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Common Core took quite a few arrows into the heart with the release of New York’s Test Scores.   One of the huge questions being asked, is how did the Commissioner John King, know what the drop would be before the tests were given?

We are learning; new reports popping up every hour on how those scores were derived.  To understand the process, you must first be familiar with how regular grading scores are determined.  Most teachers when they score their tests assume that if a student can show that they understand 65% of the material, they can pass the class.  It is reality based.  Here is the material, you know this much, you shall pass because it is above the 65% threshold.  If you have a good class, you can pass all of them.

I hope you are sitting down.  The Pearson tests were taken, then graded.  After that was done,  they were then scored.  They were not scored on whether a person got the answer right or wrong.  They were scored on where the benchmarks should be.  A benchmark is that spot where a score of 1 then becomes a 2, or a score of 2 becomes a 3 and so on.

This is the story of how those bench marks were determined.  Close coordination was done with the College Board SAT’s.   The tests were going to determine which students were… or were not, college and career ready.

So how was the level where one is college-ready determined?.  It was decided to be at that level where there was a 75% chance that a student would receive a B- or above in ELA,  and writing, and a 65% chance that he would receive a C+ in math, in his first college course in those two subjects… Got that?  “That” is college ready.

Once that arbitrary level is set, and it is arbitrary.  Is a B- the same at Harvard as it would be in Michigan State?  is a B- the same if given by Professor X or Professor Y?   Anyone who has ever picked their college classes over the alleged difficulties of certain college professors, certainly knows that this method is very suspect.  But regardless of whether it makes sense, once the threshold is set, one can compare the SAT scores of those students and come up with a correlation.  The correlation  between these grades  and those SAT scores that would determine if one was college ready, happened at the score of 1550.

Now that you know how this score was determined, you can forever dismiss its validity.  That is not being snippy. That is a real assessment of the credibility these scores now have.

From the score of 1550, the next step was to determine how that works downward to the test scores of 8th graders who still have 3 years before they take the SAT. The Breakdown of that score was 560 Reading, 530 Writing, and 540 Math.

To those teachers gathered for the opportunity to cut the scores, the Pearson executives showed them all the data, then told them where the bookmark should be for a 3.  From there the groups determined where to draw the lines for a 1,2,3 and a 4. Then they went and did the 7th grade, then the 6th.  Each grade was determined by the previous one, all of which went back to comparing the 8th Grade to the SAT to be taken 3 years into the future.

They returned to the 8th grade, and re-walked through that process then, that was the cut turned into the commissioner.  Because he had given them the rubric  or guidelines upon which to make their judgment, he already knew ahead of time how the results would turn out.   Does that make sense?

Here is an first person account of what went on inside those cutting rooms…  and here is a humorous account with diagrams, which help a lot in understanding the twists and turns taken to determine this result.

Your test question now. Did you add the three individual scores I posted up above? Had you done so, you would have noticed that they came up to 1630 instead of 1550. It is 1630, significantly higher than the 2011 College Board’s index associated with a B- in college.

The above illustrates how one can manipulate the percentage of college readiness by hopping between the columns and changing the definition of “college ready” to suit oneself. If the State Education Department had increased or decreased the grade and/or the probability, the college readiness indicator would move up or down. In the end, they chose values that are extraordinarily high, producing an index that exceeds the College Board’s index for achieving a B- average.New Yorks score was already higher than the national average.

From this assessment, comes the criteria that permanently classify a student, that fire a teacher, that close down a school, that wreak havoc in a district.  An assessment that has no basis in reality…

What does have a basis in reality?

Decades of research have shown that the SAT test can be an accurate indicator of IQ. Which is why, test prep classes rarely move the needle on the actual scores themselves.

According to the College Board’s own research, the SAT is not such a great predictor of college grades. The correlation between the SAT and college grades is about .48, which means that its predictive power (r squared) is only 23 percent. High school grades are a better predictor of how students will do in college courses (nearly 30 percent). In addition, other research has found that high school GPA is three to five times more important in predicting college graduation than an SAT or ACT score. Even with all of that known, the State Education Department aligned students 3-8 scores with later performance on the SAT to create cut scores that give the illusion of being on the road to college readiness.

They created this report to justify their methodology.

If you connect the dots and read all of these links you will see that these scores were supposed to be low for a reason, a reason of politics,  They had the data and knew that the results would be scored low, that was their plan.

As they even state here, education did not fall apart; the students are not dumber; the teachers are not derelict; the schools are not failing.  They were just graded on a different curve, that’s all.

It was all done politically to show that large numbers of students did not meet the arbitrarily decided new standard of being college and career ready…

Yes, in even those in Third Grade.,

The Evidence.

Here on Easter Daylight Savings time, … the new Pope was announced exactly at 3:13 3/13/13

I drove down Cleveland Avenue in Newark this afternoon, and there as always, was Porter Chevrolet.   It was full of cars for sale.  It would not be there but for Obama standing up for,  or I’m embarrassed to say, against my Republican Party.

A train passed on the CSX route alongside me.  On the Georgia-Pacific labled cars were lumber headed north from Georgia to build new homes.   We would not be building houses now but for Obama taking away the toxic loans bankrupting America’s future.  I’m embarrassed to say, he had to fight my Republican Party tooth and nail to get it done.

I was headed to my mammogram which I would have put off, except for the insistence by my doctor,  who said, it was free, came at no cost to me, and was covered by Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act.  I’m pretty nervous, because that’s what happens when you think you’ve discovered two lumps.  I’m sure they’re benign, but there was no way I could have had it checked out, if  the insurance companies hadn’t picked up the cost…. over the objections of my Republican Party…..

I had a good talk with my son today, who  works in Knoxville Tennessee;  glad he’s working in a big part to the helpfulness of the Veteran’s administration.  This jobs program was pushed I know by Barack and Michelle and was passed, over the screaming of the Tea Party Republicans, who were outraged that Federal money was being spent to help veterans find work….

I am so glad he’s not in Afghanistan.  He signed up for three tours, and we were all scared that with the elections coming up, and Republican attacks of Obama’s weakness against standing up to the enemies of America,  he would be forced or coerced to do one more tour.  But this president, stuck to his promises and said, “we’re following the timetable”, and tears-running-down-my-face- gratefully, he came home last summer and is reunited with his girlfriend who waited for him all those years, and now is engaged for a wedding whose date is not set yet…..

I talked to my boss earlier today, to remind him that we had agreed I’d take a half day today for this medical  reason, and when I thanked him for letting me have off, he jokingly said,  ”  Only because it is now the law.  I can’t fire you for medical appointments.”  I know that all regulations that impinge upon a business, are slated to disappear if my Republican Party ever gets back into power.   I’m embarrassed to say,  a lot of my president’s political problems were because he fought hard for the Affordable Health Care Act.  It caused the Tea Party to have something to hit him on the head, and cost him Democratic control of the House….   But it sure made my life easier today…

I was listening to some blowhard talk show host on WDEL,  Rick Jensen is his name to give him a plug, who was bending backwards to  explain how  that Senatorial candidate from Indiana was really being noble and true to Christ’s teachings when he expressed his belief that God means for rape to happen.  I’m a Catholic and sex and religion have been an ongoing battle within me, but for the life of me, to accept that I have to be raped because God ordained it,  crosses the line.

Perhaps Mr. Mourdock would like to spend a night in prison?  And then come out and tell us the next morning just how nice rape is?   Of course,  Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan said they stood by those remarks….  I mean if someone says “ha, ha, we should burn black (Indian) (Muslim)( Jewish)(Liberal)(Polish)(Italian)(Catholic)(Born again Christian) babies alive, heh, heh, heh” and you aren’t outraged…. “ho, ho, ho.. you’re being a little silly there… ho, ho, ho”… you are telling me that you too believe that burning black babies alive would solve a lot or your problems too….   That is not the Republican Party I worshiped under Ronald Reagan.

I will tell my daughter to follow her Catholic faith.  I will also tell her, Church be damned, that if she truly feels God does not want her to carry a baby, and she unequivocally knows it is God’s will, … to go to planned parenthood for counseling….  God, in my mind, is too big to be constrained by the Catholic Church hierarchy.  Sometime He uses outside events to buttress and evolve the thinking of the church… My God talks to everyone.

So I’m grateful that if my daughter needs contraception or needs to lose her child to stay alive (rare, I know), that thanks to President Obama, I will continue to have my daughter, instead of taking care of a child whose father I barely know…..

My job asked me to work 9 hours overtime this weekend.  Apparently sales are up.  Of course I  said yes….. It was time and a half.  Something else the Tea Party has in the platform to get rid of….  as well as remove all Child Labor laws.    Children are cheaper and don’t talk back.

There are to be honest,  parts of the Democratic Party I despise.   I cringed when they boo’d the inclusion of God into the platform.  I don’t like being shouted down whenever I bring up my God, who has always been a part of my life….. since I can remember.  As an American, I could never do without that religious part of my life.

But the liberals just seem so nasty whenever God gets mentioned.  So I am not, ready to be a Democrat.   But Obama stood up for what was right, and my old party fought him every step of the way…..

That is why, this Republican is supporting Obama….   I really wish there was some Christian Democratic Party out there as an alternative….  I think Obama would be perfect to lead it.

Oh, and the new Wawa on 273 dropped gas 10 cents last night to \$3.45!!!!   …..  Funny how that makes one feel giddy and all happy… but it does.

.

Courtesy of Climate Code Red

If you kinda thought the weather was wild this year, you were right. The most ice lost is taking place right while you read this. A large chunk was broken up by a freak storm. Another similar on is on its way. The question that no one knows the answer to, is… will this affect the circulation pattern.

We all know in our lives that as human beings we can put up with aggravation rather well, unless we are Type A. Whether it is aggravation from our boss, from our spouse, from our in-laws, from our choir director, from that guy selling papers on the corner,… we put up with it, accepting it as the normal course of business. Except once or twice in our lives, we just snap. And the consequences of that, momentary snap, cause big changes… maybe in our employment, maybe in our marriage, maybe in our in-law’s will, maybe from the choir director’s husband, maybe from the police…. things change for us in a big way…..

That is how we have to see this. From a mud core taken from an ancient lake, Lough Monreach, in Ireland in 2009 it was discovered that in a matter of one month 12,900 years ago, we went from normal seasonal temperatures to an ice age. The cause came from a switch in ocean currents. As cold fresh water entered the ocean, warm water stopped flowing north. That Ice Age lasted 1300 years before the thaw returned. It flipped in one month…. 30 days more or less.

So is that happening?

The science is too big. We don’t know. It will be like on the Day after Tomorrow where we first find out from buoys scattered across the Atlantic. It cannot be predicted.

What can be foretold is that the earth has never had this much stress before during civilized mans span on earth. Do you know when you snap, or does it take you off guard as well?

That is where we are…

Of course nothing could come about it… Just like when your boss insults you in front of all your staff, your office competitor’s staff, and ridicules you like you have never been before… You just take it…

The boss tells your competitor… “I knew he was a wus… I wasn’t worried one bit… you have nothing to worry about him…”

Republicans will say in Tampa:… “I knew it was a scam…. I wasn’t worried one bit… we have nothing to worry about burning carbon fuels and putting carbon dioxide into the air.”

News Flash: The earth is not a wus……..

2012, day 230, 2.87743 million square kilometers
2011, day 253, 2.90474 million square kilometers (previous record low)

Here is a glimpse into just one item Rick has said lately that is not true.

” The President’s agenda is “about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.”

Rick seems to have a perverted sense of the Bible.

Seriously, is Creationism based on the Bible? it is no secret that Rick is fully in favor of creationism being taught in public school science classrooms and laboratories. Back in 2001 he attempted to have Congress require the teaching of creationism in public schools…

Santorum’s own church, the Roman Catholic Church, however is in favor of the teaching of evolution. Santorum minces no words when he declares that Catholics have to follow the teaching of their church. In an op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer in December of 2009 entitled “The Elephant in the Room: Catholics Must Heed Teachings,” Santorum wrote, “Catholics must be true to their consciences. But that is not a free-floating guide that we can define ourselves. A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the church’s teachings on faith and reason, and to act in a morally coherent and consistent way, both privately and publicly.”

Therefore, to any “true” Roman Catholic, the voodoo science of Creationism, is “some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.”

Creationism is considered an extremely dangerous piece of witchcraft by the Catholic Church….

“MOST DANGEROUS… IS THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY’S CLAIM THAT THEIR CONCEPT IS SCIENTIFIC AND THAT THE DEFINITION OF SCIENCE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED TO ALLOW OTHER THEN NATURAL EXPLANATIONS TO EXPLAIN NATURAL PHENOMENA. IF THEY WERE TO PREVAIL, SCIENCE AS WE KNOW IT, WOULD BE DESTROYED.”

Did not Rick Santorum say: “Thou must obey the Catholic Church?”

Ok, Rick, obey it… Admit your religion is the “phony one”, not President Obama’s….

And where was it you said those who did not follow the Catholic Church’s teachings…. go when they die?

Remember Rick, there are consequences for your actions, if not in this life, then in the next……

(title is a chess reference).

There is no worse thing on this planet than a negotiator who agrees to a certain policy, waits for it to get set in stone, and then, just before that policy is implemented, says, no, I’m not for it anymore. People like that are called Finks.

That type of action turned all of America against the Tea Party who actually made it their career to say “we won’t agree until we get this”, and when they got “this” they stormed out anyway, saying “that is not enough, we won’t agree until we get that, and more…” and followed the same process over and over and over again…

There is nothing worse than people who do that….

The Catholic Bishops today are saying the compromise in which health insurers bear the cost of contraception, is not enough, even though it meets their objection of not having any Catholic money go towards paying for contraception…

That actually was a huge concession. Catholic hospitals and schools will not have to pay for contraception, but it will be available for all women who work there to use if they choose.

The current position being taken by the Catholic Bishops actually goes against Church doctrine as well as the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, himself….

(Remember, this is the exact same group that thought the best way to deal with priests who preyed Sandusky-like on alter boys, was to whisk them away where those guilty could abuse others who innocently had no idea beside whom they were serving the sacrament.)

The same group.

Bottom line, like the guilty priests, the Catholic Bishops got what they wanted. End of discussion. Any more discussion against this policy, and it becomes extremely obvious it is being done to support the Republican Party. The Church has been bought out by the 1%….

Back to why, prohibiting contraception in one way, violates the core spirit of the teachings of Jesus.

“Blessed are the Poor, for they shall inherit the earth”. “Give all you have to the poor, and you will then be able to enter the Kingdom of God.”

Obviously, if you don’t help the poor, you go to hell… Jesus could not have been more specific or clear.

When you don’t allow a woman to NOT GET PREGNANT, you force her out of being self sufficient, into becoming dependent on poverty.

Being against birth control forces women into poverty. Think about it. If you are single on a \$40,000 job, and pregnant, you are out of \$40,000 and have no income. Not only is the Catholic Church NOT GIVING ALL THEY OWN TO HELP THE POOR, but without free contraception, they are creating more and more poor, pregnant woman by pregnant woman, by the very position they take….

Bishops need to be queened.

This is mainly for my friends on the right. After reading the headline, they will rush off to relieve their bowels. Then once empty, come back to read the rest.

There is an old adage, that at one time was often pasted on the first state’s only right wing blog, now called Delaware Politics. It used to be FSP for First State Politics.

That adage, was: Don’t tax you; don’t tax me; tax that man behind the tree….

Obama has said Catholic employers won’t pay for birth control. Neither will those who use it.

It will be provided free of charge by the insurance companies…..

The property of the Roman Catholic Church here in America……
\$837,271,000….

The total wealth of families in the bottom three quintiles is about \$2.2 billion.. (putting this and this image together)

The total assets of American Insurance Companies, \$1,190 Billion or \$1.2 Trillion…

Pure genius.

Free contraception for all……

Catholic hospitals Saturday rallied behind President Barack Obama’s health care bill ahead of a House vote in which anti-abortion lawmakers could play a decisive role.

The chief executive of the Catholic Health Association, Carol Keehan, wrote on the group’s Web site that although the legislation isn’t perfect, it represents a “major first step” toward covering all Americans and would make “great improvements” for millions of people.

And the freaks are scared…

I was shocked when it was brought to my attention, really. This is a rather eventful pivot point.

The Catholic Church, through this venue, has decided that more good, will come about from President Obama’s Healthcare Reform, than harm.. The Catholic Church. has come out in favor of Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan…

Why?

Because it helps people. It helps people get well. It helps people stay well. It helps drop costs down so more people can be treated…

The compassion and hope that this bill provides is so great, that the Catholic Church is willing to look the other way on the abortion planks… That shows you just how good this bill is seen to be by the Catholic Church… Who in their lifetimes would think the Catholic Church would look the other way on abortion? But Obama’s healthcare reform bill is so good, so helpful, such a wonderful piece of legislation, that the Catholic Church simply cannot dismiss it.. In fact, the Catholic Church wants this bill to go through so badly, that it supports it, despite some qualms over abortion planks that may or may not be added…. Who would have ever thought they’d see the day!

If it is good for the Catholic Church, by default, it must be good for all Americans…. (You don’t have to sell me)… Since looking at facts, I’ve been saying that for little over a year now… But some people need selling, and now, this group of Catholic hospitals, has decided that better health care for all Americans, is indeed a worthy cause to get behind…

The current legislation would allow private insurance plans operating in a new insurance marketplace to cover abortions, provided they do not use taxpayer funds. What makes that tricky is that many of the plans’ customers would be receiving federal subsidies to help pay their premiums. So the legislation requires plans offering abortion coverage to collect a separate premium from their policyholders. Those separate checks would have to be kept in a different account from money for other health care services.

The radicals of the Right to Life movement, differ with the mainstream element of their church. Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, poo-poo’d the segregation of funds called for in the Senate bill as a bookkeeping trick. His group has bluffed it will count any vote for the House bill as support for taxpayer-funded abortion. “No Catholic hospital executive has ever turned out hundreds of volunteers to man the phone banks or walk the precincts for an endangered congressman or his challenger,” Johnson shrieked in response to the hospital group’s announcement.

I am grateful the Catholic Church is supporting Obama’s version of Healthcare Reform.

Now, if we can only get them to excommunicate all those Republicans who won’t support it….

After all, anyone who opposes legislation that represents a “major first step” toward covering all Americans and would make “great improvements” for millions of people, deserves to go to hell.

I find it odd to see in a paper two stories side by side… Both have local connections.

The first is our Wilmington Bishop’s insistence on giving the Vice President-elect the sacrament, despite other bishops, including the one from Scranton, calling for banning the Vice President of the United States from ever receiving the Holy Wafer…

The second is another lawsuit aimed directly at a former Wilmington priest who abused a 10 year old, contributing to his death, and was spirited away to another state where he was found in bed with other children he was responsible for overseeing…

I know these are isolated events… but if ever Jesus’s admonition that the log from one’s own eye, must be removed before taking the speck out of another’s… applied to any real world event, it would apply to this one…

We are talking about the future Vice President of the United States… Dissing him is dissing America… That America is the same country that has gone to war… not for land but to free other countries under tyranny, and once defeating the enemy, has quietly packed up, and returned home…  These rogue bishops are embarassing the Catholic Church and quite possibly refanning the fears of non Catholics against practicing Catholics; those same fears which existed for over two hundred years until finally John F. Kennedy’s election put them to rest in 1960.  Through the normal actions of that man, rural Americans learned that Catholics were not freaks…  Unfortunately, today’s headlines make one wonder if it has begun again.

Catholics should take heart… God is not dead; he has just left the hierarchy of the American Catholic Church…. apparently at least in several of our nation’s bishop’s parishes….  I would encourage Catholics to visit other denominations to see if they find another church with enjoyable people… Once they are outside the closed mentality that cloisters the Catholic belief,… they may find that real people still believe in a real God… Trust me. God is real… although if one was an American Catholic living today, and victim of either of these unprovoked actions representing the Church as a whole, I can understand why one would be sincerely skeptical…

The Church is right to be against abortion.  Abortion is a moral issue… Likewise our government which is responsible to its citizens, and overwhelmingly, our citizens say abortion should remain as it is today, is certainly within its rights to preserve abortion’s legality… If the Catholic Church is to work effectively against future abortions, then it needs to do so on a personal basis… not an electoral one…   When every young mother faces that decision, the Catholic Church, as large as it is, can be an asset to her decision making process… not a hindrance in the form of a tyrant and hideous ogre…  Most Catholic women facing this unpleasant decision, resent its overbearing male presence, a presence based on ” because I said so” and on stupidity, and not on love and understanding… The Catholic Church has the moral duty to offer an alternative… It does not have the duty to demand obedience and burn those at the stake it deems unrepentant….  We are no longer primitive; those days are gone..

If the Catholic Church wishes to remain viable, it needs to address the problem of how it is perceived by others.  As most fools do not understand when they are being made fun of, the Catholic Church seems carelessly dimissive of any criticism… Instead, it would be a good idea, to directly address the Church’s inconsistencies,  to recognize them as being given by God himself, and to work with God to opportunitize those events to make a better world.

The Church will not be righted by changing what has worked well for it over thousands of years… Comparatively most other denominations are younglings… Instead, the Church will be righted by returning to its basics… love and caring for its neighbors and those less fortunate…  That even means loving him whom one considers to be a sinner, as well as those one holds up as saints…

Fortunately, i believe the Pope is on the right track.. I was impressed by his audiences this past summer. So too is our own bishop here in Wilmington…

But to protest an elected official of the world’s economic savior and deny him the sacrament… meanwhile coddling a pedophile by moving him from place to place, and dismissing the trail of ruined lives as a necessary liability…. is….well…. you tell me….what’s your opinion?