"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Collective Bargaining and ACT performance

I have read so many times in the last week that the five states without collective bargaining in the US (South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Virginia) have the lowest ACT results vs. #2 Wisconsin with collective bargaining. I have tried repeatedly to inform people as to the reality of Wisconsin only being #2 in composite ACT performance AMONGST THOSE STATES IN WHICH 50% OR MORE OF THE STUDENTS TAKE THE ACT. Additional considerations to take into account is that the top nine performing states are coastal schools, east and west, where geographically the SAT test is preferred for college entrance requirments so the percent of students in those states who take the ACT are naturally lower than 50%. In addition, eight states currently use the ACT as a graduation requirement to comply with the NCLB laws. Effectively 100% of their students take the ACT, whether they have prepared for it or not. I finally decided to do a little research on the ACT website. Click on the post to go to a site in which you can play all you want with the ACT data from 2010. I summarize what I have found here.

The five lowest performing states on the 2010 ACT composite score were, in fact (ranked from 46-50) Michigan, Tennesee, Florida, Kentucky and Mississippi. Four of these five states have recently begun administering the ACT to 100% students as a graduation requirement. Florida is only state in the last 5 that does not use the ACT as a graduation requirement yet. It is absolutely expected that these states have the lowest ACT composite scores.

The 2010 ACT composite performance of the five states that are being portrayed as the bottom of the heap because of no collective bargaining follows as well as Wisconsin data. I cite the state, the percentage of students participating and the rank on the 2010 composite ACT performance. South Carolina, 52% of students, #44; North Carolina, 16% of students, #22; Georgia, 44% of students, #37;Texas, 33% of students, #33;Virginia, 22% of students, #12; Wisconsin, 69% of students, #17. A close scrutiny of this data will reveal that Virginia outperforms Wisconsin on the composite ACT performance. Sure, only 12% of their students take the ACT compared to 69% in Wisconsin. But they are certainly not at the bottom of the heap as portrayed.

Now I come to the crux of the matter. I have a burning need for everyone in this melee to speak the truth. When one cites data which you have not vetted, and propagates is as the God's honest truth when is doesn't even come close to any form of reality, it only diminishes one's cause. This is true on both sides of this arguement. My fervent wish is for both sides to come to the table and bargain in good faith using truth and compassion. Some universal truths can be agreed to. It's time to begin acting like adults and solve the problems of our state.

1 comment:

Mavrik said...

I can not agree with this more.