties of the several states. That would leave about four areas for the politicians to screw up. The problem is that would screw up the millionares club and the unions and lobby people would be without someone to bribe.

      I like it .... lets do it.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
      • May 17 2014: not only the federal but the state also, they mandate things without funding it.
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          May 18 2014: I have a little sympthy for the states ... they follow the mandates of the feds to get grants and funding. My state contributes approximately a billion dollars to the three universities. My pet example is ASU ... it is building new campuses all over with the presidents stated goal to become the "largest school in the world". Not the best ... just big. ASU has married the Keynesian economic theory .... grow, grow, grow ... spend, spend, spend .... and go to the state legislature and tell them you need more money next year because you cannot meet expenses. You do not mention you have wasted all of the TV revenues, sports gate money, research grant money, tution, lab, book, dorm money, parking, sales on gear, etc .... in the hundreds of millions.

          So having said that ... My sympathy for the states is VERY LITTLE. Early on the Liberal / socialist / progressives recognized the value of indoctrinating college students. Until the states themselves stop the money pit theory and hold the schools accountable for quality education and not indoctrination then this travisty shall continue.

          We can thank Carter for making education a cabnet level post ... when I was young it was the Dept of health, education, and welfare (HEW). The job was stating policy and oversight ... the states had the constitutional power for the implementation and funding.

          For a real hoot go back prior to Carter and see what the staff was for all three (Health, ED, and welfare) ... then look at the numbers for each today .... In 1969 HEW total budget was 774.4 million.

          Well its fun to tear this apart and look at the "facts" ... but it is hard to think we are getting the bang for our bucks .... so what is the answer ... and how do we get there?

          Thanks for the reply. Bob.
      • May 18 2014: Also, because it is easier to affect state elections, the biggest lobbyist are usually the Teacher's Unions,
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    May 17 2014: Robert,
    I am surprised that you are surprised.... More money is spent by government agencies to record the obvious then about anything.
    Back in my day as a clerk in an federal agency, I was told by my boss that a contractor was coming to gather information and I was to make all available. A man came in, asked questions and looked at my files. A few things he didn't understand, I explained to him.
    A few weeks later, I was invited to a big theater for a major briefing.... everyone was there. People whose pictures where in the main entry in our office building.... those people.
    The briefing started, bound briefing books were distributed, A power point presentation was displayed on the big screen. This was in the 90's.... About 10 slides into the briefing, the chart addressed subjects that I was aware. As I looked at the charts, graphs and numbers, they were the same CGNs that I gave the guy a few weeks earlier.
    A few days later at lunch with friends from other offices... we all had gone to the briefing, I mentioned that the contractor simply copied down my stuff and showed it in his briefing. The other guys said the same thing, So, we wondered why the big bosses just didn't ask us. We wouldn't have charged them all that money, but we were not that good at power point. It was then explained that our information had no reality unless it was presented by an outside contractor at a high price.
    I think it was at that point that I begin to understand the corruptibility of bureaucracies,
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      May 17 2014: Mike, The only real surprise was that the report was in English (understandable) and that it said that those who took Calculus scored better than those who had only algerbra I in higher math tests. In my experience the money rip off was done with more pnash. In todays government they are not even shy about telling you that your getting screwed.

      Millions lost their jobs over the Obamacare 30 hour week change .... insurance cancelled everyone and raised the rates ... the poor are (temporaraly) being assisted with insurance at a higher rate and know it will stop ... 17 trillion in debit and climbing and no appoligies or concerns from our leaders .... Hillary and Michelle doing photo ops and speeches on the Boco Haram when Hillary refused to designate them a terrorist group and so did Obama for political concerns in a election year. His big line was Osama is dead and GM is alive ... inferring that terrorism was dead ... and not saying you people are about to lose big money to my pals in the unions

      I have never lived in a country where the people lined up every day looking forward to being called stupid. But I live in one now ....

      I hate being laughed at from most of the countries of the world doing the prince of fools cartoons and the cartoons of our leaders being incrediablty stupid. What is obvious to them eludes the supporters of this maddness.

      No one can defeat us ... we have met the enemy and he is us ... we die from self inflected wounds.

      As always, I appreciate your reply Mike and wish you well.

    • May 17 2014: that is true even in industry. 8>))
  • May 14 2014: Shocking ground breaking stuff right there. Amazing what millions of dollars will get you in a fancy report by people making big money to ask questions. (sarcasm intended)

    Most of this is known information all ready in the public eye. A lot of it is just plain old common sense. But it sure seems common sense just isn't common any more.