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Lawrence man travels state informing Kansans about Affordable Care Act

Congress is NOT exempt from ACA. Quite the opposite in fact. An amendment was included that mandates that Congress' current insurance coverage be ended and that they must use the new exchanges. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

The fact that this falsehood is believed and propagated (despite the ease of doing a little research via the Internet) is proof that Mr. Weisgrau's work is sorely needed.

September 29, 2013 at 8:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

Dave, why don't you mention that the proficiency benchmarks of the NAEP that you reference have little scientific validity to back them up. In fact, the validity is so weak that every NEAP report has the following disclaimer: “NCES [National Center for Education Statistics] has determined that NAEP achievement levels should continue to be used on a trial basis and *should be interpreted with caution*”. Further, Susan Loomis of the NEAP's National Assessment Governing Board says this: “[T]he proficient achievement level does not refer to “at grade” performance. Nor is performance at the Proficient level synonymous with ‘proficiency’ in the subject. That is, students who may be considered proficient in a subject, given the common usage of the term, might not satisfy the requirements for performance at the NAEP achievement level.” Bottom line: To use NEAP results as a tool to influence Kansas public education policy without mentioning the above disclaimers is reckless and dishonest.

March 17, 2013 at 8:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

No qualifiers are given because education professionals understand that "grade appropriate material" contains some material above (and below) the tested grade level. Read the Test Specifications (p.7): http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabi.... They clearly show that there is a reading level range within the reading passages in the test. This range includes material both below and above the grade level being tested as indicated by the Lexile Readability Scale. This is basic education assessment practice.

March 17, 2013 at 6:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

1) Kansas student achievement is above the national average but not "as high as...previously understood". For this, the legislature desperately wants to pass anti-union legislation? That makes absolutely no sense.
2) Your contention that achievement is not "as high as...previously understood" is based on KPI deliberately ignoring the details and procedures involved in educational assessment. Your contention is not true.
3) To point to test results while failing to discussing the details of how these tests are constructed and used is grossly manipulative. To do this in order to push for your own education policy agenda is despicable.

March 17, 2013 at 6:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

Yes, that is what the report shows. But what you are failing to fully comprehend is that, as explained by the Test Specifications for the State Reading test, the reading passages on the test include reading material 1.5 grade levels *higher* than the tested grade. For the 11th grade that means college level reading. Do you understand? "Grade-appropriate" material for the 11th grade includes *college level* text. So, saying that 56% of 11th graders can read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension does not, as you imply, mean that 56% are fully comprehending simply 11th grade level text. Rather, it means that 56% are fully comprehending not only 11th grade text but also 12th grade and college level text as well! Plus, is it any surprise that some 11th graders cannot fully comprehend 12th grade and college level reading passages?
Your habit of failing to acknowledge such details seriously undermines your credibility.

March 17, 2013 at 5:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

Wow, judging someone whom you've never met and never seen teach as being an irresponsible teacher! Is this an example of those fine 19th/20th century values you hold so dear? Here are some even older values: "Judge not, that you be not judged. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"

March 17, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

I'm flattered that you believe that we teachers have so much power and influence that we have single-handedly caused the "crumbling social fabric". However, the reality is that students spend only 16% of a year's time inside of a classroom. Don't you imagine that the activities, interactions and relationships students engage in during the 84% of a year that they are not in a classroom play a very significant part in their development?

March 17, 2013 at 2:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

You never said that Kansas schools have poor performance? Come on, Dave. Just last year you claimed that nearly half of all Kansas 11th graders were functionally illiterate!
http://www.kansascity.com/2011/10/11/...
Of course your claim was based on a total lack of understanding of education assessment but you've never let that stop you from being an education authority.

March 17, 2013 at 1:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Collective bargaining issues expose open rift among education lobby groups

If giving superintendents and other administrators more flexibility to make decisions led to better student achievement then charter schools' achievement would be off the charts, right? But a large pool of research clearly shows that charter schools' achievement tends to be, at best, the same as public schools and often worse. Why doesn't the flexibility that charter schools have lead to better student achievement? Perhaps it is because education is a complex social endeavor that is quite unlike the black and white portrait that you like to paint of it. Education is a lot more than just teachers, unions, administrators, students, money and test scores.

March 17, 2013 at 1:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

ITEP report says race to no income tax based on flawed theory

Speaking of flawed assumptions: the "money taken from the economy and given to the government" that you speak of is only half the story. Where do you think that money goes when the government spends it? Right back into the economy! Or do you think the government has a hoarding problem and not a spending problem?

March 3, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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