"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Lying Bastards at Tulane's Cowen Institute

Tulane's Cowen Institute has been CorpEd's hothouse of dissembling and lies in New Orleans for a long time.  Some years back it became obvious to anyone looking at their annual celebrations of the privatization of NOLA schools that they were making it up.  

Now finally, they have stepped beyond the bounds that Tulane University's enablers can stomach.  They just withdrew the last propaganda piece from their website and issued an apology.  Wonder if they will do the same for the other crap they have been posting for years.  Here is a clip from Times-Picayune:
In a high-profile embarrassment, Tulane University's Cowen Institute for Education Initiatives on Friday retracted its widely cited Oct. 1 report on New Orleans public high school performance. The study concluded that most schools are posting higher graduation rates and better test scores than could be expected, given the socio-economic disadvantages of their students.

The institute, launched by former Tulane President Scott Cowen, is the primary group that has examined massive shifts in New Orleans public education since Hurricane Katrina. Its research has been touted by numerous news agencies, charter school support groups and the Louisiana Department of Education.  

The repudiated report, "Beating the Odds: Academic Performance and Vulnerable Student Populations in New Orleans Public High Schools," has been removed from the non-profit institute's website. Cowen's executive director, John Ayers, said the research was inaccurate.

"Officials determined the report's methodology was flawed, making its conclusions inaccurate," Ayers said. "The report will not be reissued." The institute plans to "thoroughly examine and strengthen its internal protocols" to ensure its future reports are accurate and have been appropriately reviewed, he said. 

"We apologize for this mistake," he added. 

The report, which listed Debra Vaughan and Patrick Sims as lead researchers, used what's called a "value-added" formula to predict the performance of students at 25 high schools. Researchers said they considered schools' challenges -- for example, the report analyzed how many students were classified as receiving free or discounted lunch, how many students were over-age for their class and how many failed state standardized tests -- then created performance measures with those factors in mind.

Schools with students who exceeded expected measures were considered to have beaten the odds. Ayers would not say what piece of the methodology was flawed. . . .
 Piece?  Who is looking for a single piece of flawed methodology?

Sadly, most people will never read the Friday news dump story above but, instead, will focus on the total bullshit story from October 2.  Will the Times-Picayune print a retraction??

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