Hess' name should sound very familiar to Tennesseans. One of Hess' reports has been the single-most popular report for reformers to gloat about in our state since 2007. Hess, (with a nice paycheck from the Chamber of Commerce) wrote a report that gave our fair state a big, fat "F" for Truth in Advertising. (Ironic, isn't it?). But how many people have actually read that report and the fine print? These Moms did, and they saw some huge red-flags:
1. This disclaimer regarding the Truth in Advertising category: "This category does not evaluate state tests nor does it grade states on the performance of their students. Instead, the evaluation looks at how truthfully a state reports student proficiency." Get it? This was a problem with the STATE not reporting accurately, not with our students. Of course, SCORE doesn't publicize that Tennessee fared better in other categories of this report, they only point out that big, fat F and use it to further their agenda.
2. This fine-print disclaimer buried in the report: "The authors acknowledge that this is an imperfect measure of state transparency because there is some debate about using NAEP alone to benchmark state tests. However, this method is currently the only one available when comparing the transparency of reporting from one state to the next."
3. Manipulated letter grades: The results were rated on a pre-determined, weighted curve, so the differences between state scores are not as major as one thinks... This method of grading means there would be a pre-determined # of grades. (Only 5 states "earned" A's, 5 got B's, 20 received D's or F's, and the rest got C's).
It is true what our high school statistics teachers taught us, you really CAN manipulate data to show whatever you want. Momma Bears gives that report a big fat F minus for Truth in Advertising!"
(click HERE to read their entire article)
"Rick Hess’ classroom experience? A grand total of two years as a social studies teacher in Louisiana, about 21 years ago, according to his official website. It must have been pretty tough, if he quit teaching so soon. I’m sure he’s making much, much more money now as a spokesman for the billionaires who have taken over our educational system, and he doesn't have to worry about teaching 150 students every single day and grading papers and filling out useless forms and memos until he can’t see straight at night, with no administrative support at all… Life’s pretty cool if you are a 40-something with a million-dollar portfolio schmoozing at conferences all over the place instead of actually teaching in the classroom any more… All it takes is the ability to show those with deep pockets that you are on their side and are an effective mouthpiece for them. You can be very rich and very powerful, very soon in your career."
Tennessee Parents hope our elected officials are not so gullible. We hope they dig deeper and question these reports for themselves.
Tennessee parents can't help but notice that the wide gap between Brooks Brothers clothing store (which is un-affordable for most Tennesseans) and the students that Petrilli and Hess claim to advocate for.
Also worth noting: Petrilli's comments at 2:03 stating he has a 2:30 conference call with Gates that he doesn't want to miss. "Big money on the line, baby, big money!"