Efficiency in schools
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s School Efficiency Task Force is looking for educational system inefficiencies. Democrats contend that reduced state educational funding has made schools less efficient. Their contention can be tested.
In 2007, then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the Kauffman Foundation commissioned Standard and Poor’s School Evaluation Services to conduct the Kansas School District Efficiency Study using data from 2004-05 and 2005-06. In the study, each school district was given a relative efficiency score ranging from about 60 percent to 100 percent.
The average Kansas school district was found to be about 85 percent as efficient as the most cost-effective districts. Twenty-seven of 257 analyzed districts achieved relative efficiency scores of more than 99 percent.
Reprising this study, using the latest available data from 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years when state resources were reduced, would provide up-to-date relative efficiency scores. If the Democrats claim of reduced efficiency is true, there should be fewer districts achieving a relative efficiency score of 99 percent and the average relative efficiency score should be lower.
Rather than Republicans and Democrats building Web sites to collect examples of school district performance, it would be more enlightening to redo the 2007 study. Personally, I think data-based facts trump anecdotal fictions.
Pouting over statue
Phillip Cosby and the American Family Association got what they asked for: a grand jury to determine whether there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed (10-27, A1, “Jury: Statue is not obscene”). What they didn’t get was what they really wanted: a grand jury to kowtow to their wishes and force the removal of the statue.
Cosby said he was “incensed” that the decision was reached “without anyone opposed to the sculpture being called to testify.” The grand jury wasn’t required to hear testimony.
The panel reviewed the statue in relation to Kansas law “and found that the sculpture in question did not meet the legal definition of obscenity.”
The American Family Association used (abused) the process and accomplished what they said they set out to do, which was to impanel a grand jury to examine the issue. Now that the findings are not what they wanted them to be, they are pouting like a three-year-old who didn’t get a candy bar.
Wah wah wah….
Guns, Overland Park
It is obvious that I am not the only concerned Overland Park citizen regarding the recently implemented open carry ordinance. I am encouraged that the city of Overland Park listened to its community and is trying to better this situation a bit.
I still think it is nuts that an open carry law of any kind exists, but at least now more restrictions will be set in place. I have to say I was disheartened when shortly after the open carry ordinance was passed, I saw one of those signs with a red line through a revolver on the door of the temple where I pick up Meals on Wheels for deliveries.
How sad that our city has come to that, asking people not to bring their guns into certain buildings. Just seeing the sign stirs up my stomach and makes me anxious.
I will be happier still when no guns are allowed to be carried, hidden or in plain sight, but I guess the fact that people are talking is a good start.
Disclaimers on news
A while back I heard a news story on National Public Radio. It was about a $29 million grant by a federal agency that allowed some remote villages in Alaska to have indoor plumbing.
The reporter expressed how wonderful this was for the recipients. As I listened I thought about disclaimers.
Blurbs of government-mandated truth accompany advertisements from automobile ads to warning labels on products. It seems things might be different in this country if disclaimers were added to pronouncements about federal spending.
I have a suggestion for a disclaimer in two parts:
First: These funds are being provided by an entity that does not have to make a profit and prints its own money.
Second: “X” percent of these funds are borrowed. In this case, assuming about 30 percent current borrowing, it would be “$8,700,000 is being borrowed from foreign governments to help fund indoor plumbing for remote villages in Alaska.”
I wonder what effect this might be if every time the government made a funding expenditure announcement and every time the news media reported it, that these disclaimers were mandated before and at the conclusion of the story.
I recently attended a concert at Overland Trail Middle School. The choir and orchestra were to perform in the middle school’s gym.
As I sat in the front row, I began to feel uneasy. As I looked around, I saw the bleachers were packed.
The entrance in to the gym was packed with people standing, and the entire gym floor was packed with students performing or waiting to perform. I saw only one exit.
It was so crowded I had to step over people just to get down the narrow aisle. I looked for other exits.
I could not see any marked exit other than the one we entered. I feel strongly that this is a dangerous situation because emergency evacuation would not be possible.
Nelda L Ebers
Yoder, Mother Nature
I was quite surprised to see recently that Rep Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican, had one of the lowest ratings in Congress in support of environmental issues.
I thought all nudists were very much into the environment.
Robert J. Wewers