Friday, September 30, 2016

Humiliation: No MCPS school makes 2016 National Blue Ribbon School list

Just months after the Montgomery County Council hiked property and recordation taxes to record highs, and falsely claimed it was to benefit schools (but without any major change in education strategy, meaning we're going to keep going the way we've been going - a.k.a. the definition of insanity), there is more alarming evidence that your tax pain is in vain. The U.S. Department of Education has just released its list of 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools - and not a single Montgomery County Public School is on the list.

Ouch.

We've been told by the Montgomery County political cartel that, while we don't enjoy the booming private sector economic growth of states like Texas, we should still feel superior because we "invest in our schools." Fact check: Montgomery County suffered a humiliating shut-out on the list, while red states like Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Louisiana cleaned our clock, with multiple public schools making the cut. In fact, 26 Texas schools in all made the 2016 list. Even a red county in Maryland like Anne Arundel has public school representation on the new list.

It turns out that the excess money spent on MCPS without a plan has been money down the toilet. Ironically, you can be almost certain that grades will rise in MCPS schools in the future - but only because the school system recently adopted an easier grading system for that very reason. Elected officials impotent to solve MoCo's education decline? No problem! Just get rid of final exams and inflate everybody's grades. God help us.

#MoCoTermLimits
#ThrowTheBumsOut

P.S. Congratulations to Montgomery County's St. Patrick's parochial school, which made the 2016 list as a non-public school.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robert, you do realize "red" VA has a Democrat as a Governor? #Birdbrain! I figured as a native Virginian you should know that. #Carpetbagger!

Anonymous said...

How big is Dyer's tax pain?

Robert Dyer said...

6:22: No kidding. It's still a red state.

Anonymous said...

MoCo is frozen in time with so much dead wood in leadership positions (hello County Council!)
Remember when we used to lead?

Anonymous said...

Do you have something against Catholics? The correct title is Saint Patrick's Catholic School.

Anonymous said...

Blue Ribbon is a time consuming project that gets you what exactly? A plaque or something? I rather educators focus on learning than participate in a wasteful government contest.

Robert Dyer said...

7:59: The cartel always has a smug answer. Can't attract Fortune 500s to move here? "That's overblown anyway, and it's morally wrong to poach firms from other states." Please. MCPS is in decline by every credible measure. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Anonymous said...

"It's morally wrong to poach firms from other states."

Who ever actually said this?

Anonymous said...

How many MoCo schools applied? It's a lot like the lottery--you can't win if you don't play. And I believe schools can only apply something like every 10 years. Unless schools applied and were not selected, this is a non-story.

Anonymous said...

It's also worth noting that only 279 public schools total were awarded. Maryland received 10 awards (last year it was only 8) - and while you touted "red state" Virginia, you didn't mention that they only received 7 awards despite being a larger state.

Anonymous said...

Guys, go easy on Dyer today. His two heroes, Donald Trump and Howard Stern, are having a row, and it's very upsetting to him.

Anonymous said...

9:08 AM Bringing up "Trump" is a strange diversion from the problems we have in MoCo.
I don't think he's on the ballot here, but term limits are. Let's focus on local issues please.

Anonymous said...

Unless there is a reward beyond a recognition I do not see the point. You could apply to be best blogger and spend a month devoting yourself to that process, but why would you if all you got in return was your name on a list? We have enough administrative bloat in the schools without people devoting their manpower to this.

Anonymous said...

9:16 AM The Council and their shills in local legacy media are quick to tout every "best" list MoCo appears on. Now that none of our schools appear on this important list, the silence is deafening. Good that Dyer has reporting on this.

Anonymous said...

De Chantal, Little Flower and now St. Pat's. Catholic schools do it better it seems.

Anonymous said...

Tell em Robert!

I remember Giffords said...

Can we get one of those "betrayed by the county council" signs framed for each of the term limited council members after their last day, when they're escorted out of the Council building?

Robert Dyer said...

9:08: None of the Maryland schools were Montgomery County Public Schools, so that particular stat doesn't contradict the point of my article. We're talking about public schools in Montgomery County, and their troubling decline since 2010.

Anonymous said...

Dyer clearly doesn't understand what a Blue Ribbon school is.

Blue Ribbon schools were relatively average/mediocre schools that saw marked improvement in academics/achievement gap. There was one Blue Ribbon public school in all of Northern Virginia. [As Dyer likes to say] OOPS! I guess Howard Co., Arlington Fairfax Co., and Alexandria must be "humiliated" as well.


"a red county in Maryland like Anne Arundel"

Anne Arundel County is the very definition of purple.

Voter Registration:
Democratic 42.67%
Republican 35.67%
Independents 21.66%

County Council:
3D
5R

Presidential Elections:
2012 48.75% R 48.68% D
2008 49.95% R 129,682 D

Anonymous said...

1:16 Of course it's not the same thing, but it does make sense to consider the state's awards as a whole. But by suggesting that, you're contradicting yourself... If you argue that comparing to the rest of Maryland is not important than your suggestion that we compare Montgomery County to red states (PS Virginia is definitely purple) is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I think the better question is how many MCPS schools applied? If they did not apply then they would not get it correct? If they all applied and did not get it then maybe we'd be concerned.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Way to show how uneducated you are, Robert. Schools can only win a Blue Ribbon award once in any 5 year period. Of course MoCo's top schools don't win every year - that's, literally, impossible. Maybe stop blaming the County Council and, rather, blame your own ignorance of the process.

Robert Dyer said...

1:26: You're saying St. Patrick's was a "mediocre school"? Whoa. I'd like you to stand outside of Mass there on Sunday with a sign saying that.

The top County public schools that once made the list were "mediocre"?

There's no question the red counties are getting less red as liberals fleeing the high-tax, high cost Montgomery County move into the thriving Republican hinterlands they once derisively called the sticks and boondocks. Now they call them, "home."

But if you can still elect a GOP majority and executive, you count as red these days.

Robert Dyer said...

5:15: Ignorance would be to suggest that:

A) There weren't any MCPS schools eligible this year

and

B) MCPS is not in decline, there is no urgent need to change course.

Robert Dyer said...

1:59: No, the comparison is that one or more counties in those red states managed to get a public school on the list. Montgomery County, and its uber-wise and talented leaders failed to do so.

If you have the nasty attitude toward someone like Rick Perry the MoCo political cartel has previously demonstrated, then you have to acknowledge this is a humiliating defeat for the cartel. Their house organ is forced to spin the report by focusing on the NON-PUBLIC school that won. Humiliation!

Fortunately, the real story was reported here many hours earlier, and what a story it is!

Robert Dyer said...

"The List...are you on it?" (Hint: NO!!)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Cartel?

What did 7:59's comment have to do with Fortune 500 too?

Anonymous said...

I'd encourage you to read the Blue Ribbon website. The Blue Ribbon is about closing the achievement gap, not overall education quality. Do children from disadvantaged populations get a good education in these schools--that's what's judged. And it takes a TON of educational time to go through the educational process. Notice the irony--teachers are filling out these papers for hours instead of teaching, lesson planning, or grading.

My kids go to a local private school that got the Blue Ribbon a few years ago, and I'd say it IS a mediocre school. Our enrollment numbers tell the story.

I'd say kudos to MCPS for not bothering with this nonsense and focusing their resources on teaching. To me, this is very much a positive story about where we live. Everybody doesn't need a trophy.

Anonymous said...

From Dyer's Moribund EastMoCo blog:

"I was on the Dean's List every semester in college, so I'm afraid the 'uneducated' attack just bounces off."

"On the Dean's List" for 8 consecutive semesters, yet two decades later you're blogging for free in Mom's Basement?

Anonymous said...

1:26PM -- That's so uncalled for. Please learn to adult.

Anonymous said...

1:26pm why no similar hate for the failed Bethesda blogs? You know, blogging from Starbucks in Bethesda, rehashing Dyer.
Is there something you want to tell us?

Anonymous said...

1:39 - Please learn to grammar.

Robert Dyer said...

4:53: Wrong! Academic excellence is another category of qualification to be Blue Ribbon. How do you think the wealthiest MCPS schools won in the past? I attended two private Blue Ribbon schools - both academically excellent, and with very few-to-no impoverished students.

What this means is that no MCPS made the Blue Ribbon list because they did not meet the academic excellence nor achievement gap improvement criteria. Humiliating, but not surprising. Final exam scores and a worsening achievement gap since 2010 tell the story. Shameful, and most definitely not a "positive story about where we live." (LOL)

The MoCo political cartel resembles other cancerous, ossifying political giants around the world in its sheer delusion. "It's just a gold medal! Why did Michael Phelps waste time filling out the forms?!"

Unreal.

Robert Dyer said...

"Is our children learning?" - MCPS

Anonymous said...

@5:18

"the thriving Republican hinterlands they once derisively called the sticks and boondocks."

I doubt anyone has ever referred to Anne Arundel county (as a whole) like that.

Anonymous said...

6:52 hasn't lived here very long.

Anonymous said...

This article is simply bad reporting. It suggests an author with a clear bias, who already had a conclusion and then cherry-picked and misrepresented facts to support his case. Many of these have already been pointed out in prior comments. There are many more. I cite two below. Robert Dyer clearly either does not understand how the Blue Ribbon School process works or is deliberately trying to mislead his readers. In addition to the analytical flaws already mentioned, the State-to-State comparisons Dyer made don't make any sense for two reasons: (1) The number of nominations allowed for each state is proportional to the state's student population, and (2) the nominees are compared against their own state standards, not a universal set of criteria. For example, Texas total population is roughly four and a half times the size of Maryland. Because it's population is relatively young, the ratio of students is probably even greater. So, if anything the ratio of Texas winners to Maryland winners cited by Dyer shows Maryland kicking Texas butt, not vice-versa. Then the nominees are evaluated largely against there own state measures, making interstate comparisons ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

tl;dr

Anonymous said...

Here ye, here Ye!

Robert Dyer said...

9:47: Embarrassing turn for the MoCo political cartel - you are reduced to having to try and convince people that winning Blue Ribbon status is somehow actually losing, and that by losing, MCPS somehow won. "Wut?" "LOL" Nuts!

So by your measure, Finland and Jamaica whipped the USA in the Olympics in 2016?

Welcome to the wacky dimension of the MoCo cartel, folks!

Paul M. Bessel said...

Let's assume you're right that MCPS is not doing a good job and that the County Council should not have given them $90 million over the MOE (maintenance of effort) amount. What does that have to do with term limits? And before anyone says we need term limits to get rid of bad Council Members, it's likely that almost all the Council Members whom you would get rid of with term limits are already leaving the Council to run for County Executive. So why don't you focus on something that would directly affect MCPS, rather than the irrelevant term limits? If you feel MCPS isn't doing a good job, why aren't more people who feel that way running for the Board of Education, and why aren't more people who feel that way supporting candidates for BOE who feel that way? That would definitely bring a change in MCPS. All term limits will do is make you feel good without accomplishing a thing for the good of the citizens of Montgomery County. Do you need more proof? The people who pushed for term limits in California, Michigan, Florida, and elsewhere now say it was a terrible mistake. And all studies of what happens when you impose term limits prove that spending and taxes go up, voter turnout goes down, and the people who are elected are so inexperienced that lobbyists get what they want much more than they did before term limits. In view of these facts and evidence, why support a silly but "feel good" policy of term limits, and ignore the real things that would accomplish the purpose of fixing our county's schools?

Anonymous said...

6:16AM Your opinion.
It assumes all voters are savvy about their candidates. That's where your scenario falls apart. I think that the majority of voters aren't following local politics, don't care to learn and just pick a name. The theory then that ineffectual politicians will be voted out doesn't work.

In the real world, term limits are needed to get rid of dead wood.

Anonymous said...

Shorter 6:31 AM - "I don't like who my fellow MoCo voters elected, therefore I will take away their right to vote for the candidates of their choice."

Anonymous said...

6:42AM - golly gee, you're an ass.

Anonymous said...

Dear Robert: My prior anonymous post that attributed your mistatements to poor reporting and bias was probably an understatement. Your response was to automatically label me as part of the "Moco Political Cartel". Do you label everyone who doesn't share your views as automatically being part of this "cartel"? I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of any cartel. In fact, I agree with you on a number of issues. I am an independent who will vote against anyone currently on the Board of Education because of a number of idiotic decisions they have made which I am totally opposed to AND I would likely oppose every member of the current County Council, with one or possibly two exceptions. Your reporting on the Blue Ribbon Schools certainly reveals bias, and your response to label everyone who disagrees with you as part of the "cartel" suggests a lack of intellectual depth and unwillingness to debate the issues. Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

11:02 get off your high horse you're no different than the rest of us if you read here at all you know it's impossible to tell what is trollspeak and what is not if you want to be credible get an account the only way to distinguish is with accountability

Anonymous said...

11:41 AM - Run-on sentences make Baby Jesus cry.

Robert Dyer said...

11:02: How is a factual article "poor reporting and bias"? The only poor reporting was by other news outlets who declined to acknowledge the humiliating results for MCPS.

An "unwillingness to debate the issues" describes those who are in denial about the plain facts of the decline of MCPS, including being shut out of the 2016 Blue Ribbon list.

You seem to agree that the current BOE and Council have failed - where exactly do you differ with me on my factual assessment of MCPS and the fact that there are no MCPS schools on the Blue Ribbon list this year? I think we're actually in agreement here.

Not everyone who disagrees with me is in the MoCo political cartel - but it's safe to say that those claiming it's a good thing MCPS didn't make Blue Ribbon this year most definitely are.

Anonymous said...

Which MCPS actually applied and were rejected?

Anonymous said...

Dear Robert: The fact that I may agree with you that the MoCo BOE has made bad decisions does not imply that your reporting is accurate nor unbiased. The article on Blue Ribbon Schools is illogical, inaccurate, and biased. I and others have pointed out examples of this, which you have not refuted. While I do not dispute that there were no MoCo schools on the list this year, the article is still biased and illogical in terms of what that means. The state comparisons that you make are flawed and the conclusions you draw based on them are illogical and inaccurate. Calling Anne Arundel a "red county" when it has more registered Dems than Reps is questionable at best. If your going to make this case, why do you conveniently fail to mention the schools from Baltimore County that were on the list? I've already pointed out why the state to state comparisons don't make sense above, but even if you make this argument, shouldn't your mention that several of your Texas schools are from deeply blue jurisdictions such as Houston? The answer to your question about "How is a factual article poor reporting and bias?" is that its not factual, poorly reported and biased. I, and others, have now provided numerous examples of why this is the case. You have not refuted these, but instead criticized other news outlets of bad reporting without providing examples. You should explain, correct or retract this article.

Robert Dyer said...

9:16: Please. You're the one peddling inaccuracies. It is an inarguable fact that no MCPS school made the Blue Ribbon list in 2016

It is a fact that many MCPS schools were eligible to apply for consideration, and yet zero won Blue Ribbon status under any of the several criteria.

It is a fact that red states and red counties DID place schools on the list, while one-party blue MoCo came up emptyhanded.

Why would I correct an article so powerfully correct on the facts? No sensible person is buying your false explanations for the spectacular crash and burn of MCPS under the current County Council.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you are not reading my comments or confusing me with someone else. I have never argued that any MCPS made the Blue Ribbon list in 2016. Nor have I stated that no schools were eligible for consideration. Nor did I say that no red states or red counties placed schools on the list. Nor did I make any "false explanations for the spectacular crash and burn of MCPS under the current County Council". In fact, I stated unequivocally that I agree with you on certain things, including the poor record of the current County Council and Board of Ed. None of this makes your article "powerfully correct on the facts", which it is not. I and others have already explained where your article is inaccurate and misleading. You have chosen not to respond to these constructive criticisms. Instead, you chose to ignore what I did say, make up and attribute other things to me, and then refute these to prove that you are right. Your original article and your subsequent statements defending it remain inaccurate, misleading, and perhaps even deceitful, but only you know if the latter was the case. There is plenty to attack the MCPS Council and BOE without trumping up (no pun intended) charges about how Red States & Counties are inherently better than Blue States & Counties with respect to education success, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Robert Dyer said...

12:55: If you acknowledge the facts as you did in the second and third sentences of your comment, how is my report inaccurate? It states exactly that! No MCPS schools made the list. Schools in red states and counties that supposedly don't "invest" in education DID make the list. End of story. What are you arguing about?

Anonymous said...

You really don't get it do you? I've already pointed out points that are accurate and ones that I agree with AND ones that are inaccurate, misleading and false. You choose to focus only on the few accurate points in your article and somehow conclude that makes your article and its conclusions unbiased and factual. I guess if your definition of factual, means including one or more fact, that makes your article factual. Notably, you have not responded to any of my or others legitimate criticisms. You, your articles, and your commentary remain biased, inaccurate, misleading, and illogical. End of story. When will you actually respond to any comments or criticism that doesn't agree with your facts or views? When will you start to think outside of the concrete box that you seem to think passes for independent reporting?

Anonymous said...

I originally posted the following:

This article is simply bad reporting. It suggests an author with a clear bias, who already had a conclusion and then cherry-picked and misrepresented facts to support his case. Many of these have already been pointed out in prior comments. There are many more. I cite two below. Robert Dyer clearly either does not understand how the Blue Ribbon School process works or is deliberately trying to mislead his readers. In addition to the analytical flaws already mentioned, the State-to-State comparisons Dyer made don't make any sense for two reasons: (1) The number of nominations allowed for each state is proportional to the state's student population, and (2) the nominees are compared against their own state standards, not a universal set of criteria. For example, Texas total population is roughly four and a half times the size of Maryland. Because it's population is relatively young, the ratio of students is probably even greater. So, if anything the ratio of Texas winners to Maryland winners cited by Dyer shows Maryland kicking Texas butt, not vice-versa. Then the nominees are evaluated largely against there own state measures, making interstate comparisons ridiculous.

Your response to this was:

9:47: Embarrassing turn for the MoCo political cartel - you are reduced to having to try and convince people that winning Blue Ribbon status is somehow actually losing, and that by losing, MCPS somehow won. "Wut?" "LOL" Nuts!

So by your measure, Finland and Jamaica whipped the USA in the Olympics in 2016?

Welcome to the wacky dimension of the MoCo cartel, folks!

BUT YOU NEVER ACTUALLY RESPONDED TO THE QUESTIONS I RAISED IN MY COMMENTS. YOU JUST WENT OFF ON A RANT ABOUT FINLAND AND JAMAICA!

Anonymous said...

IF YOU WANT TO BE A JOURNALIST WITH LEGITIMACY, TRY RESPONDING TO CRITICISM AS AN ADULT, CONSIDER WHAT IS BEING SAID, AND EITHER REFUTE IT RESPECTFULLY OR ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR MISTAKE GRACIOUSLY. ENOUGH SAID ON THIS TOPIC!

Anonymous said...

Yelling doesn't make you more right it only makes you more loud

Anonymous said...

Nor does it make you wrong!

Robert Dyer said...

8:07: I didn't make a mistake - why would I acknowledge a mistake that didn't happen? Every point in my article is factual, correct, and can easily be verified by anyone.