The Joe Walsh Get a Job Countdown – 112 Days

Is sitting at 113 days until Joe Walsh will need to take his own advice  and get a job. 

 

One will recall this was his statement about Sandra Fluke

 

Think about this, a 30, 31, 32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives. You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job Sandra Fluke. This is what — I was offended

We’ve got Americans who are struggling, we’ve got parents in this country who are struggling to buy sneakers that their kids can wear to school that just started. We’ve got parents up and down my district who are barely keeping their house.

 

Of course, she didn’t testify about her need for birth control, she testified about the need by other people including those who needed birth control for treating conditions not related to contraception.  She also hasn’t been a professional student having worked in non-profits for nearly a decade. 

Joe Walsh doesn’t appear to understand his 15 minutes are about up and he’s going to be unemployed as of January 3rd.  Let’s make sure Joe is reminded of the moral problem that is a slothful existence.

 

Obama isn’t smart enough to know what tyrant means.

“And again, fair is fair, you want a debate on the law fine have that debate. But right now it’s a law on the books and you just told your law enforcement people don’t enforce it. I was on one radio station and I said my god he’s a tyrant. I don’t know what else you call him. I don’t want to give him that credit because I don’t think he’s smart enough. I think he’s only doing this because he’s campaigning, that’s all the guy knows. So I don’t want to call him a tyrant, because he really isn’t smart enough to know what that means. But in one fell swoop he just made 800,000 illegal immigrants, let’s call it legal, and gave them the ability to work here legally.”

 

I’ve never figured out why right wing nut jobs think Obama is stupid. Oh, wait–that skin color thing….

The Joe Walsh Get a Job Countdown – 113 Days

Is sitting at 113 days until Joe Walsh will need to take his own advice  and get a job. 

 

One will recall this was his statement about Sandra Fluke

 

Think about this, a 30, 31, 32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives. You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job Sandra Fluke. This is what — I was offended

We’ve got Americans who are struggling, we’ve got parents in this country who are struggling to buy sneakers that their kids can wear to school that just started. We’ve got parents up and down my district who are barely keeping their house.

 

Of course, she didn’t testify about her need for birth control, she testified about the need by other people including those who needed birth control for treating conditions not related to contraception.  She also hasn’t been a professional student having worked in non-profits for nearly a decade. 

Joe Walsh doesn’t appear to understand his 15 minutes are about up and he’s going to be unemployed as of January 3rd.  Let’s make sure Joe is reminded of the moral problem that is a slothful existence. 

 

How many times can he have made an ass of himself in the last 2 years?  I don’t expect a shortage of stories for the remainder of this series.  Today’s—when he called a Jewish PAC, J Street, antisemitic.  No, seriously, he did. 

 

The PAC’s support for Duckworth has itself become an in the campaign. “J Street,” Walsh told the Forward, is “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic” and “a group of loony people from the far left” backed by George Soros, the liberal hedge fund billionaire. “Taking even one dollar from J Street is saying you are anti-Israel,” he said.

What a colostomy bag. 

Best Simple Version of Why Standardized Testing Is Not An Appropriate Tool to Evaluate Teachers

Regardless of anything that changes in the next 24 hours as the strike seems to be winding down, standardized testing is simply not an effective means of evaluating teacher performance.  The Sun-Times ran one of the better op-eds I’ve seen on the issue yesterday.

The first important consideration of testing is purpose. The process of test construction is so specialized that an instrument designed for one purpose cannot be used for another. Even if we use the best tests possible, it is a core truth of psychometrics that no test is completely reliable: Error is part of every score.

For this reason, test developers, academic bodies and professional associations alike warn against attaching severe consequences to performance on any test.

It gets even worse from there. The way that CPS plans to use test scores in teacher evaluation, referred to as value-added, is so incredibly flawed that almost no one with a knowledge base in this area thinks it’s a good idea.

The National Research Council wrote a letter to the Obama administration warning against including value-added in Race to the Top federal grant program because of a lack of research support. The Educational Testing Service, an organization that stands to benefit tremendously from any expansion of testing, issued a report concluding that value-added is improper test use.

These are the people who know the statistics, and none of them thinks the models work. There is a list of obstacles:

One: A correlation does not mean a causality. Researchers have found fifth-grade teacher “effects” on fourth-grade scores using these models. Ridiculous, right?

That’s because the models don’t work. For one thing, there must be random assignment of students for this kind of comparison among teachers to work — and no administration that cared about students would ever do that. There are deep statistical problems, and no way to reduce the amount of error to an acceptable level. The biggest problem of all, though, is that this is a ranking. So half of all teachers will always be below the 50th percentile. That’s math.

Amen.  Eric has a collection of more in depth articles available here.  Clearly people who worry about such things as validity and reliability in social science are French commie pinko fascists librul elites. 

 And yes, you can blame Barack Obama and Arne Duncan for this as the Race to the Top Requires tying teacher evaluation to standardized test scores.  It’s only slightly less ridiculous than the requirement under NCLB for all students to be average or above. 

Rauner Joins in the Sham

Thanks to a heads up–Bruce Rauner gets in the sham on CPS teacher ACT Scores

 

I have sat in a CPS math class and watched division being taught incorrectly. I have seen the standardized test scores of CPS teachers that indicate many of them aren’t even capable of scoring 21 on the ACT, the absolute minimum score needed to be ready for college. How can we believe that these teachers can prepare our children for success?

 

What Rauner leaves out is that the highest average ACT score in the report I cited below is for Non-Chicago inexperienced teachers who had a mean ACT score of just over 22.   ACT argues that around 21 (they don’t say that exactly so Rauner is talking outside of any expertise he thinks he has on the subject) is what a student needs to be predicted to do well in college.  That’s generally true, but to give you a sense, Illinois State (a large producer of teachers in Illinois) has a 24 mean ACT score and 22 is the 25th percentile for students on the composite.  That means 1/4 of the students get 22 or below and still attend ISU.  Disproportionately those students have a tougher time, but they do succeed in fairly high numbers as well.  The ACT and SAT are not measures of intelligence or ability.  They are measures of knowledge that is likely to make you more successful in college.  They are predictors of your performance in college and reasonably good ones.  However, they are not the only predictors nor or they a measure of innate ability.  What you want to know about a teacher isn’t how well they are prepared for college–you want to know how well college prepared them for teaching.

Of course, if we want to make teaching more attractive to those with higher ACTs there’s a simple way to do so.  Increase pay and improve working conditions. 

 

Rauner then offers his ways to improve education in the city:

1) Expand Teach for America in Chicago, where we are able to recruit the nation’s best and brightest to the teaching profession here.

Currently they make up less than 5 percent if I recall correctly. Even if you increase this the pool is limited. If you want to improve the pipeline of teachers, you need elite institutions to produce more and better teachers in their teacher education programs.  Teach for America is okay, but not sufficient.

 

2) Increase the number of campuses run by charter school organizations that have proven their ability to provide children a great education: Noble, Chicago International Charter School, UNO, KIPP and Learn Charter Schools.

 

Of coruse, this makes no sense based on Rauner’s fetish for standardized test scores.  The charters don’t perform much better though there is some evidence there may be higher graduation rates which is probably more a function of parental effort than anything else.

3) Recruit the best, proven, most innovative charter and school management organizations from around the country to come to Chicago and open campuses here.

Again, what’s the purpose of this?  There doesn’t appear to be much of an improvement in performance.

4) Install a rigorous new school accountability system of consistent, frequent, objective testing in every grade so parents can effectively compare schools and judge which ones are preparing students for long-term success.

Standardized testing tells more about the students’ living conditions than the educational quality of instruction.  The District’s adoption of Danielson Framework is a good step towards a more uniform evaluation of teachers, but standardized testing is very limited in evaluating a teacher or school’s teaching quality.  Current systems tend to look at student averages class or building wide and not at individual performance changes.  For over 15 years we have known such use of standardized tests is not reliable from year to year due to natural variance in classes.  Students are not randomly assigned and so the data are far harder to analyze than simply through averaging or analysis on averages.  Beyond this, especially in elementary grades, the sample size per year is simply too small for an effective sample. 

5) Enable parents to select among the best schools by changing the way CPS financial resources are spent, not parsing it to schools directly but instead allocating funds directly to students so their parents can use that money to choose the right school for their child. By breaking up the CPS monopoly, we can dramatically improve our schools and provide a quality education for every child in Chicago.

 

The problem is that we have charters already and they are showing little promise and this assumes involved parents which is one of the core problems in the first place. 

There’s little evidence that competition improves school in the sense of a market.  The problems with education are solved by some magic elixir of market unicorn dust that makes poverty and despair go away.  The United States performs better than every other country on international testing when compared to countries with poverty levels similar to a school district’s poverty level.  The problem is we can only really compare ourselves to Mexico in terms of high poverty districts.   

The Joe Walsh Get a Job Countdown – 114 Days

Is sitting at 114 days until Joe Walsh will need to take his own advice  and get a job. 

 

One will recall this was his statement about Sandra Fluke

 

Think about this, a 30, 31, 32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives. You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job Sandra Fluke. This is what — I was offended

We’ve got Americans who are struggling, we’ve got parents in this country who are struggling to buy sneakers that their kids can wear to school that just started. We’ve got parents up and down my district who are barely keeping their house.

 

Of course, she didn’t testify about her need for birth control, she testified about the need by other people including those who needed birth control for treating conditions not related to contraception.  She also hasn’t been a professional student having worked in non-profits for nearly a decade. 

Joe Walsh doesn’t appear to understand his 15 minutes are about up and he’s going to be unemployed as of January 3rd.  Let’s make sure Joe is reminded of the moral problem that is a slothful existence. 

Lying Liars or the Illinois Policy Institute

One might say they were just making mistakes, but the pattern is pretty clear.

 

And again:

But the number I find most disturbing is: 19.

That’s what the average Chicago Public School teacher scored on the ACT test if they took it when attending high school, according to a 2008 Southern Illinois University study.

Despite all of the bright teachers, there are enough who scored so badly on the ACT that they dragged the average down to 19 out of a possible score of 36.

 

The study actually paints a much more nuanced view and 19 is the average of experienced teachers through 2006, but showing a significant increase in ACT scores of inexperienced Chicago teachers as well as an increase in the academic quality of the institutions newer teachers attended.  How do I know this?  I bothered to read the damn report (co-authored by Karen DeAngelis a professional colleague who held my current position before me).  The Chicago inexperienced teachers had an average ACT of 21.5 by 2006 which was about the same as non-Chicago experienced teachers and about one-half to a full point below the average of non-Chicago inexperienced.  In fact, the inexperienced Chicago teachers hailed from more competitive institutions than any of the other 3 groups.  So while Chicago was lagging in what the authors called academic capital, it was rapidly improving and the data were from six years ago.

 

In fact, the study is titled, “Leveling Up:  Narrowing the Teacher Academic Gap.”  Seriously.  This tool took an article pointing out a rapidly improving Chicago Public School teacher credentials and academic capital and tried to claim it was evidence of how bad the CPS teaching corps is. In the past, the CPS had done a fairly poor job of attracting the best and the brightest, but over the period of time in the study there was dramatic improvement and as far as I can tell, that improvement continues. 

 

When someone doesn’t link to a study, there’s usually a reason.  Especially at IPI.