Scott Wedel

Scott Wedel 1 day, 4 hours ago on First of two election forums held Wednesday at The Steamboat Grand


Appearances take on their own reality. People will leave thinking their particular issues were barely mentioned while the other side got plenty of time on their issues.

And the coverage in the paper is just more of the same bias.

Public has every reason to feel that it is wrong for the newspaper editor that controls what is said in the paper about an issue is also controlling what is said about issues at election forums.

And the paper is going to be reporting without bias on a forum moderated by their editor? So reporters are free to say the Editor Lisa surprisingly didn't bring up some topics or failed to ask follow up questions to evasive answer?

You can have good intent, but you as moderator is going to add to public distrust because you are also editor of the paper. Just like we would not want Sheriff Wiggins to also be local Judge Wiggins. Roles that should be recognized as having an inherent conflict of interest even if person is perfect.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 5 hours ago on Robin Schepper and Eric Washburn: School needs help


Of coiurse SSSD's demographer is going to stand by his report. If he were to now repudiate his report then he would never work again. He writes a demographic report that projects 30% growth in elementary students, panics SSSD and BOE into creating a plan to build a new high school and is then expected to say "Oops"?

I think the bigger news is that he couldn't say that using local births was wrong. Obviously, Yes2 wanted the demographer to say using local births is a terrible method and for him to prove his method of using previous kindergarten enrollment to predict future enrollment is better. Their demographer cannot make that argument because it is mathematically false and if he tried making that then he would also never work again.

It is factually true that local births are down 30% in 2012-2014 from 2007-2009 Yes, we do have a big blob of students from those 2007-2009 peak, but we also have a big drop off right behind that. 2010 had a smaller drop off and we definitely are seeing that in 2015 kindergarten enrollment.

We need a plan to handle the big blob, but the plan should recognize that after the big blob passes through schools then those schools will be seeing reduced enrollment. The big blob will pass through the elementary schools before new construction is completed.

We should remodel the middle school to add capacity to handle the big blob. The high school is big enough to handle the big blob, but there are probably worthwhile remodeling projects to better handle the blob and to modernize.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 8 hours ago on Robin Schepper and Eric Washburn: School needs help

Their demographer has not been within 2% in their kindergarten projections vs actual. This year they projected an increase of 8 and instead had a decrease of 17. When current SCE/SPE kindergarten is 164 then that is an 15% error.

That is 15% for just one year ahead. They then project 4 more years of 4+% annual growth above that inaccurate prediction.

Their method is to note difference in kindergarten class between 2011 and 2014 to assume that is annual growth. If they were to update that method using 2015 data then they would project 200 fewer elementary school students than their previous projections. This is a crap method that has no connection to the reasons of the changes in kindergarten. It basically hopes that the reasons for recent kindergarten classes remains the same. It has been +/-20% in the past 10 years. That sort of error should be expected when number of births to residents has relatively big swings.

2012-2014 has 30% fewer local births than 2007-2009. Yet, their demographer is predicting the 2019 kindergarten class to be 25% larger than the 2014 kindergarten class.

So what did SSSD's demographer say to Scott B about using local births to predict future kindergarten classes?

Local births is statistically proven to be a far superior method. It is a standard practice to test a demographic method by applying it to historical data and compare the projections against the actual data. Using previous kindergarten to predict future kindergarten is not very accurate. Using local births to predict future kindergarten enrollment is accurate. That is a provable repeatable mathematical fact.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 16 hours ago on Deirdre Macnab: Make correct plan

Scott B,

What your post misses is the critical fact that the demographic analysis expects for grades to move on. So next year's 8th grade class is mostly this year's 7th grade class. There are average grade to grade changes of say 2nd grade class increasing by 4 students as it becomes next year's 3rd grade class.

So 2015 enrollment changes to 1st to 12th grade were largely as expected because the 2014 class sizes for kindergarten to 11th grade were known.

The big news is that kindergarten decreased by 17 instead of increasing by 8 as projected by SSSD for a total error of 25. That is a 15% error in kindergarten in just one year. Their projections are for kindergarten to grow by 8 or 9 students for each year of the projections. And then that is the basis of their projections for increasing size of future first, second, third and fourth grade classes as their projected big kindergarten classes advance grade by grade.

How could they be off by 15% for this year's kindergarten class? Because they use previous kindergarten class to predict next year's kindergarten class. It is a proven inaccurate method and has no basis in logic. A majority of last year's kindergarten students do not make up this year's kindergarten class. The method is just a very lazy projection assuming that if everything else remains the same then it won't be too far off.

The proven accurate method is to use a mixture of births 5 and 6 years ago to duplicate the mixture of kids in this year's kindergarten that were born mostly in 2010, but somewhere about a third in 2009. That accurate method does predict that this year's kindergarten class would be about 15% smaller because 2010 had about 16% fewer births than 2009.

And since 2012-2014 are known to have locally 30% fewer births than 2007-2009 then we should expect three upcoming years of similarly smaller kindergarten classes.

SSSD is projecting over 4% annual growth in kindergarten class for 2015 to 2019 because that is the kindergarten growth rate from 2011 to 2014. Makes no sense, is proven to be inaccurate, but that is what they are sticking with.

And most important. the decision to proceed with Option C.2 was made with projections of 1393 elementary school students and so on What justifies Option C.2 are projections showing schools about to be hundreds of students over capacity.

If we use 2012-2014 local birth data (and we don't know 2015 birth data) then with 2015's small kindergarten class then we know we have 4 of 5 years of significantly smaller classes.

So yes, we have to make plans to handle the large group of students born 2007-2009, but those plans should recognize that it is going to be followed by a large drop off in students following that.


Scott Wedel 1 day, 23 hours ago on First of two election forums held Wednesday at The Steamboat Grand

So everything depends upon what one person, the newspaper editor, is willing to ask the candidates.

That is fundamentally anti-democratic and everyone should object to this format.

At a minimum the format should allow candidates to ask a few questions to guarantee a few minutes discussion on the topics that most concern them.

Having a single moderator is always a bad idea and it is even worse that it is the newspaper editor that will soon enough decide what candidates and issues will be supported by the newspaper.

It would be better if a generally nonpartisan instructor at CMC could work with students on phrasing good unbiased questions. And for the school board candidates then maybe find someone retired with knowledge that hasn't taken a public position. And for city council candidates then I'd want Paul Hughes to be one of the a debate moderators.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 2 hours ago on Monday event in Steamboat aims to spread awareness about gun violence

The wave of gun control laws in the 60s and 70s was largely in response to the Black Panthers holding a march in Sacramento in which they were openly carrying rifles and shotguns which was legal. Politicians were concerned that is was legal for the Black Panthers which included many gang members to march on government in greater numbers and better armed than the Capitol security force.

If someone like Kanye West said that Blacks needed to carry guns to protect themselves from the police and organized an open carry march where allowed then I think many more people would question the current laws. Especially if the open carry march was held in a wealthy, mostly white city or neighborhood.

I think ultimately we face the choice between the Second Amendment as is vs an extremely militarized law enforcement.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 4 hours ago on Deirdre Macnab: Make correct plan

The official numbers are as of Oct 1 and remain well under projected.

The changes to a grade as it advances are as expected. Almost all of the difference between projected and actual is in a much smaller kindergarten class.

That is critical because it is further evidence that SSSD's method of using past kindergarten to project size of future kindergarten is badly flawed. Statistically, it is shown to be a crap method.

And it is further evidence that a weighted average of births 5 and 6 years ago to match the student's ages in a grade is an accurate method of predicting future kindergarten class.

This is critical because births to local residents in 2012-2014 is 30% lower than 2007-2009. So we should expect several years of smaller classes instead of rapid growth. Option C.2 was chosen using projections showing a 30% increase in K-5 students by 2019. Instead a 10% decline is much more likely to occur.

The big changes to enrollment for each school are primarily the result of a big/small class advancing and being replaced by a small/big class entering. So the large classes resulting from the 2007-2009 boom of local births will be increasing enrollment next in the middle school and then later in the high school. But they are followed by a 30% decrease in students from 2012-2014 and a 15% fewer 2010 births


Scott Wedel 2 days, 17 hours ago on Deirdre Macnab: Make correct plan

So I asked myself, if the Routt County births 2/3rds 5 years ago and 1/3rd six years ago correlated well to that year's SSSD kindergarten enrollment then how would that mixture compare using SSSD's demographic report table showing births withing SSSD boundaries.

Answer is also extremely well. SSSD demographic report had the raw data to accurately predict future kindergarten enrollment but was too lazy to adjust the annual data to be a weighted average matching the student body and use that.

It does not have 2014 births within district boundaries, but it is consistent with RC births showing a sharp decline in 2012 and 2013.

The data is present for those willing to look that enrollment is going to be declining, not increasing by 30%.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 19 hours ago on Deirdre Macnab: Make correct plan

I think the wind is responsible for some of the sign removals on both sides. I personally saw one sign being blown off the metal frame and fly across the road during a storm related wind gust.

As for demographics, parents talking to neighbors doesn't determine whether enrollment is likely to grow to severe overcrowding or if enrollment is likely to drop.

I think parents have a sense whether the demographics report of a further 30% increase over what is now 4 years is credible And so hearing that there are many questions about the demographics report coincides with what they are seeing.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 22 hours ago on From the Editor: Picking our battles

City council could tell Nuanes to write another report is written as a practices and policies report that is to be publicly released. US Dept of Justice investigates police depts all the time and always issues public reports.

So will they do so or leave the public with rumors?