Friday, July 14, 2006

A challenge and a response (with new info)

"And I would like for you to post the Delaware Gazette letter you submited. Along with the letter, please submit your data stating the number of Olentangy students having to take "remedial English" in college. With the data, I'd like to see its origination, how it was compiled, etc. Such a strong statement should really have statistical proof so it doesn't just seem like psychotic ramblings." Blog comment left by Anonymous

You just have to love people who make such statements under the cover of Anonymous. What is very interesting is that the comment came from TRECA's ISP - TRECA is the internet provider for the Olentangy Local School District. This means that there are staff members who know little about our data and performance but are all fired-up about a reading list. They would rather spend your tax dollars commenting on this blog than reviewing performance data and working for improvements. Humm ... Could this explain the district's lagging performance? Anyway... to the data ...

You can get the data from either the Olentangy Annual Report on Academic Achievement or the Ohio Board of Regents' high school transition report.

The Olentangy report shows a 36% combined remediation rate for district students who were freshmen in 2002 at one of Ohio's colleges and universities reporting to the Board of Regents - including OSU, Miami, etc. Thirty-six percent. The Board of Regents report shows that the percentage increased to 37% for 2003 freshmen. I pushed to have this indicator added to the annual report so I know the data well. These data should be of utmost concern for the district's staff, yet they are not. Why?

It's beginning to sound less like psychotic ramblings and more like a true concern for our future generation. It is a sad refection of the tens, and now hundreds, of millions in tax dollars that the district spends every year.

It would appear that college-prep and district performance are not correlated. Folks, this level of performance is the result of choices made by the staff. Sure, some staff and students may have fun reading the books in question, but the Board of Regents is not looking for fun as an indicator of a potentially successful college student. Allow the English department to push fun as the objective and watch college seats get filled with students from other districts.

Next, Anonymous needs to challenge the staff and have them explain such poor performance. Though I'm certain that Anonymous will remain thusly and keep quiet. It always stings when the data doesn't go your way.

Notes: The Olentangy report annual report on achievement is produced with your tax dollars, but some district staff obviously don't bother reading it. If you don't know your level of performance, or just don't care, how in the world can you ever improve?

In a previous post, I challenged any staff member who agreed with what appears to be a majority of the community to speak out on the inappropriateness of the required reading list. Not only has the challenge gone unanswered, this appears to be a representative response from the staff. Disappointing, and disheartening.

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