Scott Wedel

Scott Wedel 7 hours, 12 minutes ago on Our view: On the right track


I am not disputing that there is a correlation. But the question is what is cause/effect or multiple effects of the same root cause. That is important because it determines whether an effort to change behavior and have families eat together should be expected to improve grades. Or is a family eating together the result of a beneficial situation and other good behaviors?

A family eating together doesn't have someone having to work evenings, for instance. Or a parent with a drug problem is less likely to eat dinner with the family. And so on. It is sort of a prerequisite that the family is stable if it is able to eat dinner together.


Scott Wedel 11 hours, 4 minutes ago on Sheriff Garrett Wiggins' 2017 budget calls for new patrol deputy, investigator

Is there any evidence that law enforcement interdiction efforts have ever made a difference?

What was the positive impact of seizing 28 grams of meth on Rabbit Ears? Did any meth addicts say they couldn't get meth that day and so they should quit?

I really dislike government wasting money. If Sheriff Wiggins wants another K-9 then he should be able to state the benefit. The benefit has to be more than simply having another K-9 unit.


Scott Wedel 11 hours, 38 minutes ago on Our view: On the right track


Income is a factor, but I am quite confident that educational level of parents is more important that parental income. Income level and education are related, but there are some relatively low paying jobs that require more education, and higher paying manufacturing jobs that don't require as much education. In places like those are where it can be asked if it is income or parent's educational attainment that is a better predictor. And it is parental education that is found to be a better predictor than income.

Sitting down for dinner might be a good predictor, but good statisticians prefer claiming a link when there is a plausible causality. As you note, things like sitting down for dinner is more likely also a result of the similar behaviors. Sitting down for dinner also requires a parent not having to work nights and is also likely an indicator of financial stability as well.

As for adjusting for college majors, I think that gets very subjective very quickly. Not only the relative difficulty of different majors, but the reasons why switching majors. For instance, is a student switching from an engineering major because it is too hard or because it isn't enjoyable?

Though, in terms of local schools, I think there is a massive bait and switch in that local schools claim success when students graduate and move on to college, but how the students do in college is largely ignored. Our district actively promotes the idea that the schools are so good, but the numbers suggest that students graduate much closer to the state average than near the top.


Scott Wedel 14 hours, 11 minutes ago on Our view: On the right track

Educational attainment of parents is a well researched strong indicator of what will be the educational attainment of their children.

If you want to study how a community's overall educational attainment affects those children of parents with lower educational attainment then you also have to ask why are those families with lower educational levels in that community. In a community like Boulder, are the good schools attracting parents that value education but didn't graduate from college?

I think this is a good on topic discussion because it is a very valid discussion of how much is school performance the result of favorable demographics or a school doing a superior job at educating students. I know many people read these comments without posting so this is food for thought on school performance.


Scott Wedel 17 hours, 12 minutes ago on Stand for America

I think that using arguments that are weak on the facts should be criticized. Saying that Obama has been bad for the economy because of decreased workforce participation when workforce rate was going to decline regardless because of baby boomers reaching retirement age and also ignoring that unemployment rate has dropped is such a deceptive argument that criticism should be expected.

BTW. whatever happened in that Jade Helm US military takeover of Texas? And what happened to Homeland Security conspiracy to buy all the bullets so that gun owners wouldn't be able to defend themselves against the US government military takeover. And wasn't Obama supposed to be planning a military coup so that there wouldn't be a 2016 election?


Scott Wedel 18 hours, 7 minutes ago on Our view: On the right track

You did find some good stuff.

I've asked CDE for a breakout of ACT score by number of students so that percentiles can be locally determined.

As for your data, I note that SSSD is generally quite close to state averages except that 8% more students go to out of state 4 year colleges.

In contrast, Boulder High school is much better with many numbers. In the past you have said that SB is demographically more like stereotypical Boulder than Boulder is currently.

Why is Boulder HS so much better than SSHS at college prep? From the demographic data of number of students on free or reduced lunches and minorities then SSHS should be outperforming Boulder HS.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 12 hours ago on Our view: On the right track

Scott F,

The per HS data would have to be some calculation based upon students' high school test scores. The number of 12th grade students testing below 12th grade proficiency would all seem to need remedial assistance if progressing to college. If you presume that the best HS students go to college and the weakest don't then you can look at percentiles. Ie. if 60% of SSHS students go to college then how prepared for college are those scoring at 40th percentile and above.

Looks to me that 12th grade testing is now limited to the ACT. Looks to me that is would be a data request to Col Dept Ed asking how many SSHS got what ACT score.

But even then, that is data in the abstract. When a student's classes and test scores are part of a personal academic plan then it becomes clear whether a student expecting to go to college will be prepared for college. When it becomes your kid that isn't on a college prep plan despite expecting to go to college then that becomes an urgent issue to deal with.

BTW, personal academic plans have been around for a long time. Where I grew up they were a big selling point for the good private high schools as an agreement between the student, the parents and the school.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 15 hours ago on Our view: On the right track

Scott F,

The data that colleges have on students needing remedial work do not break down from which high schools the students graduated needing the remedial classes. The data from Colorado colleges was really bad for community colleges in lower income areas. I recall one community college had over 80% of freshman in remedial classes to prepare them for college. Meanwhile CU Boulder had 1% and it was a quirk in admissions why that wasn't 0%.

The subject matter is whatever topics the colleges had to teach what they considered HS level classes to prepare the students for college classes. That was primarily reading, writing and math. Few first year college classes expect more than those skills.

I found: The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 is associated with a 65 percent probability of obtaining a first-year GPA of a B-minus or higher in college, which in turn is linked to a high likelihood of college graduation.

And that 1550 SAT score corresponds to an ACT of 22. That is above high school average and even a 65% probability of a B- GPA hardly suggests an ACT of 22 is wonderfully prepared for college. A student expecting success at college should have an ACT closer to 25.

Thus, many local high school students that say they plan on going to college are going to graduate from local high schools not well prepared for college. SSHS's ACT scores are also not strong enough to say that nearly all of their students planning on going to college with graduate HS prepared for college.

I think if high schools, and it would be far easier to do in smaller schools like Soroco, sat down with students and parents to say this is the education plan that will meet your stated goals then motivation for academic performance would be greatly increased.

I note that at freshman orientation at SSHS, the parents were told that 60% (or whatever is the exact number) of SSHS students will go to college. If it was also said that "20% (rough guess) of these SSHS students planning to go to college will graduate HS academically unprepared for college" then many parents' and students' jaws would be dropping. They would want to make sure they are not only going to graduate HS, but be academically prepared for college.

I think the good news for improving educational performance is that good ideas have been tried in so many places. Students and parents agreeing to a HS academic plan where expectations are translated into a specific plan with commitments is nothing new.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 17 hours ago on Northwest Colorado Health: Learning series highlights health equity

"Unemployment or financial challenges can make it difficult for families to find housing and transportation, affordable healthcare and preventative health services. This can result in problems such as chronic illness, substance abuse and violence, both inside and outside the home."

So unemployed or financially challenged people shouldn't have kids? And an education effort is planned to describe the importance of being financially secure before having kids?