Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kathleen Ford and Politifact - A Second Look

The shots at Kathleen ford just keep getting cheaper and cheaper. It starts out with some name calling, progresses to the St. Pete Chicken and now we have a "Pants on Fire Rating" from Politifact.
Seems Politifact did not have the same problem in Oregon in February of 2012 with Ben Cannon, Oregon Governor John Kitshaber's education adviser, when he said "if we raise the number of third-graders who read at a third-grade level, we affect everything, from graduation rates to incarceration rates."
Cannon's statement is broader than Ford's "We know that our private prison systems are calculating how many new beds (they will need) based on the third grade, number of third-graders, and that's just wrong".
Let's look at some facts.
Politifact Oregon did its home work and found that there is a correlation between third grade performance and incarceration rates. Click the Link above.
The final ruling of Politifact  Oregon: "Cannon told Portland Monthly that by improving third grade reading scores, the state would also be improving graduation and incarceration rates. He did his homework before speaking. The link between the three seems absolutely clear to us. We rate this claim True."
So in Oregon Politifact seems to agree that third grade educational performance is a factor in incarceration rates, but in Florida they do not.
If the real question is do PRIVATE prison companies factor the third grade statistics into their planning models, I seriously doubt any one running one of these companies would be dumb enough to admit it even if they did. But they do use incarceration rates in their planning models.
So is Kathleen Ford wrong or does just recognize the problem?
I'll let you read the link above and draw your own conclusions.
We had a Mayor before Foster that was focused on education and he made a difference.  It would be nice to have that same attribute in a new Mayor.
The level of effort going into attempts to embarrass, discredit or put Ford on the defensive continues to escalate.
The better question is why?
The political power brokers and their minions just don't know how to deal with someone who deals straight up.
Look for more of the same tactics.
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Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg

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