Don’t ask Chuck Norris to fill out
a form on the Internet, because he will never submit.
|Peaches hates forms,
but loves doggy daycare!
No one likes filling out forms. I recently had to fill out an internet form to get Peaches into doggy daycare. Based upon the questions being asked, Peaches could use the same form to apply for a career at the FBI. It made me cranky until I was able to justify
in my mind that these questions were not really about my sweet little Peach,
but were to protect her from encountering a bad dog at daycare. The data provides context for the environment in which Peaches will spend time.
Every year, KASB asks member districts’ clerks to fill
out forms. We collect data on all manner
of subjects and a database is only as good as the data upon which it is
based. Because of our member districts’ commitment to the process, the KASB Research Department is a trusted
source for educational information.
This data is used to provide specific information to our
member districts on everything from “number of instructional days” to “how much
districts charge for admission to football games.” Districts use the information to provide
context for good decision-making. The
use of anecdotes and examples can provide emotional pull, but data provides
context that allows logic and reason to prevail in decision-making.
My wife and I recently watched the movie Nightcrawler, an
indictment of local television news that thrives on “if it bleeds it leads.” This type of reporting leads to a perception
that violence and danger are rampant. In
fact, according to Steven Pinker’s book “The Better Angels of Our Nature,”
violence in society is less prevalent than at any time in our history.
The same type of thinking occurs in education
discussions. Someone has an anecdote or
example that, without context or veracity, defines the debate. “Fifty-two percent of school district funds
are spent on administration!” “Millions
of dollars in hidden accounts!” KASB strives to provide context and veracity,
to be a “Truth Machine” in a time and space filled with specious claims, misleading
anecdotes and outright untruths. But we
cannot do it without you.
Please check the link to see if you have provided the
data about your district that we need to help you provide context for data-based
decisions in your district. www.kasb.org/data
Chuck may not submit, but we hope you will submit your data
to help us help you!