Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What's missing from this press release?

Verifiable facts.

I received this, this morning:


Contact: Woody McMillin
Public Information Officer

ACT Scores Show Improvement – Again – In Metro Nashville Public Schools

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 17, 2005) – Metro Nashville Public Schools received another indicator of recent academic progress – the 2005 ACT assessment program scores – and the results bring more good news for the district. MNPS students scored slightly higher in every measurable category this year, and MNPS composite scores continued their upward trend.

The five-year results show:

“We are certainly pleased with the continuing progress made by our students in all areas of the testing,” said Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Pedro E. Garcia, Ed. E. “This year our composites increased .2 points. We do not have national figures yet, but we know the previous year (2003-2004) the national average increased .1 point. It takes time to make ACT scores increase, so we’re pleased to see the trend in upward scores.”

The ACT assessment program, started in 1959, is a curriculum-based testing program used by many colleges and universities to determine acceptance. The test includes time-measured, individual examinations in English (45 minutes.), math (60 minutes.), reading (35 minutes) and science (35 minutes.).

Metro Nashville Public Schools provide a range of educational opportunities to nearly 73,000 students in Nashville and Davidson County. The governing body for MNPS is the Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County Board of Public Education, a nine-member group elected by residents of Metropolitan Nashville. For more information, please visit # # #
So where are those 'five year results' so that we mere voters, who are seriously considering a sales tax increase where the money is 'supposed' to go to schools, can see for ourselves this 'continued upward trend'? The length of the test was more important than providing that vital information? You won't find those scores here: In fact you won't even find this latest press release on that page of press releases. The 'most recent' press release there is dated July 17, 2005.

Sarah Moore is on to something.
It is parental/community interest, not money, that is going to help our schools. By not providing updated information on ways for people to get involved, Nashville schools are just telling us they aren’t interested in help.
The MNPS still has a long way to go in providing really usable information for taxpayers, parents and, as Sarah points out, ready, willing and capable volunteers.

If the education reporters finish the job MNPS started with this press release you may want to compare what they come up with to this NYTimes article on ACT scores.

"It is very likely that hundreds of thousands of students will have a disconnect between their plans for college and the cold reality of their readiness for college," Richard L. Ferguson, chief executive of ACT, said in an online news conference yesterday.

No comments: