Friday, July 01, 2005

Where is the retraction?

Recently the Indy Star ran an article referencing a report from Governor Daniels administration indicating that Indiana had the "heftiest" school construction debt in the nation. The Star was so excited about this news that they ran it in the headline.

Meanwhile, a high ranking state official recently spoke publicly to a group of administrators and explained the misleading headlines.

Evidently, when calculating the Indiana school construction debt, the report included principal AND interest when calculating Indiana's debt, but the national sample was based on interest only.

How's that for apples and oranges.

If this is true one would hope that an explanation or retraction would be in order.

Don't hold your breath.

The education smear campaign continues. And people wonder why educators seem paranoid....... lol

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Heftiest Facility Debt or Below Average: So which is it?

Here is the headline of a recent Star article:

State schools' debt burden heftiest in U.S.

The gist of the article is that the governor is pushing a report that claims that Indiana spends more than anyone in the nation on school facilities.

At the end of the article you finally read the other side of the story which contradicts the headlines.

Quoting the last few paragraphs:

Some researchers are using the new national report to show that Indiana doesn't splurge on construction.

For instance, Indiana spent 7 percent of total school money to build or buy school facilities that same year , which is below the national average of 9 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

"The main message is, before you draw firm conclusions on the basis of that one number as proof we're spending too much, you have to ask questions about how the data are produced," said Robert Toutkoushian, an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.

All the public will remember is the headline - not the details buried at the end. The Indy Star continues to be friendly to the governor's agenda with such headlines.

The governor's staffers are counting on this just like the K-12 Efficiency report. You can predict similar headlines with the next report on consolidation of schools as well.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Governor's appointees get schooled

Indiana's recent flap over closing Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices around the state is an interesting opportunity for school people. It's an opportunity to watch a political fiasco unfold without having a dog in that fight.

The governor has surrounded himself with presumably talented people who don't have much political experience.

Mr. Silverman, Daniels appointed head of Indiana's license branches (BMV) was a former CEO and he is experiencing the frustration of no one caring what he used to do or how efficient his new plan is.

What our administration is finding out is that "efficiency" is NOT an end value for society. Efficiency is a means to other ends.

Out in the hinterlands of Hoosierville, patrons are telling the government that sometimes local service is more important to them then efficently saving money just for the government to spend on someone else's pet project.