Sunday, January 11, 2009

The bottom line is the bottom line

Can you imagine Bob Stoops stepping to the microphone after the OU-Florida game and trying to spin reporters? Can you imagine Stoops prattling on about how shiny the Sooners' helmets were or how well-prepared the coaches were, while ignoring the — oh, what's the metric I'm groping for? — the final score?

Neither can I. That's not how Bob "No Excuses" Stoops operates. That's not how most folks in the regular world operate. But of course, as Chester Finn has pointed out, "the regular world" is quite different from "educator-land."

So I think Oklahomans are right to be amused and/or frustrated at the spin coming out of educator-land on the heels of the latest "Quality Counts" report from Education Week. The state's largest newspaper today seemed a tad underwhelmed with Sandy Garret's assertion that "we’re moving forward" in this state. "That's one way to look at it," The Oklahoman editorialized. "Another is to consider that the real bottom line is student achievement, and in that area, our state's children still have a long way to go."

Wesley Fryer seems to agree. One of the nation's leading education bloggers, Fryer wants to know since when is a "D" grade considered good and improving? "D's and F's are not 'good enough' or 'improving scores' for our children or for our state," he says.

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