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Dr. Stokes on HSE's Decline
A clarification on alleged "misinformation"
HSE Superintendent Dr. Stokes sent out a video message on Friday combatting what she called “misinformation” that has circulated in our community about the academic performance of HSE Schools. Here’s Dr. Stokes’ message:
When I heard this, I was immediately uncertain which “inaccurate claims” Dr. Stokes meant to be rebutting. I couldn’t tell because she was not specific. So I emailed her and asked. She replied by providing one example, the following graphic:
She felt that this was not an accurate graphic, and I agree with her: the conversion of a “student proficiency” rate to a traditional letter grade is not a good way to think about this data.
However, this graphic is not the best argument for the claim that HSE has declined academically. There are much stronger arguments, which have been ably presented by Kellie Kelly.
A bit about Ms. Kelly: she holds a master’s degree from Purdue in math education. And her husband, who reviews all of her articles, holds a Ph.D. in statistics from IU. So they are well-qualified to weigh in on this subject.
When I asked specifically about Ms. Kelly’s work, Dr. Stokes stressed that she did not mean to accuse any particular individual in the community of spreading misinformation, and Dr. Stokes took no position on the claims in Ms. Kelly’s articles.
You should read Ms. Kelly’s work. But let me share some of her graphs that illustrate the main points.
First, look at this graph depicting how HSE has dropped from 4th place statewide in 2009 to 16th today:
Additionally, there has been a decline in the percentage of HSE students enrolled in college:
Finally, consider Fishers Elementary School. This school was designated a “Blue Ribbon” school in 2011. That meant that it was one of the very best elementary schools in the entire nation. Since then it has become the worst-performing elementary school in our district:
These low scores were achieved under the leadership of a woke Principal who recently encouraged the public to “violate the law” in response to a supreme court decision he didn’t like, and who refused to clarify whether he was calling for violence. This Principal is on-record saying that he does not worry about test scores when trying to improve his school. Our candidates for school board want to go in a different direction than this Principal, namely in an academic direction. I hope Dr. Stokes will join us instead of continuing down the same path that has led to the shocking academic decline of this once-excellent school.
So that’s it, that’s my point. HSE Schools are in a state of academic decline, as evidenced by Ms. Kelly’s careful analyses. Dr. Stokes did not deny any of this.
The only solution to these problems is to elect four new board members on November 8. The last day to register is tomorrow, October 11. Make sure that you, and especially any teens who have recently reached voting age, are registered and ready to go!