Thursday, June 18, 2020

Carey Fires Back at Shad

The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following press release and purdy graph. 

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) held up its sustained record of improved student achievement over the past six years – particularly the state’s record-low dropout rate – in response to the Office of the State Auditor’s (OSA) performance audit for the MDE Office of Dropout Prevention. State law established the office in 2006, though no specific state funds are targeted for the office.

The OSA report made no mention of the MDE’s broader, updated strategy to improve student achievement and how it successfully raised student outcomes.

“This audit completely ignores the progress made in performance by schools, districts, and students across Mississippi,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “This project was described as a performance audit, but there are no performance metrics included in the report.”

The OSA audit cited the MDE for not adhering to the 2006 law because it no longer operates a stand-alone dropout prevention office, disregarding the fact that the MDE’s Office of Secondary Education leads agency-wide dropout prevention efforts. Those efforts are embedded throughout the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) Strategic Plan.

Since the Strategic Plan was adopted in 2014, the MDE has spearheaded initiatives that pushed the state’s graduation rate to an all-time high of 85%, up from 74.5% in 2014; reduced the state’s dropout rate to an historic low of 9.7%, a decrease from 13.9% in 2014; and significantly improved student achievement from pre-K through grade 12.

The audit also erroneously cites the MDE for using inapplicable graduation rate data when reporting to SBE and the public. The MDE calculates the four-year graduation rate in accordance with the definition established in Section 8101(25) of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“Given the tremendous progress Mississippi students, teachers and schools have made over the past six years, it is disheartening to read a report that focuses on outdated procedures that have not been effective,” Wright said. “The State Board of Education Strategic Plan has modernized the state’s approach to education, which has resulted in historic and sustained student achievement across Mississippi. The nation now considers Mississippi a leader in education because our students are making faster progress than nearly every other state.”

Read the 2018-19 Superintendent’s Annual Report for details about student achievement reaching an all-time high.



Anonymous said...

"The nation now considers Mississippi a leader in education"

Hmm, really?

Anonymous said...

Not dropping out isn't the same as graduating.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's what her buddies, Kickback Consulting, LLC, were paid to tell her.

Anonymous said...

“ The nation now considers Mississippi a leader in education”

Oh do they???

Anonymous said...

4:03, which nation? I about spit out my sweet tea when I read that...

Anonymous said...

Does she bother to mention that she has ignored state law?

Anonymous said...

""The nation now considers Mississippi a leader in education""

Good Lord - give this hallucinatory dingbat a shot of Thorazine, a straightjacket, and put her in a padded room with no scissors or other sharp objects.


The Nation

Anonymous said...

I don't read the MDE response as saying 'not dropping out' and 'graduating' are the same thing, 4:14.

I read it as a response to Shad's claims in his audit about how they are calculated.

And, FWIW, I had commented on the earlier post about the audit, and although my comments there sound an awfully lot like Ms. Wright's, I can assure you that I am not associated in any way with the MDE or support much of what they do. (I do support the improvement of ALL education in MS, which many of the long-time employees there and some of the board seem to ignore in their charge. But, that's another subject for another day.)

Seems to me that this so-called performance audit by Shad ('s staff, but proclaimed by him) is nothing but a headline producer. Where's the beef?

Anonymous said...

I support government transparency, but Shad doesn't always seem to want to invest the effort to understand what he is auditing. He seems to want to maximize whatever splash he can make. It is hard for me to get upset when our state agencies are calculating standards according to Federal definitions.

Anonymous said...

Been trying to tell you all how we can't be #50 due to our local experts and geniuses. This just confirms it.

Anonymous said...

“Since the Strategic Plan was adopted in 2014, the MDE has spearheaded initiatives that pushed the state’s graduation rate to an all-time high of 85%, up from 74.5% in 2014; reduced the state’s dropout rate to an historic low of 9.7%, a decrease from 13.9% in 2014; and significantly improved student achievement from pre-K through grade 12.“

If the all-time high graduation rate is 85%, then how can the historic low drop-out rate be 9.7% and account for all students? Somebody’s math is stinky...

Also, don’t brag about significant improvements in achievement when you literally can’t give a grade below 50. That alone keeps some averages WAY higher than actual performance. And, teaching to test isn’t benefiting ANYONE after they “graduate.”

MDE can tell us they are fabulous and respected around the country all day long... we aren’t buying it!!

Anonymous said...

Shad just wants to be Governor one day.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree, Shad's politics are starting to show under the varnish. I mean, geez, wait until you can shave before you sign up to run for governor.

Anonymous said...

Why not come out with a report that says the jails are full and mismanaged? Or the roads are bumpy?

He must have used up all the easy stuff Pickering left behind for him.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is good at educating more stable geniuses, that’s for sure.

Anonymous said...

Carey makes $300k or more, so of course she's going to brag about how great a job she and her minions are doing. Meanwhile, over 100k kids attend D and F rated schools. Cockroaches hate having the light being put on them also.

Anonymous said...

" Carey Wright "

Is she really the best we can hire ?

Anonymous said...

We didn't really expect these people to take criticism in a constructive way, did we?

Mike said...

I’ve had concerns about Auditor White’s tendency to sensationalizing stories. More political than informative. His recent presentation comparing teacher and administration salaries was based on 2012-2016 data. Surely, he could get better data than that. I’m not defending Dr. Wright/MDE but the Auditor’s politics is getting in the way of his duties.

Anonymous said...

5:52 - Shad White will be Governor one day...I fixed it for you.

Anonymous said...

I leader in education. That's hilarious... moved here 7 years ago from Maryland. I am horrified by the level of education in Mississippi. It's dismal on every level

Anonymous said...

Is graduating the benchmark of success or is educating? Seems to me that most of the kids graduating have no real life/work skills.

Schools allow all sorts of bad behavior from parents and kids because they are too afraid to discipline kids.

Anonymous said...

My hunch is Shad will be vindicated. MDE extolling a higher graduation rate doesn’t seem impressive. If publication education has improved, why not point to better reading, ‘rightin’ and ‘rithmaticking stats on a national level.

Anonymous said...

@9:00pm - Why the hell did you move here from Maryland?

Anonymous said...

Graduation rates naturally will improve when you get to pick and choose your own standards of measurement and you essentially force schools to fail no one. Make sure almost everyone passes - our graduation rates are through the roof! Our college entrance scores aren’t that great, but at least we are giving out thousands of new diplomas.

Anonymous said...

36% of Mississippi high school graduates can't pronounce common english words correctly. But then again, 36% of Mississippi teachers can't either. These graduates speak an identifiable incorrect vernacular. However, that is ignored because standards are apparently racist.

Anonymous said...

first indication that the Harvard educated Shad, knows not a thing about professional audit standards. he should stick to trying to catch fraudsters, because that doesn't require adherence to professional audit standards (that he is not familiar with), and fraud reports can be manipulated for political purposes without violating (or ignoring) professional auditing standards.

Anonymous said...

The report doesn't even factor in 30% absence rate among students. That and not giving grades lower than 50 inflates their performance, inflating their "grades", and violates accreditation standards and federal law.

Behind closed doors, Mississippi politicians will tell you, "Education is all we got" when discussing jobs.....and keeping the financial gravy train's where billions have gone to die, and young people are not being educated. A huge chunk of "college" classes are remedial, when you're supposed to be "ready" for college english and math. Ha! Tens of thousands can barely read or write, and they hardly ever are in class in the first place. Just bring a note from your parents - any note will do. Complete lies throughout MDE.

Anonymous said...

Mike @7:37 is right. Shad is far too concerned with getting his name in the paper. I’m all about combating fraud, but his constant need to sensationalize and politicize is frustrating. Don’t be corrupted by the power. Do your job, and do it well, and stop trying to run a campaign via press releases.

Anonymous said...

@12:11pm Shad is RIGHTFULLY illuminating the fraud you say you care about. A problem can't be fixed if it isn't uncovered and acknowledged.

The people have a right to know where their money isn't going. Stacy Pickering should hang his head in shame with what he knew and kept his mouth about. What a piss poor man of God. Mississippi is supposedly oh so Christian, yet the most corrupt state in the nation. Shad is doing his job, so he SHOULD get the credit. You probably want to keep voting for the same do-nothing fraudsters who're running the state into the ground while financially raping the citizens.

Anonymous said...

So, in order to satisfy a state requirement (law) all I need to do is claim "But I came up with a better program so I'm exempting myself from the law." I think I have it now.

Fire Carey Wright is actually a Facebook page if you care to join. No telling what she is entitled to as a draw-down from her PERS account, but at least we can keep her from drawing a retirement for the rest of her life.

Anonymous said...

I see some the commenters above are following the First Rule of bureaucratic infighting: shoot the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Whether democrat or republican, post modern republican or antebellum democrat....we all have been horns-waggled by this Wright woman.

She will retire on our PERS dime, head back to Maryland and write a book on how a poor state wasted billions on public education.

Anonymous said...

All her bullshit aside...Isn't the point that she violated state law?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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