Gov. Beebe and Other Democrats Using Propaganda -
Arkansas Is Not 5th in Education
Below is a letter to the Jonesboro Sun Explaining this deception by the Democrats - Documentation was not included in the paper of course but included here for readers' information.
Democrats, including Governor Beebe, Senator Thompson, Representative Homer Lenderman and others are touting a ranking by Education Week placing Arkansas fifth in the country in education policy and performance. Putting that study in perspective reveals how out of touch Democrats are with reality and/or how deceptive they are in trying to snooker the people.
The very Arkansas News Bureau article touting this Arkansas's 5th place in the nation, noted that Arkansas did receive a "D in K-12 student ACHIEVEMENT, ranking 34th, and a C- minus in chance for success, ranking 44th."
The media biased headline for the story, "Magazine ranks Arkansas 5th in educational policies, performance" was completely misleading. The article continued, "Broken down by category, Arkansas’ best score was in transitions and alignment … where the state received an A and was ranked first in the nation." This means that Arkansas is first in the nation in forcing teachers to follow "experts’" decisions on what and how to teach their students and aligning their curriculum with government standards.
Teachers are not to blame for the D in Achievement; they had no voice in the matter. The government bureaucrats made all the decisions and forced the teachers into compliance.
Another important study by the National Education Policy Center ranked the 50 states in four areas in 2010. Arkansas received an F in Learning Achievement, ranking 49th in that study.
In 2011, based on the ACT scores, only 17 % (compared to 25% nationally) were prepared for college success in all four ACT tested subjects – English, reading, math, and science.
Arkansas is one of only 10 states seeing declines in their graduation rates between 2001 and 2009.
On the national NAEP tests in 2011 (often called the Nation’s Report Card) Arkansas’ scores in 4th and 8th grade were still flat and below the national average, while students in other states made headway in most areas - even though according to Arkansas’ “homegrown” benchmark tests, scores have increased, sometimes exponentially, every year.
The Jonesboro District has much to worry about because their scores, even on these AR benchmark tests, were the lowest in the county in almost every grade level and below state average in several areas – 21 points below state average in 7th grade science. Oh yes, those magnet schools are doing great if you just believe outward appearances – just as our state is 5th in the nation in education!
See 9 points of documentation below for this letter but first note these other facts not included in the above letter to editor. These bullet points were written in 2009 or 2007 but the facts remain much the same today. The way ADE keeps the benchmark scores so good but so out of touch with other success indicators in Arkansas so high is by setting the cut-off scores so low. For example in 3rd grade if a student got 29 questions right out of 80 they were considered basic in 2005; we just have not had time to go in and check them recently. They keep changing the links where information is found. For comparison a cutoff score of 60 has always been considered a failing grade.
Would ADE Director Ken James Article Qualify as Government Propaganda?
Amazing "Academic Progress" ADE Director Ken James says, B U T
· National Test Scores are 11 Percentile Points lower than in 1990 (a 22% decrease).
· College Remediation Rate is 51.6% (46.6% in 1995); National Average is 33%.
· Only Nine States Scored Lower Than Arkansas in 8th Grade Math on NAEP Test.
· US Dept of Educations says Arkansas Benchmark Tests May Be Too Easy.
· Only 28% of AR students pass test on AP courses, while 59.4% pass nationwide .
· Fordham Foundation Gives Arkansas an F on Standards.
· The National Report Card on Higher Ed. Gave Arkansas a D+ In High School Preparation for College .
· Educational Reforms Have Cost $1.4 BILLION which equals a 3% sales tax in AR. http://www.wpaag.org/Testing%20-%20Ken%20James%20Guest%20Ed%20Propaganda.htm
1. “Beebe touted a recent ranking by Education Week that puts Arkansas sixth in the country in education policy and performance” -. January 12, 2011Beebe starts 2nd term, sets session goals, January 12, 2011 http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/jan/12/beebe-starts-2nd-term-sets-session-goals-20110112/ [Note: Education Week later moved Arkansas up to 5th] Beebe has touted this study at other times as well.
2. Thompson: “We are now ranked number six in education policy in the state. Folks, that's no accident. It is hard work and it is the focus on education that will reap benefit for years in the future.” Robert Thompson speech at Farm Bureau Forum transcribed – See third paragraph, last few sentences http://www.wpaag.org/Thompson%20speech-Farm%20Bureau%20Candidate%20forum.htm
3. Homer Lenderman: "I want everyone to know that I am optimistic. We are now ranked 5th, we were 6th in education. When I started teaching we were about 49th.” Homer Lenderman interview on Paul Harell’s program. Link to transcript of excerpts from radio program: Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 2nd paragraph from bottom. http://www.wpaag.org/Lenderman%20interview%20on%20Paul%20Harrell%20program.htm and at about 57 minutes into Paul Harrell radio program video. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20311838
4. “Magazine ranks Arkansas 5th in educational policies, performance,” January 2012
9th paragraph: “Arkansas scored an A in standards, assessments and accountability, ranking sixth in the nation; a C in school finance, ranking 27th; a D in K-12 student achievement, ranking 34th; and a C-minus in chance for success, ranking 44th.
See 7th paragraph for quote on first in nation.
5. Arkansas 49th ranking. Click on the PDF file at top of page at this link and scroll down to first table, entitled, “Table 1, Ranking of States by Learning Achievement.” http://heartland.org/policy-documents/no-129-2010-state-school-report-card
6. Percentage ready for college: “The exam results, released early today, showed that about 1 in 6 Arkansas test-takers in the class - 17 percent - were prepared for college success in all four ACT tested subjects that make the composite score: English, reading, mathematics and science. Nationally, 25 percent of students are considered prepared for college success.” AR Democrat Gazette article, “Students’ scores on ACT fall in state” Wednesday, August 17, 2011 http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/aug/17/students-scores-act-fall-state-20110817/?news-arkansas Link won’t be good except through archives
7. The 2012 report, “Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic,” shows that Arkansas is one of only 10 states that saw declines in their graduation rates between 2001 and 2009. The rate is determined by comparing the number of ninth-grade students who earn a diploma in four years...Jonesboro Sun Opinion article by Roy Ockert "True graduation rates will shock" May 1, 2012
8.” LITTLE ROCK — Reading and math scores earned by Arkansas fourth-graders and a reading score earned by eighth-graders on a 2011 national exam were stagnant and below the national average, while students across the country made headway in most areas.” AR Democrat Gazette, “State students’ test scores flat,” Nov 2, 2011 http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/nov/02/state-students-test-scores-flat-20111102/?news-arkansas Link not good except through archives.
9. Jonesboro District Scores: Jonesboro Sun “2012 Benchmark Exams” table, Sunday, June 17, 2012
Posted July 9, 2012 by Women Action Group