In the never-ending job of debunking lies and deceptions that emanate from various acts in the Art Pope Puppetshow, it's always gratifying to find that regular people get it. That's what I found in this letter to the editor in the News and Observer today.
In his recent Point of View column criticizing the certification and licensure requirements for North Carolina teachers, Robert Luebke of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute proved once again that conversations about public education are tinged with deceiving statistics slung by organizations with an agenda. Consider his comparison of two Raleigh high schools:
"Sixty percent of the students at Garner High School have passing scores on the state End-of-Course exams. Ninety-five percent of the teachers at the school are classified as 'fully licensed.'
"Last year, Newsweek magazine named Raleigh Charter High School one of the top 50 high schools in the nation. Ninety-five percent of Raleigh Charter students passed state End-of-Course tests, one of the highest percentages in the state. Only 53 percent of the school's teachers are classified as 'fully licensed.' "
What Luebke failed to mention is that Raleigh Charter has a selective admissions process that requires all students entering ninth grade to be on grade level in mathematics -- a policy that probably has a little something to do with its impressive passing rates on end of course tests, don't you think?
When will we ever get to the point in our community where statistical snookery is the exception rather than the norm?
Bill Ferriter, Cary
(The writer is a former Wake County Teacher of the Year.)
Who you gonna believe, a certified Puppet for the Party of Greed who's pushing an ideological agenda? Or a former Teacher of the Year in Wake County dedicated to educating children?
What a marvelous smackdown.
I usually find stuff like this through the very excellent website of NC Policy Watch.
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