Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lies. Damned Lies. Statistics.

For the second time is less than two and a half years, the "Facts & Figures" page on the CCSD web site has been extensively revised due to me bringing the use of outdated, not to mention un-sourced and mathematically problematic, figures to the public in the pages of the Banner-Herald.

The first time was in October 2008, leading up to elections for spots on the Clarke County Board of Education.  I will not cover that episode again, as I have done so any number of times previously (just enter “Worthy” as a search term at the top of the page if you desire to read more about it).  Wrote I at the time:

It is amazing what a little negative publicity can do. Within hours of my letter to the editor appearing in yesterday’s Banner-Herald, the HTML version of the CCSD’s “Facts & Figures” had been extensively revised and the PDF version had vanished altogether . . .

That quote is from a blog post of 28 months ago.

My latest column, printed Sunday, similarly noted that “the information given on the ‘Facts & Figures’ handout included in participants' folders is different in almost every respect from that given on the analogous page of the district's website.”  This, predictably, prompted a wholesale revamp of the web page in question on Monday.

Yesterday morning, the web page included a notation that it was last updated in August of 2010.  Some information on it may well have been.  Most, however, had not and some was years out of date.  And yesterday afternoon, the information appearing thereon changed dramatically.

Why is it left to me to prompt these revisions?  The updated page notes that the CCSD has 2848 employees (an increase of about 700 in one day, mind you), but the information on its web site gets to be years out of date (for example, the per pupil expenditure figure on the site earlier today dates from FY 2008, which began almost 4 years ago).

Does not any of this multitude of employees ever review or update the information presented on the CCSD web site?

By the same token, does not the local news media ever review or ask questions about such information?

Apparently not.

These are questions that someone besides me needs to be asking. If the data presented by the CCSD is consistently inaccurate, how is the public to make reasoned decisions as to local education policy?

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Andy Watkins said...

If interested you can see the page before the changes were made, you can view it temporarily via Google's Cached version at Old Copy of CCSD Page (This will disappear once google updates their cached copy).

Andy Watkins said...


james said...

I've tried responding to Andy a couple of time, but to no avail. What gives?

james said...

The last one took, so I will try again.

Thanks for the link, Andy. I printed out a copy of the "old" page Monday morning before the site was changed and this morning saved a copy of the document to which you linked via Google.

I understand that all of the information scattered across web sites and such may not get updated in a timely manner. On the other hand, the CCSD has a history of publishing (horribly) outdated, un-sourced, inaccurate, inconsistent, and (sometimes flatly) contradictory information.

Given the legion of employees and resources at the CCSD's disposal, a reasonable person may be forgiven for wondering why that has been the case.

Concerned said...

I think it's safe to assume that the CCSD remains 'above average' in its expenditures per pupil?

I think this district joins many others in not understanding how property tax revenues might fall.

I guess their major emphasis, now, is to worry about the upcoming E-LOST.

Personally, I cannot support this institution's ELOST because of its history of racial discrimination and its continued adherence to a 'diversity' policy that indicts the white part of its demographics.. Supporting the ELOST, then, necessarily supports a policy that judges job applicants and students, first, on their skin color.

As with Jim Crow, such institutionalized racism makes whites feel as though they should be ashamed. It harms their productivity, snuffs out their dreams and is as bad and evil as anything whites dreamed-up in the racist past. They think they should hold-back their ambitions and creativity so that a 'differently abled' minority candidate can 'succeed.' This drives very qualified whites out of the CCSD and thus deprives students of being taught by them. It also attracts 'opportunists' who know they have a leg-up either because of their skin color or because they are willing to discriminate against folks of their own color in exchange for a nice salary.

Then, those white coaches and administrators that are still there KNOW that they will be replaced by a person of color just as soon as one is found that has a basic capability to do the job.

Ironically, the CCSD, and many local liberals like to pretend that public education is the only non-racist venue, when the facts suggest that it is the only option that has institutionalized racism. Yes, the Superintendent is white, and so are many teachers and administrators: They know to tow the 'diversity' line and are afraid of losing their jobs in these harsh times. In fact, they are tolerated as long as they will skew the game towards black employees and away from white ones.

Why has the 'media' not investigated this issue to get to the root of the problem? Well, like a few local liberals, they actually believe in 'diversity' and think that 'reverse' racism can somehow right the wrongs of the past or otherwise are a proper 'reparation.' Otherwise, some of them don't care if whites are discriminated against, because they have been shamed by the media into believing that they deserve it.

I'd like to support the CCSD but I can't. My position does not even consider the coming funding crisis in the district, but begins and ends with this districts insistence on diversity, which, in truth means: We need FEWER whites, here, and MORE blacks. This is the district that racists such as Charles Worthy, Payne and Worthy believe in and have wrought.

Anonymous said...

Oh ... here we go again!

We hear the klaxons sounding againt and see the secret society school board racing against time!

Another young man showed up at a Clarke County public school with a gun!

Now this is GREAT stuff if you happen to be a private school or make your living selling supplies to the home schoolers.

But ITS NOT the 'straw man,' some in the school system -- like Steve Sacco -- want to make it to be.

In fact, I'd bet the lay public doesn't automatically connect this incident to the schools board; nor did it blame the board when some nut-case went to Sacco's alma mata -- Clarke Middle -- apparently with the intent to assault a young girl.

There is virtually NO evidence that misguided public animousity towards our public schools has cost them one dime; it such a link did exist, one would have to gather that the more folks hate the public schools ... the more money they throw at them!

The straw man the CCSD wishes to paint is totally a figment. They've had pretty much a free hand in their affairs and their overspending and sometimes underserving of those students is THEIR fault, and NOT the fault of pedestrian critics wondering if there might be a 'better way."