Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Not worthless

Councilman Eric Crafton and his Save Our Students groups aren't the only ones who can crunch the education statistics. Red Hat Rob Shearer has spent considerable time today going through the State of Tennessee Department of Education's website and has some equally illuminating information. This is what happens when the DOE tells a homeschool parent their child's diploma is 'worthless'--they get busy proving it untrue.

I got curious this week about tracking down median ACT scores for Public vs. Private vs. Homeschool high school graduates. It turns out, even in the age of public data on the internet that this is not an easy question to answer. If the data to answer this question already exists somewhere on the internet, it’s extraordinarily well hidden.
So, we can now end the speculation and report with confidence that in 2007, in Tennessee, ALL students averaged a 20.7 composite ACT score, PUBLIC SCHOOL students averaged a 20.30 composite ACT score, and PRIVATE SCHOOL students averaged 21.85 composite ACT score. In other words, in 2007 private schools and home schools averaged 1.15 points higher on the ACT than the public schools. But of course, it’s the private school diplomas that the Department of Education thinks are suspect.
If you want to check Rob's figures or see what other info he lays out you'll find a link to his data at his blog.


din819go said...

Yeah but why compare yourself with the averages -- homeschoolers as should any student -- be looking to compare themselves with the top schools. Those average ACT scores and SAT scores are much higher. Pull the data on MBA, Hume Fogg, MLK, USN, Harpeth Hall, etc. That is the only way to get a good feel on how your child is really doing. Yes, the private school data is published annually by either the Tennessean and the Business Journal or both.

Kay Brooks said...

In this fight with the DOE why should we volunteer to be held to a higher standard than the average publicly schooled student under their charge?

The specific people who are being impacted were fairly average people. A policeman in a small town and daycare workers. While I wouldn't discourage either from obtaining a great education, the fact remains that they don't need scores suitable for top schools. Their government supervised jobs required a high school diploma only. The DOE decided, on their own, that their high school diploma was insufficient.

din819go said...

Kay -- from the argument you are making you are correct. I thought you were looking for a measure to show how well home schoolers do or do not perform against the top schools in the city. However the jobs you are talking about do not require more than a high school education.

thanks --