Friday, July 11, 2008

Purely Amatuer Research

It can get to be complicated mathematics. First you have to find useful numbers from easily obtainable sources. Then you attempt to reconcile them.

According to the 2000 Census. District 209 has a total population of 124,700.
with a margin of error +/- 11,206.

White: ---------------------------48,941------- +/-6,875
Black or African American: -------- 57,676 ------ +/-8,794

These margins contain a multitude of potentials. If you were a researcher, or
perhaps a paid administrator of a school district that was accountable to the taxpayers of said district, wouldn't you want MUCH better numbers?

Age Group Population Margin of error
15 to 19 years 10,370 +/-3,123

With the margin of error, there could be 13,493 or 7,247 students or even more or less. Whatever. Use any numbers you want?

Source:2000 Census

District 209 enrollment: 4,942 (2007 school year "official")

But the schools themselves post their enrollment #s of:

2,678 West
2,314 East
297 PMSA
5,289 Total?

The 10,370 census and the 5,289 enrollment, supports my general observations that half the class is missing.

If that is true, which half of the class do you suppose is missing?

This transcends race and gender. The top half of the class is missing. The vast middle of the achievement scale. To get an accurate picture of high school education in District 209, you would need to collect and collate data on the missing.

The Superintendent of District 209 is, by law, responsible for ALL high school aged persons within District 209's attendance boundaries. Yet, when you ask, the answer is the public school enrollment number. The missing chunks aren't just gone, but forgotten as well. Not sure about you, but to me that's a mighty large crack through which a teen can fall.

That is the problem. Sweet eh?
An institution responsible for roughly 10% of the total population, most of whom are too young to vote, have effectively lopped off HALF of their legal responsibility by making their product SO repellent that half the kids never enroll there.

These kids who perform so miserably on the tests aren't really stupid. They learn their relative worth quickly. Since they aren't the "best and brightest" they should be thankful for ANYTHING. They should cherish and respect this tainted product they're stuck with.

Individuals and small groups can't begin to combat this institutional failure.
The laws are stacked to assure the district's survival. Any criticism is labeled as racist. The district likes to use the term "stakeholders" when it conducts outreach.
It uses the absent to beat the present into submission. "You have to accept what "THEY" give us, because they don't like you."

Regarding the race thing, they completely dismiss the reality that almost NO white students are affected educationally by their schools. They also ignore the reality that the missing half isn't all white. That's one of those inconvenient truths.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this situation is the logic that prevents any attempt at a rational solution. If District 209's communities were allowed to change things, it would put other more successful school districts at risk of being changed by a determined effort from its citizenry.

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