Thursday, October 7, 2010

MCPS and a Former Employee

A former employee from MCPS's Office of Shared Accountability  recently wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post critical of the MCPS/Washington Post claim that MCPS is the top school district in the state.   The author, John Larson, then offered a few data points to suggest why MCPS and the Washington Post might reconsider their claim.    Jerry Weast and MCPS Board member, Patricia O'neill, then coauthored this response, providing their own data points, concluding the following:

Ultimately, we are not afraid of comparisons — in fact, we embrace them. All we ask is that those comparisons are made using statistics that actually mean something.
The employment of statistics is indeed a useful endeavor.   Data tells a story.  And the story it tells can help hardworking organizations and people get feedback about what they do well and what they need to improve.   MCPS often uses statistics to celebrate it's own accomplishments.   However, I have recently come to wonder to what extent MCPS uses data to analyze its weaknesses.

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