Update: Has Louisiana Public Broadcasting Sold Out?
I published the following post last week when I discovered that a colleague’s and my interview on Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) regarding problems with the school performance scores was canceled for two weeks in a row. I will leave the original post intact below. However, I would like to add that a few minutes ago, I did indeed see the LPB interview on the school performance score problems; that the presentation was clear and refreshingly untainted by reform-slant, and that the interview link is available here.
Friday, February 8, 2013, 7:25 p.m. CST
February 2, 2013
The Louisiana school performance scores have some serious biases. I have written to John White and BESE more than once about the problems with the 2012 scores, and I have chronicled my interactions with White and BESE overall here.
My colleague Herb Bassett has also investigated and found problems with the 2012 school performance scores, not the least of which is John White’s lowering the graduation rate in June 2012 to contribute to inflated high school scores. Herb also followed the dictums of Louisiana’s Bulletin 111 and determined what problems the 2013 scores will produce. (In short, in 2013, elementary and middle schools will be favored at the expense of high schools because the middle school assessment has five categories, and the “average” [middle] category will be favored. In contrast, the high school assessment has only four categories– no “middle.”)
Both Herb and I were asked to interview for an upcoming piece on LPB regarding the inflation in the Louisiana school performance scores. Herb interviewed on Monday, January 21, and I interviewed on Wednesday, January 23. Our interviewer, LPB reporter Sue Lincoln, told us that the piece would air on Friday, January 25.
At 8:50 Friday morning, I received the following email from Sue Lincoln:
Herb and Mercedes-- Due to an electrical fire at LPB Wednesday night, we lost video edicting capability for nearly a full day, so my story about your analyses of the 2012 SPS will not be airing tonight. It WILL air Friday, February 1st.
And let me assure you, this delay has nothing to do with Supt. John White's push to try and get me to kill the story. My supervisors are adamant that the story IS going forward--script approved and production of the piece is now under way.
Southern Education Desk at Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Things that make you go, “Hmmm….”
Okay. So, we wait another week.
Friday, February 1st, rolled around. I looked for the cancellation email, but none came. As far as the LPB programming guide went, it looked like we were going to air:
Two new statistical analyses of statewide school performance scores dispute the state’s claims they are proof of true student progress. Southern Ed Desk reporter Sue Lincoln digs into the data. View Additional Airings
02/03/13, 8:00 am LPB2
02/03/13, 2:00 pm LPB
02/05/13, 9:00 pm LPB2
02/08/13, 3:00 am LPB2
Friday, February 1st, 7 p.m., I watched the program and quickly realized our segment had been cut and replaced by on-the-street interviews and other hype surrounding the Super Bowl. I emailed Sue Lincoln. She seemed to be as surprised as I was:
I followed Sue’s advice and emailed Sanford and Whinham. I heard from Sanford this morning:
Hello Ms. Schneider,
An editorial decision was made based on the timeliness of the stories that did air. It is an important story and barring any similar circumstances it will run February 8th. You should have been informed of the change and I apologize that you were not. (Emphasis added.)
If you have any other questions or concerns please let me know.
Here is my reply: