Congratulations, Democrats - And Response (4)

  • Sunday, May 28, 2023

You ever wonder why Democrats are so vehemently opposed to standardized testing? In the 2020 election three counties in Tennessee; Davidson, Shelby and Heywood voted for Biden. How did they do in the recent TCAP third grade reading tests to determine if a student would advance to the 4th grade?

Metro Nashville/Davidson County, despite spending an astounding $13,495 per pupil, finished #134 out of 141 School Districts.

Good ole Memphis, the biggest embarrassment in the state, despite spending $11,372 per student finished #136.

Haywood finished #140.

Yes, let's put Democrats in charge of education.

Kudos to our local educators for finishing #37 while spending $9,772 per pupil. It appears we are getting our money's worth.

Douglas Jones

* * *

After reading Doug Jones’ post comparing of some of the lowest reading scores in Tennessee with counties won by Joe Biden in 2020, I took a look at our neighbor state to the south.

Of Georgia’s 139 counties, 24 were won by Joe Biden with margins of 10 percent or more indicating strong support for Democrats there. Of those 24, only three scored above the state average and two were just below the average score. The other 19 were well below the state average at 10 to 25 percent reading proficiency.

Mr. Jones just may have hit on something here that NPR and MSNBC won’t want us to know. That’s because they have much more important business occupying their time like analyzing Turkey’s elections and obsessing over Donald Trump.

Ralph Miller

* * *

We see you two are still at it with your finger pointing, on everything the Democrats fault for why the sun doesn't rise at certain times in the a.m. to why it doesn't go down in the even when you expected it to. It's all the Democrats to blame. When truth is, especially in many Southern states, politics on one hand playing a role, biases the other, the schools have been slowing down the learning process for targeted groups for well over the last 50-60-plus years and more.

When I was in grade school in the '60s, targeted schools were often threatened with loss of funding if the students capped a state test, and politics determined the students were advancing too quickly. Those targeted schools were threatened often and regularly with loss of funding.

When my daughter entered grade school in the '70s after returning to Chattanooga, her father was in the military at the time, children were entering school more advanced than the curriculum being taught. Instead of changing the curriculum to fit what the children already knew, parents were threatened that if they continued to teach their children at home, the schools would stop teaching them in class.

Targeted schools were set up to always lag behind and remain at a certain lower level of learning. How best to control the people? Other than to keep them at the lowest learning level possible.

Here's a Trivia for you two old goats. Up until the 1950s airplane windows were square. Do you know why airplane windows would later be made round, and why?

The purposeful dumbing down of, especially Southern students, has left a negative mark on everyone. Even those it was never intended to impact. We're only now seeing the results of those over a half of a century of continuous mis-education.

My preschooler great nephew out West is teaching today and put this question to us.
No cheating. Either you know the answer or you don't.

Brenda Washington

* * *

As usual, Ms. Washington's response ignores Mr. Jones' commentary regarding failing schools in Tennessee and the exorbitant amount of money per student. Instead of bemoaning the fact that many students in Democrat strongholds are not being taught to read at grade level, she goes off on a tangent about the 1960's and 70's.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I believe the education a student such as Ms. Washington received in the 60's was far superior to what a student today receives if reading proficiency scores are any indication of quality of teaching then and now.

Perhaps one could make the case that the rise of teachers' unions, a major ally of the Democrat Party, and the continuing decline in public school reading skills (not to mention math and history knowledge) are closely correlated, especially in the three counties cited in Mr. Jones' commentary.

Regarding Mr. Jones and Mr. Miller being "old goats", keep in mind that the term GOAT stands for Greatest of All Time. I am sure they appreciate that, especially coming from Ms. Washington.

James Nelson

* * * 

Some observations about the letters of Mr. Douglas Jones, Mr. Ralph Miller, Ms. Brenda Washington and Mr. James Nelson on the TCAP results.

Mr. Jones is exceptionally quick to point out the “deficiencies” of cities or counties that voted for President Biden in 2020.  He wrote “Kudos to our local educators for finishing #37 while spending $9,772 per pupil. It appears we are getting our money's worth.”

When researching the accuracy of the statistics cited by all, I found this nugget from News Channel 9: “Thirty-five percent of Hamilton County third graders face repeating grade.”  

Number thirty-seven statewide versus 35 percent failure of Hamilton County third graders are two separate and unrelated statistics. I suspect Hamilton County parents are not the least bit concerned about the “#37” statewide.

I guess as long as Mr. Jones can point to a few Democrats being worse, mediocrity in the Hamilton County School System should be the standard.  I’m also not sure how he arrived at Hamilton County’s “finishing #37 while spending $9,772 per pupil” (as compared to “Metro Nashville/Davidson County, despite spending an astounding $13,495 per pupil, finished #134 out of 141 School Districts.”) 

Since these were tests of third graders, was the $13,495 spent on third grade pupils only? Was the $9,772 spent by Hamilton County also on third graders only?  How many of those dollars actually went to high school athletics and extracurricular activities?

This is an excellent segue to Mr. Ralph Miller’s letter.

I’ve found Republicans, as evidenced by Mr. Jones and Mr. Miller, tend to come up short or are truly false when stating opinions. Rarely are the sources of their statistics identified, although Mr. Miller has provided some sources in his other letters. 

Focusing on Mr. Miller, I need to point out that Georgia has 159 counties, not 139.  He, too, cites no sources, except his own calculations. If Mr. Miller cannot count the number of counties in Georgia, I’d say that his calculations are, well, I think you get the point.(see the accg website)

But I also wonder why Mr. Miller chose to bring Georgia into the discussion, which is solely about TCAP scores.  Is he interested in criticizing Georgia because the state voted for Biden? Probably. Is any comparison valid?  Not unless the bases for establishing standards are exceptionally similar, if not identical.  Mr. Miller did not address and credibility of a comparison, rushing to his own judgment in his haste to be critical of Georgia Democrats too.

Mr. Miller goes on to harangue about NPR and MSNBC not wanting us to know about the TCAP scores.  He states their failures are “because they have much more important business occupying their time like analyzing Turkey’s elections and obsessing over Donald Trump.”  

NPR and MSNBC are both respected news organizations, neither being sued for defamation, nor paying hundreds of millions of dollars as settlement for their lies, nor repeating lies of other networks, a la NewsMax and Brietbart.  

Reporting of the TCAP scores is best left to the Tennessee media, who apparently have done a credible job of reporting. This comparison is an apples to oranges comparison. And WUTC may have reported on this, but Mr. Miller would not know since I suspect he does not listen to WUTC.  

WUOT, Knoxville, and WPLN, Nashville, NPR stations did report on TCAP results in the last few weeks.

Now to Ms. Washington’s letter. She has hit the nail on the head with the comments about Mr. Jones’ and Mr. Miller’s often invalid criticisms of anything Democrat. As I stated above regarding Mr. Jones, Republican mediocrity is acceptable as long that there are some few Democrats who can be described as less than mediocre.

Mr. Nelson responded with criticism of Ms. Washington’s letter. He stated, “As usual, Ms. Washington's response ignores Mr. Jones' commentary regarding failing schools in Tennessee and the exorbitant amount of money per student. Instead of bemoaning the fact that many students in Democrat strongholds are not being taught to read at grade level, she goes off on a tangent about the 1960's and 70's.” 

Mr. Nelson appears to be critical of Ms. Washington because she did not criticize the three school systems as Mr. Jones did. Mr. Nelson, however, is taking the statistics cited by Mr. Jones as 100 percent accurate, although a thinking person would immediately ask for verifiable sources, and ask questions, as I did above. 

Mr. Nelson then haughtily defines goat as “greatest of all time”. I usually see that acronym printed as G.O.A.T.  It’s never preceded by the adjective “old”. So Ms. Washington was exceptionally accurate in her description.

I suspect that very few Democrats bother to read the letters on this forum. They make a good case for it being a waste of time. I read them to point out the inaccuracies, sophistry, misinformation, outright lies, and tripe cited by Republicans. That’s so other readers who have better and open minds than the composers of such letters may actually think about which Party is right or wrong, based on facts, not opinion.

Joe Warren


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