Sunday, August 3, 2008

Monroe Rising on Public Education in New York: It's Bad, But Expensive

We recommend this post by Occam, on the Monroe Rising blog.   It discusses the sad statistics showing that, despite being at the top of the state rankings in public "education" spending per pupil, New York ranks near the bottom in key school performance measures.

States more advanced in public education, such as Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas, not only spend much less per pupil, but all have graduation rates above the national average.   Of the fifty states, New York ranks thirty-sixth on graduation rates.

And sixth from the bottom on SAT scores.

Thanks to Occam and Monroe Rising for giving us a close look at this data.   Keep it up, folks!


TomT said...

You're not dumb enough to think that SAT scores are a meaningful measure of the quality of a state's public education. State SAT scores tend to measure what proportion of the kids in the state take the test (roughly speaking, it should be inversely proportional to this proportion).

I view this as the one conservative blog that is not written by a moron.

Maybe it's time to revise that opinion.

rochgal said...

In response to tomt:

Did you read the post by Occam? If you didn't and are making ridiculous statements without having read the piece in its entirety, you might be a moron yourself.

The fact that SAT scores tend to measure what proportion of the kids in the state TAKE the test should in itself indicate how our state education system is failing. These are the students PLANNING to go to college, and yet they still do poorly on the test. Now imagine the mean NYS SAT score if ALL STUDENTS WERE REQUIRED to take the test. Obviously, it would plummet.

So, Tom, you are correct. The SAT scores are only a meaningful measure of the education of the students who are TRYING to get an education beyond high school.system. This is not the only evidence Occam used to illustrate the incompetence of the New York state school system. The low graduation rates show us that the remainder of the student population abandoned the education the taxpayers threw gobs and gobs of money at.

In fact, this makes Occam's point all that more shocking! The students from middle to higher-class families who, in essence, receive the most money in the country toward their education, are unable to compete with other states in terms of SAT scores. Until Harvard and Yale stop requesting them, I submit that they are still somewhat important, at least in terms of pursuing a higher education, getting a good scholarship, etc. No standardized test gives a completely accurate display of a specific student's intelligence (which is why many schools, private and public, are moving towards using portfolios in addition to or instead of standardized tests in order to determine a final grade.) However, since each student taking the SAT receives the exact same questions at the exact same time of day, it is still a fair and reasonable method of obtaining a comparison of student to student, school to school, and state to state.

Anonymous said...

"State SAT scores tend to measure what proportion of the kids in the state take the test"

Do you mean to say that SAT scores measure the educational aptitude of those students who actually take the SAT? My - and you are throwing around the "moron" tag Mr. Obvious?

Are you trying to claim that NY public education is in good shape? That the all powerful teachers unions, that own the dem party in NY, are doing us a good service?

I love how lefties assume they are intelligent by virtue of the political opinions they hold. I hate to break it to you, but being a liberal does not = intelligence. Neither does being a conservative. So, try not to jump to calling people "morons" so quickly b/c it tends to reflect on your own intelligence and credibility.

- Great Banana