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« An Evening with the Tea Party Patriots | Main | Singularity Signposts – Cognitive Computing Milestone »

18 August 2011

Comments

Mikey McD

Clear Creek = "more than 97 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in specialized science." Congrats Cougars!

Mikey McD

There is no greater barrier to the education of our children than the teachers union(s).

Russ Steele

I wonder how the Charter Schools compared to the union run schools? Might be an interesting comparison!

Steve Enos

Two words... Charter Schools. They seem to be working better and they give parents an option of where to school their kids.

Todd Juvinall

So SteveE did your kids go to a charter school?

Kathy Jones

I had to smile at one of out local blue buddies who posted this idea (DougK, I believe):

"taking classes on line and passing tests for cash rewards, 1/2 of which is sent to their families on the outside, 35% is placed in savings accounts, 10% to victims funds, and 5% which is available to spend in prison" ( Actually considering this idea, I think the 35% should be used to PAY for room and board). But I can't hep but wonder where the "cash reward" would come from for those in prison!

First off I do not believe ANY person should be paid to learn in schools.

Students are being paid via taxes which provide them the opportunity to learn. But with that being said, what would happen if we used the above idea for kids. Replace the "teens" with the idea of prisoners being paid to learn! At least the "cash rewards" would go to those who have not committed a crime!

Greg Goodknight

Yes, Nevada County schools "suck".

There are many good teachers at every school but there is little recourse when your child had a bad one, and there are many of those here,too.

This is not Lake Woebegone. Out schools have problems that have been swept inder the rug for years.

Russ Steele

I agree with Greg. We had four daughters go through middle school and high school in Nevada County. When we arrived from Nebraska our middle schoolers were so far ahead of the their peers, we had problem keeping our children challenged and focused. We had several kick a$$ and take name sessions at the high school, resulting in the departure of one part time teacher, and several class room teacher changes and finally, our oldest taking classes at Sierra rather than wasting time at NU in her senior year. For our youngest, Ellen volunteered for the site councils at Nevada City Elementary and Seven Hills and I got involved in the Seven Hill science classes. Any parent that ignores what is going on at their children's school, is doing their children a disservice. Yes, there are good teacher and some terrible teachers. The trick is making sure your children get the best available.

We had a one daughter graduate from NU with a 4.0 and then when she got to UC Davis she had to take remedial math, due to the weak math teachers at NU. We investigated and discovered that the math department had a marginal certification. It was kick a$$ and take names time!

Ellen and I agree, if we had to do it over again, we would home schooled out youngest, who was only 2 when we moved to Nevada County. NU was a huge waste of her time and talent. One saving grace was the ROP program where she learned computer graphics and printing skills, which she leverage into a web development business, and end up tutoring her college professors on how to create and manage their web pages. She developed some of Nevada County's first web sites.

Parents, if you have students in Nevada County Schools get involved, your children's future is at stake!

Greg Goodknight

Russ, when was that?

Jeff Pelline

Lots of bitter-sounding parents here.

Douglas Keachie

Yes Greg, money is not an incentive ever for people to learn and study and solve problems, unless of course you are a CEO, or a professional working in his/her field. Then money as a motivator works just great...and the Easter bunny lays chocolate eggs in Greg's universe as well.

Douglas Keachie

Kathy, that was such a Gregorian comment that I assumed it was the High Priest of Knowledge Himself.

Douglas Keachie

Kathy, you should really reconsider. If 35% of x is used to pay for room and board, and x is $46,000, you are talking really serious money for each prisoner here.

Russ Steele

Greg,

We came back to Nevada County in 1980. We lived in Grass Valley for two years while building our house on Banner Lava Cap. The first three daughters went to middle school and high school in 80s, the youngest graduated in from NU in 1996, CalPoly in 2000. Two oldest went to UC Davis and two youngest to Cal Poly. Wish all had gone to CalPoly.

Douglas Keachie

Here is a good overview of Nevada Union High School:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/3535402940/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Greg Goodknight

Reposting info from the other thread:

Here's the similar schools page for the whole county:
http://ayp.cde.ca.gov/reports/AcntRpt2010/2009Base_Co.aspx?cSelect=29,Nevada&c=R

Note the following Nevada County Schools have wretched 1 similar school ranks (meaning the bottom 10%):
Scotten
Nevada City School of the Arts
Yuba River Charter
Williams Ranch Elementary
Pleasant Valley Elementary
Ready Springs Elementary

There are a few decent schools here, but the good news is sparse. Had Pelline done his job at The Union, he could have figured this out long ago.

Of the regular schools in the county, only Deer Creek Elementary with an 8 similar schools ranking, and Pleasant Ridge Elementary with a 7, exceeded expectations.

Taken as a whole, yes, our schools "suck". And that's in relationship to California schools, which "suck" compared to the nation as a whole.


Kathy Jones

Doug,

I have no problem with people using their education to become successful.

In school grades are your reward for work (if you are lucky enough to go to an excellent school where those grades are an accurate indication of learning). Funny how grades have not become averaged (socialized) among all students so all are treated fairly like so many want to do with incomes earned. When you look at the scores and the dumbing down of California education, maybe that is really what is happening.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I would love to see the STAR test results of home schooled students in Nevada County.

Douglas Keachie

"Taken as a whole, yes, our schools "suck". And that's in relationship to California schools, which "suck" compared to the nation as a whole."

And yet we cannot find enough room in the UC campuses for all the students who have completed the requirements and scored 4.0 gpa's or higher?? What a mystery!

The funny thing is, those other schools out of county that are DOING SO MUCH BETTER, all have union employees of their own. Another mystery to be solved ?

Douglas Keachie

Where do the NU and Bear River STAR scores place those schools among all California schools?

What are those scores?

What are the year to year responsibilities of a school that scores 800 or higher?

Now please attend the next school assembly, get up on stage and state your words to the students:

"Taken as a whole, yes, our schools "suck". And that's in relationship to California schools, which "suck" compared to the nation as a whole."

and please run for office, any office, we all need a good laugh.

Kathy Jones

Doug,

Those slots for the 4.0+ gpa students from California seats are being filled with out of country and out of state students who pay the big bucks, much more than the UC system would get from California for those same seats!

Education is now about money, is seems, not about learning!

bill tozer

Yep, our California schools may suck and half our kids are not proficient for their grade level, but at least the kids feel good about themselves.

George Rebane

Since many readers here also frequent the FUE's blog, I wish to draw your attention to some blatant yellow journalism on that site.

“Do our schools really suck? (working title)” asks George Rebane on his political blog, Rebane’s Ruminations. The Union and KVMR also has invited George to be a regular commentator.

“I don’t know whether that overstates the case, but in any event it’s not that far off.”

Huh? Rebane is talking about STAR test scores released this week (only one metric to measure whether a school “sucks” or not). Sure, there’s room for improvement — and the administrators admit as much — but the scores do not justify suggesting the schools might “suck.”

In fact — get this — Ghidotti High ranks #5 in the state of 1768 public high schools, according to one website whose rankings are based on the latest STAR Test Scores. Ghidotti is an ongoing success. It should be praised.

Besides his “analysis,” Rebane throws in this personal zinger:

“Don’t be too hard on them, though, since when STAR testing first started, after the Jon Byerrum experiment in whole math and whole language had a few years to take hold, fully half of their 3rd graders (the first class to get whole math with both barrels) were in the bottom quartile in both math and language.

“I understand from The Union and KNCO that County Sup. of Education Holly Hermansen is studying the results to see just where the problems are in our schools, but I expect Ms. Hermansen (aka Mrs. Jon Byerrum) has her eyes wide shut as to the root causes.”

Wow. No comment from either, of course.

Perhaps there is no comment from either because I never wrote the above "personal zinger" that Pelline claims I did. Unfortunately, this type of journalism is the best of which Pelline is capable because such quotes and attributions are standard fare that he dishes out to his readers. I too have found Jeff Pelline to be a liar.

Greg Goodknight

4.0 used to mean perfection, but with the arrival of classes said to be advanced and given a 5 point scale, the meaning of 4.0 has been heavily diluted. Especially when so many schools don't bother to have many of their students take the AP exam to validate their grade.

At NU, because of the 5 point scale of many of the college prep classes, there are a gaggle of kids above 4.0 every year, and the school awards all of them the title "Valedictorian" even though only one is selected to give a valedictory address. A few years ago when my son was in that group is was a nice experience to be among a bunch of great kids and nice parents for dinner but I was shocked by how few were going to 4 year colleges after graduation and how few were going to top tier universities.

Kim.pruett@att.net

My girls have been in Pleasant Ridge Schools and I am happy with the education they are getting so far. Pleasant Ridge was ranked the top in the County in over all scores. The thing I like is that they offer advanced classes for those students who excell,Lilly is doing Geometry class this year in 8th grade and did Algebra last year in 7th, they have very high expectations for the students and they do programs such as ASP and Odysey of the Mind, in fact they strive to be the best in those areas by sending kids to Worlds and Nationals almost every year. There is a lot of parent involvement in the schools there. My Daughter Lilly is also involved with Star Makers which is a great jazz choir program, she has learned so much about music and art. So I think the Pleasant Ridge school system is well-rounded in their programs and I am very happy with what they are getting at the public schools they are at. I have always thought and still think that it is the Parent's responsibility to educate their child, an active role in their education by staying involved and making sure they are being challenged and that they are being well taught is up to the Parent. I think in the past 8 years of Lilly being in public school, she has never had one bad teacher, but I know we are blessed to be in such a wonderful school district. We also had thought about sending them to Mount St. Mary's Academy because of the small class sizes and excellent education but we have been really happy so far with public education.

Steve Enos

Kim... nice post.

"it is the Parent's responsibility to educate their child, an active role in their education by staying involved and making sure they are being challenged and that they are being well taught is up to the Parent"

Yes!

Greg Goodknight

Kim, when my son was at Hennessey School (GVSD) circa '95, they rolled out what was then the cutting edge of elementary mathematics curriculums, "Mathland". This was said to tap into how girls and minorities (no joke) best learned math, and it was also great for the kids who did well in those boring old traditional approaches, high socioeconomic status white boys. The GVSD trumpeted how this would unlock the "mathematical power" of all children. My wife Teri (BS Math, MS Electrical Engineering) did a lot of volunteering in the classroom and saw a different reality.

Pleasant Ridge, since Mathland was immediately the #1 curriculum by sales to California schools, also acquired Mathland but dropped it like a hot potato after a couple of months. They were just not seeing any of that "mathematical power" the GVSD did.

When the first STAR exams (at the time, SAT9) were given two years later, Pleasant Ridge was among the top districts in the state and the GVSD had half the kids in my son's cohort in the bottom quartile, a dismal showing for a "California Distinguished School". However, starting in the 2nd grade our son was at Mt.St. Mary's School. I wasn't happy about having to pay extra for what my property taxes were already paying for, and getting a helping of religion which I'd also have preferred not to have my kid given, but the alternative seemed to be intellectual damage and there weren't any better choices open to us.

Mathland crashed and burned as there was not a single normed assessment that showed it was effective *anywhere*. The first wave of kids Mathlanded in the 1st grade graduated from NU in 2007 and the trailing edge is still there. The GVSD ended up moving to the Saxon texts as a remedial effort to dig out of their hole and it's a shame they didn't choose to accept John Saxon's offer of a free classroom's worth of books for each grade in 1995; the only payment he wanted for that pilot was to give a standardized test at the beginning and at the end, with the results made public.

The Pleasant Ridge Schools seem excellent, I'd not have felt shortchanged had my son belonged to them instead of the GVSD.

PeteK

Kim,
You made two Outstanding comments(statements)on this issue. One: "There is a lot of parent involvement".
Two:"I think it is the parents responsibility to educate their child an active role in their education by staying involved and making sure they are being challenged and being taught well".
If all parents had this type of thinking our test scores would increase dramatically. As for all these statistics...they are nothing more than subjective crap that politicans use as a platform. Well said Kim, if you ever decide to run for school board let me know I will be on your team!

Russ Steele

I agree with Kim, it is vital that parents participate in their children's education. We were involved through out the education of our four girls. They are all now successful professional women, making their own contributions to society.

George Rebane

Thank you Kim for confirming that the established tautology of educating children still holds. When the state seeks to minimize the involvement of parents, we get what we have. The role of parents is especially visible in immigrant communities in which parents, though poor, belong to a culture that honors and places high value on being educated. They sacrifice everything to give their kids the best education they can afford. I grew up in such a household.

And none of this benefit from parent involvement requires yet more state spending and teacher sinecures.

Greg Goodknight

George, from timestamps it appears Pelline was up all night... Being caught in an obvious lie intended to cause real damage to my reputation was probably part of it. "LOL"

Jeff, I know you're reading this, George correctly attributed those quotes to me. If you go to Holly Hermansen for comment, you might ask her about that FOIA request of mine that she turned down. Some years ago, an anonymous donor gave the County Office (then headed by McAteer) $50K in order to fund the initial work towards establish the International Baccalaureate in Nevada County schools. Some money went to Nevada Union (Maggie Dietz, a colleague of McAteer when both were at BRHS, was the district super), some money went to the GVSD which was run by Jon Byerrum. Dietz was clear when she first told me of this in passing that it was meant to be a replacement for the AP classes that the District already had invested in and are quite good.

I asked who the donor was, and to see the documents relating to the IB investigation. The NJUHSD refused the request and deferred to the County as the controlling entity; Ms. Hermansen (Mrs. Jon Byerrum), then running the County Office of Education, refused the request, in effect wanting to make sure donors who want to effect curricular changes in the future can do so in secret.

I'd still love to know where that money came from.

Douglas Keachie

"Those slots for the 4.0+ gpa students from California seats are being filled with out of country and out of state students who pay the big bucks, much more than the UC system would get from California for those same seats!

Education is now about money, is seems, not about learning!"

And is that the fault of the college administrators, or the faculty, or the students?

Or is it the fault of the corporations and Tea Party types greedily withholding taxes, preferring instead to fund prisons, to lock up those who commit crimes of theft? How Ironic!

Douglas Keachie

Note to Kim and George. While the addy Kim posted has been changed to a link, spiders will grab the addy and add it to spamlists. I would just sign in as Kim Pruett, if you wish to avoid spam. The more att has to filter, the slower your mail deliver will be.

Douglas Keachie

The following questions have now been answered over at Jeff Pelline's blog.

I am still waiting for Greg Goodknight to answer them here:

Where do the NU and Bear River STAR scores place those schools among all California schools?

What are those scores?

What are the year to year responsibilities of a school that scores 800 or higher?

Now please attend the next school assembly, get up on stage and state your words to the students:

"Taken as a whole, yes, our schools "suck". And that's in relationship to California schools, which "suck" compared to the nation as a whole."

and please run for office, any office, we all need a good laugh.

Greg Goodknight

If, by the socioeconomic status of their parents, a school that is scoring 805 *should* be scoring closer to *900*, the school has a responsibility to note the problems and improve. In the case of NU, it isn't just their problem as they have districts of wildly varying quality feeding them.

I listed a large number of Nevada County schools that have the abysmally low similar schools ranking of "1"; there is no way to spin this positively. BRHS has gotten a bit better and is (by this soon to be outdated listing) now a "2". NUHS is a "3", but both BRHS and NUHS apparently cook their books by moving weak students to the myriad small schools kids the district operates, where they are sent to fail away from the schools they wish to protect.


Steve Frisch

I have always believed that education is primarily and remains a parents responsibility. Nice comments Kim.

I did not go to particularly good public schools....Chicago....Berwyn....Columbia, mo....etc. But my parents spent an extra hour a day with each one of the three kids and it make us believe in lifelong education.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, as I have already pointed out several times here:

The data they collect to determine "socioeconomic" status is so badly flawed (lacking in collection standards, verification, and amount of information (totally minimalist)) I amazed that you as an arch champion of science are still defending the supposed results depending on it.

Douglas Keachie

"but both BRHS and NUHS apparently cook their books by moving weak students to the myriad small schools kids the district operates, where they are sent to fail away from the schools they wish to protect."

This is a common practice in school districts everywhere, so it cancels out.

Barry Pruett

Well said dear. I could not have said it better myself. LOL.

Greg Goodknight

Given Keachie's history of, shall we say, incoherent and incomplete analysis, I'll stick with what the California Department of Education says.

Keach, the CDE is a Democratic stronghold, I'm sure they'll be happy to hear from you and will be receptive to your straightening them out on their Similar Schools statistics. Let us know how it goes.

Greg Goodknight

Here's what Keachie wrote elsewhere:


Parent Education Level (STAR)
Percentage with a response* 94
Of those with a response:
Not a high school graduate 1
High school graduate 15
Some college 34
College graduate 29
Graduate school 21
*This number is the percentage of student answer documents with stated parent education level information.

In short, they depend on less than 1 student in 15 of a total population, using only those who choose to volunteer the information, and there are no efforts at checking the data for truthiness or reliability at all!

FAIL!


Umm, Keachie, "Percentage with a response* 94" means they have roughly 14 students out of 15 giving a response, not 1 of 15. You apparently have it exactly inverted. "LOL"

Douglas Keachie

Greg is correct, but not on the inverted part. My vision, which is damaged by glaucoma, read the numbers, without picking up on the percentage aspect of the situation. The result was reading as totals, the percentages. If read that way, the 1 in 15 is correct.

Still, if this is the backbone of what they are doing to establish socio-economic status, and no verification is done, it is bad science. As Greg has well implied, there are more things than thermometers that are graduated and have degrees, without having any brains.

The quality of the schools the degrees are from can vary widely from community to community. If one community has all mail order degrees, and another has mostly Ivy league degrees, the earning and intellectual powers of the second community will be dramatically different, in most cases.

STAR testing was not designed by the teachers union, BTW.

Paul Emery

Let me recall a story that may be of interest to this topic. Several years ago I did a story on a retiring teacher from a Sacramento area high school. At that time the school was going through a serious accreditation problem because of low test scores and the teachers were being singled out as the probable problem. She told the story of a brother and sister of Vietnamese descent who could barely speak English when they started as Freshman and had to take special classes in reading and speaking English. They ended up graduated in the top 5% of the class, received scholarships to UC Universities and who knows where they are today. The essence of the story was that it wasn't the schools that were the problem as much as it was the home culture the children live in. This family did not allow television during the school week and created a home atmosphere each night that set aside two hours for study with family assistance and supervision. They had volunteer tutors from their church and made it clear to the children that it was a matter of family pride that that they do well in school.

I think this is the neglected factor in the education process. Proper family support and rules that encourage and support the educational efforts of the teachers and schools.

Keep in mind that this is a school that nearly lost it's accreditation. She said that it's nearly impossible to teach without family support and that most family's offered none. There you have it for what it's worth,

George Rebane

PaulE - your story puts another coat of varnish on what apparently all readers here have acknowledged as a paramount factor for educational success.

The part that we have yet to address is that parents in the land are effectively shut out by 'education professionals' in determining the content, conduct, and direction of the government schools that they fund. They have little/no say about the quality of instruction and the curriculum to which their children are subjected.

Being the best of supportive parents still falls short, even if the kid gets a straight A report card in a pabulum curriculum, and/or one that is taught by drastically deficient teachers.

Greg Goodknight

The percentages add up to 194,Keach. That's 94% of the kid'responding, and the responses adding up to 100%. Note 50% of parents were college grads which is also the avg for Marin County as a whole.

You owe me an apology. Nothing new there.

Douglas Keachie

The total of the percentage responding is 94% as they have indicated. If you add up each of the individual category percentages, you do not get 194. By golly you get, 100! 100 to 1500 is roughly the ratio I originally indicated.

I'd consider apologizing for my bad vision, but not until you state for the record what the state recommends for schools scoring above 800, and why it is so cool, and VALID, to have 2 and four year degrees lumped in together to determine the socio-econmic ratings for different districts.

Douglas Keachie

How the Rich Are Destroying the UC System:

By cutting taxes, UC is boosting out of state enrollment to 25%, up from 15%, despite plenty of well qualified California applicants. The überrich from out of state will not even be here as voters to support UC when there are issues involving UC in the legislature or bonds to be passed at the polls.

From the Huff Post:

More than a quarter of UC Berkeley students will not be California residents this year, up from 15% two years ago.

Berkeley, though the most dramatic example, is not the only UC School recruiting more out-of-state students. Out-of-state enrollment numbers have increased system wide.

Non-residents pay three times the tuition of in-state students which will certainly help the UC system, which is desperately hurting for cash. The newest California state budget reduced the system's state money by $650 million.

The LA Times has more:

UC admissions officials traveled widely last fall to recruit out-of-state students. UC officials emphasize that they are relatively late in pursuing such students and that many other public universities, such as those in Michigan and Virginia, enroll many more. Critics say it is another sign of what they contend is the privatization of California's public universities in response to state funding declines, and they warn that it will undermine political support for restoring funding.

.

"Demand from highly qualified and diverse California residents is stronger than ever," UC system President Mark Yudof told the San Francisco Chronicle."At the same time, several campuses have made progress in their goal to enroll a larger number of nonresident students."

Greg Goodknight

Looks like a trip off to keachiespace again.

Back in Nevada County, I hear public achool champion Jeff Pelline has his kid enrolled.in...
Drum roll, please...

[name of school deleted, see gjr 1031pm comment below]

Yet another case akin to a "Christian Scientist with appendicitis"

Shannon Pelline

This blog has hit a new low: Permitting the disclosure of where a child goes to school on the Internet.
Jeff and I have gone to public schools our whole lives, and we support them fully, but we are also interested in the religious element of education.
Please remove the reference to the preceding post for privacy reasons.
Thanks.

Paul Emery

George, the students I referred to were able to earn scholarships to major universities based on competitive evaluations of scholarship so the curriculum of the High School must have been adequate to qualify for higher educational standards. You seem to miss the point of what I said, that the commitment of the family to a child's education by providing a proper atmosphere and support for learning is essential whatever curriculum is being taught.

Are you proposing that each schools curriculum be determined by that schools parents? How do you propose that parental involvement be expressed.

My involvement with Charter Schools is pretty extensive and shows that in that format parental involvement is essential. That's why George Bush's No Child Left Behind was and is so resented by schools that chose an independent path.

Now don't try to tell me Bush didn't support NCLB. We've been through that already.

Douglas Keachie

I agree with Ms Pelline.

Now we need an investigation into how such confidential information came into the hands of a stranger, and if criminal prosecution is appropriate.

George Rebane

http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2011/05/elizabeth-lucas-grandpas-bragging-rights.html

Shannon Pelline

George,
We did not authorize the release of this information here. Don't you understand the difference?
Again, we ask that you remove that post for privacy reasons.
Thanks.

Douglas Keachie

George, there's a heckova difference between you bragging about your own kids on you own blog, and a stranger using confidential information to further his own inappropriate agendas.

George Rebane

Ms Pelline - your husband is an unfortunate public figure in this community. RR is an internet served weblog, and thus a public forum. I have no idea how RR commenters come upon any information they may post on this or any other blog, and/or whether that information may be true or not, and whether it may be publicly available or not. You should know that the school attended by the children of virtually all public figures, from the President on down, are known and regularly published to make some point or other.

I suggest that you take the matter up with Mr Greg Goodnight. Perhaps you could also engage the services of Mr Keachie for the ensuing "investigation into how such confidential information came into the hands of a stranger, and if criminal prosecution is appropriate."

Until advised by competent authority, to my knowledge nothing illegal has occurred in this comment stream. And your own husband can assure you that any revelation on RR will have very limited scope due to its painfully small readership.

However, in deference to your concerns about your child, I have deleted the name of the school mentioned in Mr Goodnight's 7pm comment.

Shannon Pelline

[Comment deleted due to its continuing excoriation of me and other RR commenters.]

George Rebane

PaulE – IMHO there was no misunderstanding of your 848pm comment. In no sense did I dismiss the beneficial effect of a student’s parents on his performance – it is there to various degrees no matter the curriculum or the proficiency of its delivery. That notion seems to have risen spontaneously in your mind. But so that I could reinforce my point – the benefits of the parents’ support is diminished to the extent that the curriculum is faulty or poorly delivered because the outside world will dun the student for faulty knowledge. As an example, consider parents fully in support of the student learning ‘new math’, the disastrous progressive experiment in teaching mathematics, which did not properly prepare students for follow-on math courses and nipped an unknown number of would be technical careers in the bud.

“Are you proposing that each school curriculum be determined by that schools parents? How do you propose that parental involvement be expressed?” Short answer, YES. That involvement could and has been implemented through appropriate parent/teacher organizations and other ad hoc activist groups where parents petition local school boards. Specific subjects that today are woefully fractured include history, English, civics, and mathematics.

On one end we have funding, curriculum, and texts coming down from federal and state levels for selected subjects that are required to be administered in a politically correct manner. On the other, we have parents, out of their own pockets, home schooling their kids through curricula determined by various home schooling associations which the parents join.

The educational failure of government schools are no more evident than in the public broadcast and print media where ‘journalism’ is practiced.

bill tozer

Kids are off limits. I think it was about 4 years ago the FUE wrote in The Union about his boy's first day of school at NU. I could be wrong. Might very well be. It might have been one of Jeff A's excellent writings. Do remember the FUE writing about his nephew playing football at Bear River and having the players over for ribs. Bar-b-qued ribs, yum yum. Then there was the story of the FUE taking the trip to the wine country and the wonderful meal he ate while down there. There was the story in The Union the FUE wrote about buying the picnic basket backpack and having a picnic with his new treasure, more yum yum. Who can forget the tragic story the FUE wrote in The Union about the time his expensive dinner in Nevada City was ruined because the police arrested a drunk driver right in front of restaurant's window. I always felt the FUE would be an excellent food critic for some magazine somewhere. But, I digress. Like Mrs FUE said, Kids are off limits.

George Rebane

Another thought on publishing the "confidential" and "private information" without the parents' permission pertaining to the schools attended by their minor children: how do newspapers and TV news broadcasters handle that when they constantly trumpet minors' names and the schools they attend in connection with scholastic, sports, arts, theatrical, ... events? To my knowledge, no releases are obtained from the parents for such information, and yet such information revealed through those channels has more than equal opportunity for doing good/harm as anything published in a blog with much more limited reach.

Thoughts?

Shannon Pelline

George,
Please repost my comment that you deleted, so your readers can more fully understand my point of view and the consequences of it. It seems like you have a double standard here: Deleting a comment you find uncomfortable but letting the name of our young child's school stand posted while I was asking that you remove it.

stevenfrisch

Seriously, George--Greg? Completely inappropriate.

Douglas Keachie

"how do newspapers and TV news broadcasters handle that when they constantly trumpet minors' names and the schools they attend in connection with scholastic, sports, arts, theatrical, ... events?"

Greg Goodknight comes under the heading of which of these?

A scholastic catastrophe?
Unsportmanlike conduct?
A poorly drawn comic?
A drama queen?

There is no such usage involved in this case, only an identity reveal of a minor of the type Greg was such a crybaby about on The Union commenter pages [R.I.P. free speech].

Greg, grow a pair and request of George that he remove the post, and all related posts.

George Rebane

Mrs Pelline – for the record:

1. No commenter, including Mr Goodnight, has named any of your children on RR.
2. No commenter, including Mr Goodnight, has brought your children into this discussion. The only apparent reason Mr Goodnight stated the name of a school in his 7pm comment was for the purpose of highlighting your family’s choice of schools, since your husband has injected himself into the discussion threads on public education, which also happens to be the topic of my current article above.
3. From received emails I understand that your husband has long publicized the school which your children attend. A simple google search confirms this in spades. Judging from the numerous and intimate descriptions of the school’s doings on his blog, one would have to be considerably dim of wit not to deduce where you send your children. However, that may be testimony to the unique profile of his readership, a topic out of scope here.
4. Attacking a RR reader/commenter through his children is out of bounds on this blog. To my knowledge this has not happened, and most certainly has not happened in this comment stream.
5. As I noted in my 1142pm comment, for as long as there has been an America, the public media have regularly published the names of minor children and the schools they attend as a matter of fact and without obtaining permission from their parents. However, after reflection and in due consideration for your expressed concern, I did redact the school named in Mr Goodnight’s 7pm comment.
6. Witnessing the current and previous RR comment streams, parents and grandparents therein have chosen to name both their children and the schools they attend without fear that such actions are imprudent. If there are special safety concerns pertaining to the Pelline children, then your husband has already flagrantly and repeatedly ignored such concerns.
7. Your husband has long attacked and continues to attack me and my readers in the most odious and incessant manner on both his blog and through his comments on RR. His postings stand as testimony to his character.
8. It is not unreasonable to conclude that this hue and cry about Mr Goodnight’s 7pm comment is part and parcel of the constant vituperation heaped on me and other RR readers. And it appears now that you and your husband are of a piece.
9. Given the above, I will delete without record all further comments of yours on this matter in the solid comfort that your concerns will be fully aired on your husband’s blog according to the standards for truth and accuracy applied thereon (a sample of which is available in my 901am comment above).
10. You and your husband continue to be welcome to post civil comments here about the topics which I cover in my articles.

Russ Steele

Here is a suggestion. Go to Google and type in the following

Jeff Pelline + [school name]

You will find five glowing stories about the [school name]. Stories that would lead you to believe that Jeff might be the parent of a student there. Just might, since he writes such glowing insightful reports. If he has no financial connection how did he get the insider information unless he was a participant? Do bloggers hang out at [school name] with out some connection to the school? Really? He has not written with the same insight about one of Nevada City's Elementary schools, so one might, just might, include that there was some connection to [school name]. Now what might that connection to [school name] be? --- one is left wondering!

[Have redacted school name per Mrs Pelline's concerns. gjr]

stevenfrisch

Here's a suggestion for George [and Russ]; perhaps if you don't want to be portrayed "in the most odious and incessant manner" and be the recipient of "constant vituperation", you should not allow you respective blogs to be used by your other users to do the same to other members of the community.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, buddy.

Greg Goodknight

And here I was concerned the rumor told to me on the streets of Nevada City might not be true.

Judging from the grammar and sentence structure, I'd guess that Mrs. Pelline was channeling her husband, who found himself unable to post under his own name and found a rhetorical device to falsely portray themselves as victims.

Jeff, if it's religion that convinced you to enroll your child there, you might talk to your priest about bearing false witness against your neighbor. Or laughing out loud about an event where a schoolteacher harmed multiple children of the neighborhood. Including mine, which is probably what tickled Jeff's funnybone.

My son spent 7 years there after the local public schools failed him and our family. While they've had some unfortunate turmoil related to finances and parental powerplays in the meantime, our local St.Sensible remains one of the few escapes from the local public schools when they do not meet the needs of the student.

George Rebane

SteveF, as a serious response to your 923am, I am working on the problem. Nevertheless, the comment policy that I apply here is mine, warts and all. I make no claims of universal justice or fairness. And that policy is a work in process as I have stated before.

I know that you believe otherwise, but please show me on RR where a conservative has launched the initial volley in his comment, and I'll show you ten counter examples. This does not excuse such warfare, but merely characterizes it.

Paul Emery

George

Allowing information to be distributed about the school attended by a child of a private citizen purely for the purpose of enforcing an argument displays unbelievably bad taste and judgment on your part as moderator of this forum. I suggest a hasty retreat and apology. Not allowing Mrs Pelline further comment on your blog multiplies your error of judgment. I encourage you do the right thing.

stevenfrisch

Wow, I blew that, let me restate it coherently this time--not enough coffee this morning:

Here's a suggestion for George [and Russ]; perhaps if you don't want to be portrayed "in the most odious and incessant manner" and be the recipient of "constant vituperation", you should not allow your respective blogs to be used by other contributors to do the same to members of the community.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, buddy.

stevenfrisch

Good for you Paul and Doug and to a lessor extent Bill, even though he could not resist including a jab or two thus diminishing the power of his voice to stand up for what is right.

Really guys, the use of kids is off limits.

Just cut the crap, delete the thread, and move on.

Greg Goodknight

The usual suspects are indignant. Strange they had nothing to say when Jeff was laughing at my family's problem with the high school, inventing a quarrel with the former County schools super or making up incredibly false claims about me at a public event out of pure, thin mountain air.

Jeff is a liar, pure and simple.

Steve Enos

Greg Goodknight just keeps posting his crazed, personal attacks and George just let's him go on an on.

George... a real quality blog you have here... have ANY standards?

Greg Goodknight

My "crazed, personal attacks" can be substantiated. Steve E, you're being played.

Greg Goodknight

By the way, George does have standards. When it was absolutely clear Pelline actually had lied about me in order to blacken my name, he was finally cut off.

Steve Frisch

Simple solution: delete everything posted after 6:49 p.m. on August 19th and close the thread.

I think there are a number of relevant and important issues being discussed here about our local educational system that could be further fleshed out in subsequent new threads.

Otherwise, this is a dead end.

Greg Goodknight

I've no idea what the ages, grades or names are of the child(ren) involved, nor have I ever tried to find them out.

The Pelline's voted with their feet. While they may not think their local public schools "suck" (and indeed, the NC Elementary district is one of the better ones, with Deer Creek being particularly noteworthy), that they chose a local private school for their kid(s) is newsworthy given Jeff's very public statements.


stevenfrisch

Hey Greg, it would have been quite sufficient to point out that Jeff sent his child to a private school, without naming the school. Are you so insensitive to the desire of parents to keep information about their children in their own control or of their right to determine how and when that information is shared, that you would break a commonly understood social standard just to score a few points in a public debate? It is understood here that I do not hold you in very high esteem, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the frequently personal nature of your comments about participants, but this is so far beyond the norms of social behavior, that even I am surprised.

George Rebane

Dear Readers – as the alert have noted over the past years, this blog is not ‘moderated’ in the sense that I review comments before passing on their posting. I get to it when I can, and things often get out of hand since the topics/issues I publish are neither scooplets nor simple fare. And I take a very ideologically delineated stand in arguing my perspectives and interpretations. It is these perspectives, interpretations, along with my ideology that I want examined by my readers who are invited to counter, expand, or reinforce them.

I do understand that the times do not allow such purist objectives. We are a fractionated – polarized is too simplistic – nation, and no longer share much of the same reality. The dominant centers of ideological gravity – conservative and collectivist – have little hope of drawing together. Both know that their vision of the future can only be realized through attracting a sufficient mass of the so-called independent voters, and the subsequent play in blogs such as RR is directed thereto.

I probably spend too much time on my public commentary efforts, and as the song says, there’s a lot of (other) living to do in the time I have left. So I ask you again, don’t waste your energies trying to reconstruct me and/or how I run RR. It is what it is and will become as the spirit moves me. On RR and other websites, your choices are simple and few – take it for what it is or leave it be; continuing to hammer me will meet with limited success. If they are worth your time, please hammer my ideas instead.

Having once more expressed the same thing in yet another way, I believe that everyone has now had their say on the school naming issue. My words stand as published, and I will uniformly apply the Pelline Purge Principle , as established on that blog, (also see my 821am) on all comments that seek to extend this thread. Continuation of the comment stream on the article is, of course, invited.

Todd Juvinall

Having sent two boys, now men, through the school system i WENT THROUGH THIRTY YEARS EARLIER i CAN ATTEST TO THE DEMISE OF EXCELLENCE THERE. Oops, sorry about the caps. Anyway, if all the statistics about the system are accurate it shows we are going south in our strive for better educated people. This is not a money issue because we know California spends gazillions on it. It is a quality of educator and discipline issue. I have many friends who went to [forbidden school name] and they turned out pretty good. And I see they are now sending their kids there and spending their after tax money to do so. If a person wants to do that and has the dough to do so, more power to them. But, I would suggest anyone who excoriates those that do not care for the government schools should shut their mouths if they choose not to send their kids to them.

Greg Goodknight

By the way, let's give a round of applause to the honor roll from the Chicago Park Elementary School, the latest of a long line of recognition by our local paper, and just about every other local paper in the country:
http://www.theunion.com/article/20110804/FEATURES/110809831

Todd Juvinall

George, we are all proud that you don't let the outside the realm of reality lefty have his way. He trashes you and the rest of us all over the internet then comes here and tries to tell us how terrible we are. I just plain crack up when I read his all knowing all seeing opinions on everything. I would suggest he clean up his act first then when he does he may come back here and debate.

Greg, debating or should I say discussing anything with the liberals is fruitless. You are just besting them at every turn with facts and they are reacting just as liberals do, with emotion.

D. King

George Said:

"For some reason, the left is upset by this expanding visibility of the Tea Party Patriots in our community. "

For years the left had the public square to themselves.
Now they have to share and listen to their vacuous beliefs ridiculed. How sad for them.

Greg Goodknight

Back to the state of local schools, now that Keach has a question to ponder alone in his corner.

Again, here is the list of Nevada County schools that rate a 1 (meaning bottom 10%) in their Similar Schools list compiled by the California Dept. of Ed:
Scotten
Nevada City School of the Arts
Yuba River Charter
Williams Ranch Elementary
Pleasant Valley Elementary
Ready Springs Elementary

Anyone have good things to say about them? Here's the link to the Scotten's group:
http://ayp.cde.ca.gov/reports/AcntRpt2010/2009BaseSchSS.aspx?allcds=29-66332-6106157&c=E

Here's one of the top schools on that list, Williams Elementary in Glendora
http://ayp.cde.ca.gov/reports/AcntRpt2010/2009BaseSch.aspx?allcds=19645766013932

API of the "white subgroup" was 922 compared to 778 at Scotten
API of the latino subgroup was 877, white kids at Scotten are 99 points behind them
API of socioeconomically disadvantaged was 869 compared to 724 at Scotten

In short, an economically disadvantage latino child at Williams is futher along than a white middle class kid at Scotten. Would you want your child at Scotten no matter what their race might be?

Douglas Keachie

Greg continues to point out that schools here are in the bottom 10% of schools from similar socioeconomic groupings elsewhere. He tries to make it sound as though they are in the bottom 10% altogether, by obfuscating the information with excess highfalutin verbiage, IMHO. I'm sure the rank and file Teepers will absorb the message he hopes for, and get out their torches and pitchforks in droves.

I continue to point out that the entire system they have for determining socioeconomic equivalency is Badly Flawed. having the children supply the data, having no apparent checks on the data supplied, and having no differences between two and four year degrees, is rather silly.

stevenfrisch

You realize Keachie that the power of the Tea Party (and thus the Republican Party) is entirely dependent upon the premise that "America Sucks".

The premise that "America Sucks" is what rallies people to their banner and how they motivate "Patriots". Thus, the endless string of things that suck; the President sucks, the economy sucks, liberals suck, immigrants suck, Muslims suck, taxes suck, California sucks, pointy headed scientists who say the climate is changing suck, kids suck, .....everything sucks. Education sucks is just another part of the "America Sucks" agenda.

So grab your pitchforks, you illiterate boobs, because "America Sucks" and you need to make it Right. But we can't actually work with anyone else to make it better unless they buy our philosophy 100%!

Never mind that this strategy, at some point, becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.......that creating a climate of conflict, frozen governance, and destroying our civic infrastructures ability to work together toward solutions is actually what makes "America Suck". By then they will have destroyed that dusky cloud over the White House and a white knight will be at the helm of the new state; then the mantra will be "America is Great"

Todd Juvinall

America doesn't suck it is the liberal that sucks. People want to improve their lives and get along but there are always the liberals. Lurking in every corner of our land who are always telling us we need to give up more of our individual freedom and don't pay attention to the liberal behind the screen. The liberal sends out his flying monkeys to ensure his edicts take place. The regulators and their regulations, tax collectors and taxes, fees and exaction's. No America doesn't suck, the liberal sucks. It only takes a few bad apple liberals to spoil the barrel. But true Americans and conservatives, Tea Party and even libertarians, are fighting back now and taking the country back to reality from the liberals. The zombie liberal is coming soon to a theater near you.

stevenfrisch

The Scarecrow speak!

Greg Goodknight

Keachie convinced himself the "similar schools" was bunk when he misread the numbers for NU and decided it was all based on about 6% of the students giving a response on their parent's educational level. Finding it was 94% didn't change his analysis. A closed mind.

The upcoming API/Similar Schools results will be a little different... a 2007 law passed by the Democratic legislature and signed by the Schwartz demands the API (academic performance index) take into account dropouts:


This bill, beginning July 1, 2011, would require that the API
include additional information regarding test scores and other
accountability data of pupils who were referred by the school or
school district of residence to an alternative education program and
school and school district dropout rates.

http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0201-0250/sb_219_bill_20071014_chaptered.html

Should be interesting. The current STAR results were just released, the next API will eventually follow.

It's underperforming and bloated government bureaucracies that suck. For all the failings of the TP movement, they've raised the rabble against some of the worst problems we are facing.

Todd Juvinall

The wicked witch of the Truckee has spoken again! The 501c3 is melting, melting. Oh what a world!

Douglas Keachie

"Finding it was 94% didn't change his analysis."

Not the part of the analysis that noted that 2 and 4 year degrees were intermingled, that the students' information was not verified, and that this was a very skimpy way of evaluating socioeconomic status to begin with.

I did admit to the initial mistake, see above, due in part to glaucoma vision, and the late hour of the night, if I am not mistaken, have to check that last.

So Greg, you just lied.

Now Greg, where you state the "bottom" so many times, the bottom of WHAT, for the umpteenth time, and how do the schools of Nevada County stack up statewide, in absolute terms. Above average, average, below average. Pick one, and again, go forth in an NU assembly and tell the students what you have said here. I double dog dare you. Oh, and be sure to indicate your choice politics to them, I'm sure you'll win lots of converts.

Greg Goodknight

No keach, 2 year degrees are "some college".

You owe me a retraction for the "liar" libel.

Douglas Keachie

Just in case Greg has forgotten what he said about the schools, I'll repost the questions and his statement about the schools:

"The following questions have now been answered over at Jeff Pelline's blog.

I am still waiting for Greg Goodknight to answer them here:

Where do the NU and Bear River STAR scores place those schools among all California schools?

What are those scores?

What are the year to year responsibilities of a school that scores 800 or higher?

Now please attend the next school assembly, get up on stage and state your words to the students:

"Taken as a whole, yes, our schools "suck". And that's in relationship to California schools, which "suck" compared to the nation as a whole."

and please run for office, any office, we all need a good laugh."

Douglas Keachie

The statement stands Greg. No retraction needed. You said I had a closed mind, not the case. regardless of the number of students responding, the methodology is fatally FLAWED

There are no instructions for the students to differentiate between the two different degrees. The answer to the question from a student whose parent(s) has(have) an A.A. degree, is, "Yes they do."

The quality of the schools the degrees come from is not taken into account, neither is the area of the degree, and we all know the only real degrees are those in math, "hard" science, and engineering. Right? I mean brain surgery isn't rocket science, now is it?

Greg Goodknight

Keach, you called me a liar. I am not. A retraction is in order, not more of your dissembling.

Douglas Keachie

"Keach, you called me a liar. I am not. A retraction is in order, not more of your dissembling."

Greg, I did NOT label you a "liar." Nor did I call you a liar.

I merely said:

So Greg, you just lied.

That is not the same thing as labeling you a liar, or calling you a liar. Look at your own writings, the supposed logic therein, and you'll have to agree. Do not put words in my mouth.

Douglas Keachie

Ah, the muffled sound of head exploding 10 miles south is finally reverbrating though the hills of NSJ.

Greg Goodknight

Keach, you are truly an idiot. I told no lie. The statement I made was literally true, and more importantly, I believed it to be true when I wrote it.

You continue to be an apologist for every wretched school in the state, and the people of this state are your victims.

Greg Goodknight

In addition, saying someone told a lie is logically equivalent to calling them a liar. You still owe me that retraction but, as you have shown youself to be shameless in the past I really don't expect you to choose the high road.

Douglas Keachie

"for every wretched school in the state"

Please list all the "wretched schools" in this county, and state your reasons for each one being wretched.

"Finding it was 94% didn't change his analysis. A closed mind."

In my opinion, and I believed it to be true, you lied about my mind being closed. Of course you didn't say I had a closed mind, you merely used the simple phrase, "A closed mind." as a complete sentence. Given the context of the phrase however, most reasonable people and judges would conclude that you have just stated that I have a closed mind. Since I believe I have an open mind, I am perfectly within my rights, to say, "you lied." Please note that I never explicitly stated what you lied about. It could be something else altogether...

BTW, you and I will be sharing the "Nitpickers of the Year," award on this blog.

Douglas Keachie

I will also take home another award, one for which you are not even in consideration:

"Best Sense of Humor."

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