Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Standard Examiner Crackpot Guest Op-ed:We Need Highly Effective Teachers in the Classroom

The day of reckoning is coming on hard and fast, as the 2014 General election approaches

Seems we're seeing the first few volleys in the 2014 Ogden City School Board race As one of our   soon-to-be ex-Ogden School District Board member, Joyce Wilson, delivers this Steaming Load of Guest Op Excrement:
Write this down so you don't forget it, O Gentle Readers, as these nitwit Ogden School Board incumbents, who bow down to the evil Ogden Schools Superintendent  i.e,. Brad Smith, erringly try to advance his mindless Crackpot Tea Party Theory, and are about get their comeuppance.

The day of reckoning is coming on hard and fast, as the 2014 General election approaches.


blackrulon said...

Ms. Wilson describes the OSD in ways not linked to the current reality. Apparently school age children in Ogden are, like those in Lake Woebegon, "all above average".

Lisa V. said...

They do not know more than the public does. The board members are local citizens. I do not know the education level of the members, but I am deeply offended that because I do not agree with the board or the superintendent, I am classified as a hateful person.

Dan S. said...

Ms. Wilson cites a single statistic as evidence of the "tremendous turn around" in the district since Mr. Smith became superintendent: a 9% increase in "ability of Ogden students to show competency."

What are we to make of this statistic, offered without context? Obviously it sounds like a good thing, but is it significant? There's no way to tell. How much does this statistic fluctuate from year to year, due to essentially random causes that the superintendent has no control over? Could the time period to which the statistic refers have been cherry-picked to take advantage of these fluctuations? What other statistics are available to measure the success of the district? Could this particular statistic have been cherry-picked from a selection of many, some of which would show negative results? And how do we know that the statistic reflects a genuine improvement, rather than merely successful efforts to game the system and skew the data?

I'm reminded of the statistics that our former mayor use to tout when he was up for reelection, especially statistics on crime and job growth. As we eventually learned through careful analysis, the numbers quoted by the mayor were highly misleading and a full examination of the data in context showed no evidence that he had accomplished anything unusual at all. Could that also be the case here? Finding the answer would take a lot of work.

Meanwhile, it's abundantly clear that morale among OSD teachers has reached a new low. We've seen data on the increasing turnover rate, and we know what happened with the contracts a couple of years ago. Now perhaps the kids are better off with unhappy teachers, and perhaps they're not. But it's another piece of information to consider.

Finally, I know that I rarely hear anything positive about the Ogden School District from my friends and colleagues with school-age children. An astonishing number of these folks send their kids to charter schools or private schools or other districts or early college, because they're unhappy with what the district has to offer. Of course, this information is anecdotal and anecdotes aren't a substitute for data. But we don't have much useful data either, do we?

blackrulon said...

What I find interesting in all of the problems involving the Ogden School District is the continuing silence from Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell. From the unorthodox way Mr. Simth was selected for his p[osition. The refusal of the OSD to continue contract discussion, the take it or leave it contract offer, the release of the school librarians, the increasing turnover of teachers. should have merited some type of reaction. One of the factors people and companies consider in relocation is the quality of the local schools. Ogden taxpayers help fund the schools through their taxes. Mr. Caldwell, as the top elected city official, should have some questions about how our tax dollars are being spent. But he remains silent.

AWM said...

BR writes "What I find curious in all of the problems involving the Ogden School District is the continuing silence from Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell." I don't find it curious at all. This is 10- Speeds SOP for any mildly controversial topic, let alone the REALLY hot potatoes. Can anybody think of a stance he's taken or media release he's made on the OPD with their controversies? How about same sex marriage? Probably too busy tightening spokes or oiling his drive chain. Here's what I know of the mayor. He likes riding bikes and he showed up on stage at the Egyptian once for a fly fishing festival I attended. Hey wait! Now that I think about it even with that lackluster performance to date I still like him better that his predecessor. Well played Mayor Caldwell...well played indeed. Keep up the good work!

Dan S. said...

If I recall correctly, Caldwell endorsed school board member Shane Story last time he was up for reelection. Also, under Caldwell's leadership, the city put pro-school-board propaganda in everyone's utility bill mailings right before that election.

blackrulon said...

You are correct. Silent Mke is spending a lot of time and effort promoting Ogden as a bike friendly city. He has publicly announced his intent to bike to work every day. Which is not a bad thing.But if he really wished to help the average Ogden citizen he will spend all of next year taking public transportation to work and back home. That would give him insight into the problems faced by those who have to rely on public transportation.

AWM said...

BR, I think that reply was meant for me instead of Dan but you make my point more or less. Who can take offense to a mayor promoting green transportation? Nobody I can think of. Of course, 10-Speeds pro clean air stance is of little comfort for the guy who has a tactical shotgun pointed at him and a combat boot on his back being worn by a Weber County Narcotics Task Force member who, because of sloppy intel is supposed to be three doors down the street.

Monotreme said...

An experiment for readers to try: just try running for School Board and see what happens.

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