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(SacBee)   Sacramento city council member complains that half of students in local schools are still below the 50th percentile   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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8767 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jun 2003 at 1:34 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

125 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-06-12 01:55:39 PM  
To be fair, in my experience, any half-decent school will have 25% or less score below the 50th percentile on state tests, at least in Ohio. Makes you wonder. I live in the boonies, where we have no school funding, our books were between 10 and 20 years old when I was there, and we have plenty of idiots. Where is the school bringing the average down from us?
Seriously, though, she was a dumbass to say it like that.
2003-06-12 01:56:17 PM  
In comparison to other schools in the state, obviously it would make the schools in the district average.

What it doesn't say is what the % correct is to get the percentiles. You could get 90% correct and get 50th percentile if it's an overall smart group of test-takers (or if the test is easy as hell), or 10% correct if the test is insanely difficult, or of the test-takers leave something to be desired in the intelligence department.

It also doesn't get into the standard deviations. It could be one question difference between a 50th percentile and a 60th, or it could be 10 questions (or any other number).
2003-06-12 01:57:36 PM  

[image from too old to be available]

Holy jumpin' Jesus! Things are all farked up! Bad kitty!!
This link was already submitted on 2003-06-12 10:30:03 (US/Eastern Time) ... and was listed on Fark on 2003-06-12 13:26:20
2003-06-12 01:57:44 PM  
ToxicVodka, if you had read this thread, you'll see that I copped to being the one to submit this. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a "dumbass." And if you'll look at the quote, you'll see that the words "on state tests" were added by the columnist--the actual unedited quote was "but half the students are still below the 50th percentile."

Believe me. I know this woman. She is a dumbass. This isn't a first for this this kind of thing for her. I'm absolutely confident that she doesn't understand that half of students on any test are always below the 50th percentile.
2003-06-12 01:59:49 PM  
Lol Waz, "There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who know binary and those who don't."
2003-06-12 02:03:14 PM  
I don't see the point. 50% are above and 50% are below. I guess I could figure out what's going on, but that would require actually clicking on the link and reading the article. Probably a better use of my valuable time to make a pointless and stupid statement here.
2003-06-12 02:04:54 PM  
Moron tag anyone?
2003-06-12 02:05:10 PM  
C-dog: Why are you trolling for passwords in every thread? Come here so Drew can smack you with a newspaper.
2003-06-12 02:05:47 PM  
Another study has revealed that a staggering 40% of sickies are taken on Monday's or Friday's.
2003-06-12 02:07:17 PM  
Ummm, isn't 50% of the polulation supposed to be below average?
2003-06-12 02:08:20 PM  
"I don't know half of you as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
/Bilbo Baggins
2003-06-12 02:13:08 PM  
In a story on Sweeney's upcoming retirement, Hammond said she is "not a fan" and accused him of being too blunt and "not comfortable" with parents in underperforming schools.

I don't know either of these people, but I'm thinking a little less "comfortable" and a little more "boot in the ass" just might be the thing for "underperforming" schools.
2003-06-12 02:14:43 PM  
I wish I could remember who said: "Think of all the dumb stuff you have done. Then remember, if you are average, half of everybody else is dumber than you are."
2003-06-12 02:17:13 PM  
Voice'o'Reason, I don't think the Bee was "treating her complaints as valid." Nobody endorsed the statement, and the columnist printed it as the last line of the column, just sort of leaving it there for the reader to takein, presumably assuming that intelligent readers would realize what a moronic quote it is. The stupidity of the statement is self-evident. What did you want the Bee to do, add another sentence to the story that said "Jesus, what a retard"?

And yes, as far the current media options go, the Bee is probably more "liberal" than most. But the Union died because it got that rag got taken over by some wacko fundie zealots who turned it into something that made NewsMax look like The Socialist Workers' Daily by comparison. I would have been sorry to see it go, but only if I'd had a birdcage to line or lots of fish to wrap.
2003-06-12 02:17:36 PM  
Cyberluddite - I'm relatively local, being just a few miles down the valley from ya. (Stockton). I remember the "nubianrdly" article, got quite a chuckle out of that one. People's stupidity never ceases to amaze.

What a way to follow-up though, eh? hahahah She's such a complete moron. Great for a laugh, until you realize this chick's like, in charge of stuff. Then it's a bit scary.
2003-06-12 02:18:18 PM  
Imagine the intelligence of the average dumbass. Now realize that 50% of the population is dumber that that.

/Carlin, or whomever
2003-06-12 02:18:41 PM  
Interesting how the filter screwed "nubian.r.d.l.y." all up in my previous post.

hahahaha "nubianrdly", that's great in and of itself.
2003-06-12 02:19:18 PM  
Jesus, so many typos in that last post that it looks like it was written by Lauren Hammond.
2003-06-12 02:19:58 PM  
She claims he is too blunt, but the next segment she claims to be very blunt. Pot to kettle HELLO
2003-06-12 02:24:12 PM  
Tricky Chicken, if Lauren Hammond read your last post, I'm sure she would quickly inform you that the phrase "pot calling the kettle black" is highly racist, and that you owe her an apology.
2003-06-12 02:28:24 PM  
Cyberluddite - I live in the Curtis Park neighborhood--in Lauren Hammond's district, unfortunately.

At least you don't live at Stockton and MLK.

BTW I'm in midtown.
2003-06-12 02:28:54 PM  

What the hell? She's all ate up with the dumb.
2003-06-12 02:30:13 PM  

better late than never I suppose
2003-06-12 02:31:07 PM  
It's you farkers who are the real dumbasses. Go look up the word "percentile" before you make yourselves look even more dumb!
2003-06-12 02:35:14 PM  
I don't believe her anyway, doesn't she know that 75% of statistics are made up on the spot?
2003-06-12 02:35:32 PM  
After fixing test performance, she'll go after the fact that 40% of absences occur on either a Monday or a Friday.
2003-06-12 02:36:23 PM  
She meant half the kids are below the 50th% for the state on standardized tests, which isnt really good or bad. For an urban area its actually pretty good, since a lot of them might actually have say 70% of the kids scoring below the 50th percentile in the state.

However, I do have to admit it looks pretty dumb when you read it. She should consider herself lucky that the reporter added in the 'on state tests' part instead of quoting her verbatim.
2003-06-12 02:40:06 PM  
06-12-03 02:31:07 PM MegaDethHead
It's you farkers who are the real dumbasses. Go look up the word "percentile" before you make yourselves look even more dumb!

O.K., let's see:

One of a set of points on a scale arrived at by dividing a group into parts in order of magnitude. For example, a score equal to or greater than 97 percent of those attained on an examination is said to be in the 97th percentile.

You wanna enlighten us all as to how we're off-base on this one, MegaDethHead, oh wise one? WTF?
2003-06-12 02:41:19 PM  
Now just wait a cotton pickin' minute here...
2003-06-12 02:50:04 PM  

Guess the average $7100 a year the state spends PER PUPIL
isn't enough....

2003-06-12 02:57:26 PM  
This is almost as stupid as the chief exec of british telecom who thought that by changing the dialling code from 0xxx to 01xxx added loads more numbers! So businesses had to spend loadsamoney changing all their paperwork & stuff. Only a year after this, someone pointed out to him that they didn't in fact have any more numbers, so businesses in London had to change again! Cost businesses thousands!

For an example, one of the London codes changed from:
071x to 0171x to 0207 in a period of about 2 years!

proves that people=stupid...
2003-06-12 03:01:32 PM  
It's you farkers who are the real dumbasses. Go look up the word "percentile" before you make yourselves look even more dumb!

Don't you mean "dumber(er)"

Dumb ass.
2003-06-12 03:11:20 PM  
I'd just like to point out that everyone who read the article and still called the woman a dumbass for the quote gets their own dumbass tag. Even if it has been said before.
2003-06-12 03:11:21 PM  
I live in Sacramento. I blame all problems with youth on rap music. You can't escape the garbage, it's everywhere, like crank. Man is the future scary.
2003-06-12 03:14:50 PM  
I was going to biatch about the fact that none of the super-cool links I submitted got posted to regular Fark, but this made me laugh so hard I don't care any more.

Thank you, dumbass council member, for brightening up my day.
2003-06-12 03:16:54 PM  
OK Californians, a show of hands.

Are all your expatriate countrymen emigrating to the rest of the country the "smart" ones cause they got out, or are they the "dumb" ones you are glad to see gone?

I always kind of wondered. Since we get carloads of californians moving here every week. Personally, I'd say they were the ones you are glad to see gone, but then again, they might be the cream of the crop for all I know.
2003-06-12 03:18:42 PM  
They are the ones that can afford to live like Kings elsewhere but probably didn't live in luxury here...

Most of the time that is the case
2003-06-12 03:24:04 PM  
Ugh, I hate how people in general are farking over our students in education. They give them too much credit in some areas and not enough in others. It's ridiculous.
2003-06-12 03:24:19 PM  
Yes, you all misunderstood the word "percentile".

there's no automatic 50%. If 99 people got 99/100, and one person got 1/100, then you'd have 99 people in the 99th percentile and 1 person in the first percentile.

percentile doesn't split the group down the middle.

Put simply - if everyone got a perfect score on the test, everyone would be in the 100th percentile.

so shhhhhhhhh.
2003-06-12 03:26:13 PM  
Statistics can be used to prove anything... 72% of all people know that....
2003-06-12 03:28:06 PM  
Well, statistics blow, but it's about the best we can do in proving how widespread something is.
2003-06-12 03:31:38 PM  
I don't know, Generation D, it's probably some of each, since every person has their own individual reasons for moving. I see you live in Seattle, and Seattle is very attractive to many Californians (West Coast attitudes, outdoor activities, nice urban feel, high-tech employment opportunities, and beautiful scenery), so you're going to see a disproportionate number of emigres.

So, I can't say why people are leaving, but I'm happy they are, because there are too damn many people here. The only problem is, for every person that moves away, there are probably three that move in.
2003-06-12 03:37:49 PM  

It says on state tests people. The test scores report your ranking on the state average. There's nothing wrong with what she said. More than 50% of the students in THAT DISTRICT could score above 50% on state tests.

OK, even giving you the benefit of the doubt that (as CyberLuddite pointed out) she actually DID mean that--the reporter inserted the "State Tests" part of the quote and we have to trust that to be appropriate to the context--it's still pretty dumb.

It takes just about 40 students to make testing on a curve pretty effective. The more you add, the more you get. An entire district? Should be pretty damned near 50% (depends on the variance of score, but with that many students it'd take a heuueueuege variance to throw it). It's called the law of large numbers.

Of course, economic factors skew things way to one side or another, so maybe the real complaint is that the district's economic profile is the same as the state-wide average.
2003-06-12 03:38:05 PM  
06-12-03 03:24:19 PM DeanMoriarty
I think you are wrone - there is no 100th percentile, that would mean you scored better than 100% of the test takers and therefore better than yourself. The highest possible percentile is the 99th, meaning you scored better than 99% of the test takers. I claim no math skills though, before anyone really sinks the teeth into me.

backs away slowly with hands raised in defence

oh and cool handle by the way, loved that book
2003-06-12 03:39:18 PM  
I are a reeeel gud spellr.
2003-06-12 03:40:11 PM  

'And if you'll look at the quote, you'll see that the words "on state tests" were added by the columnist--the actual unedited quote was "but half the students are still below the 50th percentile." '

That's not necessarily true. Sometimes parentheses mean that the reporter chose to rearrange or paraphrase a statement made by the interviewee, or to simply signify an edit for clarity. It doesn't mean that those words did not come out of the subject's mouth in some form.

-Another former Sacramentan
2003-06-12 03:41:44 PM  
It could also mean that she said something like 'on the CTBS' or 'on the Test-o-master 5000' and the reporter figured her readers wouldn't know what that was.
2003-06-12 03:42:54 PM  
You are incorrect. Percentile means exactly what has been implied here. Google for "SAT percentile". According to your logic, 720 on a given part would be 90th percentile, but it's not. The 90th percentile starts at a much lower score. Shhhhhhhhhh....
2003-06-12 03:57:50 PM  
Theoretically true, Jsnbase, except that in this case Lauren Hammond happens to be so dumb that I seriously doubt she even knows the name of the test. Hell, she probably couldn't even pick it out of the following multiple choice question: "The name of the achievement test given annual to California students is: (a) The California Achievement Test; (b) the Early Dectection Home Pregnancy Test; (c) none of the above; (d) all of the above."
2003-06-12 03:59:53 PM  
Dean - could you have picked a more confusing example to try to make your point. Don't know if you are saying 99th percentile because they scored a 99%, or because 99% got that score?

percentile - in statistics, (a) any of the values in a series dividing the distribution of the individuals in the series into one hundred groups of equal frequency; (b) any of these groups.

So, half of all students taking the test will be below the 50th percentile.

It is possible that in a subgroup (district) half of the students could score better than the median of the whole group (state).

I am curious as to what the demographics of this district are & what their past performance is. If it is a low income, urban area, sounds like they did pretty good.

Of course, Hammond is still an egotistical moron. I don't think she knew what she was talking about all.
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