Supplemental: Scholar addresses Baltimore club!

THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014

Baltimoreans unveil their concerns: We’ve returned from a chic luncheon address to the ladies of The Hamilton Street Club, one of Baltimore’s great institutions.

In the group’s former stable turned salon, Baltimoreans unveiled their concerns.

We were pleased to see that a number of ladies were willing to volunteer the thought that Maureen Dowd is perhaps just a bit overwrought.

Yesterday, the New York Times expressed that thought in a slightly different way. The paper announced, at the bottom of page A25, that Maureen Dowd is “off.”

We were even more struck by a conversation before the luncheon began. One of the Hamilton Street gang had read today’s earlier post. She had even clicked through to our post from last November about the substantial rise in test scores among the nation’s black, white and Hispanic students.

Why hasn’t the public heard about this? This person was puzzled by the fact that she has constantly heard a different narrative, in which our schools are stagnant and failing, in which nothing has worked.

It doesn’t take a lot of prompting to get us talking about this matter; we regard it as the greatest mystery of modern pseudo-journalism. That said, we were struck by this woman’s sense of surprise concerning the facts she hasn’t heard. She has constantly heard a different narrative, a gloomy narrative which flies in the face of those basic facts.

Again, we regard this as one of the greatest mysteries of post-journalistic culture. Why are people constantly told that nothing is working within our schools, when our most reliable test scores tell such a different story? Why is it that even liberals and progressives refuse to report this good news?

We were pleased to meet a person who was troubled by this state of affairs.

The so-called “new kids on the lawn” could correct the record, of course. What a shame! That these Ivy grads are too busy reciting the tales their owners seem to prefer!

To review the score gains by our American kids, go ahead: Just click here. Why aren't those score gains ever reported in our major newspapers?

73 comments:

  1. How could Campbell Brown accomplish the privatization of public education if the current system is working? Come on, Bob. There's money to be made!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not only that - those pesky teacher's unions are in the way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, if Bob heard it from one of the ladies at the Hamilton Street Club, then it must be true!

    How convenient that her perception so neatly fits his narrative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly, reading comprehension is not a strong point for you. I suggest that you start out with your Dick and Jane primers again.

      Delete
    2. Clearly, Horace, you are so dull of mind that you can't think of any insult fresher than the long worn-out "reading comprehension" insult.

      Well, poopy poo poo on you, too!

      Delete
    3. I hear that same narrative all the time throughout the media. It serves elites' interests. Liberals are apparently too weak willed to challenge it. Pitiful.

      Delete
    4. Liberals are not too weak willed to challenge it. They just hate black children. Bob told us. All the time.

      Delete
    5. They care, really they do. It just comes down to a lack of testicular fortitude.

      Delete
    6. We haven't had a sufficiently testicular Alpha male liberal since Al Gore paid Naomi Wolf to make him one back in '00. Oh-oh. Look what happened then that is happening again.

      Delete
    7. No, no, no. It's because their rich daddies got them jobs.

      Delete
    8. How do people with such resumes produce such unskilled work? We’re not sure, but increasingly, education reporting is dominated by young or youngish women from the finest schools. They bring little skill or knowledge, and even less heart, to their reporting.

      Delete
    9. If the narrative comes from the data -- and it unquestionably does and it is unquestionably the best data we have for changes over time -- then it isn't "Bob's narrative," is it 4:45? It's "the" narrative because there really is no rational basis for disputing it. Anything to the contrary is based solely on anecdote, speculation and received wisdom. Is it your position that news media should continue to publish false stories about the failure of the system because . . .well, just because?

      P.S. 4:45: If you are going to comment on a regular basis here, how about picking a name? It's one of your choices in the pull-down menu, and you can decide what it will be. We may privately consider you to be more accurately identified by a different name, but that's neither here nor there.

      Delete
    10. I'll repeat a point I made to KZ below, urban legend. If there is nothing to challenge the data, and if the data defines the narrative, then looking at NAEP data all alone, the narrative of choice for BOB should be "what a fine education President the younger Bush proved to be." The bulk of the score gains occured on his watch.

      Delete
    11. This is nonsense because the improvement goes back much further than Bush. It may also be that the rate of improvement might have been greater if not for Bush.

      Delete
    12. We will repeat a point we have made for some time Anon. @ 11:16.

      What we find so hypocritical about BOB is his whining about the press ignoring the gains on 4th and 8th grade testing when he himself ignores the 17 yr. old/12th grade Long Term and Main NAEP tests virtually altogether.

      And for all the bad excuses BOB wants to give for ignoring the final battery of three age/grade specific tests, we would argue that if you want to do handsprings over test results and handwringing over test coverage, you better look at all the tests.

      The final tests, the ones given to 17 years olds measuring Long Term trends and the Main NAEP given to 12th graders do not show the gains BOB misleads his rubes with.

      In reading, 12th grade Main NAEP results are only available since 1992.

      Main NAEP
      From 1992 - 2013

      All Students..290.....287.....( 3 point loss)
      Whites.........295.....296.....( 1 point gain)
      Blacks.........272.....267.....( 5 point loss)
      Hispanics.....276.....275.....(1 point loss)

      In math, 12th grade Main NAEP results are only available since 2005.

      Main NAEP
      From 2005 - 2013

      All Students..149.....152.....( 3 point gain)
      Whites.........156.....161.....( 5 point gain)
      Blacks.........126.....131.....( 5 point gain)
      Hispanics.....132.....140.....(8 point gain)


      In reading, 17 year old Long Term Main NAEP results.

      Long Term NAEP
      From 1988 - 2012

      All Students..290.....287.....( 3 point loss)
      Whites.........295.....295.....( no change)
      Blacks.........274.....269.....( 5 point loss)
      Hispanics.....271.....274.....( 3 point gain)

      In math, 17 year old Long Term NAEP results

      Long Term NAEP
      From 1990 - 2012

      All Students..305.....306.....( 1 point gain)
      Whites.........309.....314.....( 5 point gain)
      Blacks.........289.....288.....( 1 point loss)
      Hispanics.....284.....294.....(10 point gain)

      Are we saying the press does a good job covering public schools? No. Are we saying BOB does a good job covering public schools. No.

      Let us say, for a moment, we buy BOB's argument that the press assigns inept young ladies with no heart to cover school data. Are we saying they do a better or worse job than BOB? Neither.

      We are saying, because of the superior air BOB strikes, they are doing a less dishonest job.

      KZ



      Delete
    13. Anon. @ 11:53 while we disagree with the thrust of the point made by Anon. @ 11:16 for the reasons stated above, we don't even want to characterize our view of your comment as one of disagreement. Your comment is laughably false. It is an embarassment. It is the kind of comment BOB pulls out of someone else's blog to ridicule.

      Using the 4th and 8th grade test data, the greatest progress
      on the Main NAEP was measured during the tests given during the administration of George W. Bush. To deny that is the equivalent of saying the earth is flat and cooling.

      KZ

      Delete
    14. "it is unquestionably the best data we have for changes over time -- then it isn't 'Bob's narrative,'"

      Urban, it's a key part of "Bob's narrative" that this -- the NAEP -- is "unquestionable the best data we have."

      Unfortunately . . . it is also the data that fits Bob's narrative the best. There are all kinds of national tests administered that Bob won't touch with the proverbial 40-foot pole. Are you the least bit curious as to why?

      Or are you just simply going to swallow what Bob is feeding you that all you have to look at is NAEP math -- most frequently without stating whether is NAEP Main or NAEP Long Term -- and only those selected years and grades Bob chooses, and you got your answer!

      And you have the nerve to call someone else "statistically challenged"?

      Well, here is where you qualify as a rank amateur.

      Using only the limited data anybody gives you about academic gains across the United States is even dumber than looking at batting averages only and at one point in time to determine who the best hitter is in the major leagues.

      Now is batting average an important measure? Of course it is. But it is also an incomplete measure. A much fuller picture can be gained by looking at ALL the statistics you can get your hands on.

      But of course, that takes effort and thought. Much easier to read Bob and take his word for it, isn't it?

      After all, he was once a teacher. Thirty years ago.

      And while you are considering a wider array of evidence to see if it fits Bob narrative, try to account for variables as well. Such as the rise of technology. And not the least of which is the widespread availability of the cheap, hand-held calculator.

      Delete
    15. To elaborate a little more on the Bush Score change Deniers. Using NAEP 4th grade public school data, the only ones BOB uses, we find the following.

      4th Grade Math

      Bush I Tests (90, 92).......+ 7
      Clinton Tests (96,00).......+ 2
      Bush II Tests (03,05,07)...+15
      Obama Tests (09,11,13)...+ 2

      4th Grade Reading
      Bush I Baseline 92
      Clinton Tests (94,98,00)...... - 4
      Bush II Tests (02,03,05,07)..+ 9
      Obama Tests (09.11,13)......+ 1

      Anybody want to look at 8th grade? Anybody want us to disaggregate?

      KZ

      Delete
  4. Ah. The Hamilton Street Club.

    Anything like the Rhode Island Society for Special Literary Excellence?

    http://familyguy.wikia.com/wiki/Dog_Gone

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMB (Strollin Down Memory Lane with the Memory Challenged OTB)

    It happens. Screaming at youngsters on the lawn can accelerate memory loss in the aging earthling.

    "To review the score gains by our American kids, go ahead: Just click here. Why aren't those score gains ever reported in our major newspapers?" BOB after a Ladies Luncheon today

    "Reporters detail the gaps; this lets them express the standard elite-approved gloom. At the same time, as if by law, they fail to report the gains! Judging by their conduct, there’s no group they despise quite as much as the nation’s black kids." BOB 11/14/13

    "Tomorrow, we'll start a month-long series about our nation's "achievement gaps."

    For reasons we'll be explaining, it's time that these very large gaps were explained and explored. Mainstream and liberal journalists are routinely reluctant to do so." BOB 5/26/14

    We hope the nice lady at the lunch who has read two of BOB's posts didn't read the third. Either they report the gaps to hide the gains because they hate black kids, or they are so very reluctant to report the gaps that it took BOB over a month to cover them.

    Have a nice day rubes.

    You, the people, be fooled.

    Coming soon. Wrapping our thumbs around that rough old rule.

    KZ


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're kind of statistically challenged, aren't you, KZ?

      Delete
    2. Well ul, since your definition of "challenged" seems to be as closely held a secret as the way you defined BOB's defintion of "discrimination" on today's earlier thread, we find it hard to agree or disagree with you.

      KZ

      Delete
    3. It is not a who. It is a religious acronym.

      OMB, Ma! The fox got in the hen house and ate all the chickens. BTW you left the gate open when you picked up the eggs.

      KZ

      Delete
    4. Take. Your. Meds.

      Delete
    5. Eddie Fisher sang OMB the best:

      "Oh, My Bobba! To me he is so wonderful!"

      Delete
  6. Say, Bob, the history of the Hamilton Club doesn't say when they began to allow Negroes to join. Do you happen to know the year?

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Why are people constantly told that nothing is working within our schools...?

    Perhaps for the same reason they are constantly told our intellectual culture is collapsing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or if you think about it for a couple of seconds, perhaps not.

      Delete
    2. Yes, that is the purpose of perhaps.

      Delete
    3. "Why aren't those score gains ever reported in our major newspapers?"

      Perhaps when test results are released every other year, major newpapers do not see the need to discuss test results going back to the beginning of the test being administered.

      Rare is the newspaper which, while covering today's journalists for example, would feel the need to

      a) mention a dead columnist's relationship with a President in the 1970's,

      b) speculate on her inner emotions and transfer thereof, twenty years later

      c) reprint and refute one column she wrote in 1999.

      It takes a dedication to detail the average newspaper lacks in these days of 24/7 Kardashian news cycles. That and they are in service to plutocrat aims to destroy public schools.

      Delete
    4. You know, these same points apply to economic indicators. Why are stock market closings reported every day in the news? Why do they tell us the GDP and unemployment stats all the time? The difference is that financial experts interpret those results for us so that we know whether the economy is improving or not. In education, those indicators are not interpreted because the topic is assigned to reporters without the expertise needed to write coherently about them.

      Trends over time are important and need to be discussed intelligently -- not the way KZ has been doing, by the way.

      Delete
    5. Financial experts? You mean like the yahoo on CNBC who advised his viewers to run out and buy Bear Stearns before the stock market crash of '08?

      Yes, financial reporting is so much keener. They all saw that one coming, didn't they?

      Delete
    6. @ 12:39 Please. Give us some intelligent discussion of what the NAEP data Bob and KZ have laid out for us tells us. Feel free to go to the data base and get your own numbers if you like.

      Delete
  8. I'd like to know what LeBron James' take is on all this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3ot390

      Delete
    2. LeBron James? Elitely educated at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School? Who now stuffs millions into his shorts?

      Obviously, he hates black kids.

      Delete
  9. OMB (Ruling Baltimore Ladies With Rough Thumbs)

    We hope BOB encouraged the lady with whom he spoke at the Baltimore luncheon to come back and see their conversation immortalized in the blogosphere Al Gore created by his Congressional initiative.


    Here, in part is the information from that post about score gains from last November.

    "Score gains by black students, public schools, 1990-2013
    Grade 4 reading: 14.10 points
    Grade 4 math: 37.04 points
    Grade 8 reading: 13.62 points
    Grade 8 math: 26.61 points

    A very rough rule of thumb is often used on the NAEP. According to this very rough rule, ten points on the NAEP scale is roughly equal to one academic year.

    If that very rough rule of thumb is applied to those score gains, the progress in reading would seem impressive. In math, the progress seems vast."
    BOB Somerby

    Yes indeed. If that very rough rule of thumb were applied, then back in
    1990, assuming the average white 4th grade student in America was performing at a 4th grade level in math, then the average black fourth grader did math at a high kinder to low first grade level.

    But look at how much we have gained. Now, according to our gold standard test, the average black 4th grader performs at a 4th grade level. Based on 1990 test scores. Of course the average white 4th grader is now performing at a 7th grade level in math. Using 1990 results and Bob's rule of thumb.

    It IS amazing you haven't read about this dear lady from Baltimore.

    KZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob never really goes this far, but if you look at the statistics, the bulk of the gains occured under W.

      Delete
    2. Anon @ 11:06 we agree Bob does not go far enough. Unfortunately wher we think he should go is to the final outcome of our public school system. For that you have to look at NAEP Long Term and Main test results for 17 year olds and 12th graders.

      They destroy Bob's narrative. And they don't smile on the reign of Bush II.

      KZ

      Delete
    3. The problems with using 12th grade scores have been discussed here several times before.

      Delete
    4. Yes Anon. @ 12:45 those problems have been discussed before. And we have stated we find those problems are not so much problems as excuses. The tests are attacked because the results do not show what those doing the attacking want them to show.

      We will say it simply for you. If you want to applaud our schools for progress at the 4th and 8th grade level, fine.
      If you want to ignore what the outcome of our K-12 system
      is as a whole, you are a pinhead of the highest order.

      KZ

      Delete
    5. You cannot compare apples and oranges. Calling me names does not change that.

      Delete
    6. I see. Comparing fourth grade NAEP scores to fourth grade NAEP scores across a span of time is apples to apples. Comparing 12th grade NAEP scores to 12th grade NAEP scores across a span of time is apples to oranges.

      And the reason oranges suddenly appear couldn't possibly be because they don't fit Somerby's pleasing tale.

      Delete
    7. On a cherry picker's blog, fruit cliches instead of real rebuttal when challenged is appropriate.

      Many a pinhead would make a fine fruit picker if they could find an appropriately shaped hat to block the sun.

      KZ

      Delete
    8. Anon. @ 10:46 we were working in the lemon grove while you posted your comment. We should have waited to see
      if someone like you was working on a sweeter, tastier harvest.

      KZ

      Delete
    9. No, KZ. We were talking about why the 12th grade results are not being used in these arguments, not 4th or 8th grade scores. You aren't as cute as you think you are.

      Your only point is that Somerby is a bad guy. You don't care about students, problems in our schools, whether teachers are being fairly treated, whether any of these matters are being used for political purposes, and so on. You don't care about any substantive issue here. Your only purpose here is to attack Somerby.

      That makes you (1) a useless person, (2) a waste of time to read, (3) a distraction for those who do want to discuss serious issues.

      Go get your own blog. You can call it "I hate Bob Somerby" and all your sockpuppets can post in the comments. Then you would not clutter up this blog with your pointless ramblings.

      Delete
    10. "You don't care about students, problems in our schools, whether teachers are being fairly treated, whether any of these matters are being used for political purposes, and so on."

      Why should we care? We're being told by Somerby on virtually a daily basis that things are going swimmingly well in our public schools.

      Hip, hip, hooray!

      Delete
  10. Kind of a one-trick pony?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Excellent post. Enjoyed your recollection of your lunch time conversation. Who was the scholar? Did you get to introduce him/her?

    ReplyDelete
  12. The paper announced, at the bottom of page A25, that Maureen Dowd is “off.”

    OK I laughed, sue me.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "As a former member of the NAEP board, let me say that I find this statistical horse race utterly stupid."

    Diane Ravitch 11/8/13

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is stupid, until you start attaching consequences to scores, such as school funding or teacher hiring. It matters a great deal that the public thinks our schools are failing, when they are not.

      Delete
    2. Using test scores to make unrealted decisions leads to bad thing. Using partial test scores to make an argument leads to lost arguments.

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. ditto but not as lol as graf 1.

      Delete
  15. Speaking of our schools, what is the latest on those great kids from California Bob wrote about, praising their efforts to get rid of the tenure system and the lousy teachers who were holding them back in public schools?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try Google if you seriously want to know. Otherwise, say what you mean: Bob Somerby is a doo-doo head.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, but Bob reminds us daily that he and he alone is the only source to be trusted on such matters.

      Suppose we Google this up and all we get is stories written by snot-nosed kids with an Ivy League degrees and rich and famous daddies? Where would we be without the Truth from the blog of the the mighty Somerby?

      Delete
    3. He states an opinion, he provides links, it's open for discussion. I think you are projecting.

      Delete
    4. Yes, it's "open for discussion" as long as no other opinions are posted that might take issue with Somerby, lest they offend the tender sensibilities of his fan club and challenge them to think.

      Delete
  16. Maureen is "off" today? Deja vu. We have all been here before, chimes CSNY. As Johnny Carson would say of young comedians never to be seen on his show a second time, "It's always wonderful to hear those old jokes again."

    MONTY PYTHON DRAG VOICE: "Good afternoon, ladies. Today we have an after-luncheon speaker we think will be a real treat for you -- a real life comedian! He's promised to keep it clean, so let's give a warm Hamilton Street Club round of applause for Mr. -- BOB SOMERBY!!!! YAY-YAY!!!...."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did Bob donate his Hamilton Street speaking fee to charity? The world wants to know.

      Delete
    2. I think he donated it to the Blackhawk Home for Unwed Nowegian mothers.

      Delete
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