Thursday, May 26, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found


VideoFound: Shepherd mix, showed up near C.R. 307 and C.R. 317, La Vernia, about one week ago, has orange collar with no tags. 210-385-2892.

VideoLost: German mix, male, tip of one ear missing, micro chipped, last seen with blue collar and blue bone tag with name and house number. Call if found, 830-779-2512.

VideoMISSING TORTOISE from S. Palo Alto Dr. in Estates of Eagle Creek on May 17th. If you see him, please contact us @ (210) 913-4558 or (830) 393-4030.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Billing clerk: Must have Quick Books and Open Invoice experience. Cortex software is a plus. MS Office applications, computer equipment, scanning, and filing a must. Application - call Engineered Well Service Floresville, Texas, 830-216-0509.
Automotive paint and body shop seeking qualified technician. Call 210-912-8266 or inquire at 13740 U.S. Hwy. 87 W., La Vernia.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
Richardson Chevrolet homeRE/MAX homeTNMC
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Editorial: Americans know very little about local school quality




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
August 28, 2013 | 1,434 views | 2 comments

By J.E. Stone

A cheating scandal involving teachers in Atlanta has captured national attention and revealed a profound breach of trust in the public education system.

Thirty-five area educators, including some principals, have been accused of falsifying student test scores and now stand charged with racketeering, theft, and making false statements to law enforcement.

Apologists blame their actions on excessive testing, but that’s like blaming a banking scandal on the auditors. Instead of worrying about fairness for the adults, we should be worrying about these children and their futures.

Many will receive a shockingly poor education, leaving them little hope of earning a family-sustaining wage once they enter the work force.

How could a scam this massive take place under everyone’s nose? Clearly, Atlanta has a problem. But this is just a highly visible instance of a much larger problem. Average Americans actually know very little about the quality of their local schools. Despite the obvious conflict of interest, most people simply accept the soothing reassurances of the schools themselves.

That’s a problem. The only way to actually improve educational outcomes is for parents and local boards to hold schools accountable. And to do that, they need accurate information about student achievement, budgets, program effectiveness, and the like.

But right now, all across the country, parents and local boards are being kept in the dark about such essential matters. Even where there has not been outright cheating as in Atlanta, the information furnished by districts is typically slanted or outright misleading. Successes are hyped, failures rationalized, and statistics are reported with skimpy context.

It’s no secret that too many students aren’t learning. Today, only about 30 percent of children can read at grade level by the third grade. For low-income students, an astounding 83 percent of students fail to meet this mark. And half of the U.S. work force -- about 80 million adults -- lack the educational skills necessary to earn a family-sustaining wage. The future is in jeopardy.

To get a sense of the problem, consider the differences between the scores reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and those reported by the states.

Congress created NAEP in 1988 to independently measure national student achievement on a variety of subjects for the Department of Education. Today, it’s considered the gold standard of educational assessment for critical subjects like math, reading, science, and writing.

States, of course, also have their own metrics. The differences are stark and embarrassing.

For instance, the Alabama Department of Education claims 80 percent of its fourth-grade students are proficient in math. According to the NAEP, only 30 percent are actually proficient.

Alabama isn’t unique. Scores are just as inflated in neighboring Georgia -- and that’s in addition to distortions caused by Atlanta’s cheating. The state says over 80 percent are proficient in math, but the NAEP says 40 percent is closer to reality. But wait, there’s more! Much more.

The Maryland Department of Education claims 90 percent of its students are proficient in fourth-grade math. NAEP says it’s closer to 50 percent. California’s Education Department says six in 10 eighth-graders are proficient in science. NAEP’s assessment? Barely above 20 percent. Most states follow this pattern.

As a result of these reporting gaps, parents and board members generally believe their local schools are better than they actually are. And those that do sense problems tend to assume that money will solve them.

But decades of increased funding has produced little improvement. Since the 1970s, the NAEP reports that achievement in core subjects like reading and math has remained stagnant. In fact, constant-dollar per-pupil expenditures doubled between 1971 and 2009, yet reading scores didn’t budge.

In a global economy, the United States will inevitably sink unless parents, school boards, and educators are able to confront the facts, warts and all, but educators fear exposure.

Fortunately, there are sound data out there. Parents don’t have to wait for distant bureaucrats to tinker their way to trustworthy school reports. Right now, they can find detailed report cards at greatschools.org and schooldigger.com.

The Education Consumers Foundation, displays school-by-school data online in easy-to-understand graphics for virtually all states.

These are just a few of the resources available to parents, boards, and community leaders who want to look beyond inflated self-reports and into the facts that can lead to real school improvement.

J.E. Stone is president and CEO of Education Consumers Foundation.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
7th Generation La Vernian  
La Vernia  
August 28, 2013 1:56pm
 
La Vernia knows about their school teachers and principles. Just check out the county records for arrests and trials. Dealing drugs and stealing money. OBTW, where is Texas ranked in US of all schools? Almost last! Low goals/standards ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
August 28, 2013 12:51pm
 
Great article!

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. American Legion ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Annexation for fire services will be on November ballot (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts to honor fallen heroes (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Camino Real plans Open House events (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chief Hull resigns from Poth police (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. County sets sights on new tax (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Grim choices have put America in a grave situation (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: On the other side of politics in a world of digital divide (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Fire, EMS services — Who’s got you covered? (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s okay to take control (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Free ride over hard work … a no-brainer! (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Housing Foundation expresses gratitude (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Mainstream media ‘brainwashing’ Hispanic/Latino voters (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Memorial Hospital District (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Memorial Day office closures (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. One viewpoint: Making Floresville marketable with recreational facilities (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Parish plans Cemetery Ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police arrest man in case of burned body (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police ticket six for violating cell phone ban (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Post 539 service (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth electric vehicle users could be in for a shock (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth High School students earn awards (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Severe storms shred Wilson County (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SSCA ceremony (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Teacher salaries, student lunch prices on the rise (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tejano music to fill the air during Labor Day event (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Turner: New businesses coming to Floresville (May 25, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Berger earns Ph.D. from Columbia University (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Brahma Happenings (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Burning body spurs murder investigation (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Can I negotiate? (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Narrow views promote intellectual, moral dry rot (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The political climate in America goes from bad to worse (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Falls City ISD’s new K-12 building almost complete (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville parks master plan would relocate ball fields (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville parks plan wins council approval (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Foundation awards $9K in grants (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Foundation opens health grant process (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Graco recalls booster seats (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Grass fires on the rise (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: An open letter to Congress (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Illegal immigration: Who will laugh last? (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: What Hispanic vote? (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lone Star Greys to meet (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: La Vernia City Council (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Poth ISD (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police recover one of two stolen trucks (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register for free watercolor lesson (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale campus to get upgrade soon (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale City Council approves electronic payment processing (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. TAMU-SA matches student scholarships (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Time to make plans to attend Jubilee (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Want fire protection? Attend May 19 hearing (May 18, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Acme Gold Buyers marks fifth year in Floresville (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. All Veterans Job Fair (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cemetery group to meet (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Children’s Alliance enhances care services (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. China Grove mayor, police chief trade barbs at meeting (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Commissioners lukewarm toward hot coffee at library (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Competency and integrity (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Coy to get Ranger Cross (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cub Scout Roundup (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate blood in May (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editor: Trump’s candidacy sets in motion affliction in future elections (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The voters have spoken — well, some of them have! (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Former Sutherland Springs VFD considered as a substation (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free caregivers class starts May 26 (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Information sought in Walmart theft (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lack of super majority vote keeps Clean Water Rule flowing (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Leetter: The government is a terrible investor (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Injection well site is near river, creeks (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Stop being negative (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. LV youths win new wheels at Bike Rodeo (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: La Vernia ISD (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mineral rights workshop set (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Miss LV Pageant, Bluebonnet Parade, graduation fill La Vernia calendar (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. New Wilson County justice center nears completion (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Personalized brick for Veterans Memorial (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Precinct 3 primary runoff is May 24 (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rangers to honor Lorenz (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rohrs takes over Floresville athletics (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger qualifies for Executive Club membership (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Voters respond: One bond passes, another fails (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wednesday morning crash injures nine (May 11, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. AACOG plans public meeting (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Accident injures two drivers (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. AgriLife offers tips to protect from Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Behind the lens: Solitary stillness (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Celebration Mass June 12 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cemetery association meeting (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Condos are fine, but do your research (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Crime Stoppers aids police anonymously (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DA, DPS bust nets 86 charges (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Debate over citizens comments dominates Floresville council (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dwellings At Home offers lodge, ranch furnishings, more (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Overbearing city council threatens boards’ independence (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Taking personal responsibility will bring possibilities (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Trump is the same old song with one more verse (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FEDC tables recommendation of master parks plan (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS tornado repair continues as FEMA help stalls (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville Chamber Luncheon May 18 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kotwig, Malcolm and Beverly Talley (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Alamo Colleges: A bust for Floresville (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Local nursing homes plan Senior Olympics May 9-13 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Look twice for motorcycle riders (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lyssy’s vault earns gold, sets records! (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Medicaid, CHIP application assistance (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. National Day of Prayer May 5 (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ramirez promoted to colonel (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Reserve a seat for SA Tea Party (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger tops in sales (May 4, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Treviño prepares to take reins of East Central athletics (May 4, 2016)