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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 Dow Jones fell 216 points or 1.6%.

Because of no new news on any movement by the Republicans in regards to the sequester.

It is simple.  Let us take the United States of America.

Our current tax on income nets us about \$1.4 trillion.   If divided equally upon every American (315 m) we would all owe  \$4444.44 dollars.  Pretty nifty right?

But that includes children. So, if we tax every working person fairly,  that is about 131 million of us,  each of us to be fair and pay the same amount would chip in \$10, 687.

It shouldn’t matter how much one makes.  Everyone in a “fair” system should bear the brunt equally, right?

But some people simply don’t make \$10,000 dollars.  Should all their totals then go to the Federal Government until they at least reach that  thresh hold?  And what about state and local taxes which are on top of these? They won’t get paid?

Of course not.

So we write off those who don’t make enough.  They are off the roles.

But shouldn’t they pay something?  Fairness says they should. But what? And if they don’t pay, who then should pick up their costs?  To be fair, shouldn’t it be split among everyone else?

Let’s answer that yes and see where it takes us.

Let us write off those making less than \$10,000.  They can work without getting taxed and the rest us us pick up their slack.

The number of those making less then \$10,000 are  roughly 38 million of us.  So if we take the entire tax burden and spread it equally, … we get the rest of us workers (131-38 ) 94 million of us share the \$1.4 trillion dollar burden to the tune of \$14,893 assessed upon each one….

We have two problems with this fairness model.  The first is that now, those making \$15,000 a year, are working strictly for the Federal Government.  They have \$0 dollars to spend.  The second fairness issue, is that those making only up to \$10,000 in earnings keep all their money, but those between \$10,000 and \$15,000 now have nothing!  And of course those making \$20,000 are scrapping to live off the \$5,000 they have left, which is half of what those making only \$10,000 have to spend.

Something is wrong with this “fair tax”.  It doesn’t  seem very fair now, does it?

Ok, so let’s jump it to \$30,000.  A single person can live on \$27,000 so let us make that the cut off point.  After all, they can get a cheap apartment at \$1250 a month, pay off the utilities at \$500 a month,  eat on \$500 a month, and at \$30,000  they can have \$3000 for “others”….

So if the cut off is \$30,000 then that wipes off the taxpaying roles  of 82,340,000 of us…  So those that are now left,  (131 – 82) .. 49,000,000 must bear the shared amount of  the rest.  Our shared total is (\$1.4 trillion divided by 49 million)  or \$28,571, well below the \$30,000 threshold…

Well, now we are on to something!

If we divided the assessment up  according to the fair tax principals  every American making over \$30,000 would pay \$28,571… each.

We are told “this is fair” by the Flat Taxers, of which Huckabee is one.   From the rich man’s perspective it seems fair that the 81 of us making over \$50,000,000 a year pay the same as everyone else making \$30,000 a year or more.

for them it is like a community assessment fee.  Everyone who buys into America pays the same total into the same fund.

But,  from the bottom there are problems.  Again those making \$30,000 a year have \$30,000 in disposable income; those making \$30,001 have \$1430 to live off of for one whole year.  Likewise as one goes up the ladder the same imbalance continues.  Only until ones income has cross the \$58,571 dollar mark, is he bringing home as much as is that person making \$30,000 a year.  In fact, someone making \$40,000 a year is bringing home the exact equivalent of someone making \$11,430 a year…

And this is supposed to be fair….

To hide this fact from you, those advocating a fair tax coach the terms in percentages….  that for one, makes it hard for all of us non-math majors to see how unfair their proposal is, and two,  one can accept that paying the same percentage is fair because it sounds more fair…

Unfortunately whether you coach it in percentages or dollars, it is still the same principle…

The US has \$5.8 trillion in annual taxable compensation…..  We need \$1.4 Trillion of that each year for discretionary spending.  Do the percentage and we find that it is….. 24.13%….

So everyone pays one quarter for every dollar earned.   If you are rich, that’s a lot of money.  Presidential Romney pays less than 13% on the one year he would show us.  It is a 11% jump for him.  (Remember this is what gets paid; there are no other deductions to diminish the totals in a flat tax scheme).  An 11% jump?  About time he paid his fair share!!!

Again, that sounds great.  But of those 81 making over \$50,000,000 a year… only make up 0.00005% of the population.

On the other hand, these starting from the bottom, get hit pretty hard…..

• <\$10,000  = \$7500 live on income
• <\$20,000  = \$15,000 live on income
• <\$30,000  = \$22,500 live on income
• <\$40,000  = \$30,000 live on income
• <\$50,000  = \$37,500 live on income
• <\$60,000  = \$45,000 live on income

So what we are saying is that it would be fair to simply suck 25% of taxable wages right out of our economy.

A curious question.  So how does a “fair tax” impact ones economy? Aside from the obvious that we now have to step up assistance payment to the lower echelons thereby incurring even more of an expense,  sucking this much money out that was previously untaxed,  actually makes quite a dent.

If  we are taxing 25% of all wages under \$60,000, those 122 million of us are turning over \$432 billion out of the \$2.73 trillion all of us making under \$60,000 earned…. sucking it out from our economy into the coffers of the US Treasury.

The cumulative wages of those few (42,000) making over \$450,000 come up to close to \$426 billion…  We take that amount and cull our 25% , the government gets \$106 billion  and those few get to keep  the remainder, \$320 billion .

So if you believe the “fair” tax is truly “fair” you subscribe to the belief that it is “fair” for someone to live off \$7500, well under the cost of living,  and then get reimbursed with food stamps, Medicaid, and Earned Income Tax Credit, simply so that someone making \$50,000,000 each year gets to pay the same rate because saying so makes it “fair”…

If we decided to give a tax break again to those making under \$10,000,  all of those 38 million earning an aggregate of  \$152 billion would have their portion of  income tax spread out across the rest of America’s taxpayers.  Just to only spread that to the top echelon alone, if those earning over \$400,000 paid the entire amount of the \$38 billion taken from those earning under \$10,000, it would amount to only a total cumulative tax rate of 33.8%…

Which is pretty fair….

Because the truth is, that through manipulation of tax laws and the politicization of deductions within the tax structure, we don’t really have an income tax here in the United States of America.  What we do have, is a tax on income over those amounts required for deemed necessary expenses.

If you are wealthy and you still feel you are paying more of your money out in taxes, there is something fair you can do about that…. pay your employees a lot more.  The more they make, the more of the burden of the tax load they can afford to take away from you.   There is a very good reason right now, they are now paying less in taxes.

They are making a lot less ….  Likewise, you should be paying a lot more in taxes, because…. you are making a lot more.

That is fair.

I’ve commented on a lot of local blogs today. There is a common theme that needs pulled up for discussion.

Can we trust today’s polls?

Chart Courtesy of Michael Brogan, Political Forecaster(right click for full view)

I say no.

First, the numbers being given do not match the 80% support Obama has on the street.

Second, with today’s technology, it is rudely simplistic to assume that polls aren’t being tweaked. Even as simply as choosing who to call, That one factor can throw a poll off the deep end. And don’t think, you’re cookies don’t tell everyone how you vote…

Hmmm, who should we call to represent Delaware… kavips? … or Ms. Evans?… it is that easy.

Third. The average national poll consists of 700 people. That means 7 people can throw a percent; 4 people throw it, if you round up or down. And you tell me you can’t “randomly” find 4 more conservatives than progressives, or vice-versa?

Fourth. The polling organizations are companies that pay out dividends to someone. People buy stock; they want results. Obviously reporting that a race is over in August, does little to generate more polls. More polls equal more revenue. There is considerable pressure to keep a national race appearing closer, than it really is.

Fifth. Who checks the veracity of pollsters? No one. There is no watchdog exacting penalties over fake results. So how do we trust it is real? Exactly. We can’t…

That is enough. Polling is only believable if it fits in with the general scheme of things as we see it.. If 80% of the population is hopeful this recovery is real, and happy about YAY! JUST PAID UNDER \$3.50 FOR A GALLON OF GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, then any poll not showing Obama leading 80 to 20 is simply a fabrication of one’s imagination…..

And in local elections? Forget it. Ask your neighbor who their county commissioner is? Yep. Exactly.

Chris Dodd…

I used to admire him. I used to defend him… When Republicans lashed out at his Wall Street reform bill, I was right there, finger on the trigger, mowing them down……

But, the dude has since had a stroke and has sold out… In fact, quite a few Democrats have sold out…

In case you did not hear, Chris Dodd, who incidentally is now head of the most corrupt institution in America, the MPAA (Movie Pictures Association of America)…. went on Fox News…
(Fox News? ) to blast his fellow Democrats…….

“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,”

(Dude, Fox News just owned you; do you not know how often Republicans will play that very indicting clip IN EVERY DISTRICT this upcoming election cycle?)

Couple that with the threat made on Wednesday , that if Obama did not throw his full support behind the existing SOPA or PIPA bills currently up for vote, then Hollywood was withholding all their donations this time around…….. we begin to see the big picture…..

Washington is just stupid.

Allow me to qualify that…

Since the “boiling over” of frustration from August’s flub of a standard debt ceiling passage, the overload that gave the Occupy Movement immense credibility and resonance when it began it’s long drawn-out protest, normal everyday Americans are waking up to the notion that their government is totally corrupt, completely bought out, and not one damn bit interested in what they are experiencing or have to say……..

Then, on a day when their most trusted sources of knowledge (Internet) go black, Chris Dodd makes a blundering threat that confirms and amplifies EXACTLY about what Americans are concerned….

Their politicians are bought, sold, and paid for…….

SOPA And PIPA are symbols of a greater evil: The horrific evil that BIG BUSINESS is taking over the world… (That is an exaggeration, but then again, symbols always are) …

If Dodd truly, as he expressed in the NY Times Opinion Piece, wanted to turn things around and come to a more reasonable result, the approach he took is exactly how NOT to do it.

When people are concerned that the laws hurting them, are passed out of intimidation over campaign funding, to threaten politicians publicly with intimidation, is exactly how NOT to go……

So….

If Washington is broken, how do we fight back?

By boycotting Hollywood…. (Forget the distraction of the puppets; aim the snout of your rifle upwards at the hidden puppeteer.)

How is that possible?

Do not pay for movies.
Do not pay for television.
Do not pay for anything but independent artists.

Independent artists…btw, are really cool…..

Nerein me lifetime, would I be havin’ thought I`d be seein’ myself, on th’ side o’ swashbucklers…

The fine distinction between patriot an’ gentleman o’ fortune, simply depends on who owns th’ wealth….

Robin Hood be a gentleman o’ fortune o’ sorts. From th’ rich t’ th’ poor. An’ th’ wealthy estates hire a Sheriff t’ hunt th’ lad’s down like one….

Sir Drake, filled th’ coiffers o’ England`s treasury, yet attacked Spanish galleons flyin’ th’ Jolly Roger.

American Merchantmen, plundered British merchant ships plyin’ th’ Caribbean. Th’ British called them Swashbucklers.

Southerners plundered Northern ships. The’r counter-band supplied th’ Confederacy fer voyages…

So ye be seein’, when ye use th’ term Swashbuckler, ‘t implies that someone has taken what ye thought ye had already successfully plundered….

There be nay sweet trade on th’ internet. Thar be what them who think they own th’ starboards t’, think be sweet trade, but that definition be open t’ interpretation…..

You make a movie; ye sell tickets. Ye sell television starboards. Ye sell ‘t t’ Wal*mart… Ye be done..
If th’ internet be free, then ‘t needs t’ be completely free…

If ’tis illegal fer any government t’ determine what goes on inside a church, then ‘t needs t’ be illegal fer any government t’ decide what swabbies can an’ cannot be seein’ on th’ internet…..

The shutterin’ down o’ MegaUpload, has stopped all file sharin’ across th’ globe. That be good fer Hollywood. But as Gingrich aptly expresses… Why ortin’ ta th’ world suffer fer Hollywood`s greed?

Think about ‘t… I cannot find ou’ what Spain be doin’ t’ augment th’ problem o’ excess wind energy, on accoun’ o’ MegaUpload be nay functionin’.

`Tis surreal… Better t’ go Bollywood, then Hollywood….

(assistance wi’ translation handled by syddware.com)

Brian Selander to those of you who don’t know, is a really good guy… I bet he wishes (like most dads), that he had more time to spend with his children….

It happens quickly. You get a call. You just sat down at the dinner table. It’s a Sunday, the only time you ever get to spend with your family, … and it’s a reporter who says: “Occupy Delaware just defied the state government and is staking a claim at that plaza beside the Federal Building in Wilmington. Do you want to go on record with any statement or comment, considering you have now been defied and all?”

You want to say, “I’m eating dinner with my family. Leave me alone, Ms Reporter!”… but you don’t.

Instead the words come out without you thinking as that delicious smell of food that you almost had in your mouth, becomes all you really care about, and that professional part of you that functions so much that it is automatic, takes over and says something like: “The state made a very reasonable offer with the use of state managed properties at Brandywine and Fletcher Brown park,” Selander said. “It was an offer that respected constitutional rights to be heard and assemble. They’ve chosen a different path.”

Thinking you made a neutral statement that says nothing but holds them off for a while, you exit and go back to your dinner.

You can be forgiven. I WOULD HAVE SAID THE SAME THING, primarily because I wouldn’t have had time to think about it first….

But thinking changes things, a lot.

This is not some ragtag group of protesters. These are former professionals, people currently employed or not, who are scared to death, that their country is going down the wrong path, fast. As much as you and Jack have been scrambling to bring jobs here to Delaware, YOU KNOW THEY ARE RIGHT!!

We ARE going down the wrong path, … and HAVE BEEN, ever since the 2000 elections! And the nuts who got elected from conservative districts in 2010, haven’t helped!

What you have underestimated, Brian, is the amount of resonance this movement has. They, are expressing the sentiments of a vast majority of humanity. Those human beings have looked for “hope” when “change” was promised… and not delivered. They looked with “promise”, when “throwing out the bums” was “delivered”, but things got worse. What you may not realize is that most Americans look at this Occupy Movement, and say, “finally, finally, someone is saying what we feel. Even better, someone is doing something about it! It may not be much, but at least, SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING!”

You, dear colleague, have the most unenviable task. In a way, you are in the exact same position as was King George’s governor of Massachusetts, attempting to put down the rebellious nature of its citizens…. If you remember history, you have only one time, ONE TIME, to get it right. Had the British immediately repealed the Stamp Act, and said, “thanks Colonies, for bringing it to our attention; you’re right, it was stupid of us to try that! Forgive us, we’ll do our best to act better in our future,” seriously, we’d be speaking Kings English right now. There would be no United States of America because there would not have been an American Revolution. In fact, as things continued to unravel in the colonies, the British did just that: repealed the Stamp Act. (Yep, it was too late.)

Instead, the initial reaction was a response to those catcalls from the insignificants on the sidelines: “are you letting them get away with it? Are you some kinda pussy or something” (To be perfectly clear, I am talking about real cats here). They felt they had to show who was in charge and they cracked down, killing 6 in a massacre, and then later, sneaking off to the arsenals of Lexington and Concord to confiscate their powder and arms….

Today no one knows off the top of their head, the name of that governor of Massachusetts. But his actions, at his expense, planted the seed that grew into the greatest nation this planet has ever known.

Since you are a great guy, and have a family, and are in a very, very difficult position right now, I’m going to advise you how to work your way out of it… I could do it in an email, but I fully believe in public disclosure, for the simple reason that if I do it here, all know, and if the possibility rises that a flaw exists, someone is sure to point it out in public, and the action in question can be amended to cover that detail. Make sense?

Never give into bullies. The bullies here are NOT the “Occupy Movement.” They are Greg Lavelle and the 9/12 Patriots. How many Republicans are there in Delaware? You don’t need them. You do need the rest of us. So what I would do, is strategically take this approach.

“These people are citizens of this nation. They are protected by the U.S Constitution like everyone else. We are a fee based society. Sometimes, like the poll tax, those fees get in the way of pure democracy. Heaven forbid, that democracy could only exist, for those who could afford to pay a fee. In fact, the Stamp Act by the British, that event that triggered the American Revolution, was exactly that. A fee for a permit. Currently, the Occupy Movement is representing the revolutionary spirit that created this country. Likewise, they represent the moral equivalent of those who felt slavery, despite it’s being sanctioned by the Federal government, was intensely immoral, and an abomination. They too, like those who said it was wrong to have a second class citizenry, based solely upon the color of ones skin, even though that too, was approved and sanctioned by State governments around this nation.

For this reason, we are going to issue permits for this group. They have the same right as every citizen in America, to make their grievances known. When the wealthy lost an election, they had money to advertise, set up rallies, buy media spokespersons, pour unheard amounts of money into tiny local campaigns. But when the poor want to do the same, we say, sorry, you can’t because you don’t have cash…. and your checks come back stamped: insufficient funds.

One must wonder, if our current mayor, yes, that one who got his start during the Civil Rights movement right here in Wilmington, would be here today, if he, failed, yes, failed to lead a protest on some steps near here, because to do so, he would have first, had to pay a fee?

A fee/permit system is the surest method to silence the poor. Yet those who can’t afford it, were expressly given the same rights under the Constitution of the United States of America. They were given them, simply because, we were going to be a nation designed like no other, where each person, no matter his income, had the equal right to life, to liberty, and to their individual pursuit of happiness..

Like Philadelphia to the north of us, Baltimore to the south of us, New York to the northeast of us, we too will allow these citizens of the Occupy movement, to make their grievances known, in their own way. Their symbol of communication, is with tents. We ask, and have been given assurances, that they will respect every other citizen’s rights and property, in their pursuit of expressing their message.

We wish them luck with their endeavor.

Done.

Simple, short, to the point. Your second term is safe.

But, it couldn’t hurt to have the entire line of Democratic office holders, sail by Greg Lavelle, the GOP, and the 9/12 with gun-ports open, cannons fully loaded and primed, and unleash a fusilade of the like that has never before been seen, equating Greg Lavelle, the GOP, and the 9/12 Patriots with the likes of King George, Southern Plantation Owners, and Southern Whites who enforced segregation. That’s exactly what they are. Hanging on to power by impeding democracy; not celebrating it.